Selling Your Certification: A Case Study In Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Actions

Last week our blog post was about the importance of educating prospective customers about the benefits of TL 9000.  We discussed several, including how TL 9000 helps reduce supply chain risk and cost.  My reasoning was that when you meet a new prospect they don’t automatically know about TL 9000 or its inherent benefits.  Beginning your discussion with “you should use our company because we are TL 9000”–doesn’t resonate.  Instead, explaining why you will make your prospect’s life easier by reducing their supply chain risk and cost–is a much more effective sales strategy.  Point out the benefits first—then talk about how TL 9000 helped you achieve them.

Here’s a case study that speaks to this very subject:

A colleague of mine was explaining to me that their firm recently had an issue with a service activity and had cleaned it up effectively using customer satisfaction and corrective action techniques learned and applied as a result of TL 9000.  This firm’s quality is actually excellent, but in the case of this one stumble, the customer was able to compare how they handled the issue versus how competitors would have done it.  The difference was apparently night and day, because the contact paid management a special compliment stating that they had planned to put them on a stop work notice until the company demonstrated that they had taken action.

“Show us your root cause analysis”—sound familiar?   Instead, the company preempted the customer’s request for action with a prepared corrective action that included a detailed root cause analysis and corrective action plan to prevent future issues.   The customer saw right away that the incident had been thoroughly and effectively analyzed with appropriate actions in place to correct the initial problem and a corrective action plan going forward.  Most of us know that despite our best efforts things can sometimes go bump in the night and that a proper response can be a real differentiator.  Now–here’s the best part.  My colleague was able to say with all sincerity “it was TL 9000 that helped us realize we needed to be proactive and to put a system in place where we address problems before they are out of hand.” The customer apparently agreed, because the stop work order was never carried out.

This is an example of how to build trust and gain positive publicity for TL 9000 and your company.  Again, this true story demonstrates the need to make your case as a quality supplier (and why) and to wrap it up in the package of TL 9000.  You wouldn’t have the ability to take these steps without TL 9000 certification.   Now that’s an example of “selling your certification”. Next week, we conclude the series with some tips on “marketing” your certification.  For more information contact