Is ISO 9001 dead?

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    My Company is thinking about dropping ISO 9001 Certification as a cost savings citing the low number of customers that prefer ISO over merely a document Quality System and the slow growth in ISO Certified companies.  Is ISO dead or dieing, or is this a sign that my employer has decided to place less importance on Quality?



    Currently 140 countries recognize the ISO 9001:2000 standard and an estimated 8500 companies in the US alone. Typical cost of a small firm is about $20,000 for a 3 year contract. Obviously there are additional cost for up keep of the “Documented Quality Management System” but you will have these cost regardless. I cannot imagine a company looking to this as a “COST SAVINGS” if they are, they have problems that run much deeper.
    Typical Cost savings from being certified far outweigh this expense.
    Just My Opinion



    Is it dead, the answer is no,should companies have certification, it’s a good question and the answer is no they should not HAVE TO, but in order to gain business it will help, most companies in the UK wiill not let you quote for business, is this right i don’t think so.
    This is an intersting post i would like to see how it develops.


    Michael Mead

    I consider a documented and audited quality management a foundation on which to build an improvement program. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized system. It is not the only one, and certification is not necessary for maintaining a quality management system. But, just like most systems, if they are not monitored, they decay toward chaos. Third-party audits are not completely objective, but they serve the system very well in the long run.
    I can’t believe that a company that is serious about reducing waste (not costs) would drop ISO certification. I did a consulting job for a university where the certification of the Continuing Education program was surrendered for political reasons. The division was actually making money. I guess that is not allowed in a university. 
    If your company wants to cut costs, just send everybody home for a week without pay. That cuts costs. Probably what the management wants to do is cut waste. That is where Six-Sigma, Lean Production…a bunch of other programs come in.
    Good luck, I would not be to happy to be in your situation.



    Sadly, most of the certifying bodies nowadays have lost the conviction to maintain the objectivity of certification audits. Lenient and biased certifying body auditors have outweighed the number of honest, objective, and fair auditors. Certifying bodies are actually maintaining their own commercial businesses and once they close the deal to perform the certification for one company, they intend to keep the “business relationship” for as long as they can. Most of the time, they sugarcoat the serious findings during audits hoping to keep the friction away from the “business partnership” with the company and they tend to be too careful not to harm the ego of Senior Management even to the point of reducing or simplifying the findings. Or else…the Senior Management Team may decide to get other certifying bodies in the succeeding surveillance audits. I’ve experienced these in my previous encounters with certifying body auditors and I knew that their credibility was already in question. If you want to improve your processes, apply the requirements of ISO 9001 voluntarily and not just because you are interested with the certificates. The company will benefit a lot from understanding and implementing the requirements of ISO 9001 if the intention is to create a good system…and not just for the sake of achieving certification. If flawed and unreliable certification audits will continue, ISO 9001 will still be an effective guide to improve the QMS but in this case, without the certificates… 



    ISO is not dead. The principle is ok. The way how some people trie to profit from it is less to my liking (but a logical consequence of how we run businesses).
    In my opinion your management doesn’t know what is good for the company; doesn’t care or it just doesn’t know what ISO is meant to be (for all 3 the solution is: COMMUNICATE!).
    Other possibilities:-  the manager gets a bonus for cost reduction and is not responsible for the consequences in other parts of the company. Like when Purchase buys parts from a cheaper supplier (for their bonus)who delivers worse parts (thats how he can be cheaper) which will cost Manufacturing 10* as much to make good products from (Note: I do not mean to say that everybody who is cheaper has to be worse).- you have an (interim) manager who just wants to reach his short time goals, regardless of the consequences long term.- politics (yuck)- it is a test to see who in the company has really a hart for Quality – …
    Good luck



    was ISO 9001 ever alive? I do a lot of process mapping and the most frequent joke I see is to go and check the ISO documents instead of mapping the process with the team.
    I have yet to see a company/process where the ISO documentation actually describes the process. If they are completely inaccurate then what is the added value of dusting them ritually off at audit time ?



    The basic porinciples by which a company operates to deliver quality products is what ISO 9001 is or should be. Third parety certification is only require if your customers require it. Most require a third party approved ISO system.
    I agree that the cost of maintiang this third party certification is a totla waste on money. However, if your cusomters requirte it is that cost of doing business.
    ISO 9001 is a derivatin of the old mil-std- 9858 unfortunately without thse types of standrards I’m afraid most U.S> companies would slide into the chaos of the 60’s and earlier…from a quality perspective.
    So is ISO 9001 dead ..a quality system is never dead.but many need an infusion now and again to stay healty.

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