Quality counts on the Bottom Line
When it comes to sharing out the cake, are your competitors getting the slice with the icing while you’re left with the crumbs? Just how customers perceive you is fundamental to retaining and winning business.
Having a recognized Quality Management System (QMS) in place says a lot about your business. It gives customers the confidence to place their business with you and, increasingly, is a prerequisite for gaining preferred supplier status and tendering for public sector contracts.
A good QMS, such as the internationally recognized ISO9001, provides a robust framework for improving virtually every aspect of an organisation’s performance and is built around eight quality management principles:
- Customer focus
- Involvement of people
- Documented processes
- Integrated systems
- Continuous improvement
- Factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
There’s nothing not to like really and it’s not hard. The maxim is that your QMS must be built around your business and not around the ISO Standard. You don’t have to change the way you operate, but you can be assured you will be following best practice.
The benefits that ISO9001 brings to a business are highly tangible – a recent survey by the Manchester Business School returned impressive results:
- Better management control: 78%
- Improved identification of problems: 77%
- Use the Standard as a marketing tool: 73%
- Improved efficiency: 69%
- Better customer retention: 67%
- Improved customer service: 70%
One of the best ways to implement a QMS, especially if you are time and resource poor, is to bring in the experts. They should first spend time familiarizing themselves with your business so that your system works for you. They’ll train your nominated system administrator(s) and offer ongoing support. It’s surprisingly cost-effective, but choose your consultant wisely. They must, of course, be ISO9001 certified themselves!