The purpose of ‘ISO 9001:2000 implementation in the Greek food sector’ (Fotopoulos, Psomas, Vouzas, 2010), is to examine the reasons for implementing ISO 9000:2000 and the benefits of certification as perceived by the companies who have implemented ISO 9001 and been certified to it.
The research was based on a sample of randomly selected Greek food companies, 97 of whom responded (27.7%). Of these, 79% were SMEs (<250 employees), 11.5% had 250-500 employees and 9.5% had over 500. Virtually all these companies had held ISO 9001 certification for less than four years.
To ascertain the reasons for seeking certification and the benefits companies perceived they had gained from certification, companies were asked to give a score up to 5 for the reasons for going for certification and what they felt they had achieved as a result of ISO 9001 certification. The results were:
|Reasons for certification||Score (max. 5)|
|Company’s image improvement||4.40|
|Company’s quality policy||4.21|
|End product quality improvement||4.18|
|Quality operation improvement||4.13|
|Standardized work procedures||4.11|
|The certificate as a marketing tool||3.93|
|The first step for total quality||3.84|
|Increasing the competitive advantage||3.80|
|Benefits achieved from certification||Score (max. 5)|
|Improved company image||4.14|
|Improvement of product quality||3.98|
|Better communication with customers||3.95|
|Reduction of failures and reworks||3.88|
|Improvement of competitive position||3.87|
|Improvement of supplier performance and quality||3.81|
|Better awareness of customer requirements||3.80|
|Mutual cooperation with suppliers||3.73|
The report’s conclusions were that, ‘The benefits of high significance are: the development of company-wide quality culture, the improvement of internal processes, company’s image, product’s quality and reliability and improved customer satisfaction’.
‘The results of the present study on Greek small-medium sized food companies prove that the most significant reasons that led to the decision to become certified to ISO 9000:2000 were those resulting from the real need for improvement (internal motives) and then those from the company’s external environment (external motivates). However, the most significant benefits of certification concerned firstly the external and then the internal environment’.
University of Ioannina, Agrinio, Greece (Fotopoulos, Psomas); University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece (Vouzas)