Why go for ISO9000 certification?

"Unless the small-scale industries strictly adhere to global-level quality norms at the earliest, their days are numbered in Kerala", says Mr KM Nair, General Manager, SIDBI (Passline, March 15-31, 2000).

Taking ISO 9000 certification is the first step towards attaining world class quality standards. Following ISO 9000 guidelines helps systemize the processes in the organization enabling it achieve consistent results. The main benefits of certification are briefly described as follows:

  1. Marketing benefits:
    1. If you are an exporter or are planning to export, ISO 9000 is a must. The customer gets confidence that certain minimum standards are being met and will continue to be maintained.
    2. If you are supplying to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), ISO 9000 certification is highly desirable as most OEMs are now insisting that their suppliers should be certified. Once you are certified, you can also think of export orders.
    3. In the open market, ISO 9000 certification will enable you position your product at a higher level in the minds of your customers, in comparison to that of your uncertified competitors. The first certified organization in a particular market segment will undoubtedly secure a considerable marketing advantage. Thereafter, the competitors will also have to get certified to meet customer expectations. Once certified, there is also the possibility of obtaining orders from OEMs or from abroad.
    4. Multiple evaluations by customers, prior to obtaining orders, may be reduced by third party certification. Conflicting requirements of different customers may be avoided by using the prestige and international acceptance of the standard.
  2. Customer satisfaction: The ISO 9000 quality system focuses on meeting customer requirements starting with contract review. This leads to better customer satisfaction, repeat orders and market growth.
  3. Cost savings: The emphasis of ISO 9000 is on quality planning and defect prevention. Thus unnecessary wastage is avoided, leading to savings in cost.
  4. Employee satisfaction: Clear identification of responsibilities and authorities will enable the employees work happily without conflicting directions. Work instructions will help in simplification of work and in training new personnel. Even if a person is absent, work can proceed in the same fashion by following the procedures. All this leads to better employee morale and satisfaction. Moreover, employees will be more interested to serve in a certified organisation.
  5. Liability reduction: Having necessary records will be of assistance in case of any product liability litigation.
  6. Subcontractor benefits: The consistent systems of purchasing and receiving inspection will help develop a better relationship with the subcontractor.
  7. Benefits to owners: Owners and investors will benefit by increased return on investment, improved operational results, increased market share and increased profits.
  8. Benefits to society: Society will benefit by the fulfilment of legal and regulatory requirements and benefits to all stake-holders.

Well, "You do not have to do this; survival is not compulsory!", said W Edwards Deming.