Re[2]: ISO 9000

Subject: Re[2]: ISO 9000
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 13:16:00 -0500

There are two types of quality, quality processes and quality products. A
quality process simply produces a consistent part. It is perfectly possible (and
all too many times true) that a high-quality process will produce junk. But the
merit of a high-quality process is that it will *always* produce the same
quality in its products, high or low. Once that goal is attained (or even
approximated) then it's up to you to raise the quality standard. Your high-
quality process will then continue producing consistent goods, but now they are
consistently better than before.

Yes, ISO 9000 is expensive. No denying that. But what's the cost of a high (or
even moderate) defect rate? ISO 9000 should not add to the cnsumer cost of an
item because, if management is adopting it properly, there will be more widgets
per batch that are fit to be sold. The cost of ISO 9000 is more than offset by
the increased revenue produced by a significantly lower scrap rate.

Already I can hear the protests "I already produce consistently high quality
(documentation in our case) so ISO 9000 represents an increased cost with no
benefit." Yes and no. Yes in that it won't necessarily improve your performance.
But the next person the company hires to do your job (after promoting you, of
course :{>}) may not have internalized the same commitment to consistent quality
that you have. By having well-documented procedures to follow, the company will
still be able to look forward to consistent quality from that department. And
you might benefit by clarifying for yourself something that you now do

ISO 9000 is not an end; it's a means. Consistent, high quality output is the
end. Anyone who treats ISO 9000 as an end is doomed.

Have fun,

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.

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