Introduction to TL 9000
TL 9000 is a quality management system that is applicable to telecommunications product producers and service providers around the world. It uses ISO 9000 fundamentals as a foundation, but goes further to include sector specific requirements and metrics that can benefit your organization. Today, we have multiple management system standards such as Bellcore, ISO 9000, TS16949, and the SEI Capability Maturity Model (CMM). However, in an attempt to integrate some of the beneficial aspects of those standards and improve product driven requirements, TL 9000 was created.
Why Do We Have a Telecom Quality Management Standard?
The answer is that this quality system standard is focused on reporting data associated to the high Costs of Poor Quality (COPQ) as it relates to Telecom industry products and service, such as their costs, rework, and failures.
What Is the Purpose of TL 9000?
The purpose of TL 9000 is to define the telecommunications quality system requirements for the design, development, manufacturing, delivery, installation, and maintenance of telecommunications products and service. Performance and cost-based metrics are included in TL 9000, and they measure reliability and quality performance of the products and services, as well. TL 9000 Quality System Metrics also include ISO 9000 requirements, hardware, software, and service requirements, responsibilities and the rules for metrics such as the counting, submission, and terminology for use within your organization’s quality management system.
ISO 9001 requirements are used within TL 9000 as the quality management system baseline. TL 9000 also adds in Bellcore and other industry specific requirements commonly known as (“Adders”). The quality measurements that are established and associated with TL 9000 are defined as (“Metrics”). Some of the important differences between the TL 9000 methodology and ISO 9000 approach include:
- Overall, TL 9000 requirements are more product specific,
- Requires a stronger focus on planning with regard to four areas:
- Quality planning
- Project planning
- Configuration management planning
- Product planning
- Incorporates the use of a Product Life Cycle Model.
Areas that are similar to the current version of the ISO 9001:2008 methodology include:
- The use of customer satisfaction,
- Product and process continual improvement,
- Customer communication.
Internally, within your organization some of the common the departments that are often affected by TL 9000 implementation would include Marketing and Sales, Accounting, Engineering, Technical Support, Customer Service, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance and Shipping and Distribution. Externally, the following sources are also included within the TL 9000 framework for your organization:
- Suppliers and subcontractors
- The customer
Metrics and Objectives are still utilized to measure performance at the product and process level. This allows for the proper identification of problems, failure analysis, and improvement tracking. TL 9000 certification is an effective method of improving efficiency and quality, and certification has many benefits for organizations of all sizes. At the ISO 9000 Group, our staff is intimately familiar with the requirements for certification and the preparation steps, and training required to achieve your organization’s certification. The key drivers of the TL 9000 Standard and the benefits that are commonly seen by our organization are important for your organization to understand. We believe TL 9000 is a great way for telecom product producers and service providers to improve their product driven requirements while benchmarking their improvement to peers.