Smarter cert management forges deeper customer bonds 30 October 2023

For most industrial fastener suppliers, cert management is crucial in their approach to the fastener industry and business overall. This simple but essential process plays a key role in closing deals, keeping orders moving, and maintaining customer and vendor relationships. Seeking to ensure its customers have the best experience, WCL Company decided to modernise how it managed quality certifications, by using SmartCert.

A US-based specialist in fastening solutions since 1957, WCL Company’s approach to technology is simple – if a solution improves customer experience, it considers it. Otherwise, it sticks with what works, an example of which is its continued use of the company’s legacy ERP system, because it’s yet to find a new one that works as effectively.

However, around seven years ago, WCL’s cert management process was found to be a ‘pain point’ for customers, a single cert package could total more than 15 sheets of paper, all of which needing time-consuming, manual interventions – so the company sought a new solution.

That search concluded with the adoption of an electronic system replacing the paper-based one. However, it, too, was relatively time-consuming, with such things as manual scanning and storing of digital certs required before sending to customers. It was also inflexible, making it ill-suited for clients with specific requirements. What was needed was a cert management system providing exactly what a customer wanted, quickly, without creating more work for the quality department.

A smarter cert management solution

When WCL’s sales manager, Holly McDaniel, first saw SmartCert, she could see immediately how it would strengthen the WCL brand, particularly with respect to customer responsiveness. While Holly internally championed the adoption of SmartCert, WCL’s quality inspector, Marci Miranda, led the implementation and onboarding of WCL’s customers – having formerly spent years inspecting advanced electronics for military applications. 

Marci commented: “For me, the biggest draw of SmartCert is that it’s easy to learn, even for non-technical colleagues. Nearly everybody is satisfied with the platform once they realise how simple it is to use. They’re especially happy when they find out they can send and receive certification packages for free, even if they initially pushed back.”

Onboarding customers and digital transformation

The SmartCert training and onboarding playbook and resources of templates, graphics, and other information, led 80% of WCL’s
clients to adopt SmartCert without any help, with the others requiring only minor assistance. 

Through the use of SmartCert, WCL can now select an individual cert from the cert package and send it to customers more efficiently. Employees no longer need to manually scan and compile cert packages, a process that could delay customer certs. The new system has eliminated nearly all manual processing; centralised the company’s certifications for more efficient, effective management – so that sending a cert package now takes only minutes; and employees can even pull out individual certs easily to create tailored packages meeting specific customer requests.

Training time was also a significant draw for adopting the platform, with both customers and internal employees, even those intimidated by technology, picking it up quickly. This has made it easier for the company’s sales team to onboard new and prospective clients. 

SmartCert’s tracking functionality also enables the company to see when it share certs with a customer, which makes its job considerably easier from a compliance perspective. This goes hand-in-hand with the platform’s built-in security, which both builds confidence and allows WCL to protect the highly sensitive information its cert packages often contain.

“We adopted SmartCert with the goal of providing more value, and in that we’ve succeeded,” concluded Holly. 

Content Director

Will Lowry Content Director t: +44 (0) 1727 743 888


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.

Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.