ISO 9000 is a voluntary world standard that strives to identify and standardise terms and processes that apply to management of quality. Whilst advocates claim ISO 9000 provides many benefits, there are also many critics of the standard. Because small companies form the backbone of the Australian economy, this report examines the costs and benefits of ISO 9000 and its impact on small companies.
A literature review on quality, ISO 9000 and related issues will precede in-depth interviews with quality consultants and ISO 9000-certified small companies.
This report finds that, whilst there are shortcomings with the certification process, ISO 9000 does provide a means of improving and maintaining quality. Further, the success of ISO 9000 in Australia and the rest of the world has been driven by the community's insistence on certification to achieve and maintain quality. Hence, this report recommends small business to recognise this and be willing to undertake ISO 9000.