Marketing Your Quality System. Why Organizations Should Promote this Valuable Asset

 

Does your organization display or promote its quality system proudly in its marketing?

If the answer is yes, then kudos to your management and marketing team for understanding that this is a valuable selling point to your prospective customers and clients.

If you answered no, then why not?

Why not use this very valuable asset within your marketing arsenal?

But don’t worry, this is a relatively simple fix, however, may require a small amount of resources for branding purposes. Not as much as you might think though.

My question to you is why would you not elect to show the world that you are committed to providing a quality product or service to your clients, and that you have taken the time and resources required in order to develop and implement a quality system and establish a quality culture within your organization?

Don’t you think the public should be aware of this fact?

I mean it could quite simply come down to the deciding factor between you and the other guys in your market.

What if our quality management system is not certified?

Many organizations will display their ISO certification on their website, email signatures or marketing materials, but that certainly doesn’t mean you must have a certification to show off your commitment to quality and improvement.

If your industry, or clients, demand such a certification then this is a different story and you must comply in order to stay competitive, however, many clients or customers will not care if you hold a certificate.

Simply displaying the fact that you have taken it upon yourselves to focus on quality will go a long way.

What if we don’t have a quality system?

Don’t currently have a quality management system in place at your organization? (Contact us, we can help with that!)

Maybe you have not had the resources, or expertise/experience to develop and implement a quality system, or have had your head down focused on making the company profitable and keeping the lights on, that you haven’t had the time to devote to this task.

Well what better reason than to add to your public and client perception and add to your marketing plan then to put that missing piece of the puzzle in place.

As I mentioned above you do not have to go all in and implement an ISO 9001 ready quality system with all the bells and whistles.

Simply start small and develop a system that works well for your current scope of business.

This gives you the opportunity to show your commitment to bettering your organization and satisfying your customer or client needs.

You can then build on that system as needed over time, and as your business becomes more complex.

The message here is start now! It’s not an all or nothing type deal with any management system.

How should a company promote its quality system?

So how exactly are you supposed to promote your quality system anyway?

Many organizations will include something on their website.

A menu tab simply titled “Quality” will do the trick.

Once a prospective client clicks on this tab you have a small blurb explaining your commitment to quality and how you go about achieving it.

This does not have to be a long drawn out document explaining every aspect of your quality system in detail, but simply a policy statement, and the fact that you have developed processes to ensure quality is upheld within the organization.

Include a small blurb on your marketing flyers and company portfolio.

Again this can simply be a very short statement about your organization’s commitment to quality and client satisfaction.

If you have a certification then include the approved logo or identification to show this.

What about a safety system?

Have a safety program within your business?

Promote that too! This is another area of your organization that you should be proud to display.

It shows you are committed to safe working conditions for your employees and not simply looking to turn a profit at all costs.

People are much more in tune with such things these days and want to do business with a caring and moral organization.

This also helps in finding and retaining good talent to improve your business and add to your success.

In conclusion

So to sum things up, don’t miss the opportunity to promote your commitment to providing quality products and services whenever you can.

In today’s marketplace it is a great selling feature and in many cases a must.

So show it off and put it to work for you beyond the benefits of having efficient processes within the organization.

How QCA Online can help!

We have developed a unique online resource that will have a substantial impact on your business by making it easy for you to set up or improve a quality system that will satisfy client and industry requirements, without the expense of hiring an in-house consultancy firm or sending employees to costly off site training, losing valuable production time.

As you know, every organization, without exception, must have a valid quality system in place in order to meet client expectations, regardless of who that client is, and ultimately stay in business.

Our new Online Quality Management Systems Implementation Program is a highly efficient way to implement or improve a quality management system within your organization that is based on, and compliant with, the world’s most recognized quality standard, ISO 9001 (certification is not required), train as many of your staff or management personnel as you wish without putting a dent in your training budget, receive “on-demand” assistance from an experienced and certified management professional to help you implement your new system and get all the quality documentation you require to help your business run effectively with little disruption to production or operations.

This is truly a unique and effective way to get your quality system up and running easily and quickly!


Click the book image below to get your free copy of “Mastering ISO 9001:2015” A Step-By-Step Guide To The World’s Most Popular Management Standard!

 

Click here to get your free copy

Is certification required to take advantage of ISO 9001? Simple answer is No!

Every organization needs to have a quality management system in order to maintain compliance with industry and client/customer requirements.

This is a given in today’s business environment.

Without it you will be trampled by the competition or die a slow death under the compiled weight of your own waste and inefficiency.

Since most quality systems are derived from some form of ISO quality standards, it is fair to assume that your organization would require formal certification to one of these standards in order to take advantage of the many benefits they offer.

But this would be an inaccurate assumption.

Is ISO 9001 certification required?

So when you are faced with the inevitable question from an executive of an organization if ISO certification is going to add value to the company, the short answer may simply be: No!

But the more detailed answer is going to be: It depends!

There are certainly circumstances where making the operational and financial commitment to formal ISO certification will be a business necessity.

It may us be a requirement or norm within your particular industry, or your clients may demand it before they will enter into a contract with your company.

In these circumstances it simply becomes a necessary cost of doing business.

Like insurance or utilities. However, there are many other circumstances that will not require your organization to cough up the hefty initial and recurring fees required for certification.

So we don’t need a quality system then?

Now that doesn’t mean you do not require a quality system, or that you should not base that system on ISO 9001.

It simply means you can take advantage of the globally recognized structure of ISO 9001 without the high cost of becoming formally certified.

I have personally worked within many organizations that have structured their quality management systems under the ISO 9001 standard, yet have not sought certification and have successfully operated within their scope of work very well.

The majority of their clients could care less whether they have the certificate posted in the from entrance of the head office, but will certainly require them to demonstrate that they have a ISO compliant quality system in place and that they are indeed following it.

This demonstration usually comes in the form of a QMS documentation review which is followed up with periodic audits to show conformance.

This system works extremely well and allows organizations the ability to acquire contracts without certification which, let’s face it, can be a financial burden for many.   

Why ISO 9001?

So why use ISO 9001 to develop your quality system in the first place?

Well one easy answer to that question is that it is the most widely used and recognized standards for quality management in the world and has been fort many years.

So you can be certain that your quality system will be accepted and produce valuable benefits to your company.

Another solid reason is the fact that it makes the process of developing and implementing a quality system very easy for the organization’s management team.

The structure and requirements are all laid out in a single document that you can use to ensure you are hitting all the necessary points.

Many organizational leaders do not have the experience or expertise to take on this activity, so the ISO 9001 standard makes this a much less daunting task.

Although you would still be advised to bring in some form of expert help in this process.

So as you can see, a quality management system based on the ISO 9001 standard can be very beneficial to an organization, but do not gasp at the thought of becoming certified as soon as you here the word ISO.

You can still get a tremendous amount of value from implementing a system that is simply compliant to the standard and yet not formally certified.


Click the book image below to get your free copy of “Mastering ISO 9001:2015” A Step-By-Step Guide To The World’s Most Popular Management Standard!

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Two Reasons Your Company Must Have A Quality System. They are Not What You Think!

Why is it that most business leaders take painstakingly detailed steps to develop systems for business functions such as production and operations, yet cringe as if someone has just run their nails down a chalkboard at the thought of developing and maintaining a system for quality management?

This is by far one of the last major programs to be developed in many companies, and not very effectively when it finally has been implemented.

Why do you think that is?

Every executive, with no exception, will be quick to voice the proverbial “quality is of utmost importance” when the subject is raised.

“We take the quality of our products and services, and the satisfaction of our customers very seriously, in fact it is our number one priority here at Acme Inc.”

Yet when it comes time to focus on building a QMS they shelve it for another day when there are less pressing issues standing in the way.

Yes, this applies to you!

This applies to you!

Many management types reading this article right now (and I do hope there are many), are shaking their heads and asserting “this does not apply to me or my organization!

We have a robust quality oriented strategy here!”

But it does apply to you….and you, in your heart of hearts you know this to be true…and that’s ok!

There is a valid reason for this. And that is, quality is in most cases a non-value added function of an organization.

Wait…what? Did he really just say that out-loud? He will never get invited back to another quality convention or social event again!

And that would be tragic believe me…there’s nothing better than some good quality talk over a cold brew, believe me!

Yes I said it! And I stand by that statement regardless of the consequences to my social status in the quality community!

Let me explain:

But what exactly do I mean by that? Surely quality adds value, right?

Yes of course it does, but not in the tangible way you get value from production or operations.

Quality does not generate the cold hard cash that you get from the development and physical production of a product to be handed over to a paying customer or a service to a client.

You can’t touch it, or watch it accumulate in a spreadsheet or bank account. It’s very difficult to measure and report to shareholders in such a way that shows results.

And what is it that we are trying to achieve as executive or management personnel? The generation of revenue and increased profit margin.

So it’s natural that you would focus your attention to the functions of the organization that will bring you such tangible returns.

So does this make quality any less important, or valuable to the organization’s bottom line?

I think you already know the answer to that question, at least I certainly hope you do, or else you are in for a bumpy road along your journey to business success!

No lecture here. Not today!

Now before you start thinking…”here we go with another soapbox lecture from a quality advocate. “Oh those quality management types are always preaching about the cost of quality and continuous improvement, while they slow production with their corrective actions and incessant chattering about following procedures to the letter!”

I’m not going to do all that here, not today, although you know I could in spades.

Nope, that’s not the message I am toting with this article.

Two (2) simple reasons.

In the following paragraphs I am going to give you two (2) simple and straightforward reasons why you need to implement a quality system within your organization regardless of size or industry, and why you should do it sooner than later.

That’s right!

Just two (2) simple reasons. But in fact, I could easily sum it up in 4 words: You have no choice! But that leaves me with little to write about, so here we go:

Reason #1: Your industry demands it.

Reason #1: Your industry demands it.

Chances are there is some form of regulatory body or industry standard that have to be adhered to in your area of business, regardless of what that industry may be.

If you don’t play by the rules then you do not get to play in the sandbox with the other kids!

Most industries have standards and regulations that must be followed by any organizations performing operations within that given industry, and these regulations and standards must be followed at a minimum.

It’s up to the organization’s leadership team to determine if they will reach over and above that minimum standard, which of course they should to get maximum benefit out of their program.

In the aviation industry for example, you have the regulations set forth by the transportation authority within that country, such as the FAA in the US, or Transport Canada here in my neck of the woods.

Then there is also AS9100 which is essentially ISO 9001 with some aviation specific content added in.

Manufacturing will also have its industry standards depending on the type of manufacturing and product being produced, such as automotive, electronics or metals, just to name a few.

All of these will have a versions of ISO 9001, again with some industry specific content incorporated.

I could go on with endless examples, but I think you get the picture.

Whether its government or industry regulated, quite simply, if your company does not follow the industry rules and regulations that have been set in place in order to maintain a standard level of quality, then you are out of business before you even offer your first product or service.

Which leads us back to my 4 keywords mentioned earlier…You have no choice!

Reason #2: Your clients and customers demand it.

Now, if the first reason wasn’t convincing enough then I hope this one makes more of a case for the importance of implementing a quality management system within your organization.

If your client, or possible client, dictates that they will only do business with organizations that have a quality system in place that conforms to a minimum standard, then as in the case stated in reason #1, you would be wise to move forward, otherwise you are going to get left out of that sandbox I mentioned earlier. And that means no revenue or profit!

Again, this standard will likely take the form of an ISO standard relevant to that particular industry.

The customer may not require your organization to be formally certified, holding a valid ISO certificate issued by an authorized registrar, but you can bet they will want to see you demonstrate a compliant quality system prior to signing off on any contract award.

Compliant being the key word here.

This does not simply apply to clients in the form of other organizations offering contracts for products or services supplied by your organization, but the general consumer as well.

Of course the general consumer is not looking for proof of a quality management system within the organization producing the product or service they are about to purchase, but will demand it through the use of their wallets.

Quality products will produce return customers!

And again, you guessed it…You have no choice!

So as you can see there is much more to the importance of implementing a quality system that is compliant to the relevant industry standards, such as ISO 9001, then reducing waste, streamlining processes, and maintaining continual improvement strategies.

Your operations and production processes, which ultimately bring in revenue and profit, simply depend on it!


Click the book image below to get your free copy of “Mastering ISO 9001:2015” A Step-By-Step Guide To The World’s Most Popular Management Standard!

Click here to get your free copy

Does Your Internal Audit Program Meet The Requirements Of ISO 9001:2015?

Check out this video Lesson from the Mastering ISO 9001:2015 Online Training Program on the requirements for Internal Audit included in the latest version of the ISO 9001 standard.


Click the book image below to get your free copy of “Mastering ISO 9001:2015” A Step-By-Step Guide To The World’s Most Popular Management Standard!

Click here to get your free copy

What Does Your Quality Policy Say About You?

shutterstock_223009246(Excerpt from Mastering ISO 9001:2015 – A Step-By-Step Guide To The World’s Most Popular Management Standard)

Organizations are required to develop, implement and maintain a clear quality policy that conveys internally and externally that the organization promotes a quality culture and aims to achieve customer satisfaction.

The quality policy is the top-tier document for the quality management system, and provides a high-level description of the organization’s commitment to quality.

To ensure that everyone has a clear comprehension of its purpose, and be on the same page with the organization’s strategic direction, the policy should be written in clear, easy-to-understand language.

Top management may delegate the development of the quality policy, but it is ultimately the responsibility of top management to provide input and vision to the contents of the policy.

This is the organization’s mission statement in terms of quality, and its commitment to improvement and customer satisfaction.

  • Section 5.2.1 of the ISO 9001:2015 standard requires that the quality policy be appropriate to the context of the organization, and reinforce its purpose and strategic direction. This is a short, high-level glimpse at what the organization is all about, what they do well, and where they strive to be in the future. This goes back to clause 4.1 (understanding the organization and its context) but is obviously just a short glimpse into the information deriving from that process.
  • The quality policy must also provide a framework for developing and implementing the organization’s quality objectives. This is not the place to list or document the organization’s objectives, however, it should reference that the organization shall establish such objectives, and strive to meet and continuously improve them. Of course the quality objectives are going to relate to the organizational context and strategic direction reflected in the quality policy.
  • The policy must reflect the organization’s commitment to satisfy applicable requirements. This is pretty self-explanatory and should not be over-complicated when it comes to the quality policy. A simple statement showing the organization’s commitment to meeting all applicable requirements is sufficient. It is not the place to explain what those requirements are, or how the organization plans to meet them – just that they are committed to do so.
  • The organization’s policy should also reflect a commitment to continually improve the established quality management system. Again this does not need to be over-complicated. No need to explain the methods used for continuous improvement efforts, simply that the organization will strive to improve its quality management system, wherever and whenever possible.

Click the book image below to get your free copy of “Mastering ISO 9001:2015” A Step-By-Step Guide To The World’s Most Popular Management Standard!

Click here to get your free copy

It’s Official…I’m An Author!

book-launchWell its been a year in the making but I am excited to share my new book “Mastering ISO 9001:2015 A Step-By-Step Guide To The World’s Most Popular Management Standard” now available on Amazon.com

 

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About the book:

Quality Management plays a critical role in every organization regardless of industry or geographical location. Without it, the chances of meeting customer expectation and achieving success are virtually impossible. ISO 9001 provides organizations with a proven framework for the implementation and maintenance of a quality management system that can:

·         Increase profits

·         Satisfy customers

·         Land more business opportunity.

In this book Gregory [DP1] Peckford gives a detailed, easy to understand clause-by-clause explanation of the latest ISO 9001:2015 version of the world’s most widely recognized management standard. Whether you’re a small business just looking to develop a new quality system, or an established organization currently certified to [DP2] [GP3] ISO 9001 and wish to understand the new requirements, this is the guide for you.

Bio:

Greg Peckford is the founder of QCAonline.com and is a corporate quality/health, safety and environment management professional with over 18 years’ experience in areas of aviation, oil and energy, engineering and construction management.

Peckford is a certified quality auditor and HSE administrator, holding certifications with Exemplar Global, ASQ (American Society for Quality) and ACSA (Alberta Construction Safety Association).

(Video) Whats new in ISO 9001:2015

 

What’s New In ISO 9001:2015

On September 23, 2015 ISO released the latest revision to the ISO 9001 Standard. So now that the world’s most popular and widely utilized quality management standard has been formally released to the public, I thought it would be a good time to give you a brief explanation of the changes and what effect those changes will have on organizations and the people who have the responsibility of implementing, managing and auditing the new standard.

Let me give you a little history…

ISO 9001 has been around since the early eighties and has evolved as business needs and requirements change over time. The most recent version of the standard, ISO 9001:2008 has been in effect for the past seven years and was due for a makeover.

ISO 9001:2015 builds on the foundation of the previous versions of the standard to better guide businesses and organizations in achieving quality products and services, by streamlining processes, focusing on continuous improvement efforts and placing a greater emphasis on management responsibility and risk identification.

ISO 9001 has long been a valuable tool for businesses and organizations to adopt a process approach and create effective quality management systems and processes that improve efficiency and provide confidence to potential clients that a standardized level of quality will be met. ISO 9001:2015 maintains this emphasis on a process approach while also stressing the importance of proactive and strategic planning.

So what are some of the changes included in the new 2015 revision of the standard?

 

While many of the concepts from the 2008 version of the standard remain, there are some significant changes and additions to the 2015 version which we will take a closer look at right now:

  • One of the more obvious changes to the 2015 revision will be in the look and structure of the standard itself. In an effort to maintain consistency across multiple ISO management systems, the latest revision takes on the new Annex SL format that is shared by other standards such as ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (both the IS0 14001 and new ISO 9001:2015 share the same clause structure) to allow organizations the ability to implement and integrate multiple management systems more easily and effectively.
  • Another major addition to the ISO 9001:2015 revision is the incorporation of risk based thinking within the management structure of the organization. This is not to be confused with a standalone risk management procedure, but the incorporation of risk awareness and identification throughout the system as a whole. Top management are now required to develop processes that allow foresight and planning for possible risk factors that may have a negative impact on process and performance as well as identify and take advantage of possible opportunity. With the addition of risk based thinking, the section addressing preventive action (Sub-clause 8.5.3 in ISO 9001:2008) has been deemed redundant and therefore removed from the 2015 revision.
  • Greater Emphasis on Leadership and Management Commitment – The new standard is intended to promote integration and alignment with business processes and strategies. With this integration, top management now have more responsibility in taking on a proactive role in the health and promotion of the quality management system. The requirement for a single point of contact or management representative regarding the QMS has been removed and a new section on leadership has been added to better emphasis a greater involvement from the leadership team.

Along with the major structure and concept changes that are prominent in the new ISO 9001:2015 revision, there are some additional changes that many people familiar with the ISO 9001:2008 version will notice almost immediately.

  • No Mention of a Quality Manual – One of the biggest omissions to the new standard is the requirement for an organization to maintain a documented Quality Manual. Organizations that wish to continue this practice and maintain a quality manual outlining its QMS are welcome to do so, however it is no longer required by the standard.
  • “Product and Service” – Another notable change is the replacement of the term “product” with “product and services” which is intended to better address service based organizations.
  • “Documented Information” – Along with the change in the term “product” the 2015 revision also replaces the common terms “documents” and “records” with “documented information”. The new standard is less prescriptive on when and where this documented information is required and how and organizations should manage this.

This is not an exhaustive list of amendments to the new version of the standard, but a high level look at the new content and structure of the newly released standard.

So what does this mean for the ISO 9001:2008 version of the standard and the organizations that are currently certified to or following this standard?

The new ISO 9001:2015 standard has been formally released for public consumption and implementation. However, organizations are not expected to be compliant to the new changes immediately. Starting the day the new standard was released, organizations have been granted a 3 year transition period before compliance to the new standard is required for those that maintain certification to ISO 9001:2008. So don’t throw out your copy of the existing 2008 standard just yet!

Organizations and quality professionals are urged to become familiar with the new requirements and perform gap analysis of their current system to determine the steps required for eventual implementation of the new 2015 revision by September 2018.

While quality personnel and auditors are still required to be proficient in the 2008 standard it is important to be proactive in learning the requirements of the 2015 revision in order to understand the concepts and requirements and better assist their clients and organizations with the transition process.

To Learn more about the latest edition of ISO 9001:2015 Check out our ISO 9001 Online Training Packages!

ISO 9001:2015 Is Here!

The world’s quality management systems standard, ISO 9001, has been revised. Here, Kevin McKinley, Acting ISO Secretary-General, and Nigel Croft, Chair of the subcommittee that revised ISO 9001, tell you everything you need to know about the new edition of this landmark standard that enhances an organization’s ability to satisfy its customers and provides a coherent foundation for growth and sustained success. Check out the video here!