This is the text of an article published by Peter Griffin
The benefits fall into two distinct categories. Firstly the marketing benefits of becoming a Registered or Certificated Company, and secondly the internal benefits in increased efficiency and productivity.
The visibility of a Registered Company symbol (logo) is a statement to all that the Company has achieved success in assessment by an accepted independent third party body. This recognition provides many marketing benefits:
If a customer decides to offer contracts only to Registered Companies, those without the status will not be considered and therefore fall at the first hurdle.
More commonly at this time, the Company may wish to sell goods/services to a new customer, and Registration can provide the "Calling Card" which opens the door of opportunity. ISO 9000 Registration may now open doors around the world.
Customers recognise the status of an independent assessment and registration by a prestigious body. This is further reinforced if it is a registration to an internationally accepted Standard (i.e. ISO9000 series).
The price for the contract which should not be expected to increase due to Registration, however the customer should perceive improved value for the price from a Registered Company.
This intangible, but valuable, commodity is enhanced because customers are aware that the Company's management has sufficient confidence in the company to subject it to external assessment, and the company has succeeded.
These are the most important benefits of Quality Assurance as they represent the potential for improved profitability. If the marketing benefits mentioned above are achieved, the turnover of the company increases, however this is of no real benefit unless the profit is increased by at least the same proportion. Improved efficiency is realised by the same procedures that achieve Registration (i.e. improved awareness, decision making, planning and organisation), and may be summarised below:
Any shortage of information, equipment, tools, correct documentation, materials or skilled manpower can cause unproductive time and each minute lost is a minute's cost. For most Companies this cost is both considerable and unmeasured, although all would concede that it exists.
A small increase in planning and organisation can save a vast amount of unproductive time during production.
Rectification is required when the contract is not fulfilled correctly. The need for rectification may be caused by a host of avoidable errors including ambiguous instructions/ information, incorrect materials or equipment, poor tools, training weaknesses, etc.
If adequate information is not available, personnel may guess at the Customer's requirement, only to find that the guess was not correct. Result.......rectification.
Quality Assurance aims to achieve the contract requirements First Time, Every Time. Anything less increases cost as time is spent on rectification instead of productive, chargeable work.
Warranty work is rectification which is required after handover to the customer. It is worthy of a special mention as rectification during warranty costs substantially more than rectification during the contract period.
Liability can result from negligence, product liability and lack of control. While it is difficult to eradicate direct negligence or strict liability, it is possible to improve control and retain good records of contracts to protect against liability claims.
Many aspects of the Quality Assurance System all contribute to reducing liability in the future, and may also reduce insurance premiums in the present.
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Last Updated November 19, 1995