According to the 2008 Small Business Economy report, there are 27 million small businesses in the US, providing half of the nation’s non-farm, private real gross domestic product (GDP). These small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face tough operating challenges, particularly in difficult economic times, and quality management is essential to increase bottom-line results, save money and manage risks.
ISO 9001 is the most well-known and widely followed quality management standard, and certification to this standard is often a prerequisite before small companies can get the contract to act as a partner or supplier. However, it is complicated, time-consuming and expensive to understand and implement the changes required to achieve certification, and this is a particular burden on small companies with less money to invest in such activity, fewer staff and less chance that the task of quality management will fall to a quality expert.
This established book, now in its fourth edition, provides step-by-step, prescriptive guidance, tailored to the non-quality specialist, on how to approach quality management and certification to ISO 9001 in a cost and time effective way. It enables small businesses to reap the benefits of ISO 9001 certification with minimum effort and paperwork, and without the need for expensive consultancy or training that takes employees out of the office.