The reader should bear in mind that the following comparison is subject to differences in method which make direct comparison difficult in some circumstances. We have worked from the Surrey report and have not had access to their raw data. The Surrey report is more limited in its scope (ie the range of questions asked) and uses different scales.
Vanguard included data on the following areas not covered by Surrey:
What needed to change
Interpretation of the Standard
Measurement / implementation
Value to the organisation
Opinion / perception data
The Surrey results were reported as percentages ‘yes’ and ‘no’; Vanguard used a scaled response (1 to 7).
Reasons for registration
The Surrey results reflect the same feeling of ‘obligation’ that Vanguard found (although their
commentary does not highlight this) – 81% of companies say they decided to obtain registration to stay in business / to be considered for tenders.
Benefits of registration
It appears that the Surrey data are directly comparable with Vanguard’s regarding benefits of registration (although the Vanguard research looks at both improvement and worsening as a result of ISO 9000 registration, the Surrey research reports improvements only).
Surrey reports the following benefits:
49% improved market share
69% able to stay in business / not excluded from tenders
63% public relations / advertising / marketing benefits
Vanguard report the following (comparable) changes:
31.1% say market share has improved
33.4% say number of new customers has improved
Although the figures are illustrated in the report, Surrey does not draw attention to these lower rated items:
12% report improved efficiency / less wastage.
9% report increased customer satisfaction.
14% report greater discipline / order.
4% report more quality aware / improved quality.
The benefits section in the Surrey report does not include (reduction in) costs. Costs appear in the disappointments section. Items measured differ for disappointments and benefits
(Vanguard measured all items for improvement versus worsening). The Surrey report includes one short paragraph towards the end entitled ‘disappointments with certification’.
Benefits of installing a Quality Management System
Five of the eight benefits reported in the Surrey research are directly comparable to the Vanguard data:
Improved efficiency / productivity
Surrey – 69%, Vanguard – 69%
Surrey – 53%, Vanguard – 37%
Improved customer service
Surrey – 73%, Vanguard – 49%
Surrey – 40%, Vanguard – 25%
Improved staff motivation
Surrey – 50%, Vanguard – 31%
The Vanguard and Surrey results are broadly similar. When one takes into account the problems of reliability and validity of opinion research amongst those who have an emotional investment in ISO 9000 registration, these results ought to cause alarm. They are equivocal about the Standard’s contribution to say the least.