Adopt the Status Quo
ISO 9000 is rapidly becoming an industry standard but is it for you?
By Demian Faunt
Brand X Labeling company recently received a phone call from a distributor threatening that ei-ther Brand X become ISO 9000 compliant or the distributor will take its business elsewhere. This scenario is becoming increasingly familiar as more and more companies are adopting what has become the benchmark in quality systems, the ISO 9000 quality management system.
Many companies become ISO certified to control the quality of products and services. Some need ISO 9000 compliance to become more competitive. Some companies have to obey a regulatory body that requires certification and some companys' customers simply expect it and won't do business otherwise.
But what can be gained by becoming ISO 9000 compliant?
"It insures consistency in manufacturing and a certain level of quality in a product. Many distributors won't even do business with a company unless they are ISO certified," said Dick Dennis, vice president of sales for Latitudes, a Moore company based in Iowa City, Iowa.
When implementing the ISO 9000 system standards within a company, all major processes that are currently employed within a system are fully documented and analyzed to ensure effectiveness in producing a quality product. The system attempts to create synergy and standardization within the company so that from dockworker to CEO, everyone is working to-ward the same goals.
"Workers take more pride in their work when they know that they are ISO cer-tified," said Dennis. "They know that they are putting out a quality product."
"It's definitely worth it," said Doug Ward, quality assurance coordinator, FP Horak, Bay City, Mich. He warned, however, that "if a company is looking to get certified, they should contact a consultant so they don't miss anything."
Each company custom designs its own program to meet ISO regulations, de-pending on its inadequacies. However, there are 11 general working requirements to being certified: leadership, product design, purchasing, contract review, production, inventory management, inspection and testing, non-conformance management and measurement and service.