Many companies try their best to achieve ISO 9000 certification and then do not continue the path to TQM when they have received the certification. This paper would look at the reasons why companies are stopping at ISO 9000. Then, by looking at the relationship between the two, it would like to explore the means and ways that companies could take to continue the path towards TQM, after ISO 9000 certification. It would also provide indicators of successful implementation of the TQM program to help management evaluate their own programs.
The ISO 9000 series consists of five independent quality system standards of which only three (ISO 9001, 9002 and 9003) are certification standards. ISO 9000 and 9004 are guidelines for the other three. Listed below are the different components of the ISO 9000 series (Lim & Niew,1994: 135)).
ISO 9000 - A guide for selection and use of the ISO standards.
ISO 9001 - A model for quality assurance in design, production installation and.
ISO 9002 - A model for quality assurance in production and installation.
ISO 9003 - A model for quality assurance in final inspection and test.
ISO 9004 - A guide for quality management and quality system elements.
ISO 9000 standards define the requirements of a prevention-based quality assurance system. ISO 9000 registration has been promoted since 1992, as the passport to do business after the European Community (EC) has specified that all companies wanting to conduct business in the EC needs ISO 9000 certification (Zubrod, James & Lee, 1996:23). However, over-promotion can lead to raised expectations beyond reality and ultimately cause misapplication, rejection and the loss of ISO 9000's objectives and benefits.
Many companies today are seeking ISO 9000 certification for a number of reasons. They seek ISO 9000 certification mainly because of external factors. This is usually because their competitors have ISO 9000 certification and they do not want to lose out to them.