The Implementation and Impact of ISO 9000 among Small Manufacturing Enterprises



Quality is essential to customer satisfaction and competitive success. Unfortunately, resource constraints can place the small-firm manufacturer at a quality disadvantage. This paper considers the benefits and barriers to International Standards Organization (ISO) 9000 certification among small-firm manufacturers. An empirical study explores whether small manufacturers can successfully implement and benefit from a standardized and resource-intensive program such as ISO 9000. The answer is yes if management can internalize core ISO practices. Keys to success include inculcating a quality culture, reducing behaviors that inhibit ISO adoption, performing a readiness analysis that helps tailor the ISO program to company needs, and leveraging a dynamic environment to drive quality consciousness.