Page 6: Conclusion
In world trade, for buyers and sellers to work together there must be trust. Standards can provide the necessary bridge of confidence and understanding that builds mutual trust, helping trade to thrive.
Sales are the lifeblood of any business, so the implementation of standards helps sales. This is the case whatever the size of the business or the sector they are operating in.
Following are case study samples of the implementation of quality:
JC Garland & Co - Case study on quality
Garlands is a leading UK provider of outsourced customer contact services. Its services range from customer service to debt collection, customer retention, technical assistance, cross-selling, staff accounts, credit management, customer registrations and many other back office functions. The company owns five prestigious contact centres, and is the second largest private sector employee in the Tees Valley with over 3,000 staff.
Prior to implementing a quality management system, the policies and procedures used originated from a variety of sources. Some met specific needs - e.g. legal requirements for Taxation, Accountancy, Health & Safety and Employment - some had evolved over time, while others were adopted to service specific client requirements.
As a growing number of organizations required their suppliers to be 'Quality Registered' management decided to pursue ISO 9001:2000 accreditation. It saw clear benefits in accreditation - but were keen not lose the company's strong corporate identity.
All company procedures and processes were extensively reviewed internally and a formal Quality Management System (called Everest) was established to comply with the requirements of the standard.
BSI undertook pre-assessment audits. Garlands gauged the effectiveness of the system and determined what improvements were needed. In February 2005, a formal accreditation audit was undertaken and Garlands was recommended for registration.
After receiving the formal registration certificate Chey Garland, Chief Executive of Garlands Call Centres, said
"Gaining ISO 9001:2000 certification isn't just nice to have, it's vital to the success of our business. It will enable us to expand in important sectors such as financial services and Government, where organisations frequently require proof that their business partners can adhere to tough quality standards. It will open up significant new business opportunities."
On-going internal audits and regular BSI continuous assessment visits ensure that Garlands maintains high standards, continues to conduct best practice and is able to establish areas of continual improvement.
MC Fire Protection Ltd - Case study on quality
Companies offering fire risk assessments and consultancy services use these as industry standards. By obtaining ISO 9001 registration they are able to show that the whole service offered is professional and high quality. One such company is MC Fire Protection.
MC Fire Protection was established by Mike Chilman, and has earned an impressive reputation whilst working within the fire industry based in Bicester, Oxfordshire. It employs a team responsible for covering the supply, installation and maintenance of Fire Extinguishers and Fire Alarm Systems, together with a consultancy service covering all aspects of fire risk management. New contracts are currently being driven by Insurance companies and changes in European and British legislation, which are partially responsible for increasing sales.
Businesses are legally required to take steps to protect themselves, staff and customers from dangers like fire. Fire protection often relies on equipment like fire extinguishers and alarms. These have to comply with the fire safety standards. This provides the reassurance that the equipment will do its job.
Mike Chilman, MD, explains why:
'In 2004, our competitors were starting to publicise the fact that they complied with it. A lot of businesses choose to trade with companies that comply with recognized standards ahead of those who don't. On a practical level ISO 9001 has made positive changes with improvements to our workshop, supply chain and record-keeping. All the standards we apply have brought us extra reassurance. They help us to show that we're more professional, while our customers are assured that the services we provide are high quality. I would recommend standards to other businesses in the fire-protection industry - in fact, it's becoming more and more of a necessity'.