The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) shows how many companies are currently ISO 9001 certified in each country:
And the highest number of ISO 9001-registered companies is… China. And that number is on the rise.
Is this surprising? No, for two reasons:
- China probably counts the highest number of manufacturing companies, and the ISO 9001 standard is mostly implemented in the industrial sector.
- Many registrars in China are very lax. Getting accredited is easy, even for companies that are very far from quality management best practices.
But the number of registrations is not growing in every country.
In Germany it is relatively stable:
And the popularity of ISO 9001 actually seems to be decreasing in many countries.
Here is the trend for the United States:
Here is the trend for Japan:
What happened? Why are many companies getting un-registered?
ISO 9001 was the popular thing to do at a certain time, and many companies jumped on the bandwagon. But many of these companies were disappointed by what they perceived as a source of excessive paperwork.
The reason is, they implemented the ISO 9001 standard the wrong way. For example, they wrote 50-page quality manuals that nobody read.
For advice on how to use this standard wisely, I suggest you read this article.
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