When expanding overseas or those companies who wish to work with other multi-national companies, the first business challenge is the ability to produce and sustain high quality products and services. Without such good quality, the companies expanding overseas will not be able to compete with others.
Therefore one of the usual Business Strategy of management is to first achieve the company’s ISO quality certification.(see article on steps to ISO certification)
This article seeks to explain some basic questions normally ask about ISO:-
- What is ISO 9000 and its family and
- Types of Organization applying ISO 9000 and
WHAT DOES ISO REPRESENTS?
- ISO is the International Organization for Standardization;
- It is located in Switzerland and was established in 1947;
- ISO’s purpose is to facilitate international trade by providing a single set of standards that people everywhere can recognize and respect;
- Its members come from over 120 national standard bodies;
- ISO first published its quality standards in 1987, revised them in 1994 and then republished an updated version in 2000. These new standards are referred to as the “ ISO 9000 2000 Standards”
ISO 9000 AND ITS FAMILY
- The term ISO 9000 refers to a set of quality management standards.
- ISO 9000 currently includes three quality standards namely:
ISO 9001:2000 and
- ISO 9001:2000 contains requirements, while ISO 9000:2000 and ISO 9004: 2000 are guidelines. All of these are process standards and are not product standards.
[ Click here to go to another article on IS0 9000 Family Publications ]
TYPES OF ORGANIZATION USING ISO 9000
The ISO 9000 2000 Standards apply to all kinds of organizations in all kinds of areas:
- Manufacturing, processing, servicing, electronics, steel, computing, legal services, financial services, accounting, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, publishing, shipping, energy, telecommunications, aviation, software development, tourism, biotechnology, chemicals, engineering, farming, enterainment, consulting, insurance, direct selling, trading and many other types of businesses;
- The organization can be whatever size or whatever type of business;
- It assists both product and service oriented organizations to achieve standards of quality that recognized and respected worldwide and
- Thousands of companies all over the world have already adopted it and many more are in the process of doing so.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING ISO 9000?
Let’s look at some of the benefits derived from ISO 9000:
- It is being recognized internationally;
- It provides a competitive edge in that ISO 9000 certification provides added assurance to potential customers as to the seriousness and effectiveness of an organization’s structure, as well as its ability to deliver consistent quality over time;
- It can be means for a company to enhance its reputation in the markets or for young start-up company to demonstrate its credentials of quality control, effective management structures and professionalism;
- It increases assurance of safety and reliability;
- It reduces downtime and increased availability;
- It provide focus/awareness on the key areas within the company;
- It assists in improving the quality and reliability of work undertaken by the company’s subcontractors and suppliers;
- Its reduces exposure of the organization to liability suits;
- It is closely related to audit and internal control as it assist in the implementation of rigorous structures and procedures;
- Its provides consistency of operation and the establishment of a framework for improvement;
- It provides an effective systems for improvement of performance in terms of scrap rework, complaints and others;
- It reduces multiple assessment performed by customers.