Rich Barko, A&H Equipment Co. Packaging Specialist
Unlike regular Commercial Packaging, Military Specification (MIL-SPEC) packaging is an entirely different genre of packaging. There are strict specifications and regulations imposed by the federal government on the packaging front, as they are critical about maintaining the product quality, shipping damage, and storage of the products.
Every product needs appropriate packaging and must meet the labeling and marking standards too. On failing to conform, the product holds a good chance of being rejected, and their payments turned down. Additionally, there are multiple steps that a successful bidder has to traverse, including the steps to quote the order, receive, ship, and invoice the order. Each of these steps, too, has multiple processes involved. These make selling even the simplest of the products very complicated, especially for smaller companies.
A&H possesses the in-depth knowledge and capabilities to comply with the military specifications for succeeding with these government contracts, offering their end-to-end packaging services to help companies simplify their MIL-SPEC packaging process for any scale of product-from the small to large products orders and products.
This Pittsburgh based company has staff members with over 35 years of experience in the US Military spec packaging business. They work with the vision of making the government contracts easier and simpler for smaller companies and eliminating their packaging concerns. A&H Equipment assists with every regulation and standard, including MIL-STD-2073, ASTMD 3951 and FED-STD-123 specifications, WAWF, RFID, and IUID requirements, and streamlines the entire process to ensure no product is rejected due to packaging issues.
The only thing the product manufacturer or supplier has to take care of is to provide the product that meets and complies with the requirements, and from there on, A&H can handle the rest of the process. “Our goal is to allow all companies to participate in government supply and procurement by taking the worry of the MIL-SPEC packaging away from them,” mentions Tripp Amick, President of A&H Equipment.
A&H Equipment extends full-service packaging to the customers. Be it the ability to print labels or the expertise on procurement software, they monitor all of it and assist customers in closing all the open ends on the contracts right from the bidding to packaging, marking and labeling, invoicing, shipping, and tracking the shipment to destination.
Our goal is to allow all companies to participate in government supply and procurement by taking the worry of the MIL-SPEC packaging away from them
A&H Equipment also can deploy corrosion prevention manufacturing and packaging through Zerust’s products and services. Based on the customer’s needs, they can align these services to smoothen the client’s packaging processes. For example, some customers are adept with the functioning of the procurement system and manage the bidding themselves, so they only require the packaging and labeling support.
“From big motors that weighed over 2,800 pounds to small cotter pins, we’ve packaged almost everything for our customers,” says Rich Barko, Packaging Specialist at A&H Equipment. The company has the capabilities to package the smallest of the products to the large ones, covering a versatile range. They have packaged products including screws, nuts and bolts, metal parts, to large ocean-going buoys for the Coastguard and the Navy. Besides, they can deliver each project in a very short time. On average, it takes them five or six days from the time they receive the material in expected quantities and condition to packaging and shipping them. However, the duration differs accordingly with the products. For example, in the case of the floating buoys where they have to handle the wooden crates and other associated parts, the process takes a lengthier period than the other smaller products.
To bring out the story, Rich mentioned an example of a client from Orlando, Florida, who had approached them to succeed in a particular government contract. A&H Equipment assisted them through qualifying for their first article testing and submissions of the specified paperwork to the cybersecurity and other contract requirements on the packaging end. A&H has also worked with the big names in the aerospace industry like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, as well as with machine shops and plastic manufacturers that supply directly to large contractors.
Today, though the pandemic has not slowed down their business, they have yet witnessed a few changes in the functioning of the government bodies. The DCMA coming in for origin inspections, evaluating measurements, reviewing specifications, and certifications have substantially become virtual post-COVID-19. However, their prior experiences of undergoing such inspections through images, emails, and phone calls in cases of unavailability of the inspectors, helped them efficiently keep up to this new virtual trend. Further, A&H is looking forward to work in areas where they can manufacture and sell certain products directly to the government using the government’s system to download and review drawings. Standing by their vision, they aim to continue reaching out to smaller companies and working with government agencies in the future, optimizing the companies’ post-manufacturing workflow, including packaging, labeling, and shipment, and comply and contract seamlessly with the government.