Employee Spotlight: Meet KMM’s Quality Guru Ryan Johnson

At KMM, our team drives us forward, enabling us to achieve groundbreaking feats every day. In our Employee Spotlight series, we aim to highlight these individuals who usually work behind the scenes.

Today, we are pleased to feature Ryan Johnson, our Director of Quality, who became a part of the KMM family in 2015. Besides his stellar work at KMM, Ryan is also a proud American Society for Quality (ASQ) member.

We recently sat down with Ryan for an in-depth conversation to learn more about him and his vision for the future of our essential Quality Department:

Q: Describe your current role at KMM and how it has evolved since you joined the company.

RJ: In 2015, I started as an inspector at KVI, transitioning to the role of Director of Quality within a few months. My current role involves building processes tailored to customer and industry requirements, such as ISO 13485 and AS 9100. From determining inspection methods to closely monitoring each operation for potential challenges, I’m involved in various stages of the production process post-engineering. My core aim is to ensure each part meets the requirements, working hand-in-hand with the production and post-production teams up to the product’s shipment.

Q: Why led you to a career in manufacturing?

RJ: After obtaining a mechanical engineering degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), I began working at another manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania. During my 5-year stint as an inspector, I operated their Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). When they closed, I sought opportunities to further my skills in the quality domain, and KMM presented the perfect opportunity to grow and steer toward a management role.

Q: How would you describe yourself, and how do these traits contribute to your work?  

RJ: I’d classify myself as determined, steady, and patient. These characteristics are crucial when inspecting intricacies, coordinating with various departments, and ensuring excellent part quality at every phase of the manufacturing process.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment at KMM?

RJ: Without a doubt, spearheading the creation of our new unified Quality Management System (QMS) stands out. This project has been a landmark achievement for me. The process has involved extensive collaboration, countless hours of research, and a deep dive into the nuances of our operations. We’ve melded traditional quality assurance methods with fresh, innovative strategies to go beyond industry expectations. Despite the challenges, our team’s unwavering commitment and skill have propelled us closer to our goal.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

RJ: It’s immensely satisfying to navigate and conquer challenging projects. While some perceive the quality domain as meticulous scrutiny, our true objective is ensuring that the outgoing product quality is accurate at every step. It’s about collaborating with the floor teams, troubleshooting issues, and ensuring an exemplary result from the first part to the last. The real reward is achieving harmony and resolution across various departments to meet the most stringent quality standards.

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?

RJ: I’ve been volunteering at the fire department in the Upper Darby township since 2011, dedicating many weekends to this cause. My roles there have varied from administrative to active firefighting. Besides that, I’m an avid golfer, boater, and snowboarder.

Q: Can you share your vision for the Quality Department’s future?

RJ: With KMM’s entities merging and introducing a new unified QMS, we are on the brink of transformation. Each unit brings its distinct approach and knowledge to the table. During this transition, cross-training will be essential for adapting quickly. Our goal is to unify the quality team, navigate the inherent learning curve, and optimize processes to eliminate redundancies. I envision our team harnessing the improved efficiencies to excel in specialized areas, becoming masters of our craft. It’s an exciting phase, and I’m eagerly looking forward to what’s next.

As our conversation with Ryan ended, the depth of his commitment to KMM and his passion for quality shone through. It wasn’t just about a job title or a role for him—it was about ensuring excellence and setting the bar high. Ryan’s journey at KMM encompasses numerous challenges and opportunities, all underscored by his drive to ensure that every project he’s involved in meets the highest standards. KMM is fortunate to have individuals like Ryan, whose dedication, expertise, and fervor for quality play a pivotal role in maintaining our reputation and propelling us to greater achievements.

You can check out more of our employee spotlight articles on our blog, including profiles of Accounting Administrator Tammy Parker, Technical Sales Engineer Erin Cunningham, Precision Grinding Floor Supervisor Doug Bloemker, and Manufacturing Engineer & Turning Dept. Supervisor Sean Kennedy.

Are you inspired by Ryan’s dedication and the standards we set at KMM? We’re always looking for individuals with a passion for excellence and a drive to innovate. Be a part of our dynamic team and help shape the next chapter in manufacturing! Discover a world of opportunities on our careers page, or connect with us directly to learn more about what could await you at KMM.