A new study shows how ISO 9001 creates bottom line surplus

22. June 2020

A new study shows how ISO 9001 creates bottom line surplus

ISO 9001 has in no way lost its justification – it is continuously seen as an important strategic management tool. This is confirmed by a new study conducted about the quality management standard.

According to a new study among more than 300 Danish companies and organizations, all working with ISO 9001, improved quality, agile processes, and satisfied customers are just a few of the benefits of using the management standard.

ISO 9001 means happier customers

A total of 81% of the companies indicate that they to some or a great extent have experienced an improved quality in products and services, 78% experience increased customer satisfaction and as much as 92% have achieved improved internal processes. Danish Standards conducted a similar study in 2015. The results are more or less the same or even better than five years ago. Thus, a substantial 85% indicated that they to some or a great extent experienced improved management of their internal work processes, i.e. an increase of 7 percentage points.

- Too many still believe that this is about customers requiring companies to follow ISO 9001. It is rather how it pays off financially. The companies increase customer satisfaction, improve their quality, and can better manage their internal processes and thus effectiveness, says Niels Madelung, Chief Consultant at Danish Standards.  

Companies and organizations who comply with the principles of ISO 9001 or are certified to the standard therefore get value for their quality management system when applying it professionally.

A new study shows how ISO 9001 creates bottom line surplus

Quality and effectiveness are closely interconnected

The study also documents how as many as 73% of the companies experience an improved working relationship with their suppliers and business partners because they work with ISO 9001.

- It is crucial for Danish companies to have effective working relationships, especially for the many SMEs who have various suppliers and business partners. And because they work strategically with quality management, they experience improved working relations, which naturally increases customer satisfaction as well, says Niels Madelung.

60% of the companies believe that ISO 9001 provides increased effectiveness for their companies. Thus, the standard is an extremely effective management tool for optimizing and streamlining activities. In 2015, a similar study showed a result of 51%, thus we see an increase here as well.

- The findings of the study emphasize how quality, effectiveness and efficiency are closely interconnected. If a company wants to work with quality improvements, e.g. by using ISO 9001, or efficiency improvements, e.g. by using LEAN/SixSigma, then similar approaches and methods or models are employed, says Niels Madelung and continues:

- In both cases, the question is to find the right balance between the two equal goals. It is ineffective and cost-intensive to work with the two elements independently. It neither provides value for the company nor for the customers.

Quality management will become even more important in the future

According to participating companies, ISO 9001 is here to stay and will have even greater significance in the future and provide results for the companies and organizations who work strategically with the management system standard. Therefore, a substantial 82% believe that the significance of ISO 9001 will increase for Danish companies in the future. In the study from 2015, this result was 73%. 

The study was carried out by Danish Standards and the Danish Association for Quality. 328 Danish companies participated in the study. The number of participating companies corresponds to approx. 10% of ISO 9001-certified companies in Denmark.