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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

ISO 9000 Certification

By now, almost everyone has heard of ISO-9000 , if they’re in the business of manufacturing. Not that ISO is relegated to just manufacturing enterprises , it isn’t. It’s a profit-maker no matter what business one may be in.

But it seems that manufacturers have been among the first to accept it’s scope and potential.

Let me take a moment to explain. ISO-9000 is the series of international standards that assists businesses to operate predictably, and usually to higher profit margins than would otherwise be obtainable. They focus on “feet in the floor” operations and achieving product, and service, flow-through to previously unimaginable levels.

They do not apply to a specific product or service, but instead provide operational models for companies and organizations that design, produce, test or service for a profit.

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As a practical matter, ISO-9000 could be likened to a “collection” of good business practices , things that your company should probably be doing anyway.

It provides a path for companies, large and small, to systematically review their operations as they really are , not necessarily as the company’s management believes them to be.

& #711; Almost An

Automatic Byproduct

Once the operational specifics are identified, and resolved (or not, as prudence dictates) the profit begins to improve substantially because both the quality and efficiency levels are improving , and it’s almost an automatic byproduct of the overall ISO process. This is a good thing!

All of the above accrues to those who pursue ISO Registration/Certification. These two terms are used interchangeably by most people and the technical differences are really insignificant from our purposes here. In deciding whether or not to become “certified” it is important to ask yourself a few questions:

& #711; Will your company benefit internally, and in the marketplace, by ISO certification?

& #711; Will it help you compete in your current market efforts and in the expanding global market that we not live in?

& #711; Do your most important customers expect you to be certified for their continued patronage? Or are they already hinting strongly?

The process for attaining certification is demanding, but reasonable and doable. The level of functioning of your company’s internal systems determines how much work will have to be accomplished to achieve certification and the desired end result ,greater profit.

How long does it take? Anywhere from six months to 18 months, or longer. Most companies fall into the 12-month to 18-month category. While at times the process may seem rigorous, it produces the desired benefits almost at once, and continues to do so as long as the program is being worked.

Simply put companies that apply ISO-9000 principles to work for them through the formal implementation of the certification process will invariably realize measurable cost and time savings, as well as getting a competitive edge in the marketplace.

In this way, ISO-9000 is an indispensable tool that helps companies achieve increased cost control and product, and process improvement.

Antick, Ph.D is a senior business specialist for the San Diego Manufacturing Extension Center, a private, not-for-profit company affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the State of California’s Trade and Commerce Agency.


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