Link in a chain

In the article "Get on Board" (February 2012), the author did an excellent job arguing that employee involvement is critical to a successful quality management system (QMS). Citing appropriate scholarly sources and providing empirical findings can further enhance the content of this article.

The author makes the following statement: "ISO 9001:2008 specifies QMS requirements an organization must achieve to consistently provide products or services that meet customer or regulatory requirements." Regulatory requirements are not optional. ISO 9001:2008 clearly specifies that an organization must fulfill customer requirements and regulatory requirements.

Quality improvement benefits need to be reviewed from the perspective of W. Edwards Deming’s chain reaction:

  1. Improving quality leads to decreased costs.
  2. Decreased costs lead to productivity improvements.
  3. Productivity improvements lead to increased market share, better product quality and lower price.
  4. Increased market share leads to staying in business and creating more jobs.1

The real motivation for implementing quality standards should be continuous quality improvement and customer satisfaction.

Some organizations implement QMS frameworks and standards for the wrong reasons, such as using a QMS just to get certification, or the wrong way, such as using a QMS with no or minimal employee involvement. These organizations are in it for the short-term benefits and can’t take advantage of the long-term benefits a sound implementation can offer.

Kishore Erukulapati
Renton, WA

  1. W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1986.


Delivering quality-as-process and quality-as-result is the goal of quality professionals, correct? If we agree nothing is or can be unchanging, and we are planning for alternative futures, we need thinkers, doers, leaders and usable tools. Yes, ISO 9000 is a usable tool. It is in the tool kit along with many other tools.

Bob Kennedy has given us important issues to think about in his article ("Taken for Granted," February 2012). As quality professionals, we support results. We support systems that deliver results. If we undermine our systems and if we lose our tools, there are going to be significant problems.

If we, the "quality experts" are undermining one of our tools, we are causing a problem. Kennedy’s ideas had better be considered.

Jerry Brong
Ellensburg, WA

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