TL 9000 Key Drivers
The QuEST Forum (Quality Excellence for Suppliers of Telecommunications) was formed in 1996 and is responsible for creating the TL 9000 standard. The QuEST Forum included the predecessors of SBC Communications formally known as Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Pacific Bell, and Southwestern Bell. Today many QuEST Forum members also include telecommunications service providers and suppliers.
The QuEST Forum today also enjoys a working relationship with the ISO/TC176 committee that is sanctioned with making changes to the ISO 9001 standard. The QuEST Forum has pursued a goal of global telecommunications quality and industry-wide performance excellence through its TL 9000 standard.
The QuEST Forum has contributed greatly over the many years and focused on three important aspects of improving global telecommunications in terms of quality and performance:
- By defining system requirements for the design, development, manufacturing, delivery, installation and maintenance of telecom products and services. It also provides a measurement system that allows companies to track performance and make improvements to increase the overall results,
- By eliminating the need for multiple quality management standards. This reduces the costs of doing business and ultimately results in better consumer products and services,
- By providing a consistent set of quality expectations. This will drive efficiency and performance across the global telecom supply chain.
Who Benefits from TL 9000 and How?
Buyers – Those organizations and individuals that purchase and utilize telecom products and services are able to experience a more homogeneous level of product performance across the various telecom products and services that they purchase.
There are higher bandwidth and stronger frequency ranges now than in prior years. Look at the introduction and progress with the “N” router market. The products and the overall coverage range and strength has improved over the past few years.
Suppliers and Subcontractors – As quality management systems become more harmonized and with the broad achievement of conformance to TL 9000 standards, each subsequently new TL 9000 release of requirements and adders assists in lowering the costs of multiple supplier quality audits. In addition, TL 9000 requirements, adders, and measurements baseline data deliverables can be shared with your customers and suppliers, which will gradually improve the product, reliability, and service performance.
Service Providers and Suppliers – Gain the knowledge from the lessons learned and resulting benefits of the continual improvements implemented at the product and process level because of being regularly audited by an independent TL 9000 registrar.
This is a direct means of feedback into your organization on your cost efficiencies and process effectiveness as it relates to your products and services. As organizations improve over time, their willingness to initiate and extend product and service improvements can also lead to a faster time to market result ratio, with regard to the design and development cycle.
The reportable performance metrics found in TL 9000 also provide a balanced scorecard of measurements, and the formal system to communicate and track their results. This allows improved product and service quality, and can also reduce documentation, as the quality management system is properly implemented.
If, your organization applies the TL 9000 requirements adequately, defines and documents its processes, and provides the training needed, below are some of the certification benefits that can be realized:
- Improved manufacturing yield and product life cycle management,
- Logistics can better predict what to expect with regard to shipping and distribution levels,
- Shorter design and development time-to-market as an effective measurement of performance can be clearly defined and quantified with regard to your organization’s design and installation performance,
- Uniform performance and cost-based metrics are aligned for your organization’s design and development effort,
- Creation of a consistent platform for improvement initiatives is matched with the company’s financial accountability,
- Continuous improvement of service to subscribers when deployed within a company that also performs installation and technical support services,
- A platform for driving overall product cost reductions and increased internal design and development competitiveness is created,
- External audits and customer site visits, are effectively managed,
- Product cost reductions drive stronger supply chain management,
- Enhancement of your company’s competitive position and customer base acceptance,
- Improved customer retention as design and development enhancements are rolled-out that meet or exceed the customer’s service and product needs,
- Demonstrated commitment to higher product quality and long-term customer value. The company further focuses on cycle-time reductions; on-time deliveries, return rates, reliability, defect elimination, and product cost reductions.
Many organizations are initially nervous about TL 9000 certification. They may wonder:
- How does TL 9000 fit into our company’s configuration, since we provide both hardware and software?
- What scope of registration should we select in order to achieve certification?
- Can I obtain certification for our call center operations?
- Is there a formal process for certification and how do we obtain support and guidance?
- How long does the TL 9000 certification process take and what are the costs?
- What kind of data is required for submission on our products and their performance?
With our experience in telecommunications and quality management certification, we can help your organization understand the answers to the aforementioned questions. TL 9000 Metrics can reduce Product Life Cycle Costs over time when properly implemented within a quality management system. Prior to initiating a TL 9000 certification effort your organization should carefully select a TL 9000 registrar. We can further assist your organization in the selection of a TL 9000 registrar. Another key step in pursuing TL 9000 certification is to have an initial baseline evaluation performed; we can conduct a pre-assessment and advise your organization where changes are needed to meet the current TL 9000 requirements. Please give us a call or complete our request for service questionnaire if you are in need of assistance with your TL 9000 certification.