International Quality Standards and What They Mean

The need to maintain a minimum standard of quality for product function and design due to increased global trade has become a priority for all the firms engaging in international trade. Furthermore, the competition in the international market means that companies are competing against different types of markers and criteria which vary from one country to another. Therefore, to compete on a level playing field, all the companies need to adhere to the principals of quality frequently set by international organizations.

Definition of International Quality Standards

The International Quality Standards are a set of rules which are set by organizations that provide specifications, requirements, guidelines, and characteristics which need to be consistently followed to guarantee all products, materials, services, and processes are suitable for their intended purpose. Furthermore, these standards offer organizations with a shared vision, procedures, understanding, and vocabulary necessary to attain the expectation of all the shareholders. Usually, it is a standard precise terminology and description, which offers companies an authoritative and objective basis for consumers and organizations to conduct business and communicate.

Subsequently, with these rules, it is easier to conduct business on a level playing field while still allowing more collaborations by taming regional or local restraints.

Who Makes Use of International Quality Standards

Companies around the globe make use of the International Quality Standards to get definitions, guidelines, and procedures which assist them in achieving their overall goals. These goals include;

  • Conforming to all the set rules and regulations.
  • Safeguarding all the products and services the final consumer uses are safe.
  • Fulfilling the quality requirements of the customers.
  • Adhering to the agreed upon environmental regulations
  • Guaranteeing all the internal process are recognized and controlled.
  • Protecting all the products against climatic and other adverse conditions.

Importance of International Quality Standards

Global Economy

Organizations and business must comply with the International Quality Standards to guarantee that the services, products, and personnel of one are acceptable to beliefs and practices of another country.

Consumers

Most of the International Quality Standards safeguard the interest of users of all products and services traded in the international market. Additionally, standardization makes the lives of consumers simpler. Therefore, service or product based on international standard needs to be compatible with other products and services around the globe, with this consequently increasing the number of available choices across the world.

Organization

All international companies recognize that International Quality Standards are essential to the success of the firm and these standards identified as business tools which need to be managed alongside safety, quality, environmental policies, and intellectual property. Also, standardization lowers cost by reducing recalls or errors, minimizing redundancy and reducing time to market.

International Organization for Standardization

There are several organizations which are mandated with the setting, monitoring and managing these International Quality Standards, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the most influential of the bunch.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1947 and works by coming up with technical standards for both services and products sold globally. It was necessitated due to an increase in international trade thus the incentive for the international standardization of goods and services. Moreover, it is because firms with overseas operations need to ensure the services and products they contract from outside the home country need to conform to their needs, with this being the only way which both parties involved in the transaction meet all the set standards.

Often Overlooked Things that Destroy Consistency

Consistency is one of the hardest things to maintain within an organization, and lack of it wastes both time and money. As a manager, there may be a couple of things which you may be overlooking and are consequently destroying your firm’s consistency. As your mandate is to build a consistent value system and consistent culture within your company, discussed below are some factors you need to look into which may be hurting your organization’s consistency.

Not keeping written records

Whenever you make a commitment or arrangement, you need to write it down, and in case you need to confirm something, you have a written document which describes what was stated in the agreement.

Poor Punctuality

Nothing destroys the consistency of an organization like poor punctuality, either by the manager or the employees since it wastes time which subsequently leads to losses. Therefore, to ensure the company’s productivity does not falter, all individuals within the firm need to carry out everything promptly to eradicate any inconsistency.

Lacking Focus on what is Important

If you want to achieve a greater deal of consistency as a manager, you need to become consistent and immediately implement any new changes you have in mind. Additionally, by immediately changing your behavior, you need to push your employees to follow suit quickly. However, change typically does not take effect that swiftly, and it takes time for everyone to get on board because these new rules must be understood and accepted.

Lacking Properly and Well-defined Objectives

If you are a manager, having clear and well-defined goals will assist you in ensuring you are consistent because you understand what is expected of you and your employees. Consequently, you will be left with only checking and controlling the results.

Not Celebrating Success

Whereas this might seem like something of minimal significance, you always need to celebrate whenever you and your team achieve some critical objective. The lack of celebration even with an inexpensive dinner as company staff weakens the team spirit because you and your employees lack the needed positivity which is vital in ensuring you remain consistent with achieving future goals.

Lack of Penalties for Missed Deadlines

As a manager, if an employee does not meet a specific deadline, you need to penalize them, and this will guarantee that the employee completes all his tasks on time. However, not fining the employee or yourself too as a manager for a missed deadline leads to complacency, which then results in inconsistent performance of the organization.

Not Planning Dates in Advance

By not planning the dates, inconsistency within a company increases because there is no definite set date when specific objectives need to be achieved; thus inefficiency and inconstancy creep in the organization.

Take some time to address these issues and you will be better placed to attain the needs of your customers as well as the goals of the company.

Curse of Knowledge: How to Build Systems for Others

Your explanation is possibly too long if you cannot clearly explain something clearly to someone in just one sentence. Typically, whenever you have a vital message, you subsequently wish to spread it, and this becomes problematic because the more you learn about something, the harder it is to describe to somebody else in a manner which will make them care. Usually, this is because once you have learned about something, you start thinking it is more important than it is; thus, you cannot offer someone a general understanding without diving into the excruciating details which are yet to care about. This is what is known as the Curse of Knowledge.

However, to build a system for others, you must first put yourself in the unknowing shoes which subsequently ensures that an efficient line of communication is established. Therefore, all the disregard and misunderstanding from others clear and below are some tips on how you can build a system for others.

Tell Stories

Typically, human brains are wired to recall narratives, and when reading these narratives, it even activates vibrant sensory descriptions like “lavender” as though you are experiencing it. Therefore, whenever you want to build a connection with an audience you are addressing, your focus should be on telling a story which will cut through the curse of knowledge by naturally excluding the buzzwords and jargons. Instead, paint scenes that are filled with concrete details yet still convey meaning and include images since they can encode more context and information at once. Additionally, whereas images are excellent for surprising your consumers with a personal email, the presence of images such as people’s face or a company logo assist in conveying your story. It ensures you go a long way in achieving perfection within your organization.

Dialogue with People

As the owner or CEO of an organization, you frequently need to initiate conversations with people either personally or through a surprise personal email. Furthermore, ask your customers of any query they may need assistance on, and this goes a long way in you using the curse of knowledge to your advantage and achieving the company’s goals.

Constantly Remind People Why You Exist

When you want to achieve perfection, you need to continually recover data because this assists in strengthening memories by offering cues and nudges to reinforce your organization as well as the reason it is around. This way, you get to build deep associations with your consumers consequently boosting the credibility of your company due to the strengthened customer connections.

Consider Pacing

Out of sight, out of mind, therefore, you need to build a system with others by establishing a connection by pacing; otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure. However, there needs to be a balance, so that you are neither communicating too much nor not communicating at all. Thus, it is for this reason that you need to consider to pace yourself when intending to build systems for others.

Get an Outside Perspective

By getting an outside perspective, you can get much-needed advice on matters which you may not have noticed as faulty and require rectification to build systems for others. Therefore, getting an outside perspective is always critical before you avail your company’s information to the consumers, thereby, in case of any issue, you the opportune chance to make changes. After everything is set, you can now avail your information and your customers will get to understand your message thus making the curse of knowledge work in your favor.

What other tactics and strategies have you used to pass on process and knowledge?

Network to Raise the Bar: International Quality Conferences

These conferences happen annually with the aim being to discuss on Improvement and Quality thus making these conferences vital in guaranteeing the International Quality Standards are updated to changes in current times. Usually, these conferences entail networking with world leaders in quality and understanding of the newest services and products being availed by companies. Additionally, after completing these sessions, a certificate is awarded, with this training being the only one which offers such a unique experience.

These conferences include more than 45 nations from around the globe and a broad spectrum of industries to allow you to acquire knowledge, quality tools, improvement methodologies, networking contacts, and best practices. Additionally, there are more than 2,500 attendees from around the world thereby making this Quality Conference an ideal setting to network with qualified experts who have experience in a broad range of skills and backgrounds.

There is a broad range of industry specific and general practice conferences happening all the time.

There are many organizations that run, help promote or aggregate information on international quality conferences;

American Society for Quality

10times

Conferenceseries

What are some of your favorite conferences that you have attended?

How to Handle Quality Management Challenges

It can be relatively challenging to implement and maintain a quality management system since it is not easy to find a person, method, information or time to employ quality management system that is perfect for your needs.

We shall discuss eight common challenges that you might come across while implementing or designing your quality management system and lessons that you can from those challenges.

Too much theory

Organizations that are struggling for perfections frequently focus on assumptions rather than putting those theories into practice.

A lesson that you should learn from this is that there is no perfect quality management service and that every quality management service should always improve over time. Furthermore, you should put your focus on theory but always focus more on implementing the philosophy and its value to the company.

Many documentation

When it comes to too much documentation, most of the young organization tend to do over documentation to the extent of obstructing the functionality of the quality management system. In this situation, most of the employees tend to lose interest in the quality management system resulting in unexpected results and failing of the quality management system.

Lessons that we should consider from this challenge is that the objective of a quality management system is not creating paperwork but to validate the right information. Always believe that your documentation supports the data communicated with proof of agreement.

Too many details

Various organizations still consider having too many aspects in their documents, and this takes time and ends up resulting in more complication in applying documentation.

To overcome this challenge you need to ensure your document is biddable with laws and regulations that support your company activities. You should consider the appropriate level of details you choose since there are some that require high-level information while others don’t. Furthermore, always include all vital information in your document at the right time.

Too much rigidity

It is still challenging to manage a rigid and inflexible quality management system resulting in poor results in the future.

To overcome this situation, you should always be consistent with the changing situation in your business since customer requirements keep on changing. This action will help in improving your performance, and it will enable you to grab new opportunities.

Less implication and communication

The quality management system is frequently supported by the quality manager(s), and in this situation, most of the colleagues assume that the quality management system is ‘belongs’ to those who created the quality management system. They end up not contributing to the system and instead they ‘follow’ the quality management system when necessary.

To overcome such circumstances, you should consider informing your members about the quality management system, and that they should understand their roles and responsibilities. Additionally, you should give support to your entire organization to get the result needed.

Lack of enough motivation

When implementing a quality management system for an external factor, it will be hard for the organization to get the best result from the quality management system.

To overcome this, you need to include top management and staff and motivate them to get the best result from your quality management system. This action will make everybody feel responsible for the overall quality services you provide, and everybody should know their role in the quality management system.

Not suitable enough

When the quality management system is not in sync with the company’s plan and actions it will then be difficult to get a quality result.

To overcome this issue, the company will need to choose a way to set up its quality management system in a way that will support their business, processes, and staff as well.

Lack of attention to the customers

Most of the companies tend to focus more on the quality but focuses less on customer’s satisfaction.

We should learn that without our customers there will be no business running. The company should focus more on customer’s satisfaction to have customer confidence. Furthermore, you should always know your customer’s requirements and their expectations as well and to know your customer’s satisfaction continuously.

How to implement a quality management system successfully

  • Consider having a system that will suit you.
  • Focus on your customer’s satisfaction.
  • Always involve your staffs and communicate to them their responsibilities in the quality management system.
  • Motivate your stakeholders.
  • To improve your system still stays aware of changes that happen.
  • Consider using a quality management system that is useful to your business.
  • Consider using details that is suitable for your activity.
  • Having a valid document in managing your event is always important.

Taking on these challenges one at a time and implementing diligently will yield amazing results for you and your organization.