Standards make life safer, healthier and easier for people, organisations and enterprises all over the world. They enable communication and trade, while allowing resources to be used more efficiently.
All businesses can benefit from standards: from global heavyweights to small local firms; from ambitious start ups to long established household names, from hospitality, catering and retail businesses through construction, manufacturing and engineering firms to high tech innovators.
Businesses can use established standards to reduce time, effort and money they have to invest in the research and development of new products, while increasing their likelihood of success in the market place.
By providing best – practice guidance, standards help businesses to assess their processes, allowing them to take steps to increase efficiency and become more profitable.
Standards also provide a reliable benchmark against which performance can be judged, enabling businesses to demonstrate product performance. Introducing standards can help businesses to retain existing clients and generate sales from new customers.
The quality of your goods, services or processes might already be high, but customers only have your word for it. Being able to say that you comply with widely recognised and respected standards is an effective way of backing up your claims.
Some customers will only buy from suppliers that comply with certain standards. This is often the case with public-sector contracts.
Standards-compliance can provide competitive advantage; too, it could well be a deciding factor when a buyer has to choose between two comparable suppliers.
Successful businesses aim to make their products as attractive to their target market as possible. Manufacturing products or supplying services to appropriate standards can maximise their compatibility with those manufactured or offered by others, thereby increasing potential for their sale and use.
Certain standards apply only to products, services and processes within a specific sector. Others can be applied across numerous sectors, including the quality-management standard ISO 9001, environmental –management standard ISO 14001, business continuity standard BS 25999-1, BS OHSAS 18001 occupational health & safety management systems and information security standard BS ISO/IEC 27006.