07 March 2022

How ISO 9001:2015 has benefitted MSL Cork, one of Irelands top Mercedes Benz dealerships.

How ISO 9001:2015 has benefitted MSL Cork, one of Irelands top Mercedes Benz dealerships.


MSL Cork is part of the MSL Motor Group which is a family-owned business since 1959. This car dealership, based at Little Island in Cork, provides a full range of Mercedes Benz dealership services including the sale of both new and used cars and a state-of-the-art servicing / repair department. It is a business requirement that all Mercedes Benz dealerships in Ireland must be certified to ISO 9001:2015

Dermot O Hara – General Manager at MSL Cork stated that ‘there have been many benefits resulting from certification to the ISO quality standard’. Some highlights include:

Compliance with Mercedes Benz dealer standards

The ISO quality management system has assisted MSL Cork to comply with all Mercedes Benz dealership requirements by implementing processes and systems that meet the needs of our German parent body.

Quality Management System Operational Processes

The dealership developed and implemented a set of SIPOC or table processes.  These tables define a business process from beginning to end before work begins. Dermot stated that ‘this process approach enabled the organisation to plan the interaction of its processes from one step of a process to another’.

The dealership created three distinct set of processes, namely Sales, Aftersales and Parts. The responsibility for the accuracy and upkeep of the processes was assigned to the management and staff within each department. The staff review and update the processes on a bi-annual basis. All key changes to the processes are reviewed and signed off by top management prior to the process going live. Once approved, the revised or new process are distributed to all relevant staff by way of a toolbox talks. In that way all team members are aware of the live process and are therefore working off the same page.

Issue Management

The dealership implemented a ticket system to record and track all issues within the business. The issue log is used to monitor and resolve internal, supplier and customer issues and to assist in the implementation of a continuous improvement culture within the organisation. The dealership reviews the log on a regular basis to determine what changes may be required to its processes and what details / requirements need to be communicated to the staff and external third parties including customers and suppliers.

Staff, our greatest asset

During the installation phase of the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, the dealership implemented a continuous improvement model within the business. The dealership used the quality system to actively seek the views of our staff regarding the day-to-day operation of the business and what actions may be taken to improve and streamline the performance of the organisation. One method was to take account of the needs and concerns of all employees by asking them to complete a questionnaire regarding what issues need to be resolved or what improvements can be made within the dealership. The idea here was not to find fault with people but rather to identify issues and resolve them in an equitable fashion. Dermot stated that this feedback loop has in part helped to identify and change those parts of the dealerships processes that needed improvement.

Managing business risk and achieving the dealerships business objectives.

The organization’s top management needed to implement a risk-based thinking model when determining the actions required to address risks and opportunities within the organisation.

The dealership now completes annual organizational context reviews, whereby senior managers review all threats and opportunities that are relevant to the dealerships strategic direction and that affect its ability to achieve the intended results contained in the business plan.

The outcome was that:

  • Top risks (threats & opportunities) were identified by the top management.
  • Strategies were considered and implemented that allow the dealership to mitigate the threats and maximise the opportunities.
  • All risks are recorded in our log. This log contains the outputs of the Organizational Context Review and all other risks identified through other QMS processes. All risks are prioritised and have response strategies intended to:
  • Ensure that the QMS can achieve its intended results.
  • Enhance desirable effects.
  • Prevent, or reduce, undesired effects.
  • Achieve improvement.

A set of business objectives were then developed to mitigate the risks and maximise the opportunities available to the dealership. The objectives are regularly reviewed, updated and amended depending on the requirements of the dealership.


Dermot highlighted the following key benefits of the ISO quality certification programme:

  • Improving customer satisfaction by making sure the dealership consistently meets their needs and expectations. These actions can lead to repeat business, new clients and increased profits.
  • Setting bench marking targets to improve competitiveness.
  • Identifying and managing the key risks and opportunities within the dealership.
  • Creating a set of objectives to mitigate the risks and maximize the business opportunities.
  • Ensuring that our employees understand activities as processes that link together and function as a system thereby achieving more consistent and predictable results.
  • Continuously evaluating the performance and effectiveness of the QMS via it’s process monitoring mechanisms including Issue, Risk and Objective log reviews.

Get in contact

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits an ISO 9001 quality management system can bring to your business, why not contact us for a fee consultation.

Paul McDonell