ISO has opened a new section on its Web site to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) achieve the benefits of implementing quality and environmental management systems based respectively on its ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 standards.

ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented: “SME’s may mistakenly perceive of International Standards as being only for big business and government. In fact, SME’s too can benefit from the state-of-the-art technology and management practices disseminated by International Standards which also open the door to export markets and participation in global supply chains.

“To encourage SME’s to use International Standards and to become more involved in developing them, ISO and its partners the International Electrotechnical Commission and the International Telecommunication Union have chosen SME’s and standardization as the theme for World Standards Day 2006, on 14 October.”

As a practical measure in support of this theme, ISO has added to the frequently visited ISO 9000/ISO 14000 section on its Web site a number of articles aimed at making it easier for small businesses to implement the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards that were being used by some 760 900 organizations in 154 countries at the end of 2004, according to The ISO Survey.

The articles, which first appeared in ISO Management Systems magazine, cover the following topics of particular interest to SME’s:

  • Taking the first steps towards a quality management system

Having taken the decision to implement a quality management system, SME’s in particular are often unsure just how to get started. This article takes SME managers through the first steps and is based on advice given the ISO handbook ISO 9001 for Small Businesses

  • Taking the first steps in environmental management

This article explains clearly how an SME can implement an environmental management system so that the process is not a series of hurdles, but rather a set of practical steps towards raising environmental and business performance.

  • Quality management consultants: instructions for use

A decision to implement a quality management system may be the organization’s first real contact with the world of ISO 9000 – especially if it is an SME – and many turn to an external consultant for help. This article gives some helpful pointers. It was written by the leader of the group of experts that developed the standard ISO 10019:2005, Guidelines for the selection of quality management system consultants and use of their services.

  • Implementing ISO 14001: do you hire a consultant, or Do-It-Yourself?

This article helps SME managers answer some essential questions. Should you hire a consultant to help with environmental management system implementation, or go it alone? What are the advantages and potential pitfalls? How can you get best value for money if you hire a consultant and are the criteria you should use for choosing one?

  • New ISO Web site section for small and medium-sized enteprises