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ISO 9000: marketing motivations and benefits

By Francis Buttle
This paper focuses on companies having been motivated to get a certification because of
the marketing considerations and benefits. Most companies turn out to put the marketing
consideration second on the list of reasons for seeking ISO 9000 certification. Unfortunately
parts of the marketing benefits are profitability and process improvement. The paper aims to
answer the question, Does ISO 9000 work, and if so with what benefits and costs?. As an
experiment, the researchers studied and observed several companies in UK varying in kinds of
industries such as primary industry, manufacturing, construction and service sector.

Francis Buttle looked into the 1991 investigation of Rayner and Porter. He found out that
out of 20 small and medium enterprises, 70 % stated the marketing benefits for instance, new
market entries, customer loyalty and acquisition, and increasing customer satisfaction, are the
positive outcomes of having an ISO 9000 certification. Sir Buttle also cited Mann and Kehoe,
they found that there is a greater impact on the performance specifically in quality and process.
Included in his literature review is the investigation of Straw on metal finishing industry. He read
there that most customers reject the pre-certification level of performance of companies.
Customers seek the international standard of quality management that the ISO 9000 offers. The
researcher is limited to do a study in his on area, UK, but refers to related research papers on this

The research design is not new. He generated questionnaire basing from the literature
review he made. He narrowed down the concerns he wants to address regarding the certification
of ISO 9000 and market benefits. Mostly the questions were about perception and objective of
certification, costs and benefits anticipated by the companies, and the actual cost experience.
There were three parts of questionnaires. The first part provided a list of reasons for seeking
certification. The second provided a list of benefits of ISO 9000 certification. And lastly, the
third part was a question of whether the company is satisfied with the impact of ISO 9000 on its
overall improvement. The companies were randomly selected from the 1995 quality assurance
register of the Department of Trade and Industry in UK. All the companies were ISO 9000

In the results and finding the data from the questionnaires were divided into three for
analysis. For the first and second part of the questionnaire, the lists were ranked from highest to
lowest selections until they had grouped and concluded which more likely are the reasons and
benefits. For the last part, looked at the frequency and percentage of who companies who were
satisfied. All of these were statistically analyzed. As a result most companies chose the reasons
Anticipated demand from the future customers for ISO 9000, Increase consistency of
operations and Improve service quality. Most of the companies also chose the benefits
improved efficiency, staff motivation and reduced need for quality audits by customer. To
conclude companies seeks ISO 9000 certification to improve operational and marketing sections
of its quality management system. The benefit with most impact is the profit increase. The
market benefits found on the research were increasing and retaining customers, increasing
market shares, and improving customer satisfaction.

Almost all the other literature we have read focused on the ISO 9000 being a tool for
Quality management system but this is different. I dont fully agree that there are more benefits
regarding marketing than quality system but this research paper justify that the cost for seeking
ISO certification is worth it. Since there is a profit improvement and marketing benefits present
in the outcomes of implementing the standards the expenses used to achieve the certification will
be returned in a short amount of time. This research is useful in a sense that it give a different
outlook from all the other related literature Ive read. And the objectives of the research are quite
similar from the research that our group is doing.
F. Buttle (1997). ISO 9000: marketing motivations and benefits. International Journal of Quality
& Reliability Management, 14 (9), 936-947.