Do you believe customer-oriented thinking is a must? Do you attach value to motivated, committed employees? And do you prefer making decisions based on concrete data? If so, you actually have quite a lot in common with the 7 principles of ISO 9001:2015, a well-known standard for quality management systems. That means quality management is probably something that appeals to you. We are happy to translate the 7 principles into 7 reasons to opt for a quality management system.
1. You believe customer-oriented thinking is a must
The customer always has priority. You have to exceed the expectations of your customer. That starts with understanding his current and future desires and continues until the aftercare. Delivering products in conformity with the specifications, on time and in full are basic principles included in your standard price. But do you exceed those basic principles? The customer is prepared to pay more. Moreover, satisfied customers will return and become ambassadors of your brand which attracts more customers and gains more growth. Customer orientation: the first principle of ISO 9001:2015.
2. You understand the importance of good leadership
Everyone is able to imagine what it’s like at a company in which everybody is moving into a different direction. The company comes to a standstill which comes down to a decline as the competition moves forward. It is therefore important that the management of a company establishes the mission and vision and transforms these into concrete objectives. Translating these objectives into individual objectives and objectives for each department results in a coherent story and growth within the company. Good leadership, the second principle of ISO 9001:2015, additionally ensures sufficient resources – physically and intellectually – to deliver high-quality work. And that, in turn, leads to the third and next principle: committed employees.
3. You are looking for committed employees
Delivering high-quality work provides a certain pride which makes your employees feel appreciated so they become an added value for the company. In addition to proper remuneration, that intrinsic motivation is the drive for your employees to take that extra step for the organisation and for the customer. Committed, engaged employees are more efficient, more motivated, are less absent due to illness and are less likely to start looking for a challenge outside the organisation. This ensures for valuable knowledge and experience to remain within your own company. The third principle of ISO 9001:2015 is committed employees.
4. You are looking for a transparent business operation
As already referred to under customer orientation, everything starts with understanding the desires of the customer. Those desires are converted into his product that is being developed and sold back to the customer with the correct profit margin. The development of that product takes place by means of specific processes after which it ends up back at the customer in a correct and efficient manner. Moreover, someone is ready to provide the suitable aftercare in the event of questions, comments or complaints. The latter seamlessly integrates with high-quality aftercare.
The more efficient and more accurate all links in that production chain are described, the better they are executed. Well-described processes make the business operation transparent. And that results in a reliable outcome and satisfied employees and customers. The fourth principle of ISO 9001:2015 therefore is a process-oriented approach.
5. You are constantly looking for improvement
Successful companies are always looking for ways to work better and more efficient. They are focused on continuous improvement so they are better adapted to changing circumstances and are able to create growth for the company. You can search for those improvements outside the own organisation but it is most efficient to detect them from the inside. Experienced employees know their processes through and through and usually know best how their processes can be improved even further. It makes them to be committed employees who are motivated to improve continuously. The fifth principle of ISO 9001:2015: improvement.
6. You decide based on evidence
A great deal of data is collected within a company. The challenge is to convert those data into useful information based upon which you are able to make decisions. By making decisions this way, the results of the decision you made become objectively actionable. For example, use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), make a Root Cause Analysis and introduce the Plan-Do-Check-Act improvement circle. These are all frequently used means within quality management. The sixth principle of ISO 9001:2015: decision-making based on facts.
7. You attach value to qualitative relationships
A bad relationship always has a negative impact on the business result, whether it concerns suppliers, employees or customers. A bad relationship with a supplier, for example, may lead to a product of inferior quality or goods being delivered too late. And that has an impact on the business efficiency and costs. Point 7 of ISO 9001:2015 therefore is relationship management. Point 3 already discussed the importance of having a strong relationship with your employees. And, of course, everything depends on having a good relationship with your customers. The latter brings us back to the first principle which completes the circle of quality management.
Are certain principles more important than others? No. Each of these 7 principles are important. They are inextricably linked and indispensable within a modern, efficient organisation.