The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an organization that does just that. They research, develop and publish International Standards in order to ensure the same level of quality, efficiency, and safety for all products and services offered to consumers globally.
Created in 1946, the organization is a non-political, non-governmental, independent organization with members from around the world. It started off with delegates from twenty-five countries meeting in London at the Institute of Civil Engineers with one common goal, “to create a new international organization to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards.”
Less than a year later on February 23 1947, the organization was officially up and running, with their central head office located in Geneva, Switzerland. Over the last 72 years, more than 22,500 International Standards covering such basics as food safety, to how bankcards should work around the world to Wi-Fi networks have been published.
Why Are ISO Standards Important?
- ISO Standards provide better regulations, and due to its consistency and transparency, it helps to save on unnecessary back and forth when discussing international trades or having to reinvent the wheel every time.
Internationally recognized and world renowned experts come together to decide on international and national regulation standards. This helps to save time and money, improves production efficiency, plays a crucial role in reducing barriers to international trading and trade tariffs all the while keeping the interests and goals of governments around the world in mind.
- ISO Standards help businesses (small and medium sized) to grow their business, widen their markets and decrease unnecessary costs.
More and more, smaller companies are striving to obtain ISO 9001 certification because vendors nowadays tend to only conduct business with ISO certified companies. While having the certification may garner more business in the short term, in order to maintain long-term success and growth, companies are urged to adopt the ISO Quality Management System Standard.
Following and maintaining this standard will help to increase customer satisfaction and growth, will improve the quality of products being sold as well as increase productivity and efficiency, decrease waste and last but not least, an ISO 9001 certification will get your company international recognition. This can have a significant impact on any business since the world is so connected and consumers living in Australia fully expect to be able to purchase something from an American company and vice versa.
- ISO Standards help to inspire confidence in consumers when making a purchase because they know what they are getting.
Take a moment to think about your most recent shopping experience, whether it was a trip to the grocery store for some cereal or to the mall to pick up new shoes or toys for your children. You probably didn’t think twice about picking up your favourite brand of cereal, milk or running shoes, nor did you sit there and carefully examine the packaging or contents to make sure everything was as it should be. You made your purchases fully confident that you were getting a high quality product, which met all safety and health standards and regulations. This confidence comes from ISO Standards. We live in a world where we can take a trip overseas and use our bank and credits from home without worrying about conversation rates or being strapped for cash, that’s the effect of ISO Standards.
In short, all the little things we take for granted which make our fast paced lives function smoothly and seamlessly have come about in large part as a result of ISO Standards, they provide consumers with a blanket of safety and security and ensure that products and services work not just the way they should but the way consumers want them to.