Serendipitous findings are reported from an on-going research project that seeks to determine the effectiveness of quality assurance systems certified under the ISO 9000 series in Australian contracting organizations. In Australia, certification has become mandatory for all organizations wishing to do business with government agencies and major private companies. While certification was designed so that purchasers could have confidence in the quality of the vendor's product or service, not all organizations have been able to implement certification processes in a way that supports this original intent. Instead, most construction organizations have opted to go through the motions without an underlying sustainable continuous improvement philosophy. They simply wish to gain marketing benefits, while others have been overcome by the mass of paperwork required for achieving the quality 'seal of approval'. This paper uses a case study to examine the experiences of a major building and engineering contractor threatened by the paperwork dilemma. However, by adopting a radical shift in the management of the certification programme the contractor was able to implement a quality system that reduced rework significantly and brought about marketing benefits. This case study is used to present a company's experiences in solving problems associated with the certification process, and offers a learning opportunity for other organizations facing similar difficulties.
- Continuous improvement
- ISO 9000
- Quality certification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management Information Systems
- Building and Construction
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering