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Maria Achilleoudes

Independent, Operational Excellence Consultant and Trainer, Cyprus

Maria Achilleoudes has a “Master of Science” (Honors) from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science and a “Bachelor of Science” (Honors) from Queens College of the City University of New York.

She is a management consultant and trainer specializing in the services sector. She has carried out operational improvement studies which resulted in substantial efficiency improvements, cost reductions, reduction of operational risk, improvements to the service and product quality and employee morale. She has implemented lean, effective and efficient ISO9001 and ISO13485 QMS’s. She has developed the operational infrastructure and post-merger integration for a number of companies and she is a BSI Lead Assessor for ISO9001 QMS.

She designed and modeled for the Government of Cyprus the business processes for the operation of Electricity Market in Cyprus.

As a trainer she offers open and in-house seminars and workshops in the areas of her expertise.

Prior to this, she worked as an internal consultant, project manager and manager of Quality and Productivity for financial institutions for 12 years. The projects she has implemented, resulted in major cost reductions and significant improvements in the customer service quality, productivity, resources utilization and staff satisfaction.

For four years she worked for IBM USA, New York, in the Quality and Marketing divisions where quality is a day-to-day practice.

She is a Certified Management Consultant, senior member of the Institute of Management Consultants (UK based), Certified Lead Auditor by IRCA, senior member of the American Society for Quality, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and certified consultant and trainer by the Human Resources Development Authority of Cyprus according to European standards. Her broad, rich technical knowledge and experience, her hands-on project management and personnel management, enable her to be most effective and efficient in her work thus maximizing her customers’ benefit.


Is ISO 9001 QMS a Useful Tool or a Bureaucratic Burden?

The rationale behind implementing the ISO 9000 QMS is that the organization will acquire a tool that will assist it in keeping its customers happy with the products and services it offers to them. This is achieved by identifying its customers’ needs and expectations and implementing the appropriate processes and controls in order to satisfy them. At the same time, since their needs and expectations continually evolve, the organization needs to have in place continual improvement mechanism in order to implement appropriate changes such that it will maintain its customers happy.

This proposal begins by summarizing the concepts/ principles which form the basis of the ISO 9001 development and implementation and proceeds to compare this approach versus the one adopted by some organizations. The latter approach results in the QMS being a bureaucratic burden instead of a useful, valuable improvement tool, creating a stressful situation of crisis management for everyone in the organization.

The proposal goes on to propose a methodology for QMS development and implementation, outlining the necessary management practices to be implemented, which are based on the based on the quality principles incorporated in the standard.

At the same time, through my experience, I have identified necessary steps/ approach that will enhance the QMS development and implementation creating a solid foundation for the system. To my experience, this approach sets the basis for the creation of a powerful improvement tool.


Government Organizations


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(*) based on previous conference attendance

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