Van Nuland, Yves (1990, ASQC) UCB Chemical Sector, Brussels, Belgium
Free trade within the European Community (EC) as of January 1993 requires acceptance of the ISO (International Standards Organization) 9000 series of standards. For ISO 9000 to work well in the EC, there should be consistent use of the standards throughout the 12 countries. Each country should recognize every other country's certification structure. Auditors should be well-trained, reliable, and unbiased. At the company level, ISO 9000 will succeed only if total quality control and management commitment are in place. Advantages of ISO 9000 include replacement of inconsistent national standards and auditing practices. ISO 9000 will increase customer confidence in their suppliers. Disadvantages include the work required for implementation and the conflict of ISO 9000 with quality systems in some industries.