ISO 9000 on the Road to Total Quality
Merrill, Peter, CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine
Meeting ISO 9000 requirements doesn't mean your organization has completed a total quality management process.
But preparing your company for ISO 9000 is a good start on the road to total quality. Even companies that are further down the quality route will find ISO 9000 to be a useful tune-up for their business processes.
For many companies starting on the journey to ISO 9000 registration, a common question is: "Does this mean we are finished with total quality?" In fact, ISO 9000 is only one component in the complex equation of total quality: think of it as "partial" quality. For companies that have not yet started to build their house of quality, ISO 9000 provides an excellent foundation stone. For companies already well along the way to quality improvement, it lends rigor and discipline and forces the business process analysis that many companies overlook.
The driving force in ISO 9000 is the customer. Customers want assurance that their suppliers will do as they promise. Third- party certification under ISO 9000 indicates that a supplier's processes are well-linked and under control to deliver consistent quality. The customer can place orders and choose suppliers with confidence that their business processes are definable, repeatable and predictable. But ISO 9000 is only partial, and not total, quality. In implementing a total quality improvement process, organizations must balance "people" improvement and "process" improvement.
At the beginning of the 1990s, with the West stuck in the worst recession since that of the 1930s, quality got dumped. But even during the '80s, most people had been practising only "partial" quality anyway. Some companies that had addressed only "process" issues found improvements slow in coming and suffered loss of trust. Those that had concentrated on "people" issues sparked warm feelings among employees but no measurable improvement. Few of the ISO requirements address the people issues of quality like communication, teamwork and recognition. Compared with the Baldrige Assessment, which is one of the most comprehensive methods of assessing an organization for total quality, the ISO 9000 criteria are more comprehensive in only one category: process management. If your company has done no teamwork or …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: ISO 9000 on the Road to Total Quality. Contributors: Merrill, Peter - Author. Magazine title: CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine. Volume: 69. Issue: 4 Publication date: May 1995. Page number: 21+. © 1991 Society of Management Accountants of Canada. COPYRIGHT 1995 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.