oa South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - Quality management amongst South African agribusiness firms: the role of ISO 9000 quality assurance standards



Worldwide, the ISO 9000 quality assurance standards have received considerable support from firms seeking to improve their competitiveness. A postal survey was conducted amongst 92 South African agribusiness firms to determine the extent of the adoption of ISO 9000, reasons for certification and to identify the costs and benefits of adopting these standards. About 36 percent of the respondent firms were certified. The desire to improve customer service, a basis for quality improvement and the need to improve operational efficiency were the most important factors influencing certification. Respondents reported financial, managerial and production benefits following certification. Broadly speaking, certified firms operate as private or public companies, have parent company affiliations, are involved in manufacturing, and are established firms with large annual turnovers.


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