Introduction

.. rrect and prevent non conformances. Corrective or preventive actions will be appropriate to the risks (Stimson 37).” Formal process should be formed to correct or prevent the problem. Element 4.15: Handling, Storage, Packing, Preservation, and Delivery “A documented system to control post productive activities from acceptance by testing through delivery of product (Stimson 305).” This goes straight to the final customer and must concentrate on customer satisfaction. The key is delivery (Stimson 313).

Element 4.16: Control of Quality Records “Documented procedures are required for the identification and disposition of quality records. Quality records are required to demonstrate conformance to the specifications and effectiveness of the quality system (Stimson 195).” Element 4.17: Internal Quality Audits “A program of regular and periodic internal quality audits are required to determining the effectiveness of the quality system (Stimson 202).” IQA(internal quality audit) represents the customer self evaluation and improvement. Audits will be based on documentations affecting quality(Stimson 207). Element 4.18: Training “A training program is required to identify training needs, resources, schedule and records for all persons whose work affects quality. Personnel will be assigned tasks that are appropriate to their level of training and experience (Stimson 150).” Management needs to be specific in what training an employee needs for a certain position, then they must provide the training and assign tasks. All employee training should be kept on record (Stimson 152).

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Element 4.19: Servicing “The performance of service activities are specified in the contract. Procedures will verify that the service meets specifications (Stimson 326).” Equipment and personnel must be controlled and products procedures and methods should be carried out correctly (iso online). Element 4.20: Statistical Techniques “The company is required to identify statistical techniques needed to verify adherence to product specifications and system capability (Stimson 235).” Characteristics must be identified and then type of metrics is selected. Chart results of data collection and methods, which must be based on procedures and techniques (Stimson 239). Registration and Cost To become registered a business must prove that it has good management qualities and organizational skills. Businesses usually book for a registrar six months ahead and the audit can take up to twenty four months depending on the size of the business (Henkoff 2). A smaller business will take longer because their are fewer people to help during the registration and audit (Metcalfe 1).

However, educating and training employees would take less time due to the small number of employees to educate (Barrier 5). A good quality management will make the certification process easier. The business must follow the ISO 9000 steps and document everything. They will be then audited by an outside business person. The company must prove that it can handle its own inspections, updating engineering drawings, maintaining the machinery and equipment, training workers and dealing with customer complaints (Henkoff 3).

They dont have to prove that production is faster and customers are satisfied. The audit is mainly based on the documentation (Barrier 4) of the data taken and quizzing managers and factory workers (Henkoff 3). The auditor will then verify if the company is up to what it promises to do and is moving towards its goals. they then issue a certificate if the company passes (USAToday 1). The auditor will return every six months to make sure everything is still up to its standards and if not the company will lose its ISO 9000 certificate (Metcalfe 1). It is best if a company performs internal audits to assure that everything is up to regulation. The Certificate must also be renewed annually (Barrier 6) after an audit goes fine.

An ISO certification requires business owners to make large capital investments (Metcalfe 3) and has cost up to $200,000 (Henkoff 2). The cost of certification has run into a problem with small businesses and has put up a barrier between them and a competitive edge. However, small business are now able to negotiate prices now that ISO 9000 is more popular (Barrier 2). And even more good news, the IRS is allowing companies to deduct the cost of ISO 9000 certification (Bloomberg 1). States are also awarding grants to manufacturing companies to help pay for certification.

$400,000 was given to six Long Island manufacturers by the states economic development agency, for example (Martorana 1). So, cost will probably go down in the future once ISO 9000 gets more popular and whatever it does cost it will be tax deductible. This will give more businesses to get the chance to become ISO 9000 certified and form a more competitive business arena. A Competitive Weapon Customers have such a broad list of choices that today the competitive field almost forces a company to be ISO 9000 certified. The certification helps businesss compete, plan, audit and award (Henkoff 2) which means companies who dont have it should get it. It is only implying that with out it their operating system is incoherent by the workers and their quality system is poor.

Foreign consumers now demand ISO 9000 because they will know what they are going to get when purchasing with that company (Metcalfe 2). ISO 9000 certification is very important to the manufacturer because it saves money by reducing need for outside quality audits and incoming products inspections (Barrier 1). Being ISO 9000 certified is very important to the customer, because he/she knows that the business has quality management procedures and knows what quality is in the product because it has the same standard through out the world. This opens new global doors to companies which they would never get without ISO 9000. Now, ISO 9000 is more recognized than when it first came out, but only by some customers and only some companies have it. Two thirds of executives at midsize manufacturing dont know what ISO 9000 is, they think it is a legal requirement for doing business (Henkoff 2).

The businesss who do have it usually get chosen by the customers. During the year 2000 it will be impossible to compete with out it because it will be a very recognized and a very popular quality system (Metcalfe 2). ISO 9000: Real Business Stories ISO has produced and developed standard systems for screw threads to credit and telephone cards to the “this way up” sign on boxes to the ISBN number in every book (iso online). Thousands of companies all over the world are ISO 9000 certified. Here are some real life businesses that are certified and stories on how they have used ISO 9000 as a competitive weapon. Caterpillar Engines in Mosville, Illinois had customer complaints about their engines not performing properly.

ISO 9000 gave the manufacturers a systematic way to order a design change, make sure they used only the latest documents and made engines more efficiently. Their production time went down and their customer satisfaction went up (Henkoff 3). The Rockwell Internationals Allen-Bradley plant in Twinsburg, Ohio make circuit boards and other electronics. Their problem was that they were extremely unorganized. Tons of documentation and memos were posted up on a memo board, most workers didnt get them until months later. Their management quality was poor, so they got ISO 9000 certified.

After getting certified within one year their productivity improved 21%, time dropped 18% and product defects went down 32% (Henkoff 4). Excalibur USA became ISO 9000 certified and more than $10 million was saved in operating expenses in a year. They gained 30% more business. Production increased, costs went down and customer satisfaction went up (Metcalfe 2). ESPITI, a European software industry wanted to become more competitive so they got ISO 9000 certified. Being certified was essential to them because they knew it ensured quality and productivity and it is very good for software producers (Europe 1). Uganda textile companies in Africa were getting hit by the worst cheap imports of fabric and their sales were bad.

Once ISO 9000 certified they had new standards and fabric imported to them was good. It will lower production cost and improve sales. Uganda is so satisfied with the improvement that fifty more companies will have certification by the end of the year (Africa 1). In Batam, Indonesia twelve companies were ISO 9000 certified. The companies were chosen because they wanted to have a competitive edge in a huge global market demand and wanted to attain a good quality working system (Asia Pulse 1). Cloister Spring Water Company in Lancaster, PA expanded by opening up three new plants.

However, they were afraid that water would be bottled and delivered differently at each plant. ISO 9000 certification solved that problem and in three years sales soared 250% more than they expected (USAToday 1). ISO 9000 is a competitive weapon all over the world and is becoming more and more popular. In the October 1998 issue of “Quality Progress”, a survey of 1240 US companies showed that of the certified companies (iso online): 90% – thought it is a value-added quality system 87% – thought that it was necessary to remain competitive 78% – thought that it definitely improved quality within a company 73% – thought it will save money in the long run 99% – said that it cannot be implemented without management commitment. Over 20,000 companies in the US are certified today. This shows that businesses believe in a strong quality system, management quality, improvement, profit and competitiveness.

All these business essential make up ISO 9000. Bibliography Bibliogrphy Stimson, William A. Beyond ISO 9000: How to Sustain Quality in a Dynamic World. New York: Amacom, 1998. Barrier, Micheal, Amy Zuckerman. “Quality Standards the World Agrees on: Small Businesses Can Meet ISO 9000 Standard.” Nations Business 01 May 1994: 71-73.

Martorana, Jamie. “Newsbreak: 6 LI Manufacturers Granted Funds.” Newsday 29 November 1999: 1. Raman, Prasanna. “An Insight into ISO 9000 for Small Businesses.” New Straits Times 24 February 1998. Metcalfe, Coll. “Ventura County Business; The Business Beat: Firms Find ISO 9000 Certification Means Business.” Los Angeles Times 02 March 1999: B1. Henkoff, Ronald. “Managing: The Hot New Seal of Quality.” Fortune 28 June 1993: 116.

“Surveyor Indonesia to Grant 12 ISO 9000/14000 Certificates.” Asia Pulse 03 February 1998. “ISO 9000 Helps Firms Achieve Consistency.” USA Today 27 May 1998: 02B. “Software Industry: ISO 9000 Key to Improving Europes Software Performance.” European Report 01 May 1996. “ISO Raises Manufacturers Hopes.” Africa News Service 05 January 2000. “IRS Lets Manufacturers Deduct Quality Certification Expenses.” Bloomberg L.P. 06 January 2000.

“ISO 9000.” Computer Desktop Encyclopedia 01 January 1998. International Organization for Standardization Homepage. 27 February 2000.