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ISO 9001:2000: a survey of attitudes of certificated firms.

The ISO 9000 standard has been revised as of December 2000 with the new version compulsorily replacing the old by December 2003. It has been thought that the implications of addressing the changes may be particularly acute for small businesses, for which the impact of requirements and relative commercial costs of compliance can be greatest. The research reported in this article explores the differing implications that the revision to ISO 9000 is likely to have upon small and medium-sized, as well as larger, businesses. Issues covered include assessing the appropriateness of the revised standard to firms of these sizes, the likelihood of continued registration, difficulties that such firms are likely to experience with the changes, type of support needed and the identification of support packages that will be most appropriate and effective. This article reports on the study and some relevant findings.

KEYWORDS: certification; ISO9000; ISO9001:2000; quality

Introduction

The size distribution of firms in the UK currently registered to the international Quality Systems Standard ISO 9000 is unknown, but approximately 80,000-90,000 firms in total are registered to the standard in the UK. Institute of Quality Assurance and SGS Yarsley (2001) identified that only 2-3 per cent of UK industry in total has achieved registration to the ISO 9000 standard.

Associated with this relatively low take-up, much criticism has been attached to ISO 9000 and, in particular, its impact on small businesses. Emphasis on the requirement for demonstrated 'compliance to standard' for suppliers to large public and private purchasers has led some small businesses in many sectors to seek registration to the standard, in order to win or retain customers or get onto, or remain on, approved supplier lists. For example, concern at this phenomenon led Chittenden et al. (1996) to the policy recommendation that no small supplier should be required to be registered if they are able to provide alternate evidence of the consistent quality of their product, goods or services. Moreover, the standard was not initially designed for small businesses and has often legitimately been criticized for the added control and cost of operation that it may imply for small enterprises. These criticisms, however, may be associated with poorly designed implementation of Quality Management Systems, as for example Holliday (1995) describes at the 'Fran Tech' company.

The ISO 9000 standard has, however, changed as of December 2000. This change is probably the most major change in the history of the standard and is considered to have brought it up to date with modern developments in Quality thinking and practice (Bendell et al. 2000a,b). The new version of ISO 9000 places more emphasis on process management and resource management and has commonality of architecture with the revised Guide to Quality Management, ISO 9004. In this way, the Quality Assurance requirements in ISO 9001 and the Quality Management aspirations in ISO 9004 will be getting closer to the EFQM Business Excellence Model.

Whilst the development is likely in the long term to be a good one, it will have short-term implications for all organizations currently certificated to the standard, as well as those who may subsequently apply. This includes the need to review, restructure and extend existing Quality System documentation--including the Quality Manual, procedures and work instructions--but also the need for a considerably higher level of senior management awareness and active participation in the Quality Management System. The available evidence at the end of 2002 suggested that firms are remaining slow to change to the revised version of the standard (Batters, 2002; Oldfield 2002).

It has been argued that the implications of addressing the necessary changes may be particularly acute outside the large business category. For these firms the market needs of compliance can be greatest (see Chittenden et al., 1996), but many current registrations may only just meet the current requirements of the 1994 versions of ISO 9001 or ISO 9002. With scarce management time and resources, this group may find the transition process itself expensive and problematical.

Earlier articles have described the ISO 9000 debate in firms outside the large company group and the preliminary results of a postal survey funded by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance and SGS Yarsley. (Bendell et al., 2000a,b; Boulter et al., 2001). The current article describes the whole project, reports further on findings from the empirical study, including the postal survey and face-to-face interviews, and draws conclusions concerning the implications of ISO 9001:2000 for small, medium and larger firms.

ISO 9000

Historical Origins

The ISO 9000 series of standards has its origins in military procurement standards around the Second World War. This ultimately led to the publication of the first commercial quality management system standard BS 5750 by the British Standards Institute in 1979. In 1987, the British Standard BS 5750 was adopted with a few changes as the international standard ISO 9000. The international standard was updated again in 1994 but this was a minor update with the major changes being postponed until 2000. ISO 9000:2000 was published in December 2000 and was a complete rewrite.

The 1994 version of the standard series include three auditable certification standards: ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003. These corresponded to companies who design their own products and services, to companies who do everything except design, and to companies where products or services can be verified only by inspection and test. ISO 9003 has, in fact, largely fallen into disuse. ISO 9004 is for guidance only.

The New ISO 9000 Standards

The new version of the ISO 9000 series of standards was published in December 2000 and in its formulation took account of standards customer needs. In 1997 a global user/customer survey was undertaken by ISO involving 1120 users and customers worldwide. This covered attitudes towards the existing standards, requirements for the revised standards and relationship to environmental management. A validation programme also took place but, typically, received little participation from the small business community.

Customer needs identified by this process included:

* Revised standards should have increased compatibility with the ISO 14000 series of Environmental Management System Standards.

* The revised standards should have common structure based on a process model.

* Provision should be made for the tailoring of ISO 9001 requirements to omit requirements that do not apply to an organization.

* ISO 9001 requirements should include demonstration of continuous improvement and prevention of non-conformity.

* ISO 9001 should address effectiveness while ISO 9004 would address both efficiency and effectiveness.

* ISO 9004 should help achieve benefits for all interested parties, i.e. customers, owners, employees, suppliers and society.

* The revised standards should be simple to use, easy to understand, and use clear language and terminology.

* The revised standards should facilitate self-evaluation.

* The revised standards should be suitable for all sizes of organizations, operating in any economic or industrial sector, and the 'manufacturing orientation' of the previous version of the standards should be removed.

In ISO 9001 (and ISO 9004) a new process-based 4 clause structure replaces the previous 20 clause structure. This covers respectively:

* Management responsibility

* Resource management

* Product realization

* Measurement, analysis and improvement

All ISO 9001:1994 and ISO 9002:1994 certificated companies needed to transfer to ISO 9001:2000 by December 2003 when the 1994 versions of the standard was discontinued.

Previous Research

A literature review of quality issues and the small firm was provided in Bendell et al. (2000a). There it was argued that whilst much has been written about quality, if one takes a step back and considers this wealth of knowledge from some simple perspectives then a different picture emerges. Within a small firms context, particularly but not only UK based, the vast pool of knowledge suddenly shrinks when trying to identify relevant material (see for example Small Business Research Trust, 1992; Chittenden et al., 1998; McAdam and McKeown, 1999; Mendham et al., 1994; Murphy, 1999; North et al., 1993, 1998; Seddon and Smith, 1998; Van der Wiele and Brown, 1997). Whilst the essence and content of these available publications may be relevant and applicable to the small firms sector, there is little overwhelming evidence to support such a view. Indeed there is a general debate that much of the mainstream business and management literature is founded on principles and concepts developed within or emerging form large firm environments and as such is less likely to have relevance in the world of small business. The limited literature on quality standards has also been described by some as methodologically weak (North et al., 1993).

This section of the article is not intended to represent a comprehensive review of the literature but more to be indicative of a number of relevant observations.

Defining 'quality' in a small firm context demands understanding the essence of small firms that has been described by others as being highly associated with processes of socialization. Indeed, quality in this context has been described as a socially constructed phenomenon (North et al., 1993, 1998). It is not the intention to debate the definition of quality within a small firms context within this article, but merely to use it as an illustration of the lack of understanding that may exist about the nature of quality in this environment.

Another similar perspective is highlighted when considering the 'newness' of quality. There is an underlying imperative within the policy literature, especially from government, that small firms somehow 'need' quality. It has become one of a series of 'holy grails' that become the primary focus of policy in practice: management training, innovation, benchmarking, best practice, IiP, NVQs and quality as perhaps currently embodied within ISO 9000, total quality management (TQM) or the EFQM Excellence Model. This again illustrates dichotomy between two cultures: the formalized and informal. The application of formalized quality principles and processes within the national and international standards is not necessarily the way that small firms succeed in their own competitive environment. Behaviours and processes can be typically action-oriented, rather than systemized, and in general tend to be informal in nature.

Of course, as small firms grow then the systemization of basic organizational processes may enhance their capacity for growth. This is a different perspective to that of successfully embedding cultures and values founded on notions of quality. In fact some studies suggest that the take-up of ISO 9000 by small firms is not indicative of an underlying belief and buy-in to quality management systems in general, especially TQM (Guilhon et al., 1998; McAdam and McKeown, 1999; Lee and Palmer, 1999) It is further suggested that although ISO 9000 is perceived to be the most important quality management initiative by some small firms, 'total quality management is regarded as more appropriate for large firms' (Miros and Dale, 1996).

The situation is apparently changing as suppliers, funders, regulators and others push formalized quality standards into the small firms sectors. As part of supply chains to the more formalized worlds of medium and large businesses and the public sector, small firms believe that quality 'badges' are part of some 'rite of passage' to trading in certain sectors, or even a 'tariff' on international trading (Anderson et al., 1999; Murphy, 1999) This driver therefore has little relevance to the fundamental underlying principles of quality. 'Is it through external pressure, regulatory compliance or for competitive advantage that drive firms to seek ISO 9000 certification?' (Anderson et al., 1999). When small firms are pushed into implementing ISO 9000, in the main because of external factors, those firms may have little intention of extending the quality programme further 'unless required to do so' (Guilhon et al., 1998; Lee and Palmer, 1999). In any event, the evidence from UK research is that only a small proportion of SMEs are members of supply chains and that the proportion may be declining (e.g. Curran and Blackburn, 1994; Perry, 1999).

Indeed in the early 1990s it was evident that micro firms in general believed that they would not be affected by pressure from suppliers regarding BS 5750 quality certification (Small Business Research Trust, 1992). It is possible that these firms still feel similarly, even though the percentage doing so may have decreased. A recent study (Nwankwo, 2000) however, suggests that in the UK there has been a 'remarkable growth' in the number of small businesses 'seeking to implement formal quality assurance systems', principally ISO 9000. The study also recognizes that the 'espoused benefits' of implementing quality assurance schemes are not realized.

Furthermore, the concept of quality has to be a dynamic one to 'fit' within a small firm context. It is not some externally determined absolute that all firms work towards (North et al., 1998). It has to be contingent in nature, able to have meaning across a wide range of contexts and for a number of purposes. Obviously, small firms engage in 'quality' to be able to compete and transact with customers and suppliers (North et al., 1993). However the language they use may not equate to that which constitutes the majority of formalized accredited quality models and standards (Cranswick, 1995). It is important to the small firm that they provide their customer with a level of quality which enables the firm to exceed expectations, but what they do and how they do it may be described from a different paradigm to the formalized one, thereby creating a mismatch.

Some research suggests that in general small firms over-estimate the intrinsic attributes of quality when compared to their customers' perspectives but underestimate the extrinsic and service attributes (Roper et al., 1997).

There are still both many small firms that do not take up ISO 9000 (Chittenden et al., 1996; Fearn, 1999) and related quality models and many that appear to be disinterested. There are arguments to suggest that small firms are resource constrained and hence disadvantaged. They are not able to provide dedicated staff to work through the implementation and monitoring of quality models. Additionally, it may not be an easy process for small firms to assess the actual benefits and impact on business performance of introducing formalized quality initiatives. There appears to exist a lack of trust of the models and those that market certification support services and a perception that such approaches may not actually be appropriate--a sledgehammer to crack a nut!

It is also interesting that out of 27 issues of the International Small Business Journal between 1992 and 1999 only four articles focused the attention of their research on quality standards within a small firm context.

The Small Firm

The impact of the international Quality Management System standard ISO 9000 on small and medium-sized firms is thus problematical. Whilst there is a plethora of literature pertaining to Quality in the large firm context, conversely there is limited literature in pertaining to Quality in the small and medium firm context. Furthermore, whilst there have been many debates during the recent period when ISO 9000 was being revised concerning the value, relevance and implementation of the new standard (see in particular Andell, 1999; Glass, 1999; Grant, 1999; Hutchins, 1999; West et al., 1999), there have been few articles concerning quality standards generally in the context of smaller firms and specifically with regard to the revision.

Nonetheless, many of those involved in business support and development have been aware of the potential positive side of the application of ISO 9000 to SMEs. As small firms grow, the systemization of basic organizational processes may enhance their capacity for growth. Where implemented well, ISO 9001 or ISO 9002 have typically added structure, discipline, control and traceability. This more structured organized framework may be a necessary element to facilitate an SME's potential for further growth. See for example SGS (1995) but also the counterview by Chittenden et al. (1998).

Survey Methodology

The work reported here is based upon a large-scale detailed empirical survey of all small and medium-sized firms currently registered to the ISO 9000 standard with the two major certification bodies, Lloyds Register Quality Assurance and SGS Yarsley. This was undertaken because of the limited current literature on the effectiveness of ISO 9000 in SMEs and the unique opportunity for access to them due to the support of the two certification body sponsors. The quantitative study was to be followed by a small number of detailed face-to-face interviews with contacts in small and medium-sized firms, independently identified by members of the Business Link network. The purpose was to provide independent verification of views from a catchment including both firms certificated by other certification bodies and some not certificated.

The survey methodology is described in Bendell et al. (2000a). The empirical study was centred on a large-scale postal survey of circa 5000 ISO 9000 certificate businesses each with fewer than 500 employees. The businesses surveyed were all those in the UK in the size range that were certificated by two of the largest ISO 9000 certification bodies, Lloyds Register Quality Assurance and SGS Yarsley. This size limit was chosen as mutually convenient for segmentation in the two certification body databases. The subsequent small number of face-to-face interviews of firms in the size range was used to obtain more detailed information, clarify ambiguities, validate the postal survey results, ascertain awareness and identify possible business opportunities for intermediaries and certification bodies.

The postal questionnaire was centred on 6 sections containing 40 main questions, many of which were broken down into further sub-questions. These relate to (1) general firm information, (2) respondents' current Quality System including the period of time over which registered, objectives and reasons for registering to ISO 9000 and whether the firm uses any Quality Systems other than ISO 9000; (3) the extent to which respondents are aware of the changes to ISO 9000; (4) the extent to which firms are aware of the specific changes to clauses of the standard; (5) attitudes to the changes (6) the nature of help that will be required by firms to help them through the transition period and how they perceive the changes to the standard.

Since the research project concerns confidential information from competing certification body client bases, the questionnaire was carefully designed and processes put in place at the University of Leicester and the Centre for Enterprise to ensure commercial confidentiality.

During September and October 2000, 1066 certificated organizations responded to the postal questionnaire, a response rate of approximately 20 per cent. Following an analysis of the results, 32 face-to-face interviews took place with a different group of SMEs, including some that were not certificated. An objective of this exercise was to calibrate findings of the postal questionnaire and also to obtain evidence as to the attitudes of uncertificated businesses to ISO 9000. This group were selected by regional Business Link contacts for their willingness to collaborate with the study. It was, however, not possible to match their profile with that of the main postal survey.

Approximately half of the respondents reported to be certificated by each of the two certification bodies (44.8% and 52.6% respectively). Table 1 shows the breakdown of firm size with the majority (71.5%) having less than 100 employees. The size bands used here are convenient given the differing size classification within the two certification databases, but differ from those conventionally used for other policy purposes (e.g. by the British Department of Trade and Industry). The 6.8 per cent in '500 or more' and 'other' groups were not intended, but may reflect both potential errors in the certification body databases and firms' growth. Nevertheless inclusion of this group provides evidence of continued trends and consistent patterns in the larger company group (Figures 2-8 and 1, 3 respectively). Industrial sectors reported are shown in Table 2. Approximately 50 per cent can be seen as engineering related. Whilst these sectoral and size distributions are known to vary from their equivalents in official data on the UK business population (DTI, 2001), no general comparable data exist for ISO 9000 certificated firms.

Some Relevant Findings

Attitudes to ISO 9000

With regard to respondent's current quality system and reasons for implementing ISO 9001/2, all respondents answered this question and 72 per cent stated that improvement of product quality was a key factor in motivating them to go for certification and that marketing was a secondary issue. However, not all respondents replied to how successfully did their quality system meet the intended objective and out of the 973 respondents 70 per cent stated that implementing ISO 9001/2 had successfully or very successfully met their original reasons for implementing certification in the first place. Size of organization had little effect on the view (Figure 1). Conversely, a small number, 9 per cent stated that implementing ISO 9001/2 had not met their original objectives for going for certification. Importantly, most were not being forced by a customer or customers to maintain ISO 9000 certification.

ISO 9000 was identified as the most important initiative for the ISO 9000 certificated firms responding. Again all respondents answered this question and less than 15 per cent were using other quality management systems than ISO 9000. Where other standards were introduced, Total Quality Management (23%), the EFQM Excellence Model (22%) and Investors in People (15.4%) were the most popular.

These findings from the postal questionnaire are backed up by comments made by interviewees from the face-to-face interviews. Comments such as, 'Certification has been very worthwhile', 'ISO certificated suppliers are good' and 'ISO 9000 is not as bureaucratic as we thought', endorsed ISO 9000.

Awareness of Change

A section of the postal questionnaire, as well as a question that was put to interviewees in the face-to-face interviews, concerned awareness of the changes to ISO 9000. Respondents' awareness of the changes can be categorized under two headings; general awareness of the existence of the forthcoming changes and detailed awareness of the changes themselves. These are described in the following two sections.

General Awareness Of the postal respondents 98 per cent answered the question was their firm aware that ISO 9000 was being changed, all responses being affirmative. In addition, 84 per cent of interviewees from the face-to-face interviews also knew that ISO 9000 was being updated. Further, 45 per cent of the postal questionnaire respondents had known that ISO 9001 was being updated for over 12 months. Over three-quarters of the respondents to the postal questionnaire stated that they had learned of the update from their certification body.

This general awareness of the existence of changes to ISO 9000 can be linked to attendance at awareness seminars or to unsolicited mailouts from their certification bodies. Generally, awareness increased with firms' size. Figure 2 shows a major trend for personal attendance at awareness sessions to grow dramatically with firms' size, with almost 70 per cent of respondents from the '500-plus' employee category participating, compared to under 20 per cent in the 1-9 employee category. The greatest difference is evident at around the 100 employee level, with an almost 30 per cent increase in attendance for the 100-499 group compared to the 10-99 one. Clearly, therefore, the impact of awareness sessions on firms under 100 employees has been very limited, whilst that in the larger firm sizes is much more satisfactory.

Two-thirds of the respondents to the postal survey stated that they had received briefing material on ISO 9000:2000, with more than half of them identifying their certification body as one source of literature. Satisfaction on its effectiveness was mixed, with a relatively low response to this question (Figure 3).

Detailed Awareness Compared to the large number of respondents that were generally aware of the existence of changes, only 41 per cent claimed that they had a detailed knowledge of the changes to ISO 9001:2000. Senior Managers generally were seen as less aware (7.8%) and general awareness in the firms was also low (5.2%).

The questionnaire's more detailed requests for people to explain their understanding of the detail of the changes were only answered by about 40 per cent of respondents and suggested that very few organizations (less than 10% of all respondents) really did understand what they had to do to address ISO 9001:2000 (see Figure 4). The low rates of responses here may reflect general lack of knowledge and consequently unease about the infrastructure of the clause changes to which the detailed questions referred. Of those responding in this area 14.3 per cent considered that Measurement, Analysis and Improvement would be an issue for them to contend with in implementing the ISO 9001:2000 changes.

Attitudes Towards ISO 9001:2000

On average, just fewer than 400 respondents (circa 37%) answered this part of the questionnaire, the number varying for each question. Again the low response may be attributable to lack of knowledge of the detailed changes and hence to their consequences for the respondent's firm.

Regarding general attitudes to the ISO 9000 changes, of those responding 45 per cent were positive or highly positive, 37 per cent were neutral and only 18 per cent were negative. Of this 18 per cent, 5.4 per cent were highly negative. Since a very small number of the firms surveyed were truly aware of the detailed changes in ISO 9001:2000, it is possible that this negativity might be also attributable to fear of the unknown.

The small number of respondents to questions on detailed awareness of the changes and attitude towards ISO 9000:2000, together with the small proportion of total respondents showing a proper understanding of the changes, might be seen to imply that despite being certificated to the international standard the firms' level of knowledge or interest in it as a management tool is limited. However, as the survey took place at an early stage, more than three years prior to the final deadline for the firms to complete the changes to their internal quality management systems, a more realistic explanation, backed up by results to other questions, is that as yet inadequate information on the changes had reached the surveyed firms.

Support Needs

Of the 442 responding firms that answered the question, 90 per cent stated that they required appropriate support to upgrade to ISO 9001:2000. This was near constant over all the firm size range. Importantly, three-quarters of respondents expected support to come from their certification body, and many also expected support from other sources (such as Business Links).

Of the 440 firms that answered the question concerning whether a decision had been made when to implement the changes, 56 per cent had apparently decided on their timetable. This percentage and the percentage responding to the questions increased consistently with firm size (Figure 5), with about 50 per cent of firms with 1-9 employees responding having made the decision and this growing by about 5 per cent for firms in the 10-499 employee range and by a further 7 per cent for the largest firms. Whilst this shows a consistent trend, these differences are not great. However, the small percentage of small firms responding may well mask a much larger trend. Moreover, only 248 respondents specified when the changes were planned to be, and of these 51 per cent wanted to implement changes inside 12 months and a further 45 per cent within 12 to 24 months. Thus not only would firms need appropriate support to upgrade to ISO 9001:2000 but they would also need access to appropriate support within these timescales.

Some of the support areas in which gaps were identified are as follows.

Literature Overall, 58 per cent of the 442 respondents replying to the question stated that they still needed further briefing material to help them understand and implement the changes to their quality systems. The response rates were similar to the question on whether a timetable for implementation existed. With regard to literature, the larger the firm, the larger the response rate and the more they felt that they needed literature (Figure 6). The under 10 employee category appears as particularly low in this respect, with only about 1 in 4 firms responding and of these, only about 1 in 3 firms wanting further literature.

Training Once again, percentage responses to the question on training support needs grew dramatically with size of firm. There appeared to be considerable need for help in training in ISO 9001:2000 with help requirements identified amongst respondents increasing consistently by a total of 20 per cent over the size of firm categories (Figure 7).

Financial Support Once again response rates to the question of financial support needs were similar, growing dramatically with firm's size. However in contrast to the results for literature and training, the perceived need for financial support was greatest in the smaller firm categories (Figure 8). For the respondent firms with over 100 employees there was a consistent pattern with a 10 per cent perceived need. This rose to more than 20 per cent in the 1-9 employee category, but this is based on only just over a quarter of these micro firms responding.

Management Commitment Across all industry sectors, just over 20 per cent of firms stated that management commitment would be an issue for them in implementing the changes required in respect of management responsibility. This was particularly an issue in the Chemicals, Information Technology and 'Other' categories. A similar but smaller response (14.5%) was received concerning lack of management commitment in the context of implementing changes in the area of measurement, analysis and improvement, but this was considerably less of an issue in Chemicals and Information Technology.

Conclusions

There is little in the research literature on the impact of ISO 9000 on small firms, particularly in the context of the recent changes to the international standard. This article has provided some baseline data, knowledge and attitudes of firms with ISO 9000 certification and some insight into the variation of these with size of firm.

Across the categories of size of firm, the respondents to the postal questionnaire described their own objectives in implementing ISO 9000 as having been successfully met to a much greater extent than having failed. Of course, these firms had been initially selected on the basis of being still registered to the standard and respondents may be self-selecting. The majority of responding firms in all size categories were also satisfied with the effectiveness of briefing materials.

However, a number of aspects of awareness of the changes to ISO 9000 and the consequent need to take action increased or decreased consistently in the respondents with size of firm category. In particular, the percentages of respondents who had previously attended awareness sessions, had made a decision on the timetable for implementing the changes, and who wanted more literature and training on the changes to ISO 9001 all increased with size of firm category. In contrast, the desire for financial assistance decreased with size of firm category, being approximately 10 per cent of respondents for firms of 100 or more employees compared to over 20 per cent for firms with under 10 employees. The implication here is that the larger firms are engaging more in addressing the changes to the ISO 9000 standard, whilst in smaller firms finance is a real, or apparent, barrier to commence involvement. This is an issue that is worthy of further consideration, particularly in the context of the design of business support services for smaller firms to assist with the changes to the standard. Clearly, effective business support for small firms will need to address the finance issue.

ISO 9001:2000 Enquete sur les attitudes des firmes certifiees--Tony Bendell et Louise Boulter

University of Leicester, Royaume-Uni

La norme ISO 9000 a ete revisee en decembre 2000, la nouvelle version devant obligatoirement remplacer l'ancienne avant decembre 2003. On a pense que les implications liees aux changements peuvent etre particulierement aigues pour les petites entreprises, pour lesquelles l'impact des exigences et des couts commerciaux relatifs de la conformite peut etre le plus grand. La recherche signalee dans cet article explore les implications differentes que la revision de la norme ISO 9000 est susceptible d'avoir sur les petites et moyennes entreprises, ainsi que sur les entreprises plus grandes. Parmi les questions abordees, on compte l'evaluation de l'adequation de la norme revisee pour les firmes de ces tailles, la probabilite du maintien de l'enregistrement, les difficultes que de telles firmes sont susceptibles d'avoir face aux changements, le type de soutien necessaire et l'identification des enveloppes de soutien qui seront les plus appropriees et les plus efficaces. Cet article porte sur l'etude et certaines constatations pertinentes.

Mots cles: certification; IS09000; IS09001: 2000; qualite

ISO 9001:2000 Una encuesta sobre las actitudes de las firmas homologadas--Tony Bendell y Louise Boulter

Universidad de Leicester, RU

La norma ISO 9000 fue revisada en diciembre 2000 y reemplazada por la nueva version obligatoria a partir de diciembre 2003. Se ha pensado que las consecuencias de solventar los cambios podrian ser particularmente graves para las pequenas empresas dado que el impacto de los requisitos y costes comerciales relativos a su cumplimiento las afectan en mayor grado. La investigacion analizada en este articulo estudia las repercusiones que la revision de la norma ISO 9000 podria tener tanto en las pequenas y medianas empresas como en las grandes empresas. Los asuntos comerciales tratados comprenden la evaluacion de la idoneidad de la norma revisada para las empresas de esos tamanos; la probabilidad de un registro continuo; las dificultades que tales empresas podrian experimentar a raiz de los cambios; el tipo de apoyo que se necesita y la identificacion de los conjuntos de ayuda que resultarian mas apropiados y efectivos. Este articulo hace referencias al estudio y a ciertos resultados relevantes.

Palabras claves: homologacion; ISO 9000; ISO 9001; ano 2000; cafidad

ISO 9001:2000 Eine Erhebung zu den Standpunkten akkreditierter Firmen--Tony Bendell and Louise Boulter

Universitat von Leicester, GB

Die ISO-Norm 9000 wurde im Dezember 2000 revidiert und die neue Version wird die alte zwangsweise bis Dezember 2003 ersetzen. Man geht davon aus, dass sich die Konsequenzen, die sich aus der Bearbeitung der Anderungen ergeben, insbesondere fur mittelstandische Unternehmen als besonders hart erweisen werden, da fur sie die Belastung durch die Anforderungen und die relativen kommerziellen Kosten einer Einhaltung besonders hoch sein konnen. Die in diesem Beitrag dargestellte Forschung untersucht die unterschiedlichen Konsequenzen, die die Revision der ISO-Norm 9000 voraussichtlich auf mittelstandische und auch grobere Unternehmen haben wird. Zu den hier besprochenen Punkten gehoren die Bewertung der Geeignetheit der revidierten Norm fur Firmen dieser Groben, die Wahrscheinlichkeit einer fortgesetzten Akkreditierung, die Schwierigkeiten, die solchen Unternehmen voraussichtlich in Zusammenhang mit den Anderungen entstehen konnen, die Art des erforderlichen Supports und die Ermittlung von Supportpaketen, die am geeignetsten und wirksamsten sein werden. Der Beitrag berichtet uber die Studie und eine Reihe der relevanten Ergebnisse.

Schlagworter: Akkreditierung, lS09000, IS09001: 2000, Qualitat
Table 1. Respondents by Size of Firm

Employees     Number of Respondents   % of Respondents
1-9            110                     10.3
10-99          652                     61.2
100-499        232                     21.8
500 or more     55                      5.2
Other           17                      1.6

Total         1066                    100

Table 2. Respondents by Sector

Sector                   Number of Respondents   % of Respondents

Construction               65                      6.2
Chemicals                  52                      4.9
Professional Services     109                     10.3
Transport and Storage      39                      3.7
Electrical/Electronic      98                      9.3
Engineering               276                     26.1
Textiles                   25                      2.4
Food                       28                      2.7
Automotive                 29                      2.7
Distribution               27                      2.6
Information Technology     23                      2.2
Process/Manufacturing      59                      5.6
Other                     224                     21.2
Total                    1054                    100

Figure 1. Percentages of Respondents for whom Implementing ISO 9001/2
had Successfully met Original Objectives by Size of Firm

                Total Number
Size of Firm   of Respondents
x 1-9                94
* 10-99             600
** 100-499          213
*** 500+             52
Other                14
Total               973

Figure 2. Percentage Personally Attended Awareness Session

                           Number of Employees

Size of Firm     1-9   10-99   100-499   500+   Other   Total

Total number     100    606      224      55      16     1001
of Respondents

Figure 3. Percentage Satisfied with Effectiveness of Briefing Material
by Number of Employees

Size of Firm    Total Number
               of Respondents

x 1-9                42
* 10-99             333
** 100-499          158
*** 500+             44
Other                 8
Total               585

Figure 4. Percentage of all Respondents Indicating a Detailed Knowledge
of ISO 9001:2000 Clause Requirements

                Management      Resource     Process     Measurement,
              Responsibility   Management   Management   Analysis and
                                                          Improvement

Number of          114             77           99            93
Respondents
Indicating
Detailed
Knowledge
of Clause

Figure 5. Decision Made on Timetable for Implementing the Changes

                                Size of Firm

Size of Firm   1-9   10-99   100-499   500+   Other   Total

Number of       28    225      139      40      8      440
Respondents
Indicating
Detailed
Knowledge
of Clause

Figure 6. Percentage of Respondents Wanting More Literature on the
Changes to ISO 9001

                                Size of Firm

Size of Firm     1-9   10-99   100-499   500+   Other   Total

Total Number      29    226      139      40      8      442
of Respondents

Figure 7. Percentage of Respondents Wanting Training Help with
ISO 9001:2000 Changes

                                Size of Firm

Size of Firm     1-9   10-99   100-499   500+   Other   Total

Total Number
of Respondents    29    226      139      40      8      442

Figure 8. Percentage of Respondents Wanting Financial Support to
Implement ISO 9001:2000

                               Size of Firm

Size of Firm     1-9   10-99   100-499   500+   Other   Total

Total Number      29    226      139      40      8      442
of Respondents


Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Lloyds Register Quality Assurance and SGS Yarsley, who funded the survey, and to Paul Hannon of the Centre for Enterprise and Mike Jewitt of Business Link Leicestershire for their contributions to the research. They are also grateful to the referees and the editor, Professor Robert Blackburn, whose helpful comments greatly improved the draft manuscript.

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TONY BENDELL AND LOUISE BOULTER

University of Leicester, UK

TONY BENDELL is Director of the Centre of Quality Excellence at the University of Leicester, where his Chair was established with funding by Rolls-Royce plc. Current research focuses on Quality and Excellence management and process models, benchmarking, Reliability modelling and Academic Industry Technology Transfer. Recent work is concerned with current developments in Quality Engineering and Management practice, both in terms of theory and application. [email: abl25@le.ac.uk]

LOUISE BOULTER is a lecturer and Deputy Director of the Centre of Quality Excellence at the University of Leicester where she lectures on two of the Centres leading edge MSc courses in the Management of Quality Excellence and Customer Service Management. She is an author of the best-selling Financial Times book on Benchmarking. Louise has various research interests including research that was funded by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance, and SGS Yarsley on small and medium-sized enterprises and the implications of ISO 9000:2000.
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Title Annotation:Research Note; International Organization for Standardization
Author:Bendell, Tony; Boulter, Louise
Publication:International Small Business Journal
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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