Quality counts

Quality is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as processes, leading to repeatable work packages, lower costs and shorter cycle times. Resources, methods, and materials are important factors across all industries; the system approach to management sets the scene for continual improvement.

Leadership must be capable of setting challenging and measurable targets in order to create shared values and raise levels of trust in everyone with a stake in the organization's performance.

Embracing the full intent of International Standard ISO 9001 for quality stands to achieve more than simple compliance. When understood and applied in a way that suits the individual business, its principles allow organizations, of any size, to create consistent, sustainable and resilient businesses.

Foundation for business

Your customers want quality

A business clearly depends on its customers and should work hard to understand current and future customer needs. At a minimum, customer requirements must be met and businesses should strive to exceed their customers' expectations. This creates opportunities for:

  • increased revenue and market share
  • flexible and fast responses to the market
  • effective use of resources to enhance customer satisfaction, and
  • customer loyalty, leading to repeat business.

Leadership with vision

Senior Management must act as a 'guidance system', creating a unity of purpose and clear direction to the organization. Its members should make it easier for people to become fully involved in achieving the organization's objectives.

Good leadership commits to:

  • communicate a clear and realistic vision of the organization's future
  • set challenging goals and targets as shared values
  • establish trust at all levels of the business, and
  • provide people with the necessary resources and training.

Engaging people

The engagement of people - at all levels in an organization - is essential to the success of implementation and the day-to-day running of a Quality Management System. Sustained engagement opens the door for the quality business to create value for interested parties and helps:

  • develop a motivated, involved and loyal workforce,
  • foster innovation and creativity in pursuit of the business objectives,
  • individuals take accountability for performance and development,
  • participation and ideas in the means for continual improvement.

Adopt the process approach

Consistent products or services are achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as processes. Businesses must understand the sequence and interaction of processes, especially where the output of one process forms the input to another. The benefits are clear:

  • lower realization costs and shorter cycles by effective resource use,
  • consistent monitoring and appropriate, strategic, measurements,
  • repeatable activities with predictable results, and
  • a clear path to prioritizing opportunities for improvement

Seek improvement

Continual improvement is a frame of mind and it's Leadership's job to turn that into culture. Organizations can only mature as Quality Businesses with Leadership commitment to improve overall performance as a permanent objective of the business. Getting it right means:

  • sustaining a 'whole business' approach to performance,
  • developing competence in improvement methods with training and tools,
  • establishing improvement as call to action across the organization,
  • setting SMART goals to guide and track improvement initiatives.

Base decisions on hard facts

Effective decisions are better made based on the evidence of data analysis and information. The Leadership must analyse monitoring information from the 'whole-business' environment and form plans for identified risks and opportunities. The benefits are clear:

  • the evidence of informed decisions
  • better risk assessment
  • increased maturity for review, debate, challenge and change opinions,
  • reputation and track record of reliable and effective past decisions.

Relationship Management

A progressive organization understands the need to identify and align all stakeholders to its business. Relationship management fosters shared interest, joint improvement projects and opportunities to spread associated risks. There's much to be gained:

  • a shared outlook and increased ability to create value for all parties,
  • flexibility and faster responses to a change in market conditions,
  • agility towards customer requirements by way of joint proposals
  • predictable costs and optimized resources within the supply chain.

Business advantage

Your customers make it a requirement

You notice customers and prospects start to make evidence of a quality system a requirement of doing business with you. It's not that your customers are trying to create barriers to business nor hoops for you to jump through.

Whether it's a private company with a clear view on shareholder value or a public sector organization accountable to regulatory boards and the public purse, people who buy your stuff will want a tangible form of assurance, typically in the form of certified approvals by accredited organizations.

Avoid the cost of poor quality

Poor attention to contracts and project failures to deliver under performance bonds or guarantees can lead to financial penalty. More typically, directing resources to rework, or retooling, is the common means to recovery for poor delivery and defective products Occasionally, whole designs may be scrapped and redrafted.

These hard costs come with the opportunity loss associated with redirected resources that should have been available to develop and grow the business. Quality planning, covering production and post-delivery activities are key themes in a quality management system

Improved margin contribution

Addressing the cost of poor quality forms the springboard for improved profitability. Supplier evaluations and structured customer reviews work to sustain the contemplated profits over the life of a contract. Improved customer loyalty leads to higher repurchase rates.

Motivated staff investing their careers in strengthening the company's products and services together with operational improvements to reduce or eliminate waste combine to form the platform for a sustainable and resilient business and increased margin contributions.

Make your business stand out

A positive distinction for your business is always a good thing. When operating in competitive or congested markets an effective quality system differentiates your business and your customers will want to learn more about this distinction.

Improved, quality operations enhance the good times and can offset the effect of hard times in a challenging economic climate. Certification can lead to firm opportunities to tender for contracts or join supply chains that would otherwise be closed.

Communicate commitment

A quality management system makes communicating commitment to staff and customers more efficient. Working with a formal Standard, that specifies requirements for internal and customer communication and embraces people involvement, naturally leads to transparency and consistency.

Certification and approval provides you with a marketing advantage over many of your competitors. Collecting an approval for a quality management system is a significant achievement but, surprisingly, not all businesses capitalize on it. Companies shouldn't be shy about their achievements.

Industry best practice

Formal standards lead to good, profitable business practice and world industry appears to agree. The latest International Organization for Standards (ISO) Survey reports over 1.13 million ISO 9001 certifications are held worldwide.

Independent research reveals clear empirical economic benefits to the implementation of authentically certified quality management systems. Certified organizations tend to out-perform non-certified organizations in similar industries, broadening business opportunities by demonstrating compliance.

A blueprint for quality

Creating an effective management system

Developing an effective quality management system is a serious undertaking and resource commitment is a feature of design and implementation. Willing Lightbulb's project blueprint benefits the business, in terms of speed in effective implementation and return on an organization's skills.

Understanding the ISO 9001:2015 clause structure and, most importantly, its intent in a way that is relevant to your business activities is backed by Willing Lightbulb's depth of business experience.

Willing Lightbulb aids the design and development of a quality management system, using Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology.

Management system planning

From a Standard which emphasises planning and resource management it's no surprise that implementing a quality management system to incorporate ISO 9001 requirements needs to be well planned.

Many businesses underestimate the requirement for adequate planning and, where this hasn't been done, unnecessarily abandon the project.

Willing Lightbulb assists by ensuring your attention to the specific activities to be carried out, who will be responsible for each activity, milestone reviews, authorizations, training and dealing with problems.

Gap analysis

Before you can begin to apply the controls of ISO 9001 to your business it's essential to know how close, or far away, your current management approach is to the requirements of the Standard. This requires a close look at the practices, controls, documentation and records that make up the business today.

The Willing Lightbulb approach itemises the Standard into a form of audit and assesses current capability and maturity.

Findings and recommendations are placed in a written report, to act as a base-line for the implementation plan.

Determining required processes

The Process Approach is fundamental to a successful quality management system. To do this, the business must accurately identify and document all necessary organizational processes determined for its quality system.

It's an urban myth that quality systems are naturally heavy on documentation; undocumented procedures are as valid (and auditable) as documented ones.

Willing Lightbulb establishes clarity by guiding you to a balanced approach in the scope, design and control of documents to operate an effective quality management system.

Desiging the management system

Identifying the scope of controlled processes together with the methods for effective management responsibility poses the greatest demand for organizational resources

Using the Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology, Willing Lightbulb has developed its technique of correspondence to the Standard's clause structure to streamline a consistent implementation.

Willing Lightbulb provides direction to maintain focus, eliminating the risk of resource conflicts, especially in the areas of quality policy and objectives, process goals and corresponding records.

Awareness and training

The Standard is clear in its intent that all staff with an impact on product or service conformity must be competent. Willing Lightbulb makes adequate provision for key knowledge areas during the development of a quality system:

  • employee induction training
  • executive overview for senior management
  • process determination and mapping
  • documentation and controlled records
  • monitoring, measurement and analysis
  • audit design, conduct and auditor selection
  • risk assessment and improvement planning

Implementation and support

Implementation of a quality management system isn't a 'finishing line' but a fresh call to action for everyone in your business to take quality into every aspect of their work.

Willing Lightbulb assists in the development of the internal audit programme and with pre-assessment opinions and guidance prior to certification by your chosen approvals body.

ISO 9001 sits among a family of International Standards which can be used to inform and guide quality operations. Willing Lightbulb can help connect you to these concepts and approaches.

Get in touch

Willing Lightbulb Limited

Registered in England and Wales.

Company No. 07772179

‮daoR mahnraH 45



‮JJ8 2PS

‮766841 2297 (0) 44+

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‮daoR mahnraH 45



‮JJ8 2PS

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Lightbulb Read More Icon

ISO 9001 is designed to look at all of the important processes affecting quality, from the initial review of contracts with customers, to the delivery of the finished product or delivered service. Leadership is critical to success. There has to be a clear senior management commitment to:

Certification by an accredited agency evidences compliance for a common assessment by customers and prospects for your services, particularly in the Public Sector, but the trick isn't getting a certificate on the wall - it's keeping it there.

Certificate Icon

Certifications to Standards are granted by respected approvals organizations, accredited in turn by national agencies. A certificate lasts for three years and is subject, typically, to six-monthly surveillance visits by trained auditors. These qualified examiners hold many years of specialized or broad-based industry experience.

Surveillance findings form a key indicator to the effectiveness of the quality management system, especially in the theme of continual improvement.

Independent assessment enhances the objective view of your business and if your customer base includes, or targets, a mix of public and private sector businesses you won't need to find different ways of describing your approach to quality.