Can quality be guaranteed?



I am looking into the following:

Can the quality of a good or service be guaranteed if the supplier holds accreditation under the ISO9000 standards?

Can anyone help me with this or can give me some ideas of possible sources of reference?

Thanks in anticipation,

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Kevin Mader

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Being registered to ISO9000 does not guarantee products or services nor does it guarantee an organizations future success. It guarantees nothing. It only signifies that your Quality Management System satisfies the ISO requirements and that you have the "potential" to deliver better quality product or services. This is why you can not apply the ISO, or your registrar's, logo to products (product marking such as CE). The best you can do with either is stating that "products or services are provided by an ISO9000 registered organization". I hope this helps.

Leslie Garon

I agree with Kevin.

What I always say is:
"ISO only increases the probibility of Quality output, it does not guarentee it".

ISO was brought onto the scene because the european community wanted to have a way to identify quality suppliers (or at least those more prone to deliver a higher quality product). Once the standard came out, it proved to be a decient measure of probable quality suppliers and thus eurpoean customers applied the requirement to their suppliers and this spilled over to the US.

This is a short but sweet explanation and very general but it should help.

Scott Knutson

I can't really add anything else other than to say I have experienced companies who have ISO certification whose quality is very much questionable.

Roger Eastin

If ISO is taken properly as a base for quality improvement, then, yeah, I would buy from an ISO registered company. But it is also true that a company could produce a high level of scrap and as long as they handled the scrap properly, ISO 9000 would bless their system. Hmmmm, I am glad they are rewriting ISO 9000. It needs to have the customer more in mind. Unfortunately, too many companies still just want that piece of "registration" paper to hang on the wall without including some TQM thinking.

Don Winton

Not a lot I can add. The replies above pretty much sum it up. Roger is absolutely correct. If an ISO 900x system is implemented just for the sake of registration (some, not all), and the documentation instructs the company to build junk, the company will build junk.


Christian Lupo

What I think everyone is trying to say (in one form or another) is ISO ensures consistency. A company could continuously produce a bad product and still meet the requirements of ISO. The purpose of ISO is to reduce variation (consistency), which theoretically with the aid of corrective and preventive action will lead to a quality product.

The popularity of an ISO certified system stems from the fact that any/all ISO certified companies must meet the same requirements. When choosing an ISO certified company you already know they must have incoming inspection, corrective action, final/in process inspection, segregate non-conforming product etc.. without ever auditing the company. Basically, you know what your getting (theoretically) whenyou choose an ISO certified company

ISO 900X make "IMPRESSION". It is a new buzz word in North America. Some people think that ISO make you better...

It only make you better, if you really want to improve your quality and reduce cost. If you do it for other reasons,-see above!


Thanks you all for all your help. Your views have been very useful and now I have a far greater understanding of ISO 9000.

Thanks again,
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