The Southern Automotive Conference (SAC) is back and better than ever. Stratosphere Quality will be exhibiting at the conference for the eighth consecutive year. Evan VanderMeeden (Dir. of Sales & Marketing), Joseph Mertz (TN Account Manager) and Johnny Elder (GA Account Manager) will be attending and will be spearheading an exciting raffle for booth visitors. The conference will take place from October 3rd – 5th in Atlanta, GA, and the host representatives are expecting their biggest turnout yet. Come see Evan, Joseph, and Johnny at booth 1427.
For many of us, traditions are what make the holidays so special. In the United States we celebrate many traditions as a nation: Santa Claus and his jolly crew going from house to house on the night of December 24th, the New Year’s Eve toast among family and friends, decking the halls and decorating holiday trees after November (unless of course you are in retail)! As a global company, we have such a diverse group of individuals working with us and we love to learn about the traditions in each of their native countries.
Olga Chaikouskaya, Chief Financial Officer at Stratosphere Quality, celebrates many American traditions with her family, but also incorporates the traditions true to her heart from her hometown of Belarus. We sat down with Olga to learn more about her favorite holiday customs true to her Russian heritage, and thought you would enjoy them too!
New Year’s Day is the biggest celebration of the year in Russia, and is similar to Christmas in the United States. The holiday celebration begins one to two hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Families and friends join together and enjoy dinner while sharing reflections of the past year. This is a way to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new. Olga’s family would decorate their tree earlier on December 30th. They always had a live fir. For Olga, decorating the tree is one of her favorite childhood memories.
Ten minutes before midnight, the President of the Russian Federation gives a speech that is broadcast throughout the country. The President speaks shortly about the country’s life in the outgoing year, and then sends his greetings to all the Russians. The end of the president’s speech is usually followed by the first stroke of the Kremlin Clock.
At midnight, the Kremlin Clock begins to chime and rings for twelve counts. This is Olga’s favorite part of ringing in the New Year. As the clock rings, it prompts a time of reflection and an opportunity to set a sincere wish for the new year. This is not simply a general wish, it is a very specific and intentional wish that you hope to come true. Then, the Russian national anthem is played, fireworks light up the sky, and families and friends embrace, cheer, and toast with champagne. Listen to the Kremlin Clock chiming at midnight.
After the bell tolls…the party begins! Friends and family get together and sing, dance, perform skits, wear costumes or cocktail attire. Families and friends enjoy each other’s company, with the goal of starting the new year on a positive note. Olga pointed out that the belief is that how you celebrate that evening will set the tone for the year to come. So, avoiding conflict, sadness, or stress is very important while celebrating that evening.
Russian Christmas takes place on January 7th, but is a more subdued celebration and is mostly a time to spend more intimately with family and friends. This day closes out the holiday season.
Thank you, Olga, for sharing the holiday traditions that are so meaningful to you and your family!
Stratosphere Quality’s headquarters is located in Hamilton County, and the company is making a tremendous economic impact given their trajectory for continued growth. Hamilton County Business Magazine went in depth with our management team.
Stratosphere Quality’s Chairman, Steve Cage, and CEO, Tom Gray, discuss their ability to grow in a competitive environment with an ever-changing automotive industry. They were recently featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal.
Inspection firm grows with changing auto industry
Steve Cage took the risky step of starting a quality-control business focused on the automotive industry near the peak of the Great Recession.
It was February 2009, and a similar company he sold to a venture capital firm in 2004, Product Action International, had suddenly ceased operations.
“They crashed it in five years, which is hard to believe,” Cage said. “It’s like riding a bike.”
Cage, 64, didn’t want his former employees to be out of work, so almost immediately he launched Stratosphere Quality, which inspects products and plant processes, ensures quality, and helps manufacturers eliminate defects.
He housed the company in a facility at 12024 Exit Five Parkway in Fishers that had been intended for his muscle car collection.
The first year, the company managed $8 million in revenue as Cage was able to snag former customers. The next year, revenue zoomed to $21 million.
Stratosphere Quality is committed to safety as a top priority both onsite and offsite at our client locations. To us, every month is safety month, however, the month of June is recognized specifically in the United States for workplace safety. Over the course of the month, Stratosphere Quality shared ongoing workplace safety tips on our social media. If you didn’t see them, or are not following us (we would love for you to follow us on facebook ) we compiled some of the best tips shared, and some great websites that provide up-to-date safety tips, training and tools.
Workplace Safety Tip: Ensure a clear and easy route to emergency exits and equipment.
Workplace Safety Tip: When in doubt, contact your supervisor or manager for instruction, guidance, or training!
Workplace Safety Tip: Be alert to hazards that could affect anyone— not just yourself. Maintain a team mentality at all times!
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Stratosphere Quality will be an associate sponsor on the No. 5 car, driven by pole sitter James Hinchcliffe, for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Stratosphere Quality is the largest global provider of quality assurance and outsourcing solutions to manufacturers of parts and components in the automotive, medical device and large equipment industry. Stratosphere’s broad geographic footprint in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China allows the company to mobilize complete teams immediately.
“As a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis 500, I am excited and honored to be a partner with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and James Hinchcliffe for the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” said Steve Cage, Chairman of Stratosphere Quality. “Having attended the last 53 Indianapolis 500 races, this year will be even more special given Stratosphere Quality’s alignment with this winning team.”
Tom Gray, Chief Executive Officer of Stratosphere Quality, said, “As the leading provider of quality assurance solutions, Stratosphere Quality is proud to be sponsoring the pole sitter, Hinch and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. We share a laser-sharp focus on people and performance to achieve high-quality outcomes. There is no doubt that the number 5 car and all those who have worked tirelessly to prepare for Sunday will have an outstanding race. We are thrilled to be a part of it.”
SPM team co-owner Sam Schmidt added, “I met Steve Cage less than two weeks ago and felt there was an instant connection. Not only do we share a passion for muscle cars and the Indy 500, but his company is a perfect fit for our SPM partner platform. I know we will increase business and have fun in the process. What could be better?”
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will take place on Sunday, May 29. Fans can get more information about the Greatest Spectacle in Racing at IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com or catch all the action live on ABC starting at 11 a.m. ET.
About Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) was established in 2001 and is owned by former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt and Canadian businessman Ric Peterson. Schmidt was paralyzed (quad) in 2000 after an accident during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. SPM fields cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, and the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. SPM is the most successful team in Indy Lights Series history with sixty-five race wins and seven championships. In addition, SPM won the coveted Indianapolis 500 pole position in 2011 for the 100th anniversary and 2016 for the 100th running, and has won five Verizon IndyCar Series races between 2013 and 2015.
Fishers, IN, August 13, 2015 – Stratosphere Quality CEO Tom Gray announced today Stratosphere Quality has been named to the 2015 Inc. 5000 list for the third consecutive year. The Inc. 5000 list is a reputable annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
“I want to thank all of our valued clients, our incredible and dedicated team, and all of our partners. This ranking is an indicator of the people we have surrounded ourselves with and the passion we share to provide solutions our clients and team believe in and trust. Our innovative approach allows us to provide the highest quality services to over 2,500 manufacturers across the globe,” Gray said. “We continue to grow and lead our industry in new advancements, geographic reach, response times, and operational excellence.”
As the leading provider of quality assurance and quality control solutions to manufacturers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China, Stratosphere Quality grew revenue 134% between 2011 and 2014, and has added over 729 jobs during that three-year period. This outstanding performance earned Stratosphere Quality their third year rankings—and continues to compound through precise management and focus on expansion.
About Stratosphere Quality
Stratosphere Quality, founded in 2009, is the largest global provider of quality assurance and outsourcing solutions, including sorting and inspection services, to manufacturers of parts and components in the automotive, medical device, electronics, military, home appliance and recreational vehicle industries. Stratosphere Quality helps suppliers and OEMs identify the root cause of quality problems, minimize defects, improve quality, increase efficiency and reduce costs associated with quality issues. Headquartered just northeast of Indianapolis, Indiana, Stratosphere Quality has a geographic reach of 20 US states, Canada, Mexico and China.
About Inc. 5000
Inc. is the only major business magazine, dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, that delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Complete results of the Inc. 5000 — including how the companies were chosen, company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region and other criteria — can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2015.
Third party companies can allow your organization to focus energies on your core competencies and speed up the process of getting your product to market faster. Whether you are preparing for a product launch or dealing with a product recall, every minute counts. If you have more people, adherence to your workflow processes, and real- time data that gets you to market quicker, would the investment be worth it?
As a third party quality control company, we all too often witness delays in the process and a increased because many companies try manage the workload internally. Those companies are forced to pull key individuals from existing projects – usually higher value projects – and still were unable to dedicate the necessary resources for completing the project in a cost effective manner.
Some ideas to consider when weighing the options of managing a quality project internally or using a third party company:
1.) A third company can bring an abundance of trained people to the table for completing your project. From supervisors to inspectors, a fully established and assembled team dedicated to your project can drastically improve your project completion timeframe.
2.) Loss of control or fear of not understanding the scope of a project often triggers a company keeping sorting/containment work in-house. Third party companies have specific processes that tend to align with your internal processes. By working alongside your third party provider, you can benefit from an integration of your internal processes, and processes specific to quality control and quality assurance.
3.) Supplier analysis and management can be improved by utilizing an unbiased third party looking out for your best interest. Defects can occur throughout the supply chain, and a third party can often quickly identify the root cause of the defects, and oversee and manage the improvements of supplier quality.
4.) Real-time data for the project is key to identifying overall return on investment while also providing a big picture view of total quality management. There are different levels of data support, so finding a third party to provide robust and real-time data is a must when considering your options.
5.) Most third party companies understand that the relationship must be a win / win and will work hard for you to get the results you desire, and must be accountable for achieving those results.
There are many ways to optimize your supply chain management, and working with a third party provider is just one key solution. Click here for 5 more ways to optimize your supply chain management.