The Importance of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000

ISO 9000 is a set of standards that deal primarily with setting procedures or processes in order to satisfy customers. Implementing it would ask the company to meet their customers’ requirements when it comes to quality control. There would be markets and there would be customers that would demand an ISO 9000 certification if the company wants to deal with them. There would also be regulations pertaining to customer satisfaction that would have to be followed. And the companies would have to continuously improve in order to maintain and even improve quality management.

ISO 14000, on the other hand, deals with the impact the company operations has on the environment. Implementing the ISO 14000 would mean taking measures to minimize, if not to eliminate, the harmful effects company production has on the environment. To start with, there would be environmental regulations to be followed. And wherever possible, the company should continuously aim to improve on their practices to lessen the negative effects they give off.

ISO 9000 and 14000 are quite similar in the sense that both deals on processes as a means to achieving both of their goals. Both are quite important to companies but they may not be viewed with the same priority though. In reality, it’s possible that companies might prioritize quality management more since it directly affects company performance.

Environmental management may not be seen to affect sales as much, and yet it can also be expensive. Most companies would prefer to meet regulatory requirements to the minimum and get on with their ways. Still, more and more companies have become more environment conscious too. And to some, the ISO 14000 is a good marketing tool.

ISO 9000 is essentially an international consensus of good practices for quality management. It consists of various standards and guidelines for quality management systems. It also contains some supporting standards for this endeavor. The ISO 9000 certification though would be useful to companies. It would qualify them to enter certain markets which require the certification. It is also a good marketing tool for them. Having such certification gives them a proof of quality assurance and dedication to customer service.

ISO 14000 is essentially about environment management. It aims to manage the negative effects company processes give to the environment through a series of guidelines and standards. Because it is environment management, it targets managing company processes instead of products. The family of ISO 14000 actually deals with many facets of environmental management, but ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14004:2004 would explain the basics and the general idea of ISO 14000. While ISO 14004:2004 would suggest the guidelines, the ISO 14001:2004 would give the requirements for the environment management setting.

ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 both are applicable to virtually all industries. While the first involves quality management, the latter deals with environmental concerns. The two also targets the process rather than the product. They are the best among ISO standards and they are implemented by many enterprises. While quality is such an obvious concern to many, more companies have also been quite conscious of the environmental hazards they are giving and try to manage it. This would not be a surprise with the growing regulation being passed in every country and the apparent negative effects many company practices have set us forth today.

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