TL 9000 is an ISO 9001 based standard specific intended for use in the telecommunications
sector. It incorporates the requirements of ISO 9001 with one additional element,4.21
Customer Satisfaction & Continuous Improvement and 83 "adders" comprising various
industry requirements in hardware, software and services. TL 9000 defines the quality
system requirements for the design, development, production, delivery, installation
and maintenance of telecommunication products and services. It serves telecommunication
service providers, their suppliers and subscribers in many ways. All registered
companies should submit specific metrics on a quarterly basis to a repository managed
by the University of Texas, Dallas. The metrics will be used to benchmark against
the ' best in practice' in industry. Certification to this standard would improve
the quality of service, enhance customer/supplier relationship, facilitate overall
cost reduction, increase competitiveness, create a platform for improvement initiatives
and standardize the quality system requirements, worldwide.
How does TL 9000 benefit you?
- Enhances customer/supplier relationships
- Continuous improvement in service to suppliers
- Effective management and improvement of supplier's functions
- Competitive positioning of conformed suppliers.
- Improves the performance of subcontractors.
- Harmonization of quality system requirements.
- Overall cost reduction and increased competitiveness.
- Cost and performance based metrics measuring the quality & reliability of products
- Organized and effective management of external audits and site visits
Origin and Development of TL 9000
TL 9000 was developed by the QuEST (Quality Excellence for Suppliers of Telecommunications)
Forum in1999, a unique partnership of telecommunications suppliers and service providers,
established to foster continued improvements in the quality and reliability of telecommunications
service. Presently, it has more than 150 members (telecommunications companies &
service providers), who have developed and are actively involved in promoting this
telecommunications specific standard. The Forum utilizes a pilot program approach
which necessitates companies to partner with their registrars for training and eventually,
the entire registration process. QuEST has always been committed to establishing
a common set of quality system requirements for the telecommunications industry,
including reportable cost and performance based metrics. All these norms can ensure
that the efficiency of telecommunication products and services is always maintained.
The standard was published in two volumes-TL 9000 Quality System Requirements and
TL 9000 Quality System Metrics. It is intended for service providers and suppliers
(both software & hardware manufacturers) in the telecommunications business. Though,
till date TL 9000 had been mostly perceived as an American standard, the attitude
is fast changing and more and more companies worldwide are demanding their suppliers
to be registered to the standard.
It is not necessary for a company to be a member of the QuEST Forum in order to
become TL 9000 registered. However, as a full-time member of the Forum, you will
have voting rights and can be a part of the development team that creates and reviews
TL 9000.You will also have special viewing privileges of the Telecom Industry Metrics
Trend Reports(TIMTR). Conformance to TL 9000 will be determined by a third-party
registration audit from an accredited TL 9000 registrar. The third party registrar
can register companies to the following three schemes or combinations-TL 9000 Hardware,
Software and Services. As mutually decided by both the parties (company & registrar),
the registration may cover the entire organization, a single unit or product line.
The number of days of audit are specified by the QuEST Forum with appropriate reductions
for companies that are currently registered to ISO 9001 or other standards. Companies
wanting to register for TL 9000 certification process can complete an online TL
9000 registration ID application. This is available at the QuEST Forum web-site