Each year there is an analysis of how far ISO is spreading and other factors they deem important. I believe you should take a read through the latest survey to get an idea how far and wide ISO 9K series has spread.
The ISO “Magical Demystifying Tour of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000” is on the web and gives a somewhat simplistic overview of the standard. It’s mostly a promo, but does contain some pertinent information.
But watch out what you get from the ISO folks. Well meaning, there is a slight delay from time to time. For example, as of April 2001 their document meant to help companies decide which standard to apply (Selection and Use) is still posted, though it is obsolete (disk file name is 9000-selusee.pdf).
As with any other Miracle Cure, ISO registration is not the answer to all. If a business is being run poorly, ISO 9001 registration is not likely to significantly improve things. Companies have personalities which are typically set by upper management. They rarely ‘Find Religion’, so to speak, because of an ISO implementation process. So - don’t expect miracles.
Who’s Doing It & General Issues
The ISO organization publishes a yearly assessment of the ISO 9001 distribution.
ISO9K-8thCycleSurvey.pdf (through December 1998)
ISO9K-9thCycleSurvey.pdf (through December 1999)
The Magical Demystifying Tour of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000