Page 4: Implementing quality management systems: case studies
BSI's work in supporting the implementation of quality management systems is best illustrated through company examples.
Forticrete is a leading UK manufacturer of masonry, walling, cast stone and innovative roofing products. It employs almost 500 people across 11 manufacturing sites, supplying products to both the public sector (including health and education clients) and private sector clients (housing and commercial). The company has implemented quality systems for a number of years and made the transition to ISO 9001:2000 in late 2001.
Through implementing the new standard, Forticrete made some key changes to its existing systems. These included:
- attempting to become a paperless office - Forticrete's paper based system required eight manuals, but the new system is an intranet based flowchart format
- placing more focus on the customer at the centre of the system.
The positive results of developing ISO 9001:2000, as shown by a recent Customer Satisfaction Survey are:
- a 18% improvement in product quality
- a 18% improvement in customer satisfaction ratings
- a 21% rise in performance against competitors
- a 42% reduction in product complaints.
BSI worked closely with Forticrete, identifying ways of making improvements. These included introducing:
- a company newsletter
- an intranet and appraisal system to improve employee communication and training.
The new appraisal system enables employees to identify their individual needs, which the company then works to meet. Employees who are happy and fulfilled are far more likely to help the company deliver customer satisfaction.
Achieving ISO 9001:2000 has helped Forticrete to win a number of national awards, including the Queens Award for Enterprise and, in 2004, the Building Construction Best Practice Award.
British Gas is the UK's leading installer of domestic gas central heating systems. The company provides home energy related services covering gas, electricity, water and home security and is part of the Centrica Group, which also owns One.Tel. British Gas was the first company to achieve a Kitemark for a service.
The company wanted to achieve ISO 9001 for one key reason, it was keen to operate common processes and procedures across such a diverse company. British Gas not only offers home energy services (through British Gas Services) but also plumbing and drains care to customers (through Dyno Rod).
The benefits resulting from implementation of ISO 9001:2000 include:
- employee support for the initiatives, with clearer work targets
- improved relationships with suppliers
- cost savings resulting from improved processing of contracts, reductions in unnecessary rework, reductions in duplicated visits.
The improvements helped the company to achieve external recognition, e.g. winning the Queen's Award for Enterprise and the Royal Warrant for Services to the Royal Household and the attainment of corporate recognition to the Investors in People standard.
BSI helped the company by identifying areas for improvement and providing ongoing advice and support. This enabled the company to improve in several areas of service provision. British Gas' Managing Director supports the quality management system, which is integrated across the whole company.
As with Forticrete, following certification to ISO 9001:2000, British Gas is now developing electronic systems to replace and complement existing manual ones. Typical examples of documents that had to be produced included:
- a quality policy
- a list of quality objectives
- a quality manual
- other planning documents.
The benefits of developing a quality management system
Working with BSI, companies are able to reap many benefits from achieving ISO 9001 certification and other standards (e.g. standards for the development of Environmental Management Systems - ISO 14001, and Information Security Management Systems - BS 7799).
- achieving greater levels of customer satisfaction
- meeting legal requirements
- winning the trust of suppliers and customers
- improving the management of a company by meeting management standards
- reducing costs and making better use of time
- building a reputation for integrity.
These all enable company's to build superior, more prestigious brands. Additionally, companies are able to strengthen their international reputation, thus building up their export business.