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The effect of ISO 9001 implementation on the customer satisfaction of the engineering design services

Laith Hadidi (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Sadi Assaf (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Khalaf Aluwfi (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Hassan Akrawi (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

ISO 9001 is an international specification that provides certification for quality management systems (QMSs) after careful external auditing. However, certified companies rarely evaluate their quality systems after being certified. The certificate needs to be renewed periodically where companies are encouraged to evaluate their gained benefits and improve their QMS’s deficient areas. The purpose of this paper is to provide a method of evaluation based on the level of customers’ satisfaction over five metrics (reliability, assurance, tangible, empathy, and responsiveness).

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology enables to benchmark the current level of satisfaction with prior levels of satisfaction before the ISO 9001 certification. The methodology is applied for the QMS pertinent to the design services (DS) for a large public company in Saudi Arabia. Three case studies were undertaken on the DS for large-scale construction projects.

Findings

The results were compared between year 2008 (total of 77 projects) and year 2011 (total of 39 projects). The results show that the ISO 9001 certificate may not always demonstrate an evidence of improving customers’ satisfaction levels and, hence, a gap analysis should be implemented to define possible areas of improvement.

Research limitations/implications

This work is limited to the construction industry. In specific, it addresses only the customer satisfaction related to the design management services. However, Saudi Arabia is known to host many large scale organizations that are heavily involved in international business trade. Hence, the authors believe that the Saudi industry can leverage their practices up to the international standards and similarly the international practices can accommodate some of the best practices in Saudi Arabia.

Originality/value

It is a general perception in the industry that ISO 9000 implementation will mean good quality products. This work provides the argument that the ISO 9000 implementation should be tested on a regular basis to validate this perception. It shows that in some cases the ISO 9000 did not improve the customers’ satisfaction and, hence, the need arises for gap analysis to modify the QMS.

Keywords

Citation

Hadidi, L., Assaf, S., Aluwfi, K. and Akrawi, H. (2017), "The effect of ISO 9001 implementation on the customer satisfaction of the engineering design services", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 176-190. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-01-2017-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited