ISO 9000: 2001 represents an obsolete version of the parameters published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO for its acronym in English for International Organization for Standardization). The current version, ISO 9001: 2008, describes a quality control methodology that aims to achieve customer satisfaction.
“Document the proven processes and follow the written instructions precisely” symbolizes the spirit of the standards. Beyond ensuring compliance with the processes of the organization, the regulations require close monitoring of the results of each critical step and the immediate correction of the action after detecting a deviation or failure. The measure applies to all levels of the organization, including the highest leadership team.
About 900,000 companies have adopted the ISO 9000 and its updates since 2000, says David Levine, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The popularity comes from the resulting financial gains. Levine’s studies of 1000 organizations certified with ISO 9000 demonstrate an average increase in sales of 9 percent over 11 years and directly attributable to obtaining ISO certification.
To receive an ISO 9000 certificate, the company usually contacts an accredited firm located in its own country. The inspectors, are sent to the site, perform an audit of how well the employees document their processes and adhere to the instructions. The report of the auditors reports the deviations. If there are no major gaps in relation to the regulations, the accredited firm delivers an ISO 9000 certificate valid for three years.