Quality without tears

Date of publication: September 1, 1993


This paper is divided into 5 parts, starting with the reasons why ISO 9000 was implemented in BT’s business market research department through to the lessons we have learnt from implementation. The first section discusses why BT, as a company, has decided to adopt ISO 9000 practices and reveals that the drive behind this was BT's corporate mission to put customers first. BT believes that quality practices are important in order to give the best possible service to our customers and suppliers. The second section looks at how the BT Business Market Research team went about implementing ISO 9000. The third section examines the ISO 9000 market research procedures in action with a case study of how a major customer satisfaction measurement programme was set up and run according to the procedures. The fourth section discusses the implications of BT's quality policy for our research suppliers. IFinally, this paper summarises the problems and more particularly the great benefits gained from implementing ISO 9000 in BT. Here we have tried to outline useful hints to other client companies who may be considering adopting quality procedures. The four most important lessons to be learnt in implementing ISO 9000 are: involve everyone and ensure that they understand why quality procedures are necessary; do not get hung up on paperwork - but be flexible and only develop procedures that can be workable in your business area; do not rest on your laurels - quality is about continuous improvement and your processes should be continuously reviewed to match your evolving needs; and finally, do not rush ISO 9000 without applying common sense - if done thoroughly it can be a lengthy but ultimately rewarding and time saving exercise.

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