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    Helping Service Firms to Manage Quality


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2006

    A new guide helps small service firms meet international standards in quality management, in order to boost their competitiveness.

    According to the World Trade Organization, the value of world commercial services trade increased in 2004 by 16% to $2.1 trillion. One way that organizations in developing countries can increase their share in the global market for services is by ensuring competitiveness through the implementation of a quality management system based on ISO 9001:2000, Quality management systems - Requirements.

    The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and ITC have collaborated to develop ISO 9001:2000, A workbook for service organizations, which gives a methodology for organizations that decide to implement ISO 9001:2000 and possibly seek certification.

    Targeting service organizations with less than 20 employees, such as accountants, architects, engineers, lawyers, management consultants and others, the workbook's practical tools include questions, checklists and planning guides.

    It is focused on internal decisions and discussions needed to implement an effective quality management system. It aims to streamline internal processes rather than impose a pre-designed management system.

    The workbook is available in English, French and Spanish. It can be ordered online from ITC's E-shop, from ISO national member institutes (listed with contact details on the ISO web site) and from ISO Central Secretariat web store .

    This article first appeared in the September-October 2006 issue of ISO Management Systems¸ published by the Central Secretariat of ISO.

    For more information about quality management issues at ITC, contact Shyam Gujadhur, ITC Senior Adviser on Standards and Quality Management, atgujadhur@intracen.org