Much about ISO 9000 is the subject of noisy debate. But on one thing almost everyone, true believers and critics alike, agrees: Getting ISO 9000 certification can be expensive. Companies can expect to spend at least $35,000 for basic certification and six-month checkup fees over a three-year period. These figures do not include hidden costs like time and money spent on internal improvements required to meet ISO 9000 certification. But the really big-ticket items in the process are employee time and the cost of bringing in outside consultants. Many ISO 9000 consultants charge upwards of $1,800 a day.
With all the heated debate and hoopla surrounding ISO 9000 certification, everyone seems to have an opinion about whether to sign up. Executives in the gear industry are flooded with information and ideas that often seem at odds. Gear Technology asked AGMA executive director Joe T. Franklin, Jr. to give an industry perspective on the pros and cons of ISO 9000 certification.
On of the key questions confronting any company considering ISO 9000 certification is, how much is this going to cost? The up-front fees are only the beginning. Dissect the ISO 9000 certification procedure with an eye for hidden costs, and two segments of the process will leap out - the cost of consultants and the cost of making in-house improvements for the sake of passing certification. Most of these costs can be controlled by careful selection f the right consultant in the first place.
I noted with interest the beginning of Gear Technology's three-part series on ISO 9000 certification. I also recently attended Brown & Sharpe's/Leitz gear metrology seminar. Both events caused me to smile and reflect.
What follows is the first of three articles we will be running on ISO 9000 and what it means for the gear industry. This first article will cover what ISO 9000 is, what some of its benefits - and problems - are, and whether your company should be a candidate for this certification process. In our next issue, we will consider the important question of how, when, and if to hire an ISO 9000 consultant. The final article in this series will discuss ways to save money while streamlining the certification process in your company.
ISO 9000 is the latest hot topic in marketing and manufacturing circles. Everyone seems to be talking about it, but few seem to understand it completely. depending on whom one talks to, it's either the greatest thing to hit industry since the assembly line, another cash cow for slick consultants, a conspiracy on the part of Europeans to dominate global markets, or the next necessary step to compete in the global economy of the twenty-first century. It may be all of the above.