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What are standards?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What are standards? Standards are documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. In the early days of standardization, the main objective was to permit mass production with the aim of reducing costs. Today however, the importance of the product itelf tends to fade into insignificance besides that of the service & uses it provides. That is why quality standards are essiential to maintain the reliability of the product. Although worldwide standardization reduces hinderance to trade, it may, in the short run, increase the possibility of barriers to technical advancement because the development & updating of international standards is a long, time-consuming, & tedious process requiring multilateral agreements that can sometimes constitute a brake on innovation. For example, the format of the credit cards, phone cards, and "smart" cards that have become commonplace is derived from an ISO International Standard. Adhering to the standard, which defines such features as an optimal thickness (0,76 mm), means that the cards can be used worldwide. International Standards thus contribute to making life simpler, and to increasing the reliability and effectiveness of the goods and services we use. The main reasons for standardization of products are: * Worldwide progress in trade liberalization Today's free-market economies increasingly encourage diverse sources of supply and provide opportunities for expanding markets. On the technology side, fair competition needs to be based on identifiable, clearly defined common references that are recognized from one country to the next, and from one region to the other. An industry-wide standard, internationally recognized, developed by consensus among trading partners, serves as the language of trade. * Interpenetration of sectors No industry in today's world can truly claim to be completely independent of components, products, rules of application, etc., that have been developed in other sectors. ...read more.

Middle

Such situations include a contract with the customer, obtaining the customer's (second party) approval or third party (independent certification authority) approval. This 'customer motivated' approach is the main driving force in many countries and sectors of the industry. ISO 9004 - Quality management systems - Guidelines for performance and improvement. It provides guidance that consider both the effectiveness and efficiency of the quality management system and is intended for internal use by the Company (internal assurance). The Company's own management initiates the effort to improve its own operations or in anticipation of emerging marketplace needs and trends. This 'management motivated' approach will normally be more comprehensive and fruitful than the models used for external assurance purposes. Unfortunately, very few companies recognize this. Normally, certification under this type of standard is not possible, as the system developed is for a Company's internal assurance. ISO 90011 - Guidelines on quality and/or environmental management systems auditing. It provides guidance on auditing quality and environmental management systems. Basically speaking the three key standards include: - * ISO 9000:2000, Quality Management Systems -- Fundamentals and Vocabulary * ISO 9001:2000, Quality Management Systems -- Requirements * ISO 9004:2000, Quality Management Systems -- Guidelines for Performance Improvements Users who want to register a new or existing QMS will have until December 2003 to bring the system in line with the new standards. Key Improvements: While the previous version of the ISO 9000 standards has been widely accepted and applied, some users have reported problems related to complexity and effectiveness. Many of the changes in the new versions respond to these concerns. * In previous versions of ISO 9000, there were three standards that described the requirements for registering a QMS. Organizations had to decide which standard to register to based on the operations covered by their QMS. In the new version, these are integrated into a single standard, ISO 9001, Quality Management Systems -- Requirements. ...read more.

Conclusion

Steps taken by TELCO JAMSHEDPUR towards ISO 9000 registration Aside from upgrading procedures and practices, TELCO affected organizational values( quality over quotas), work culture, and the enviroment ( e.g., in vendor and in customer relationships). Vigorous spade work ( the needed orientation and exposure) did much to cut the time to registration. The journey had seven phases. They were - Phase 1: Planning * Corporate decision to go for ISO 9000 registeration. * Corporate steering committee set up to manage the effort * Selection of certification agency * ISO 9000 consultant appointed * Corporate quality policy formulated and published * Divisions identified for certification * Quality stewards for various divisions appointed Phase 2: Awareness building/mass education * ISO 9000 awareness programmes conducted for all employees * Experience sharing through interaction with ISO 9000-certified companies organized * The quality policy communicated to all the employees * ISO 9000 requirements disseminated through booklets Phase 3: Training * ISO 9000 courses conducted for all employees * Lead assessor course conducted for 45 officiers * Internal audit course conducted for 180 officiers * Auditee course conducted for selected personnel * Programme for union officials held * Senior executives attended ISO 9000 programme Phase 4: Documentation * Preparation of quality manual * Writing of procedures * Preparation of work instructions, process sheets, quality plans, check sheets; various formats designed * Procedures interlinked and checked for their adequacy Phase 5: Implementation * Procedures, work instructions and process sheets installed * Appropriate control of documents exercised * Special process qualification carried out * Calibration of gauges and process equipment completed * Record keeping started Phase 6: Internal audit * Comprehensive internal audit for all the divisions planned * Audit conducted by Lead assessors and internal auditors * Audit findings analysed in detail * Quality councils discussed findings and planned corrective actions * Follow up audit conducted to ensure closing of all non-conformities Phase 7: Assessment by the certification agency * Pre-assessment audit conducted * Final assessment for certification carried out Jamshedpur's excavator division received ISO 9001 in August 1993, along with the foundry and forge divisions registering ISO 9002. ...read more.

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