TL 9000 News: Insights From The QF Americas Best Practices Conference

BIZPHYX executives recently returned from the 2011 QuEST Forum Americas Best Practices Conference held in Seattle. The conference entitled “Integrated Communications: The Next Quality Paradigm” proved to be an illuminating meeting with an unexpected thread weaving its way through the presentations—stories of incredible revenue growth, as a result of TL 9000 certification.

Tim Harden, President of Supply Chain and Fleet Operations for AT&T opened the conference as the 2011 QuEST Forum Executive Board Chair and spoke on “Network Evolutions and The Mandate For Quality”.  Tim Harden is responsible for all related global functions, including strategic sourcing, purchasing, supplier quality and supplier diversity programs, supply chain logistics and distribution, and fleet management for AT&T Services.  These responsibilities cover all aspects of AT&T’s business, including wireless, IP-based communications, high speed Internet access, local and long distance voice, directory publishing, marketing and advertising services.

Both Tim’s keynote and the work group sessions addressed the mandate for quality, as the telecommunications industry continues to rapidly deploy new technologies, with increased pressures on speed to market (cloud computing, etc.).  TL 9000, the telecommunications quality standard continues to meet the expectations of the industry, not only from the quality perspective, but also in terms of the incredible value it is bringing to the suppliers and service providers that certify to the standard.

As suppliers related their stories and best practices, a secondary message emerged from the conference, a story of the sizable revenue growth shared by many of the diverse suppliers who have certified to the standard.  In some cases, we learned of companies that within the last 2-5 years have experienced 150% revenue increases, most of which they attributed to TL 9000 certification.  Because TL 9000 prepares a certified company to better scale business processes to handle an increase in demand (whether organically or by competitor acquisition), it fortifies expansion.  Certification helps an organization handle rapid growth without collapsing from the inside or decreasing customer service quality.  We hope to publish a case study in the very near future, chronicling some the accounts presented at the conference.

These success stories seemed to reinforce what Tim Harden affirmed in his keynote, that AT&T must address demand, innovation, coordination, collaboration and integration with their suppliers.  Since AT&T expects that their suppliers address niche solutions and be able to answer concerns such as speed to market, time to delivery, reliability and common measures of performance, it is no wonder the company drives TL 9000 through their supply chain.  TL 9000 addresses all of these critical elements of supplier quality.

Are your processes strong enough to support a 10-fold increase in demand?  That was a question posed to the attendees of the conference.

Perhaps your answer to that question is defined by investing in TL 9000 certification.  If you’re already certified, your answer may be framed by how you leverage your certification to meet the demands of service providers like AT&T and position your business to increase revenues as a result.

TL 9000 adoption is now global and BIZPHYX is participating in the expansion by helping to bring TL 9000 education to ASIA.  We will share with our readers what comes out of the APAC Best Practices Conference in Beijing, China in November. BIZPHYX President, Sue Clancy and BIZPHYX Senior Vice President, Bob Clancy will be delivering TL 9000 education to APAC businesses, eager to learn about TL 9000, telecommunications quality and quality managements standards.  Keynote and executive speakers from IBM, AT&T, Ericsson, China Telecom-Shanghai, Huawei, ZTE and Fujitsu will also be present.

Tune in next week as we release a new educational podcast on “TL 9000 Measurements For “v” Service Organizations” and address some new trends in supplier quality and supply management.  Please feel free to contact info@bizphyx.com with any questions or assistance with TL 9000, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.