ISO 9000 is a family of standards for quality management. It is maintained by the International Organization for Standardization and is administered by the accreditation and certification bodies. ISO 9000 addresses quality management standards as to what an organization needs to fulfill. It assesses the organizations ability to meet customer and regulatory requirements, quality management system, and provides guidelines for performance improvement. It is one of the renowned international standards that have been implemented by countless companies in more than 150 countries.
ISO standards aim at:
- A set of procedures to cover all key processes in the business.
- Monitor the process and ensure its effectiveness.
- Quality requirements of customers.
- Checking outputs for defects, and taking corrective actions in appropriate places.
- Applicable regulatory requirements to enhance customer satisfaction.
- Achieve continuous improvement of performance.
ISO 9000:2000 and ISO 9001:2000:
Earlier till December 2000, there used to be ISO 9000, ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003 standards. During December 2000, the International Organization for Standardization merged all of them into a revised ISO 9001 standard. To distinguish between the earlier standards and the revised one, the later was referred to as ISO 9001:2000 or ISO 9000:2000. For all practical purposes, ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 connote the same, and 2000 indicates the year of its revision.
Application in the Textile and Apparel Industries:
Textile and apparel industries have many complicated activities and challenges involved in the course of its operation. Their operation incurs heavy expenditure to the manufacturers. Many textile and apparel industries have implemented ISO standards to lower its operating costs and improve the quality of its output, ultimately increasing the level of customer satisfaction. Textile and apparel industries account for a sizable percent of manufacturing jobs in a global perspective. They employ millions of people directly and indirectly. They form a massive industrial complex and prove to be a big contributor among the manufacturing industries of any country.
Some textile and apparel industries view ISO certification is only necessary as a factor for exports. But, the main matter of concern in textile industry is that an imperative relation exists between the quality of the materials and the quality of the final product. ISO standards enable the industry to enhance the quality of raw material input, thereby strengthening the quality of the ultimate product. This will result in a systematic approach to management, incessant performance improvement, factual approach towards the decision making process, and a mutually benefiting suppliers relationship. Thus is helps the manufacturers in 'Weaving a Quality Industry'.
Market for ISO Certification:
As every day passes by, global competition is heating up. Textile and apparel industries are in the midst of major changes. To keep pace with the market scenario, industries rely more on quality and innovative fabrics, and apparels, and quick response to the needs of the customer. Innovations in the fields of nanotextiles, nonwovens, electro textiles, medical textiles, and geo textiles are providing new opportunities for the manufacturers and tap the market. Simultaneously, these opportunities also encompass them with critical challenges. Organizations today engage in many international trade activities, and this certification proves a pre-requisite for their survival in international competition. ISO certification helps the companies in market creation and penetration.