Linking JIT Productivity with ISO 9000 Quality for Construction by sdsdfqw21


									Linking JIT Productivity with ISO 9000 Quality for
Construction Industry Development: Lessons for Developing

School of Building and Real Estate
National University of Singapore


Achieving high productivity and quality standards is a challenge for construction industry development in
developing countries. In so far as quality is concerned in the more developed countries, many construction
firms have already established quality management systems (QMS) within their organisations to meet ISO
9000 requirements. Construction firms in the more developed countries are also increasingly adopting the
Just-In-Time (JIT) philosophy within their operations to achieve higher productivity. Both the ISO 9000 and
JIT systems are, however, treated separately by most, if not all, construction firms where implementation is
concerned. This division is undesirable for construction firms in developing countries which are proceeding
along similar directions in the near future.

This paper suggests that there are many similarities between ISO 9000 requirements and JIT principles and
that these should be taken advantage of in order to implement the JIT philosophy successfully. This can be
achieved by extending the template for existing ISO 9000 QMS to incorporate JIT principles. Consequently,
by riding on existing ISO 9000 QMS, JIT principles can be operationalised more readily within construction
organisations without the need to expend additional resources. This paper presents the ISO 9000
requirements as well as JIT principles and discusses how these two sets of requirements/principles should be
integrated using the ISO 9000-JIT Matrix. Construction firms in developing countries who are able to take
advantage of this integration can avoid the ISO 9000-JIT division which prevails in the developed world.

Keywords: ISO 9000, quality, Just-In-Time, productivity, construction, integration.


The ISO 9000 Standards on Quality Systems were first introduced in Singapore in the late-1980s and in the
construction and real estate industries only in the early-1990s (Low, 1998). Third party certification to ISO
9000 Standards is set to play a more important role in the local building industry. This is because the
Singapore government has announced that all G6 to G8 construction firms as well as the larger consultancy
firms (which are involved in public-sector projects which are worth more than $30 million) will need to be
certified to ISO 9000 Standards by 1 July 1999 if they wish to tender for public-sector works after this
deadline (Low, 1998).

Consequently, as 1 July 1999 drew nearer, more construction firms in Singapore sought certification to ISO
9000 Standards in order to bid for public sector building projects. Mandatory certification in this direction
will hopefully help to raise quality and productivity standards in the local construction industry. It would,
however, appear that quality and productivity standards will not be enhanced if construction firms treat the
requirements of ISO 9000 narrowly without further exploring how these can be fully exploited to their
Like ISO 9000, the Just-In-Time (JIT) philosophy has also been proven to be successful in the Singapore
construction industry. JIT was applied to a school project (Low and Tan, 1997), a public housing project
(Low and Tan, 1997a) as well as for the prefabrication of precast concrete components (Low and Chan,
1997a). In all these cases, there were time and cost savings following the strategic application of JIT in their

It is therefore the contention here that JIT is just as important as ISO 9000 for raising quality and
productivity standards in the construction industry (Low and Chan, 1997a; Low, 1998). Hence, adopting the
JIT philosophy and ISO 9000 collectively can help to solve productivity and quality problems in the
construction industry. The JIT philosophy provides techniques for managing manpower, quality and
productivity while ISO 9000 provides a system for JIT to operate on (Hernandez, 1993).

The objective of this paper is therefore to provide an understanding of how JIT can be applied in
construction using ISO 9000 as a template. It will explain the JIT principles and ISO 9000 requirements to
understand why it is possible to strategically use ISO 9000 to apply JIT successfully. This should provide
quality managers with the opportunity to identify the necessary steps to apply JIT through existing ISO
9000 QMS. The successful implementation of JIT in construction should be rendered less cumbersome in
the process.


Experience in the construction industry suggests that it is possible to integrate different management
systems to achieve synergy. A good case in point is the ISO 14000 Standards for environmental
management which share many similar concepts with the ISO 9000 Standards for quality management. In
the former, an environmental management system (EMS) is a formal business process that may be used by
organisations to manage environmental issues. The areas which are being developed under the ISO 14000
series of standards include the following:

1.    EMS which becomes a part of an organisation’s overall management system.
2.    Environmental Auditing (EA) which is used to assess the conformance of EMS to various audit
3.    Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE) which provides the framework for an organisation
      to identify, select and use a variety of indicators to assess its environmental performance.
4.    Environmental Labelling (EL) which provides consumers with an indication of the environmental
      friendliness of a product or service.
5.    Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) which gives an overall evaluation of the environmental impact of a
      product or service. The assessment includes raw materials used, production and operation,
      disposal, recycling and reuse.

An EMS therefore addresses environmental aspects of an organisation’s products, services and activities
while a QMS addresses quality aspects of the organisation’s products or services. Whereas a QMS
emphasizes on consistency, an EMS stresses continual improvement of the system to achieve overall
improvement in environmental performance. Hence, a QMS tends to be customer-driven while an EMS
tends to be stakeholder-driven (stakeholders in this case refer to employees, shareholders, bankers, local and
international communities, regulators and other interest groups) (The Straits Times, 1998).

It can therefore be seen that both EMS and QMS are essentially management systems which can help a
company manage a specific concern within the organisation. In this case, ISO 14000 and ISO 9000 are
concerned with environmental and quality issues respectively. Nevertheless, the methodology used by both
EMS and QMS is similar. In both cases, for example, there is a need to establish a policy, define roles and
responsibilities, provide resources, appoint a management representative and provide appropriate training to
staff. In addition, both EMS and QMS must be documented and records kept, internal audits must be
conducted and there must be regular management reviews.

Consequently, the similar elements in both ISO 14000 and ISO 9000 standards allow for the integration of
EMS and QMS. Common elements such as documentation control, training records, maintenance and
calibration of equipment and procedures for non-compliance and corrective action for under-performance
can therefore be integrated and addressed jointly in a single document (The Straits Times, 1998). This
possibility of integrating EMS and QMS suggests that it is also technically possible to integrate the
requirements of the ISO 9000 Standards with other management systems, including that of productivity
improvement through the JIT philosophy.


Quality assurance can be defined as all those planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate
confidence that a product or service will satisfy given requirements for quality. These actions serve to
inspire confidence in a product or service so much so that the need for inspections and reworks is eliminated
completely. The three basic elements of quality assurance are: Say what you do; Do what you say; and
Record that you have done it (Lim and Low, 1992).

Within the wider context of the ISO 9000 Standards on Quality Systems, the quality assurance framework
will include compliance activities such as third party approvals; systems audits; advanced quality planning;
comprehensive quality manuals; use of quality costs; involvement of non-production operations; failure
mode and effects analysis; and statistical process control, among others. The 20 clauses set out in ISO 9001
which all organisations will need to fulfil in order to develop their quality manuals are described succinctly
by Low (1998) and the PS21 Office in the Prime Minister’s Office (PS21 Office, 1998) as outlined below.

  1.   Management responsibility - Define the organisation’s directions, route and crew, provide the means
       to get there and monitor progress. The following criteria form part of this requirement: establish
       written quality policy; establish quality objectives; define quality responsibilities and authority;
       identify and provide adequate resources; appoint management representative; and conduct review of

  2.   Quality system - Document what you know works, do what you know works and plan what you do
       not know. The following criteria form part of this requirement: document quality manual and
       procedures; define and document quality planning; and ensure effective implementation of quality

  3.   Contract review - Only make promises which you know you can keep. The following criteria form
       part of this requirement: establish procedures for review of customers’ requirements; conduct review
       to determine whether customers’ requirements can be met; ensure amendments to contracts are
       identified and transferred to relevant functions; and keep records of contract review.

  4.   Design control - For a new service or product, analyse the components and interactions, and design a
       more reliable solution. The following criteria form part of this requirement: establish design plans,
       activities, responsibilities and functional interfaces; assign design work to qualified people; ensure
       clear and unequivocal design inputs; ensure design inputs address statutory and regulatory
       considerations (if any); ensure design review; verify design outputs and conduct design validation;
       control design changes - and maintain records on design work and activities.

  5.   Document and data control - Ensure that everyone has the right information to do the job. The
       following criteria form part of this requirement: establish document control over issue, distribution
       and changes to controlled documents and data; remove obsolete and/or invalid documents; maintain
       masterlist or equivalent to identify current status; identify status of all controlled documents; and
       identify obsolete documents retained for legal and/or knowledge preservation purposes.

  6.   Purchasing - Use suppliers and subcontractors you can trust. The following criteria form part of this
       requirement: establish system of assessing and controlling subcontractors; specify clearly
       requirements of products to be purchased in purchasing documents; and review and approve all
       purchasing documents.
7.   Control of customer-supplied product - If the customer supplies tools or materials, do not take it for
     granted that they work. Make sure that you return any equipment on loan. The following criteria form
     part of this requirement: inspect on receipt of the product or material; provide adequate storage; and
     report to customer on loss, damage or unsuitability for use.

8.   Product identification and traceability - Do the right job, on the right terms. The following criteria
     form part of this requirement: establish system of product identification from receipt and during all
     stages; and establish system for product traceability and ensure recording on product and batches.

9.   Process control - Provide the right environment and ensure the right output. The following criteria
     form part of this requirement: establish documented work instruction; provide suitable equipment and
     environment; provide trained personnel for the tasks assigned; ensure compliance with specifications
     and quality plans; identify and control product and process variables affecting quality; qualify
     equipment and processes before release; provide acceptance criteria for workmanship; control and
     monitor variables affecting special processes; maintain records of control; and carry out equipment

10. Inspection and testing - Check that what comes in, what is being produced and what has been
    produced is what was wanted. The following criteria form part of this requirement: conduct
    incoming, in-process and outgoing inspections; ensure identification of materials if released for
    urgent production; and maintain inspection and testing record.

11. Control of inspection, measuring and test equipment - Don’t forget to test the tester. The following
    criteria form part of this requirement: establish and maintain a calibration programme; maintain a
    master list of measuring equipment; ensure that equipment including test software are duly calibrated
    and traceable to national standards; establish calibration methods for all measuring and test
    equipment including jigs and fixtures and test software; and identify all measuring equipment and
    their calibration status.

12. Inspection and test status - Track so as not to miss a key action. The following criteria form part of
    this requirement: identify inspection status; maintain status to ensure that only products which pass
    the required inspections are dispatched, used or installed.

13. Control of non-conforming product - Know how to deal with bugs. The following criteria form part
    of this requirement: mark or segregate non-conforming products; review for disposition of non-
    conforming products; and re-inspect reworked items before release.

14. Corrective and preventive actions - Banish the known bugs and sniff out lurking ones. The following
    criteria form part of this requirement: investigate and analyse causes of non-conformance; initiate
    corrective and preventive actions; ensure actions taken are effective; record changes in procedures;
    and ensure preventive actions are reviewed by management.

15. Handling, storage, packaging, preservation and delivery - Having built in quality, do not ruin it at this
    stage. The following criteria form part of this requirement: provide suitable material handling
    methods; ensure appropriate methods for preservation and storage of products; control issue and
    receipt at   store; assess stocks periodically; provide suitable and adequate packaging for products;
    and provide protection to products up to destination if contractually required.

16. Control of quality records - Now where did you put that letter? The following criteria form part of
    this requirement: establish methods for identifying and maintaining all quality records, including
    computer databases, and microfilms; ensure legibility and easy retrieval of records; provide suitable
    environment for storing quality records; and specify retention periods.

17. Internal quality audits - How well do your procedures relate to your actions? The following criteria
    form part of this requirement: establish audit plan and procedures to carry out audits on the quality
    system to check for compliance and effectiveness; ensure auditor independence; maintain records of
    audit results; ensure that deficiencies found are rectified and follow-up actions are conducted to
    ascertain their effectiveness; and review results of audits at management reviews.
     18. Training - Develop the people to keep doing the job right. The following criteria form part of this
         requirement: identify training needs and execute training programmes; and maintain records of all

     19. Servicing - When the customer comes back, keep him coming back. The following criteria form part
         of this requirement: provide after-sales servicing if required contractually; provide necessary support
         for servicing; and verify and report that servicing is done correctly.

     20. Statistical techniques - Remember to apply mathematical formulae consistently. The following
         criteria form part of this requirement: identify needs for appropriate statistical techniques to verify
         process capability and product characteristics; and implement and control application of statistical
         techniques. (Low, 1998; PS21 Office, 1998; SISIR 1994).


The JIT philosophy has been established in the manufacturing sector for many years. This concept is,
however, still relatively new in the construction industry. About three decades ago, the idea for the JIT
concept was first mooted by Mr Taiichi Ohno, former Executive Vice-President of Toyota Motor
Corporation (Lim and Low, 1992). The JIT system used in manufacturing by Toyota Motor Corporation
proved to be a success as the cars produced are of better quality and reliability and yet achieved savings in
terms of improved productivity and reduction of costs in maintaining inventory levels and storage space.
With its proven success at Toyota Motor Corporation, JIT was promoted widely both in Japan and abroad.

JIT is essentially:
a. a series of operating concepts that identifies operational problems systematically; and
b. a series of technology-based tools that corrects problems following their identification.

The successful implementation of JIT is dependent on the suppliers’ flexibility, users’ stability, total
management and employee commitment as well as teamwork. Through the elimination of waste, JIT aims to
improve product quality and productivity. Waste is considered as non-value adding to an activity. In any
operation, it comprises motion and work. However, only work is a value-adding activity. Hence, motion is
regarded as a form of waste. Wastes include over-production of components and products, delays in
materials and information, material transportation, unnecessary processing, excess stocks, unnecessary
human activities and defects in material and information. The seven principles of JIT used to overcome the
above problems are now outlined.

(a) Elimination of waste
The fundamental philosophy of JIT is to eliminate waste and under the JIT concept, construction waste can
be classified into the following categories:

1.     waste from over-production
2.     waste from delays
3.     waste from transportation
4.     waste from unnecessary processing
5.     waste from excess inventory
6.     waste from unnecessary motion
7.     waste from defects.

(b) The Kanban or Pull System
Methods of production can generally be organised in two ways, namely the pull and the push system. In the
pull system, organisations produce on demand whereas in the push system, organisations forecast the
demand or maintain stock level. The advantage of the push system is that since the amount of production is
known in advance, the scheduling of activities needed is predictable. However, a forecast may be required
and therefore there is a possibility of over-production. The advantage of the pull system is that it is less
dependent on estimates when compared to the push system. However, in the Kanban system, responding to
unexpected demands is not possible.

(c) Uninterrupted workflow
Uninterrupted workflow means that the schedule for the final assembly must be smooth flowing. Hence,
rationalisation and simplification of the production process is necessary. Every process should be reduced to
its simplest form before considering mechanisation or automation and the aim is to replace a complex and
expensive process with one that is simple and cheap.

(d) Total Quality Control (TQC)
In order to achieve zero inventory, errors and defective components must be eliminated in each task. Under
TQC, all workers are responsible for ensuring that their work is defect-free before proceeding to the next
stage of operation.

(e) Employee involvement
As noted earlier, the success of JIT implementation is dependent to a great extent on the teamwork and
commitment of every employee. Each employee should be given adequate training and responsibilities in
various areas like timeliness of production and quality assurance. Employees should be able to set up and
maintain various type of machinery. Involvement can be extended to suggestion schemes and participation
in quality improvement teams.

(f) Supplier relations
Building a good supplier-user relation is no longer a choice but a necessity. The quality of the supplies
purchased is a critical factor to the quality of an organisation’s finished products. Hence, an organisation
must treat suppliers as long-term business partners so that the quality of materials delivered will always be
maintained at a high standard. This would greatly reduce paperwork, inventory levels and storage space.

(g) Continuous improvement
An organisation should not remain content with its status quo. To maintain its competitiveness, it should
continuously strive to improve operations and the ways in which activities are carried out. Audits and
benchmarking are some of the tools which an organisation can adopt to ensure that its operations are
improved continuously.

The successful implementation of JIT would require a consideration of the seven principles mentioned
above. Once this is achieved, the advantages of implementing JIT would include:

•   reduction in inventory level (work-in-progress and raw material)
•   reduction in storage space
•   reduction in factory overheads
•   reduction in production costs
•   reduction in rectification works
•   improvement in quality
•   improvement in productivity (Low and Chan, 1997a)


The comparative review above suggests that there are many similarities between ISO 9000 requirements
and JIT principles which make integration possible. The thrust of this paper, as shown in Figure 1, is to
attempt to incorporate JIT concepts into existing ISO 9000 QMS to achieve productivity in the construction
industry. Having reviewed these requirements and principles, it is possible to match JIT requirements
against the ISO 9000 template which consists of the 20 clauses in ISO 9001. This attempt at matching is
shown conceptually in the matrix in Figure 2. The outcome of a technical comparison between ISO 9000
requirements and JIT concepts is shown in Table 1 which lists the situations where the relevant JIT
principles can make use of an existing ISO 9000 QMS for implementation. JIT and ISO 9000 requirements
which are similar are marked with crosses (x) in Table 1. In this manner, there is no necessity to establish a
separate framework for the implementation of JIT and incurring in the process, additional resources and
costs. Since most construction companies already have an existing ISO 9000 QMS in place or are in the
process of developing and implementing one, the ISO 9000 template can help to facilitate the smooth
development and implementation of JIT principles within an organisation. It is therefore timely for quality
managers in construction firms to familiarise themselves with JIT principles and determine where these
principles can be implemented within their organisations through existing QMS without disrupting other
existing systems and operations.

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                                Figure 1: Thrust of ISO 9000-JIT study
                                                                                                                                                                  Just-in-Time Concepts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Continuous improvement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Employee involvement
                                                                                                              Elilmination of waste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Total quality control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Supplier relations
                                                                                                                                                                                              Smooth workflow
                                                                                                                                                              Kanban system
                                                       4.1 Management responsibility
                                                       4.2 Quality system
                                                       4.3 Contract review
     ISO 9000 quality management system requirements

                                                       4.4 Design control
                                                       4.5 Document and data control
                                                       4.6 Purchasing
                                                       4.7 Control of customer-supplied product
                                                       4.8 Product identification and traceability
                                                       4.9 Process control
                                                       4.10 Inspection and testing
                                                       4.11 Control of inspection, measuring and test
                                                       4.12 Inspection and test status
                                                       4.13 Control of non-conforming product
                                                       4.14 Corrective and preventive action
                                                       4.15 Handling, storage, packaging, preservation &
                                                       4.16 Control of quality records
                                                       4.17 Internal quality audits
                                                       4.18 Training
                                                       4.19 Servicing
                                                       4.20 Statistical techniques

                                                          Figure 2: Matrix for integrating ISO 9000 requirements and Just-In-Time concepts

                                                              Table 1: Technical comparison of ISO 9000 requirements and JIT concepts

                                                                                                                                                                                      Just-In-Time Concept
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Continuous improvement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Employee involvement
                                                                                                                                      Elilmination of waste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Total quality control

ISO 9000 requirements
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Supplier relations
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Smooth workflow
                                                                                                                                                                              Kanban system

4.1                                                           Management responsibility
4.1.1                                                         Quality policy                                                   x                                                                                                  x                                x                              x
4.1.2                                                         Organisation                                                     x                                                                                                  x                                                       Responsibility and authority                                                                             x                            x                             x                                x                              x
                                                                                                      Just-In-Time Concept

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Continuous improvement
                                                                                                                                                        Employee involvement
                                                                      Elilmination of waste

                                                                                                                                Total quality control
ISO 9000 requirements

                                                                                                                                                                               Supplier relations
                                                                                                              Smooth workflow
                                                                                              Kanban system          Resources                                            x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x          Management representative                                                                                      x                                              x
4.1.3            Management review                                    x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x                    x
4.2              Quality system
4.2.1            General                                                                                                        x
4.2.2            Quality system procedures                                                    x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.2.3            Quality planning                                     x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.3              Control review
4.3.1            General                                                                                                        x
4.3.2            Review                                               x                       x               x                 x                                              x
4.3.3            Amendment to a contract                                                      x                                 x                       x                      x
4.3.4            Records                                                                      x                                 x                                              x
4.4              Design control
4.4.1            General                                                                                                        x
4.4.2            Design and development planning                      x                       x               x                 x                                              x
4.4.3            Organisation and technical interfaces                x                       x               x                 x                                              x
4.4.4            Design input                                         x                       x               x                 x                                              x
4.4.5            Design output                                        x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.4.6            Design review                                        x                       x               x                 x                                              x
4.4.7            Design verification                                  x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.4.8            Design validation                                    x                       x                                 x                                              x
4.4.9            Design changes                                       x                       x                                 x                       x                      x
4.5              Document and data control
4.5.1            General                                                                                                        x
4.5.2            Document and data approval and issue                                         x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.5.3            Document and data changes                            x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.6              Purchasing
4.6.1            General                                                                                                        x
4.6.2            Evaluation of sub-contractors                        x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.6.3            Purchasing data                                      x                                                         x                       x                      x
4.6.4            Verification of purchased product                    x                       x                                                         x                      x                    x          Supplier verification at sub-contractor’s premises   x                                                         x          Customer verification of sub-contracted product      x                                                         x
4.7              Control of customer-supplied product                 x                                       x                 x                       x
4.8              Product identification and traceability              x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.9              Process control                                      x                       x               x                 x                       x                      x
                                                                                                      Just-In-Time Concept

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Continuous improvement
                                                                                                                                                        Employee involvement
                                                                      Elilmination of waste

                                                                                                                                Total quality control
ISO 9000 requirements

                                                                                                                                                                               Supplier relations
                                                                                                              Smooth workflow
                                                                                              Kanban system
4.10             Inspection and testing
4.10.1           General                                                                                                        x
4.10.2           Receiving inspection and testing                    x                        x                                 x                       x                      x
4.10.3           In-process inspection and testing                   x                        x                                 x                       x                      x
4.10.4           Final inspection and testing                        x                        x                                 x                       x                      x
4.10.5           Inspection and test records                                                  x                                 x                       x
4.11             Control of inspection, measuring & test
4.11.1           General                                             x                                                          x
4.11.2           Control procedure                                                            x                                 x                       x
4.12             Inspection and test status
4.13             Control of non-conforming product
4.13.1           General                                                                                                        x
4.13.2           Review and disposition of non-conforming
                                                                     x                                                          x                       x                      x
4.14             Corrective and preventive action
4.14.1           General                                                                                                        x
4.14.2           Corrective action                                   x                        x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.14.3           Preventive action                                   x                        x               x                 x                       x                      x
4.15             Handling, storage, packaging, preservation and
4.15.1           General                                                                                                        x
4.15.2           Handling                                            x                                                          x                                              x
4.15.3           Storage                                             x                                                          x                                              x
4.15.4           Packaging                                           x                                                          x
4.15.5           Preservation                                        x                                                          x                                              x
4.15.6           Delivery                                            x                        x               x                 x                                              x
4.16             Control of quality records                                                   x                                 x                       x                      x
4.17             Internal quality audits                                                                                        x                       x                      x                    x
4.18             Training                                            x                                        x                 x                       x
4.19             Servicing                                           x                        x                                 x                       x                      x
4.20             Statistical techniques
4.20.1           Identification                                                               x                                 x                       x                      x                    x
4.20.2           Procedures                                                                   x                                 x                       x                      x                    x


    Apart from the technical requirements of ISO 9000 which are explained above, very few studies have
    examined the non-technical requirements of ISO 9000 which actually form the backbone of the system. Both
    the technical and non-technical requirements are essential for ISO 9000 success (Low and Omar, 1997; Low
    and Chan, 1997). On the other hand, JIT is a philosophy which requires a system to operationalise its
    principles. A systematic approach can help to assist with JIT implementation. However, unlike ISO 9000, the
JIT philosophy lacks standard clauses and guidelines to provide assistance to organisations which are
interested in implementing JIT.

While there is evidence to suggest that the application of JIT in construction is beneficial, the inability of
local contractors to apply JIT principles consciously can be attributed to their ignorance and reluctance to
adapt to changes. Many local contractors appear to lack not only a working knowledge of JIT but also a full
understanding of ISO 9000 requirements. The integration of JIT principles with ISO 9000 QMS will also
require a change in mindset on the part of the external auditor and quality manager. The quality manager
should not regard the incorporation of JIT principles into the QMS as "excess baggage". Likewise, the
external auditor should view JIT operations in a QMS as a value-adding activity and not penalise it for riding
on the ISO 9000 framework. There will obviously be problems associated with this integration. However,
with a proper understanding of its long term benefits, these problems can be ironed out readily.

In conclusion, it is worthwhile to reiterate once again that existing ISO 9000 QMS can be extended to
incorporate JIT principles to achieve productivity in the construction industry. After this incorporation, it
may also be worthwhile to consider integrating ISO 9000 QMS further with other management systems (for
example, safety management system and EMS) to attain a truly Integrated Management System for an
organisation. Construction companies in developing countries should bear these lessons in mind in order to
achieve synergy when developing their own quality, productivity, safety and environmental management
systems in the future.


1.  Hernandez A. (1993) JIT Quality: A practical approach. Prentice-Hall, New York.
2.  Lim L.Y. and Low S.P. (1992) Just-In-Time Productivity for Construction. SNP Publishers,
3. Low S.P. (1998) ISO 9000 and the Construction Industry. Practical lessons. Chandos Publishing,
4. Low S.P. and Chan F.M. (1997) Quality management systems: a study of authority and
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6. Low S.P. and Omar H.F. (1997) Integration, segmentation and the maintenance of quality
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7. Low S.P. and Tan K.L. (1997) Quantifying Just-In-Time wastages for a design-and-build school
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8. Low S.P. and Tan K.L. (1997a) The measurement of Just-In-Time wastages for a public housing
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9. PS21 Office, Prime Minister’s Office (1998) How to set up an ISO 9000 system. Challenge, Vol. 4,
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10. Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research (SISIR) (1994) SS ISO 9001: 1994
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    installation and servicing, Singapore.
11. The Straits Times (1998) Building on ISO 14000, Special Focus on The ISO Way. 16 December,

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