South African Journal of Industrial Engineering
On-line version ISSN 1012-277X
GEROLAMO, M.C. et al. Quality and safety management systems: Joint action for certification of small firms in an industrial cluster in Brazil. S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.1, pp. 189-202. ISSN 1012-277X.
This paper presents and discusses a proposal for joint action among small firms in an industrial cluster in Brazil for the certification of quality and safety management systems. It proposes a management system model, the implementation process, and periodic auditing. It is the result of an action-research project developed in a metal-mechanical cluster. Its originality lies mainly in the proposal for a joint action programme for the certification of companies, led by the cluster governance agency, to increase the collective efficiency of a cluster. Despite the obstacles encountered, this proposal can help to reduce the difficulties faced by small businesses in implementing and maintaining management systems, and in the long run to foster a culture of quality and safety management. It also contributes to joint actions within the cluster. The challenge faced by the cluster governance agency is to sustain the certification programme in the long term.