The World Trade Organization,
or WTO, is the international organization that deals with the global rules of
trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly,
predictably and freely as possible. But why does an organization like this need
to exist in the first place? The experts say without it, general guidelines and
standards for industry, trade and commerce would simply not exist. And as international
trade has multiplied exponentially within the last century the need for uniform
standards is a must. And these standards have become documented agreements containing
technical specifications and precise criteria used consistently as rules, guidelines,
and definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes
and services are fit for their purpose between trading nations.
These International Standards have therefore contributed to making life simpler,
and to increasing the reliability and effectiveness of the goods and services
we use. The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, is a worldwide
federation of national standards bodies from 130 countries. And the ISO 9000 is
a system of international quality management standards and guidelines that has
earned a global reputation as the basis for establishing quality management systems.
So today, we have decided to investigate the validity behind these standards and
go behind the scenes with one organization that says it has worked hard to implement
the very standards we speak of... reports.
ISO 9000 :2000 standard is based on a process model of Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA).
This process facilitates senior management to direct their organizations towards
improved performance, which is principally measured in terms of customer satisfaction.
It stands to reason that customers have to be satisfied in order that organizations
The International Standard specifies eight
clauses in the new ISO 9000 :2000, which, if effectively implemented, assures
any organization that it shall demonstrate the ability to consistently provide
a product or service, that meets customer satisfaction. And Customer Satisfaction
is the mission of every Supplier, without it Suppliers are unlikely to continue
in business. For success in a competitive market place, a supplier has to be concerned
1. Early on-going customer responsiveness
of the unsatisfactory business areas that may affect customers
the process for determining customer satisfaction requires feedback from the customer.
For the organization to make sense of the information for improvement, it must
be received in a structured fashion for processing by the supplier.
QMS Consulting, Inc a full service Quality Management System
Organization, located in the San Leandro, California, says their business relates
developing Quality Management Systems for organizations, centered around to ISO
9000. The company says they have trained, implemented and when called upon, reengineered
existing Quality Management Systems. For ISO 9000, their clients attest to the
skills of these consultants in tailoring the compliance issues, to fit the need
of their business practices. So today we talk to the execs at QMS.
You talk about Customer Satisfaction being an effective method for Suppliers to
evaluate their performance, how do you gauge this?
It is the ultimate
test. Many organizations only realize there is a problem when their business-to-
business customers have faded. Or, businesses may be out there marketing to win
new customers, but at the supply end, actual performance results in customer loss
due to a lack of customer satisfaction. Many small and mid-size companies suffer
this fate because they do not have the resources of larger companies to ensure
100% zero defects, leaving their organization. Whether they are ISO 9000 or not,
the supplier needs to be provided with customer feedback for improving the drive
to zero defects.
Consequently to satisfy this need for customer
feedback, QMS Consulting, Inc has provided an on-line opportunity with a structured
format, for executing a process for driving customer satisfaction.
Display Complaint URL page on Screen from Overhead Projector
It is a
scientific process. When business to business customers use the site ( SHOW COMPLAINT
PAGE PROJECTION) to alert say•a single supplier, all the complaints received by
the supplier are categorized and the most prevalent reasons ( POINTING TO ITEMS
ON COMPLAINT PAGE) are determined by way of what is called a Pareto.
Go through the motions of switching from complaint URL to already prepared Pareto
URL by using mouse
The Supplier can then access their own Pareto privately
( SHOW PARETO PROJECTION AND KEYSTROKES TO ACCESS PARETO ON-LINE) and evaluate
the accumulative customer complaints. The supplier can compare and track the complaints
by category and take steps for corrective action, for effective improvement.
Q.2 We were told that your Web site provides a way to index customer
satisfaction parameters, can you explain this?
Display Survey URL
Page on Screen from Overhead Projector
Yes we provide a generic survey checklist
that covers 'customer satisfaction' characteristics that applies to most industries.
Show checklist projection. On a scale of 1-10 the customer organization rates
the importance of each characteristic to their own organization; the customer
then determines the supplier rating against the 'importance' ratings (show rating
scales projection). This is translated into a privately accessed histogram to
the supplier. (Show histogram projection) The histogram indexes from the e-surveys
whether the supplier fails, meets or exceeds customer expectations, which translates
Providing a process to resolve complaints, referencing on supplier performance
and online surveys to measure specific performance indicators and histogram information
are, all available for your private Internet viewing. This site also allows comparison
to the results of surveys. The comparison of actual complaints to the customer
satisfaction survey validates the customer opinion provided by the survey. For
any given period, both results can be viewed simultaneously on the site for indexing
QMS Consulting Web sites are an online source of feedback for suppliers
to be apprised by their customers. The site has been touted as a low cost resource
facilitating suppliers' Customer Relationship Management' (CRM) for customer satisfaction.
The customer complaint format and survey provide the essentials for the supplier
to shape the business driven by customer opinion.
How does the supplier fulfill the customer's requirements based on the complaint
Go back to Complaint URL and pointing These areas on the site,
allows the customer to tell the supplier exactly how the complaint can be immediately
satisfied. Thus the supplier, armed with the information, can respond in a manner
to address the customer concerns, in the shortest possible time, in a way to alleviate
the inconvenience caused to the customer. As the supplier and customer progress
towards resolution, after settling the customer's discomfort, the site provides
a real time recordkeeping format, operated with minimum effort.
are the benefits of using the site for both customers and suppliers?
For ISO 9000 suppliers, the new standard makes it mandatory that customer satisfaction
data be provided for compliance. qmscrm.com facilitates compliance without having
to make any special staffing arrangements.
Non ISO 9000 suppliers reaps
the essence of ISO 9000. The information provided by the customer, leads suppliers
to follow exactly the same path of their ISO 9000 counterparts, in meeting or
exceeding customer expectations. Thus the site offers real benefits, in directing
suppliers to organize their business processes, along the lines of Plan, Do, Check,
The Supplier Management can access and review the status of its
staff responsiveness toits customers. The information is open to the organization
and there is no need to prepare special reports. The site provides and manipulates
the information in any management format for providing statistical data and progress
The customer has a real-time means to get his critical supplier
attention. In addition there is real data for referencing returns for customer
surveys. Many customer surveys are sometimes opinionated without foundation.
The site offers the customer an opportunity to provide the supplier with
genuine survey information, by referencing the information based on real data.
The site provides the methodology for evaluating suppliers for periodic reviews
based on the discrepancy records.
The use of the site is free for customers
to submit all complaints and submit surveys.
customer can also direct comments on the level of satisfaction to the supplier.
But customers should only address surveys when requested to do so by the supplier.
The site allows the customer to track complaints to all suppliers and manipulate
the data. And one of the requirements of ISO's Y2K 9001 is the Measurement of
Customer Satisfaction. The Standard requires 'organizations to establish a process
for obtaining and monitoring information and data on customer satisfaction'. But
why is so much importance placed on customer satisfaction?
Because in the Supply chain, every supplier is also a value-
adding customer. At each stage of the supply, seamless integration at the interface
is the preferred mode of operations. However, where Return To Vendor (RTV) of
product afflicts the supply process, the delinquent Supplier perishes upsetting
the smooth running of the chain. Hence, the importance of Customer Satisfaction
to be cherished. In other words, either be cherished or be perished.
QMS Consulting says they decided to embrace the recent technological
quantum leap and so created QMSCRM dot com, which they call an electronic process
for fulfilling a paperless trail - from complaint to responsiveness to resolution
to valued customer opinions.
Jeff Lewis - "Though technology we facilitate
the supplier's Customer Relationship Management'
We are told this site, when acknowledged by suppliers to customers, engages customers'
attention, as there is the assurance that the supplier has taken the time to provide
a reliable and responsive process for taking care of business. It demonstrates
that the supplier is interested in providing the best possible conduit for the
facts, if the customer has any concerns about the supplier's product or service.
The promotion of the facility by the supplier to the customer, can only result
confidence, trust and understanding.
The ISO is
a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO was to
promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world
with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services,
and to develop cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological
and economic activity.
In the past?, The existence of
non-harmonized standards for similar technologies in different countries or regions
can contribute to so-called "technical barriers to trade". Export-minded industries
have long sensed the need to agree on world standards to help rationalize the
international trading process. This was the origin of the establishment of ISO.
However, after many years, the system of Standardization has resulted in a better
way of doing business and organizational enhancements, where it matters most -
With the intention of fully applying the
ISO standards to its business model, QMS Consulting says they clients can be assured
of quality service. And as international standardization is well-established for
technologies in diverse fields such as information processing, communications,
textiles, packaging, distribution of goods, energy production, shipbuilding, banking
and financial services; the process business model, as per ISO 9000, will continue
to grow in importance for all business-to-business sectors, of industrial activity
for the foreseeable future. In this regard, QMS Consulting, Inc. is pleased to
contribute its skills and talent to provide deepening relationships, between suppliers
As consumers have matured and become
more educated they've become more confident in products and services that conform
to International Standards. QMS Consulting says it is the only real way to insure
that(what) you pay for is truly what you get. From San Leandro, California, I'm
XXXX.., for Business World News.
You know, Penny,
today's free-market economies increasingly encourage diverse opportunities for
expanding markets. But fair competition needs to be based on identifiable, clearly
defined common references that are recognized from one country to the next, and
from one region to the other. An industry-wide standard, internationally recognized
and developed by consensus among trading partners, serves as the language of trade.
Well also Mark, no industry in today's world can truly claim to
be completely independent of the rules of application that have been developed
by standardization. The computer industry offers a good example of technology
that needs standardization at a global level. And standardization programs in
completely new fields are also now being developed. Such as advanced materials,
the environment, life sciences, urbanization and construction. Standardization
infrastructure is a basic condition for the success of economic policies aimed
at achieving sustainable development. Creating such an infrastructure in developing
countries is believed to be essential for improving productivity, market competitiveness,
and export capability. Well folks, that's it for us here at Business World News,...