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My employer had a consultant/salesperson come in to explain the
whole ISO9000 situation to us a while back.
He said that the simplest explanation of ISO9000 was "Document
what you do, then do what you document."
It basically centers around a "standards manual" which explains
the policies and procedures you use to do almost everything.
My feeling was that if you had not formally defined the procedures
you were going to use for things, and had not really been doing
things consistently, ISO9000 would help you because you'd have to
sit down and document things. It would help you refine your
thoughts and procedures. But you could do the same thing without
bothering to go for ISO9000 certification.
Another thing that the consultant said was that "ISO9000 would
certify a company that made life jackets out of cement."
In other words, ISO doesn't say that your product has any quality,
just that you have a formal quality process and that you follow
it, at least on paper.
To me, it looks like a nice idea on paper, but I don't see it
helping many companies.
We decided that it would add administrative overhead to our current
processes, and would probably not raise quality. However, if our
customers asked for it, we would do it. They didn't ask.
That's my two cents worth on ISO9000.
michael -dot- salsbury -at- cyberlink -dot- beaver -dot- pa -dot- us
The above comments are my own thoughts and opinions, and should not
be construed as coming from my employer or from anyone else, for