The effect that a quality management system has on small, medium and micro enterprises in the Durban Metropolitan area of KwaZulu-Natal
Quality management has not been developed and marketed well in South African based small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME‟s). The focus of SMME‟s has been on product price. In order to improve small business initiatives a culture or the behaviour towards quality needs also to be embraced by SMME‟s. Debenham (2008) finds that focussing on price alone indicates that SMME‟s do not grow and become sustainable. Support from both government and the private sector has focussed primarily on providing financial aid to SMME‟s. Ninety percent of South African small businesses largely remain in the survival stage because of a lack of skills and resources. It has become clear that financial support alone is not enough to grow and sustain SMME‟s. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect that the ISO 9001 quality management system (QMS) has on SMME‟s in the Greater Durban Area with the view to determine the contribution it has made in terms of growth and survival of those SMME‟s. This was a qualitative study investigating SMME‟s in the Greater Durban Metropolitan Area. The sampling frame was made up of two groups of SMME‟s. Unstructured interviews were conducted at 40 SMME‟s, comprising of 20 SMME‟s who have implemented ISO 9001 QMS(have the control/case) and 20 SMME‟s who have not implemented ISO 9001. The raw data was coded into categories and themes. Descriptive statistics, using the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS), was used to analyse the data. The study indicates that the majority of respondents from both groups had a positive perception towards the ISO 9001 QMS contributing to their growth and survival.