Main Learning Points
ISO 9000 is currently becoming a license to compete globally with its generic standards which are applicable in all industrial operations globally. Many have described the ISO 9000 as a one size fits all standards because of their universality to apply in all industries. Despite its applicability in all industries, there are concerns on ISO 9000 quality management system adoption especially in the developing economies which is slow, and one of the cited reasons for its slow adoption is lack of awareness and also initiatives to apply it. Currently, most of the businesses and manufacturing companies have taken a great initiative to register for ISO 9000 or in industry-specific version including ISO 9000:2000, AS 9100, QS 9000 or ISO 14000. According to the Geneva-based international organization for standardization (ISO), all ISO 9000:1914 companies need to re-certify under the current standards ISO 9000:2000. On that note, Pakistan who is a member of ISO is taking the necessary measures to upgrade its standards to meet the current ISO 9000:2000 standards (Hayat, 2003).
ISO 9000 is beneficial to organizations because it acts as a tool or strategy to enhance their performance in the global market as they certify the standards on quality management when producing their goods and services in the market both domestically and internationally. The certification with ISO standards, therefore, becomes a prerequisite for the firm’s survival in the market thus increasing its use in most of the firms in Pakistan and across the globe (Hayat, 2003).
On that note, the article takes a critical analysis on ISO 9000 different practices including the use of ISO 9000 in international markets, top management support, consultancy, role of training, critical success factors, the next step after ISO 9000 has been certified, cost of certification, impacts of ISO 9000, the benefits to be gained, some of the problems faced before, during and after the adoption process, its current status, its future prospects, and some of the general practices as evident in Pakistan sports industry. The article has intensively identified several case studies which explain the current status of ISO 9000 and its existing practices in the sports industry (Hayat, 2003).
Main Learning Points
A point to note is that ISO 9000 certification acts as an entry into the global market and thus being used by industries to achieve a competitive advantage. Some of the key reasons of obtaining ISO 9000 is to improve efficiency in the market, achieve the firms set objectives, streamline operations, reduce costs, enhance market share, some customers demand it from suppliers, realize world-class operations, and finally improve quality of their products in the global market. The Pakistan sports industry has, therefore, certified with ISO 9000, and some of the benefits the industry is receiving are assurance of business relations especially in the European community, use of label certification in marketing, recognition worldwide because the standards are universally acceptable, enhance quality and productivity, and also to get a listing in the global certified supplier directory (Hayat, 2003).
ISO 9000 has become a license to compete globally as many industries see it as a prerequisite for survival in the global market. The sports industry in Pakistan is one of the largest small-scale manufacturing firms growing at an accelerating speed because of the growth in the export of its goods such as polo sticks, footballs, tennis rackets, and hockey sticks. Most of the sports industries in Pakistan are ISO 9000 certified because the management focus on quality management in every level of production thus enhancing the country brand in the global market. The name Pakistan has been associated with quality sports goods, and this has been linked with the government effort to certify with ISO 9000 so as to maintain quality standards in the production process (Hayat, 2003).
Through the ISO implementation in the Pakistan sports industry, the industry has benefited from increase in exports of their products, increased productivity, products rejection levels have declined, efficiency in the level of production has increased, interaction with international players increased, increased awareness among employees, and smooth operations all giving the industry a competitive advantage to compete effectively in the global market. To successfully implement ISO 9000, employee training and quality control are important. This ensures that all the employees are conversant with quality management systems. Most of the firms in Pakistan have implemented ISO 9000 because quality is their strategic plan, suppliers and customers require registration, and competition in the global market is based on ISO 9000 certification. This is the reason why most of the successful companies such as Adidas have implemented ISO 9000 thus in a position to enhance the reputation of their brands and also increase customer loyalty in the purchase of their products (Hayat, 2003).
However, the industry experienced some difficulties during the implementation process such as tractability, exit of some of the experienced and skilled personnel, resistance to change by some of the employees, quick job rotation, and cultural change. ISO 9000 implementation is a step towards the implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) which has driven most of the firms including Adidas and Nike achieve a competitive advantage in the global market (Hayat, 2003).
The content of this article has many implications on firm managers who shy away from ISO 9000 registration practices. ISO 9000 has profound impacts such as quality control, enhanced quality management system, employees are trained on a regular basis, costs are minimized, purchases increase, operations in the firm increase, and machines and equipments are utilized effectively. Like in the case of Pakistan brand image which has been created through quality management systems, ISO 9000 helps in enhancing the image of firms that comply with its standards and this is beneficial for growth of the company in the future (Barnes, 2000).
Firm managers need to understand that the implementation problems has some difficulties and this is a point to note. Despite the above benefits, there are reported difficulties when implementing ISO 9000. First the process is time consuming and also resource consuming and this is the reason why most firms shy away from its implementation. Some managers also experience difficulties when interpreting some of the standards, the documentation process is bureaucratic and cumbersome, managers experience difficulties in making the quality system to be understood and accepted by their suppliers and customers, cumbersome when setting the most viable quality goals and the relevant documentation level, the communication process with suppliers and customers is also hard, and securing employee commitment on the quality system is difficult (Barnes, 2000).
A point to note during ISO 9000 implementation is that employee training is very crucial. Employees at all levels of the firm including sub-ordinate staffs, heads of departments, and the top management need training on quality management system because this will help in ensuring that quality during the production process is observed. Training in this case will involve training on tactful handling of critical situations when they arise, coordination with consultants, cooperation with other staff members, and documentation techniques. This will help in enhancing their level of understanding on total quality management (Barnes, 2000).
Barnes, F. (2000). Good business sense is the key to confronting ISO 9000. Review of Business, 21(1/2), 11-15.
Hayat, M. (2003). An Evaluation of ISO 900 Registration Practices: A Case Study of Sports Goods Industry. Managerial Finance Journal, 29(7), 109-130.