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The Enduring Importance Of Quality Standards

Key Highlights

  • According to experts, the benefits of current quality standards ISO 9001, ISO 14000, and ISO 17021 still need to be well known.
  • These standards support quality in any management system.

Steven Wilson, ASQE chair-elect, said that these standards reinforce quality in any management system. He says that ISO 9001 is all about quality management; ISO 14000 deals with the environmental aspect of the business, and ISO 17021 tells the company what to expect to get certified in any standard. They offer a solid operating foundation if these standards are not used to register or authenticate a business.

What Experts Speak About Quality Standards?

Bill Soller, principal of Corporate Advantage Network, said that standards ultimately help decrease variation, increasing expected delivery and quality performance. He said an often overlooked aspect of Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s teachings is that when you reach quality in a Deming way, you enjoy good quality at a lower cost.

That is the ultimate equation, i.e., costs down, rework down, quality up, productivity up, and joy in work. Standards like ISO 9001 get a company focused on developing a system to help control the quality of its processes.

Several leaders must know how fully implementing such standards can improve quality and lower costs. Soller says they only begrudgingly implement an ISO 9001 Quality Management System because a customer requires it.

Deming notified that people want to come to work to do a good job. He said it is the management’s responsibility to support a worker’s success. He adds that companies that do not have helpful certifications have only informal or undocumented processes. It makes implementing it muddy, which results in inconsistent quality. Variation and costs increase as a result.

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Experts say that standards are a strategic asset and should be distinct from regulations. Wilson explains that regulations tell all parties what must be. But standards tell what should be. Even as regulations change, which usually occurs with some incident in our society, standards, especially quality standards, are modified as the parties grow and develop. They are continually raising the bar.

Wilson adds that this helps manufacturers benchmark operations and remain competitive in their respective environments.

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