Preparing for ISO/QS 9000 - Help for the Small/Medium Manufacturer 981496
As new information-age technologies are developed and applied by the Earthmoving Industry, standards are increasing in importance. The keys to long-term competitiveness in today's global marketplace are products of better quality, produced at lower prices, delivered in record time. Manufacturers are constantly being urged to produce better products cheaper, faster and at a higher quality than ever before. In fact, measuring quality has become the benchmark for many products. A company must have, to survive and prosper, an in-depth quality system; one that will meet and exceed the demands of customers. The International Standards Organization (ISO) has developed standards by such a quality system can be developed. These standards help guide the companies, who become certified against them, to increasingly higher levels of quality. Smaller manufacturers need to pursue this certification but cannot do it alone. The Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (CIMEC), in collaboration with the Illinois Central College Professional Development Institute have designed a means to deliver the needed assistance to small manufacturers in a cost effective and efficient manner. The ISO/QS 9000 Preparation Network is a classroom/in-plant program that assists groups of companies to lead themselves through the quality process. Each company that participates is able to send an unlimited number of employees to each training session. By the end of the Network, the companies that participate will be prepared to seek certification to either the ISO 9000 (9001, 9002 or 9003) or QS 9000 standard. The premise of this Network is to bring a common solution to a common problem, currently facing many small and mid-sized manufacturing companies.