With growing global competition, quality management is becoming increasingly important to the leadership and management of all organizations. And becoming registered to a quality standard like ISO or QS 9000 can pay big dividends, according to a recent survey published by the American Society for Quality and the Automotive Industry Action Group. Manufacturers reported benefits of $300,000 to $10 million as a result of registration in the form of sales increases, improved on-time delivery, reduced defects, and fewer product returns.
By applying these eight quality management principles, adopted in the ISO 9000:2000 standard, organizations will produce benefits for customers, owners, and suppliers.
- Be customer-focused. Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, meet customer requirements, and strive to exceed customer expectations. Measure customer satisfaction and act on the results. Communicate customer needs and expectations throughout the organization.
- Exercise strong leadership. Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people have the resources, training, and freedom to act with responsibility and accountability.
- Involve your people. People at all levels are the essence of an organization, and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit. Encourage them to identify constraints to their performance. Enable them to actively seek opportunities to enhance their competence, knowledge, and experience.
- Commit to a process. A desired result is achieved more efficiently when related resources and activities are managed as a process. Systematically define the activities necessary to obtain a desired result. Focus on the factors such as resources, methods, and materials that will improve key activities of the organization.
- Have a system approach to management. Identifying, understanding, and managing a system of interrelated processes for a given objective improves the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency. Understand the interdependencies between the processes of the system. Harmonize and integrate processes and reduce cross-functional barriers. Measure and evaluate the system.
- Focus on continuous improvement. Continuous improvement should be a permanent objective of the organization. Employ a consistent, organization-wide approach. Make improved products, processes, and systems an objective for every individual in the organization. Establish goals to guide—and measures to track—continuous improvement.
- Make decisions based on facts. Effective decisions and actions are based on the analysis of accurate and reliable data. Analyze data and information using valid methods. Make decisions and take action based on factual analysis, balanced with experience and intuition.
- Foster mutually beneficial supplier relationships. An organization and its suppliers are independent, and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability to create value for the customer. Establish relationships that balance short-term gains with long-term considerations. Pool expertise and resources. Establish joint development and improvement activities. IBI