The Economic Case

Making the Case for Quality

Believe it: Quality pays. All organizations, regardless of size, sector, or industry, can use quality tools and approaches to improve process efficiency, customer satisfaction, and the bottom line.

How do we know that? ASQ’s Quality Body of Knowledge (QBOK ®) contains case studies, articles, and statistics that document the real-world results that organizations have achieved.

Peer-reviewed research on quality’s ROI

In an article for QP magazine, Rip Stauffer and Debra Owens report on a Center for Economic and Business Research study showing that every dollar spent on a quality management program returned:

  • $6 in revenue
  • $16 in cost reduction
  • $3 in profit

ASQ members can read the full study, Lasting Impression.

Also see the open-access white paper, The Economic Case for Quality® (PDF, 192 KB).

The impact of quality approaches

The table below highlights key findings from studies focusing on specific organizational approaches to managing and improving quality.



Six Sigma A study of 28 organizations found an average return of $2 in direct savings for every dollar invested. Read more in the Quality Management Journal article Costs and Savings of Six Sigma Programs (open access), by Venkateswarlu Pulakanam.
ISO 9001 A Harvard Business School study of business benefits for 916 adopters vs 17,849 nonadopters found that adopters enjoyed:
  • Higher rates of survival, sales, and employment growth
  • Reduction in waste
  • Enhanced worker productivity
  • Improved health and safety performance
Read more in Standard Wise (open access), by Oscar Combs, published in QP magazine.
Baldrige Performance Excellence Program A survey of 273 Baldrige applicants revealed:
  • Data for 3 measures of program value showed combined benefits/cost ratio of 820:1
  • Hospitals receiving site visits or a Baldrige award were more likely to be among the Top 100 Hospitals
  • 76% of school districts implementing Baldrige reported improvement in student performance
Read more in The Impact of Baldrige on Organizational Performance (members only), by Harry S. Hertz, published in Journal for Quality and Participation.

Case studies detailing real-world results

Learn how organizations around the world are using quality tools and approaches to improve processes, save money, drive revenue, and increase customer satisfaction.

Read featured case studies.

Looking for case studies related to your industry? Use advanced search to find case studies by topic, industry, date, and more.

Tell your quality success story

What results has your organization achieved using lean, ISO 9001, or other quality approaches? Celebrate your success and publish your story with ASQ. Submit your case study.


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