Access to World Trade-Global Marketplace

ISO standards are adopted by many governments around the world to ensure that requirements are the same for import and export, facilitating transportation of goods and services from one country to another. Standards help organizations to compete on a level playing field. Doing business globally requires a company to show to others around the world that they have systems in place to manage their business success. ISO's management system standards are supported by over 190 countries.

Reduced Risks

A management system meeting international standards puts in place controls to manage a company's products or services, insuring that it is consistent with not only customer and regulatory requirements but also its own operational controls and strategic plans. Not only does it assist in identifying one's own company risks, but also it improves global management of climate change and energy and environmental issues tied to air, water, and soil quality, which impact us all.

Social Responsibility, Credibility, Competitive Advantage

Today many products and services from around the world are purchased by consumers who want them to be safe for consumption or for use by children and adults alike and to be of excellent quality.

Companies want to do business with other companies who are credible and value the welfare of society and our environment, which means being green and supporting corporate social responsibility to make a positive impact on society while doing business. International case studies are found on the ISO website.[1]

Improved Operational Controls

The focus of management systems to ISO standards is on continual improvement of the whole management system.

The operational controls concentrate on the product/service realization day-to-day measures that are tied to production, supported by standing operating procedures and delivered according to a set of requirements for the customer. It is within operational control that quality control is managed and the supporting processes for purchasing, inventory, and logistics come into play to support production and/or service. It is here where nonproductive and nonconforming product costs, such as scrap, rework, warranty claims, late delivery, and nonconforming products, can make a company unsustainable.

A quality management system helps your organization identify its operational processes, quality controls, risks, and objectives, staying focused on meeting not only customer and legal requirements but also your own, and improving processes, thus reducing operational costs and improving your bottom line.

This chapter looked at some of the challenges for business in the near future and the principles for managing business successfully. One of the major challenges will be to have systems in place prior to the loss of key managers due to the grey tsunami, to capture their knowledge and know-how. Management system structures are the framework that will secure the information and data related to your processes and legal requirements before they go out the door.

Assess, Reflect, Act: Driving Sustainability to Business Success

The Assess, Reflect, Act section after each principle tied to quality, environment, and occupational health and safety was developed to help you as top management use critical thinking to drive business success. It provides an opportunity to gather information about the principles you have in place, so you can remain focused on fulfilling your business mission and meeting challenges of today.

I then introduced you to the benefits of international standards. In Part III, you have the opportunity to assess where your weak link(s) are in your management system, so that your business is built on a solid framework that ensures your business success.

  • [1] For further supporting information on benefits, refer to international case studies on the ISO website at “10 Good Things ISO Standards Do for SMEs,” “Global Solutions for CEOs,” and “Economic Benefits of Standards.” You may view full reports and presentations from such organizations as PT Wika Beton, NTUC Fairprice, and Siemens AG.
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