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64 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2020 "Produce quality or die" may sound harsh, but for manufacturers in the electronics indus- try, it is true. The ability to consistently pro- duce a quality product profitably is the base- line for business success; if you can't do it cost-effectively, then you can't innovate, de- velop new products, or open new markets. No one knows this story better than Nancy Viter, VP of operations at Sunstone Circuits. Nancy was a key player in Sunstone's recent implementation of a certified quality man- agement system (QMS) and a yearlong certi- fication process. The International Organiza- tion for Standardization (ISO) 9000 family and ISO 9001 certifications are built on standards achieved with a QMS that addresses far more than "just quality." Done correctly, we learned that this standard provides a foundation for a robust business management system. It was a journey worth taking, and one we encourage you to consider. Fair warning: ISO adoption can be challenging at times. Roadblocks can materialize quickly from the top of the organization chart as well as on the production floor. Lack of management com- mitment can stop a QMS initiative before it starts. Our company owners and officers indi- cated ISO was a top priority on day one. They made themselves available to employees, an- swered questions, and kept everyone engaged. Absent guidance saying otherwise, employ- ees may equate improved efficiency with a re- duced workforce (loss of jobs) or elevated job standards (more "red tape"). Once all employ- ees were comfortable that this endeavor would bring more business and address their pain points and make their jobs easier, it began to set the stage for acceptance and participation. Moving forward with ISO certification is a big step for most businesses, especially for or- You Can't Afford Not to Consider ISO 9001 Connect the Dots by Bob Tise and Matt Stevenson, SUNSTONE CIRCUITS

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