Quality is one of the most important aspects of any business; It affects your reputation, the satisfaction of your customers, and ultimately, your bottom line. Implementing Quality Management principles and practices is not an option, it’s a necessity for the long-term success of any business, regardless of its size or resources.
Globally, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides businesses, governments and society with practical tools for all three dimensions of sustainable development: Economic, Environmental and Social.
ISO standards make a positive contribution to the world we live in which can help businesses facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology, and share good management and conformity assessment practices. (ISO – The Bottom line)
According to a survey by the International Organization for Standardization, 74% of companies that implemented ISO 9001, a quality management standard, reported increased revenue. (ISO (2018) Benefits of Implementing ISO 9001).
So, why does quality matter? Poor quality products or services can lead to loss of sales, (especially in the global market) negative reviews, and damage to your reputation. In the long run, the investment in quality is likely to pay off, both in customer loyalty and financial success.
It is also important to remember that quality is not just about meeting standards, but about exceeding them through continuous improvements. In the quality world, standards are converted to regulations when they are written into law.
Standards and regulations play an important role in international trade, which is the benchmark for any successful business/organization. “International standards create a ‘common language’ for potential trading partners and prove a business’s commitment to quality” (BSI (2023) What role do standards play in supporting international trade?)
Quality improvement incorporates a company’s systems, processes and methods and can therefore be identified as a management function because it needs to be Planned, Implemented, Monitored and Improved. Quality improvement can be a benchmark for businesses; ensuring that the necessary quality standards are adhered to and improved upon in an effort to increase consumer satisfaction and the company’s reputation.
As a business owner, the more you focus on quality, the more quality can be a means for companies to achieve differentiation, ergo, can contribute to gaining a competitive edge over other companies- the Quality Advantage.
Jamaica Broilers Group, an agribusiness company, implemented ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 22000:2005, standards for quality management and food safety, respectively. As a result, they were able to improve their operations and increase their market share in the region.
Similarly, L.J. Williams Limited, the construction company implemented ISO 9001:2015 and saw improvements in their project management processes, leading to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Implementing quality standards and practices may seem challenging at first, but The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards is here to guide you in the right direction. Here are some steps you can take to implement quality standards and practices in your business:
- Define Quality
The first step in implementing quality practices is to define what quality means for your business.
This will help you identify what you need to do to ensure that your
products or services meet the standards that you have set for your business.
Defining quality can also help you communicate the expectations to your employees, so that everyone is on the same page.
- Identify and Implement Standards
Once you have defined quality for your business, the next step is to identify and implement the quality standards applicable for your business. Most of these will be already established for your business, industry, product and/or service. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of what they are and how to go about implementing them. Visit our Standards section of the website to learn more.
- Train Your Employees
Quality is not just the responsibility of the management team but also every employee of the organisation. Therefore, it is important to train your employees on how to maintain the standards and expectations you have for your business. This can include measures like training on product or service specifications, quality control processes, and customer service skills.
- Monitor Quality
Monitoring the quality of your products or services is essential to ensuring that they meet the standards that you have set. This can involve processes like: regular inspections, quality control checks, or customer feedback.
The goal is to catch any issues before they become major problems that could damage your reputation.
- Continuous Improvement
Quality is not a one-time activity, but an ongoing process of improvement. You should always be looking for ways to improve your products or services and to make the quality of your business better. This can involve procedures like : regular feedback from customers, employee training, or process improvement initiatives.
By implementing these steps, you can ensure that quality is a top priority for your business.
The Bureau is committed to recognising Business Excellence in Quality. As a result, Over the coming months, several success stories of businesses that have made quality a priority in Trinidad and Tobago, will be featured in this space.
Moreover, on March 15th,2023 The Trinidad and Tobago’s inaugural and prestigious National Quality Award programme was launched as an opportunity to reward and recognize those businesses that adhere to, and make quality a standard.
The National Quality Award is open to businesses in the following categories:
- Agriculture and Agro Processing
- Services- including but not limited to, hospitality, tourism, healthcare, construction, education, energy, ICT.
- Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)
Deadline for receipt of applications is June 16th, 2023.
Are you ready to show the nation how much Quality matters to your business?