Of the companies that use Quality Standards and actively participate in the development of those Qualities, most see them as linked to their core business strategy and realise that Standards bring benefits to their organisation. However, some are not as aware of the benefits and some perceive the benefits in a different way, sometimes at a cost to their business.

In a bid to demonstrate that gaining Quality Standard certification brings tangible benefits to your company, we at Qualitation have put together this introduction to the ISO Methodology.

How the ISO Methodology quantifies the value of Quality Standards

The development of the ISO Methodology was brought about to provide a consistent approach to measuring economic benefits of Standards, by identifying and measuring the economic contribution the use of Standards makes to company profits or costs/revenues. Extensively tested across the globe, the results show that the value can be quantified and that those figures show business growth.

The standards assessed by the ISO Methodology are known as ‘external standards’, in that they have not been created and implemented by the company themselves.

How does the Value Chain save my company money?

The Value Chain is the foundation of the ISO Methodology and subdivides the operations of a company into a number of key business functions.

(Analysing the company Value Chain: www.iso.org/iso/ebs_case_studies_factsheets.pdf)

A four step procedure is followed when assessing the impacts of Standards on a company.

Step 1: Getting to grips with the Value Chain

First of all, identify whether you wish to assess the company as a whole, or specific functions of your company. Then, identify the key business processes and core value of your company’s function to the industry. Find the context in which your company lies within the broader market.

Step 2: Using your expert staff and existing documentation

Assess your company for its activities in relation to Quality Standards or groups of Standards. You then know which Standards are relevant to your processes, functions and main activities.

Step 3: Value drivers, competitive strengths and ways to measure the impact of Standards

i: Value drivers, or the competitive strengths of your company – These need to be clearly determined. Operational indicators, or ways of measuring the impacts of Standards can then be identified. The impact of Standards may create a higher value on one activity within your company than others. Basing the assessment of the impacts of Standards around activities which are closely associated with your company’s competitive strengths will aid you in identifying your priority areas for maximum economical benefit.

For example, if ‘effective testing and monitoring’ is a company value driver, then standards that contribute directly to this strength will have greater impact, for example the ISO 17000 series of conformity assessment.

ii: Operational indicators – For successful assessment of the impacts of Standards on your company, at least one operational indicator must be identified. For example, choose an activity that varies in performance such as ‘number of tests with negative results’ and associate it with the company’s value driver, in this case ‘effective testing and monitoring’. Is it a strong or weak value driver? One that is lower is more likely to benefit from the assessment process and go on to benefit your company more greatly from the use of the ISO Methodology.

Step 4: Assessment and calculation of the results

Let’s clarify the purpose of this assessment process.

  1. Quantify the impacts of standards across the various functions of your company
  2. Convert the figures from quantification into financial figures
  3. Assess the total gross financial gain (Earnings Before Interest and Tax), from your existing Quality Standards and forecast the gains from additional certification.

This infographic relates business functions to impacts of Standards and calculates the effect on economical benefit.

One of the key ideals of the ISO Methodology is to engage with companies and organisations across the globe, demonstrating the economical benefits to business, citizens and society on the whole, of the implementation of Quality Standards.

If you wish to learn more on how to assess your own company, or how to go about gaining certification, please contact us via www.qualitation.co.uk or [email protected] and we will happily answer your questions.

Carl Kruger