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Knight, K.

TQM and ISO 9000 may have similar goals but have evolved from different "worlds".
Bringing these two philosophies together can be a rewarding challenge.

Prior to the formal implementation of ISO 9000, Albany had embarked on the TQM path in
early 1986.

During the early years of TQM we learnt how to identify what it really was that our
customers wanted from us. It wasn't machine utilisation or reduced absenteeism, it was
quality of product and service. We began working in teams focused on improving the process
when things went wrong.

It was recognised that everyone had a responsibility for quality and ensuring the customers
expectations were met.

Then along came ISO 9000.

We had confidence in our system and had results to prove it. We were gaining market share,
satisfying our customers needs, and were operating as a profitable, successful company.
We began documenting our existing quality system, to the exacting requirements of
ISO 9000. Our auditors had difficulty accepting our approach in some areas because it was
not the typical way.

We began to realise it would be necessary to implement some new controls and sub-systems.
ISO 9000 was putting some discipline into our TQM philosophy.

This led to some uneasy feelings as to benefits versus costs of an accredited quality system,
but we continued on and were successful with our audit and registration under 1SO 9002.

We are now seeing the benefits of a disciplined quality system. Our formal system is
highlighting opportunities for process improvement. We now enjoy the best of both worlds as
a customer focused Total Quality company with the discipline of a formal ISO 9002