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COMFORTO ACHIEVES CERTIFICATION TO ISO 9001 QUALITY STANDARD; CONTINUES MISSION OF ACHIEVING CERTIFICATION TO ISO 9001 FOR FACILITIES WORLDWIDE

 LINCOLNTON, N.C., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Comforto, a Haworth company in Lincolnton, N.C., has been certified in compliance with ISO 9001, a universal quality standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization. The Comforto manufacturing facility, which produces office seating, is the first residential or contract furniture operation in North Carolina -- and the first Haworth facility outside of Michigan -- to receive ISO registration.
 "We are very proud of the Comforto plant's accomplishment in meeting ISO requirements. Certification to ISO 9001 supports two very important goals at Haworth: to continuously improve the quality of our products and services and to fully satisfy the needs of our customers on a global basis," said Craig Speck, vice president of North American operations at Haworth, Inc. "Haworth is actively working toward having all of its facilities worldwide certified to the ISO 9001 standard."
 ISO 9001 is the most stringent and comprehensive in the series of five ISO 9000 quality standards, covering design, development and production, as well as delivery and after-sales servicing. Nearly 60 countries have adopted the ISO 9000 guidelines as their national quality norms.
 Haworth, Inc. became the first North American contract furniture manufacturer to achieve ISO 9000 certification in December 1992. At that time, five of the company's Western Michigan facilities met the ISO 9001 criteria.
 Registration to ISO standards is becoming imperative for companies that are serious about international trade. The ISO 9000 standards offer a universal understanding of the principles of quality which is especially critical to customers and manufacturers who may be separated by geographic and language barriers.
 In addition, many companies, such as U.S.-based, international corporations or governmental purchasing departments, are requiring their suppliers and vendors to be registered to ISO standards.
 Worldwide, 40,000 ISO certificates have been awarded -- more than 25,000 to European companies, but only 1,500 to U.S. businesses. A 1992 survey of U.S. manufacturing executives by the Chicago accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton points out an alarming statistic: nearly half of all domestic executives have never heard of ISO.
 Comforto, a leading manufacturer of office seating based in Germany, was acquired by Haworth in 1988. The Lincolnton Comforto plant employs 110 members and has been manufacturing seating in Lincolnton since 1978. Comforto also has manufacturing facilities in Ahlen, West Germany and Porrentruy, Switzerland.
 Haworth, Inc., is one of the world's largest manufacturers of office furniture and seating. The company employs more than 6,000 members worldwide and posted 1992 sales in excess of $650 million.
 -0- 10/14/93
 /CONTACT: Anna Rozenich, 312-280-2184 or Chuck Hartlage, 312-649-6913, both of Haworth/


CO: Comforto; Haworth Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: SU:

WB -- NY072 -- 2357 10/14/93 15:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 14, 1993
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