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ISO 9000
The ISO 9000 series was created by the International Organization for Standardization. The intent of the documents is to set international requirements for quality management systems. The ISO 9000 Standard is used by hundreds of thousands of organizations and is becoming commonplace in the business world.

The series is modified and controlled by Technical Committee (TC) 176 periodically. The first standards were published in 1987, with the initial revision seven years later in 1994 and the current versions were issued in 2000. The series itself is generic, and is designed to be applicable to any manufacturing or service process.

The previous ISO 9000 family of standards contained some 20 standards and documents. The year 2000 ISO 9000 family of standards consists of four primary standards supported by a number of technical reports. The four primary standards are:
ISO 9000: QMS - Concepts and Vocabulary
ISO 9001: QMS - Requirements
ISO 9004: QMS - Guidelines
ISO 10011: Guidelines for Auditing Quality Systems (watch for ISO 19011, which will merge 10011 and 14011 and, be published in the third quarter of 2001)

Customers are becoming increasingly well informed quality-conscious shoppers. They need to know that your business will meet their needs before awarding contracts. A Quality Management System certified by an accredited registrar demonstrates your commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Implementing and maintaining a Quality Management System will help to enhance customer satisfaction, achieve consistency in operations, and improve internal processes and communication. It can minimize the risk that customer expectations are not met.