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‘How to get benefits of ISO 9001:2000’ – for service sector

fonte: sito

A practical method for helping service sector companies, particularly in developing countries, to implement ISO 9001:2000 quality management systems has just been published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

ISO 9001:2000: A workbook for service organizations is designed to make it easier for service providers to achieve the benefits, such as increased efficiency and effectiveness, of implementing ISO 9001:2000.

According to the World Trade Organization WTO), the value of world trade in commercial services increased in 2004 by 16 % to USD 2,10 trillion. The cross-border trade in services includes business process outsourcing and offshoring, which offers opportunities for developing countries in particular.

One way that organizations in developing countries can increase their market share in such opportunities is by ensuring competitiveness through the implementation of a quality management system based on ISO 9001:2000.

The ISO/ITC workbook targets service organizations with less than 20 employees, such as accountants, architects, engineers, lawyers and management consultants. Resolutely practical in its approach it focuses on the discussions, decisions and steps that make up a programme to implement an effective quality management system.

With the aid of questions and checklists, it guides the service company manager through the following stages: making a decision to implement ISO 9001:2000; planning an approach, designing the quality management system and managing documentation.

For those organizations that wish to go further and have their quality management system audited and certified by an independent body, there are also chapters on getting certified, and after certification. The appendices include one giving tips on working with external consultants.

Certification is not a requirement of ISO 9001:2000, which can be implemented solely for the benefits it brings internally and to the organization’s customers. At the same time, many organizations choose to pursue certification and at the end of 2005, nearly 33 % of ISO 9001:2000 certificates were held by organizations in the service sectors.

Although developed with service enterprises in developing countries in mind, the hands-on approach of ISO 9001:2000: A workbook for service organizations has something to offer for service providers in developed countries too.