Many organisations take their quality improvement initiatives no further than ISO 9000. Others try to achieve TQM and fail, while others successfully make the transition. This may be because the requirements for TQM are not clear. However, the requirements for implementing the EFQM model criteria are clear and therefore may allow an organisation’s senior management to help drive their company towards excellence, perhaps with some external assistance. This paper investigates what happens with regard to quality management after an organisation has achieved ISO 9000. In particular, the extent of adoption of the EFQM excellence model is examined, as is the use of proven quality improvement tools and techniques such as statistical process control (SPC). Associated with these improvement techniques, the importance and standard of external assistance in implementing them are examined. The paper concludes that training, the use of SPC and working to the EFQM model criteria are all significant factors if an organisation is to be perceived as successful.
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