What is ISO and why do companies such as LINKYO adhere to its standards for toner cartridges like the Brother TN450 compatible and value being recognized for doing so? And just as importantly, what do ISO certifications mean to the purchaser of toner cartridges?

Each toner cartridge, like this Brother TN450 Compatible, is tested to LINKYO’s high standards, ensuring they meet ISO 14001 and 19001 certifications.

ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization.

ISO provides certification in areas such as Quality Management to businesses, including toner manufacturers, that meet its criteria.

Its publication, “ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems – Requirements” is a hefty 30 pages plus supplemental material that is available in many countries.

Additionally, ISO 14000 environmental standards with requirements throughout the supply chain are also honored worldwide. A company can also earn ISO certification for following the map that ISO 14000 sets forth for an effective environmental management system. Doing so can help the toner manufacturer to:

  • Reduce waste, and therefore waste management costs.
  • Increase savings in the consumption of energy and materials.
  • Decrease distribution costs.
  • Improve the company’s image in the eyes of regulators, customers and the general public.

Not all ISO standards and certifications – food safety management, for example – apply to toner manufacturing. And not all ISO standards are certifiable; for example, ISO 26000:2010 – Social responsibility provides guidelines instead of requirements, and therefore ISO doesn’t certify for this. However, the guidelines can help a business because, after all no business is an island. Following ISO guidelines for social responsibility can help the business function better in its social and environmental setting and thus improve its bottom line.

So getting back to the Quality Management ISO certification. The aforementioned document details requirements for toner manufactures that want to meet the standards of ISO, standards that are designed to help ensure these businesses meet the needs of their customers and shareholders.

More than 1 million companies and organizations worldwide are independently certified, according to Wikipedia’s article on ISO.

This makes ISO 9001, as a management tool, one of the most widely used in the world today.

Businesses that have met the standard set forth by ISO 9001 have raised the bar and are looked on very favorably within the business community. Many companies concerned with quality refuse to do business with a manufacturer that is not ISO-certified.

This is especially important for companies operating in countries such as China that are already under the consumer microscope. Recognizing a good opportunity for better PR, China has had more organizations certified by ISO 9001 than other country in the world. The last reported count for China was 257,076 in 2009. In contrast, theUnited Stateshad 28,935  businesses certified by ISO 9001 in 2009.

ISO helps create the benchmark in any industry because it covers all or nearly all phases of the supply process from raw source materials through to the delivery of the final product.

So how does this relate to toner manufacturing?

We have determined that ISO certification is a useful way to assess the standardization of manufacturing procedures as a management system. However, it does not lend itself to being a quality award. It simply records the procedure in which a product is made not the quality of the product it represents.

The fact that a company has achieved the ISO certification speaks to how well a business is running, given that the business must document its entire supply process. Not an easy task at all.

It logically follows a toner manufacturer that earned ISO certification would not  use substandard materials in their products or take shortcuts in the manufacturing process.

This in and of itself would seem to make this manufacturer a good source as your toner manufacturer because you can be assured that the quality control that goes into the toner manufacturing process and earning ISO certifications will guarantee quality.

+Scott Roy Smith


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