"Success factors for quality management systems: certification benefits"

Adolfas Kaziliūnas

Abstract


Despite the numerical success of ISO 9000 quality management systems, the certification is much criticized, as it is not a risk-free undertaking. A review of the literature on this issue indicates that organizations often lack flexibility in the design and implementation of quality management systems, the level of the utilization of employees’ skills and knowledge is low. This is because organizations usually approach this process of implementation in an empiric way. ISO 9000 certification can deliver business and financial benefits, but the managers of organizations should carefully design the ISO 9000 implementation strategy. To develop a mature quality management system, critical success factors for ISO 9000 certification benefits should be considered in the early phases of their planning and designing processes. The article presents the critical success factors for ISO 9000 certification benefits which can help plan and implement quality management systems according to the 9000 standard most successfully. The investigation has shown that very important for ISO 9000 financial benefits is a well-developed ISO 9000 implementation strategy. Strategic orientation is a moderating factor influencing the relationship between ISO 9000 certification benefits and the firm’s financial performance. In the present study, a strong interdependence between the companies’ certification motivation factors and the results obtained was determined. From the overall findings of the investigation, it can be concluded that strong internal motivation or willingness to improve a company’s quality helps establish a quality management system that leads to external benefits (such as the improvement of the company’s position in the market) as well as to internal benefits. Continuous improvement of processes, people and system, the reward system, team work, the measurement of performance and communication during the post-certification period are all critical success factors for the sustainable quality management system and for successful results of ISO 9000 certification. Quality auditors are in a powerful position to increase the value of certifications. Value-added audit may not only produce data for the use in granting a certificate, for improving documentation or for enforcing conformity, but also for making managerial decisions concerned with economy, staff development, technology, growth, product and processes, because these decisions are based on current performance.

Keywords


ISO 9000 certification; quality management systems; ISO standards; quality management

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"Intellectual Economics" ISSN online 1822-8038 / ISSN print 1822-8011