Implementation Step 1: Top Management Commitment
A successful implementation of ISO 9000 can positively affect the company’s quality reputation, growth and profitability. This can only happen if there is a strong commitment to quality from top management (i.e. the managing director or chief executive).
Top management must be willing to invest for the long-term if the implementation is to have a positive long-term affect on the company. Meeting the minimum requirements of the standard is like targeting mediocre or sub-standard quality for the company’s process and products. The result is a poor reputation for the company, limited growth, and usually an ongoing struggle for profitability.
However, meeting the intent of the ISO standard and not just the minimum requirements can result in a long-term reputation that attracts customers like a magnet.
It is the responsibility of top management to:
- Define the organization's quality policy and communicate it to every employee.
- Ensure that quantifiable quality objectives are established at all levels and functions of the company.
- Ensure the availability of resources for the development and maintenance of the quality management system.
- Empower a management representative to coordinate quality management activities and conduct quality reviews.
- Establish an environment that encourages continuous improvement and the involvement of everyone.
- Lead by example. Demonstrate that quality is the number 1 goal every day including the last day of the month or quarter.
The top management should identify the corporate goals that will be used to drive the quality management system. Typical goals may be:
- Provide customer with products and services that consistently meet or exceed their expectations.
- Increased efficiency and profitability
- Establish the companies reputation as a quality leader
- Improve morale in the organization (everyone want to be proud of their work)
- Reduce costs and liabilities
- Continuously improve the quality objectives