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MIDSIZED U.S. MANUFACTURERS LACK AWARENESS OF 'ISO 9000' QUALITY STANDARDS, GRANT THORNTON FINDS; FEW PLAN TO COMPLY WITH GUIDELINES

 MIDSIZED U.S. MANUFACTURERS LACK AWARENESS OF 'ISO 9000' QUALITY


STANDARDS, GRANT THORNTON FINDS; FEW PLAN TO COMPLY WITH GUIDELINES
 NEW YORK, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly half of all U.S. manufacturers are unaware of a current series of international standards for product quality that companies in Europe, Japan and other markets are scurrying to adopt, according to a recent Grant Thornton study.
 In telephone interviews with a national cross section of 254 top executives from manufacturing companies with $10 million to $500 million in annual sales, the Chicago-based accounting and management consulting firm discovered the following:
 -- Nearly half (48 percent) of all U.S. manufacturers have not heard of "ISO 9000," a series of comprehensive technical standards that confirms whether companies implement sound quality procedures.
 -- While 25 percent believe the guidelines will affect them "somewhat," only 11 percent think ISO 9000 will affect them "a great deal."
 -- Only 8 percent plan to become certified under these standards by the end of this year and just 15 percent say they will become certified in 1993. Another 11 percent plan to wait even longer.
 "ISO 9000 has become the next major hurdle in the quality movement," says Michael N. Cantwell, Grant Thornton's national director for manufacturing and partner in charge of the study. "As viable contenders in the global marketplace, American manufacturers must overcome the perception that their quality standards lag behind their foreign competitors. Certification under ISO 9000 is the best way for manufacturers to prove their quality proficiency."
 Developed in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 9000 is a series of technical standards covering how companies design, produce, install, inspect, package and market their products.
 Interviews on American manufacturers' attitudes toward ISO 9000 were conducted for Grant Thornton by The Wirthlin Group, an independent research organization, in May 1992. Because this survey employs a national probability sample, its results are representative of the more than 20,000 U.S. manufacturers within the stated sales range. The sampling margin of error is plus/minus 6 percent.
 Grant Thornton provides tax, audit, accounting and management consulting services to manufacturers throughout the United States.
 -0- 9/18/92
 /CONTACT: Liz DeIuliis or John Koegel of Grant Thornton Public Relations, 212-599-0100/ CO: Grant Thornton Public Relations ST: New York IN: SU: ECO


PS -- NY041 -- 1118 09/18/92 12:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 18, 1992
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