Friday, April 4, 2014

The Competitive Advantage of Quality Certifications

A Michigan business that provides high-quality design and engineering concepts to the aerospace industry experienced a 30% increase in revenue. The reason? The organization obtained AS 9100 certification, a recognized and well-respected quality management certification.

There has been a renewed focus from Michigan’s manufacturers on quality management systems (QMS)…and rightfully so! As manufacturing expands in Michigan, competitive pressures have also increased. Customers are looking closer at registration or certification to particular standards as a differentiator in supplier selection. Which means if you want to keep your current customer, or attract new ones, you may need to be registered or certified to the appropriate standard.

When a manufacturer obtains a certification, particularly a well-respected and widely recognized one such as ISO, AS or OHSAS, it signifies that the company is complying with international standards. Industrial customers use these standards as the bottom line factor to validating that suppliers can meet their quality needs. These standards are designed to ensure that a manufacturer is dedicated to consistently delivering quality parts, products and services, embraces continuous improvement and is committed to customer satisfaction throughout the entire manufacturing and distribution process.

ISO Standards are also reviewed at least once every five years to verify that they remain compliant with any applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and continue to be a relevant document instilling consumer confidence that compliant organizations consistently provide quality products and services.

In its last report, the International Organization for Standardization noted that the number of organizations opting for ISO certification is steadily increasing. If you do not currently have a certification, you should consider its key benefits:

Market Advantage

Since industrial customers use QMS registration or certification as a bottom line or deciding factor, registration can be a market advantage. More precisely lack of registration is often the difference between winning the work or not. Without registration, you might not even get a chance to bid on a job. Having multiple registrations allow you more flexibility and a greater chance for market penetration success.

Reduction in Quality Audits

If industrial customers are not comfortable, or confident in your abilities, they often will perform an audit at your location. Their purpose is to protect their product and their customer. More often than not, multiple customers will result in multiple customer audits. Achieving registration and demonstrating a properly functioning QMS could lead to fewer and less dramatic customer audits. To be sure, you will be auditing yourselves, and your registrar will be auditing you, but those audits are generally planned and tend to be a lot less intrusive. If you are regularly auditing yourself, even an unexpected surveillance audit should see you passing without a single nonconformance.

 Improve Employee Engagement and Communication

A crucial component of quality management systems: employee involvement. Raising quality awareness among employees and making them part of quality management systems will improve communication across the company, and help management teams find better ways to address and solve issues hindering organizational progress. A properly maintained QMS will tie business goals directly to employee tasks so they will have a better understanding of why things are done. This increases their personal involvement and job satisfaction, particularly if they are invited to play a role in creating and maintaining the QMS. Additional benefits include overall quality improvements, scrap and rework reductions, increases in on-time delivery, and potential retained and additional sales from customers seeking certified partners.

Start the Process Today

MMTC provides Michigan’s manufacturers with a cost-effective approach to take the necessary steps to achieve certifications. MMTC can help with the following: 
  • ISO 9001 (CEU Credits: 2.1*)
  • ISO/TS 16949 (CEU Credits: 2.1*)
  • ISO 13485 (CEU Credits: 2.8*)
  • AS 9100 (CEU Credits: 2.1*)
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 17025
  • ISO 50001
  • Nadcap
  • TL 9000
  • OHSAS 18001
* CEUs are earned during the Internal Auditor training portion only

For more information about MMTC's Quality Management programs, please visit our Quality Management System Preparation and Implementation page or contact us at 888-414-6682 or via email at

Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

1 comment:

  1. From the supply chain perspective, have ISO certification is a distinct advantage for a potential supplier. This should be a determining factor in the decision to select a potential supplier. Having an ISO quality standard provides a common ground for the assessment and measurement of the suppliers in a supply chain. ISO certification demonstrates that the potential supplier has achieved a basic level of quality. This means the quality management system is formal and documented. When suppliers are chosen on the basis of quality, there are minimal misunderstandings about orders that are placed with supplier, quality of their products, services or materials. In short, that the selected supplier is suited to the tasks of producing and providing the product or service they were selected to supply.