ISO 9000 and Organizational Learning LO14423

William Newman (
Sat, 19 Jul 1997 09:48:32 -0400

Replying to LO1460 --

To comment on the ISO9000 thread started by Gray Southon who asked:

> "Can you provide information or experience that ISO 9000 does really
> enhance innovation and learning in a significant number of organisations
> that take it on, rather than the exceptional few."

And Winfried Dressler who noted

> The origin of ISO9000 is in the carmaker and parts industry, where the low
> price / high quality cars by japanese car makers lead to a revolution of
> quality. The competitive situation for european/US cars without ISO9000
> would be the same as for television and cameras.

Actually, ISO9001 is a standard developed by the International Standards
Organization for design and analysis systems. Other ISO standards include
provisions for hazardous materials (ISO14000) and manufacturing and build
for product validation (ISO 90002/3 respectively). Generally today we
refer to the aggregate as "ISO9000".

In the automotive industry, the ISO9000 series has been expanded to
include the quality systems for producing design and product deliverables
for the Big3 automakers (Chrysler, Ford, GM). These combined ISO +
industry standards give rise to the "QS-9000" auto standard. It is a very
rigorous process to become certified and registered and then to maintain
such status. Here in Detroit there are occasions of where a "flag was
pulled", meaning that the supplier no longer conformed to the QS-9000
standard. By the end of 1998, it is a mandate that all sub-tier suppliers
be compliant in QS-9000.

Back to Gray's original question. At A-OK we are looking to use QS-9000
to impact a significant change in the culture of our organization. At
100+ employees we are no longer a tiny company. We are using such change
levers as Year 2000, QS-9000 and other business impacts to instill
processes and procedures and mandates as we are able.

Will this enhance our ability to become an LO? Truly that is not our
current objective. We do hope that our staff will learn from experiences
and documented processes so as to provide repeatability and avoid
reinvention of the wheel like we do today. Beyond that and into
innovation, et. al. companies who wish to lever QS and other like
initiatives into these realms will need to lay the framework and
objectives up front. Remember, you can become ISO/QS-9000 compliant by
having consultants "do it to you." You don't have to buy into the
solution to achieve the objective of compliance.

Truly the opportunity is what we each make of it.

Best regards, Bill.

William D. Newman CMC
Manager, A-OK Applied Technologies Group
Waterford, MI USA

"Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man
doesn't have to experience it." -- Max Frisch

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