It has become increasingly important over the years for there to be consistent quality conformance in today’s markets to help ensure that suppliers are able to meet consumer requirements. (p 343 Hill) Following the 1980’s there was a massive surge in international trade and heavy emphasis was placed on the need for standardised quality practises. This led to the International Organisation for Standards coming together and creating the ISO 9000 series in 1987. The aim was to create the framework for governing activities and procedures for managing quality (p 344, Hill) and consumers’ expectations of a supplier to demonstrate its effective control of processes. It was created at the request of manufacturers who wished an official recognition of their system of quality management without having to be audited by each individual client. The standard assures customers that a company has designed and is managing its processes to assure delivery of products and services to specification. ISO 9001 has quickly become a requirement for doing business (p161 Reid). Many consumers look for this when buying a product or looking for a supplier, so its importance in today’s day and age is paramount. Although meeting the Standard was intended to guarantee quality, this unfortunately did not always happen as ISO 9001 in its earlier form, did not encourage business improvement as such and customer service was low on the priority list. It was purely a conformity assessment standard yet it has undergone several changes and now focuses on managing a business, customer service and continuous improvement rather than just the product itself. In addition to this, as ISO has developed over the years, efforts have been made to extend the concepts and ideas to service areas as well as manufacturing. As the environment is constantly changing, ISO 9001 will also continually grow, change and evolve over time and help ensure that organizations of all sizes will see a clear connection...
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