Quality must be demonstrated – not merely claimed – to be legitimate. It can be expensive. It requires deep commitment from leadership. It means accountability for every business unit.
Pursuing and maintaining International Organization for Standardization (ISO) registration is the demonstration of these values as operationalized and integrated throughout an organization. ISO registration recognizes the standards that go beyond a selling point: they’re real, they’re tested, and they’re a long-term strategic investment.
Interestingly, effective quality systems help avoid production and supply chain failures. While JetCo Federal initially decided to pursue ISO 9001:2015 registration for credibility, we found peace in the risk reduction and enhanced productivity it brought.
Here are a few observations for other small businesses contemplating their quality systems:
- The “operationalized and integrated” aspect of quality management is where quality pays off. When quality is a department, the system fails. When quality is a culture, it thrives and becomes viral. We have quality checks built into sales, compliance, fulfillment, and transportation.
- Yes, I said sales. Without an eye for quality in the initial discussions of potential new projects, a sales win can result in an operational failure – one that cuts into profits and damages company credibility.
- Like other small businesses, we’ve found process efficiencies and enhanced productivity through our quality management system. It allowed us to clearly articulate our requirements for software to support operations capabilities. We have documented systems and work instructions, leading us to know exactly where we wanted alerts for human intervention.
Our quality management system is demonstrated, operationalized, and integrated. We value our customers and uphold our commitment to supplying the highest quality products both now and in the future.