Quality Management Principle 8

The Introduction section of ISO 9001:2008, Quality management systems – Requirements, notes that the standard was developed based on the eight Quality Management Principles listed below. These principles can be used by top management as a framework to guide their organizations towards improved performance.

1. Customer focus
2. Leadership
3. Involvement of people
4. Process approach
5. System approach to management
6. Continual improvement
7. Factual approach to decision making
8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

The eight principles are briefly defined in ISO 9000:2005, Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary, and more fully described in Annex B of ISO 9004:2009, Managing for the sustained success of an organization – A quality management approach.

Principle 8: Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.


Use of this supplier relationship principle provides an increased ability to create value for both parties. It allows flexibility and speed of joint responses to changing market or customer needs and expectations. And, it can optimize costs and resources.


Applying the principle of mutually beneficial supplier relationships typically leads to:

  • Establishing relationships that balance short-term gains with long-term considerations
  • Pooling of expertise and resources with partners
  • Identifying and selecting key suppliers
  • Clear and open communication
  • Sharing information and future plans
  • Establishing joint development and improvement activities
  • Inspiring, encouraging, and recognizing improvements and achievements by suppliers.

Three other articles in this June 2013 newsletter address principles 5, 6, and 7. The first four quality management principles were described in the May 2013 newsletter.