Are you following ISO international standards for your industry? You may not realize there are standards applicable to your business. ISO standards apply to a variety of industries like agriculture, software development, food service, retail, and many more.
It’s good to familiarize yourself with International standardization in various industries. Once you understand how standards impact and improve various industries, you’ll want to adopt the appropriate standards for your business.
If you’re not aware of applicable international standards, or you just haven’t had time to incorporate them into your business, here are four reasons to prioritize ISO standards today.
1. ISO standards ensure consistent safety and quality
Safety and quality should always be a top priority. Consumers want to know the products they use are safe. Without safety standards, consumers won’t have any way to know if a manufacturer cut corners until it’s too late.
ISO standards are created and refined to ensure safety and quality. Safety and quality are often intertwined; quality, in some industries, is what produces safety. For example, a poor-quality, poorly-fitting chainsaw chain might fly off in the middle of use. A high-quality chain won’t pose that kind of danger, provided it’s properly installed.
In some industries, safety and quality are life-or-death situations. For example, a car seat that doesn’t meet safety standards might not protect a child, and that lack of protection could result in severe injury or death.
Without established safety standards, safety becomes objective, which can lead to injuries and lawsuits. Some safety standards are mandated by law and are incorporated into the ISO standards. Even when a standard isn’t a legal requirement, it’s worth adopting to maintain the consistency consumers want.
2. ISO standards can help you cut costs
When your products and services meet ISO standards, you’re going to cut costs. Cost cuts will come from improving your systems and procedures to make them more efficient and in alignment with ISO standards. Efficient processes waste fewer resources and less money.
Cutting costs through adherence to international standards is a long-term cost-saving strategy. The cumulative cost-saving benefits you’ll reap over time will be immense.
3. ISO standards will help you meet consumer expectations
You need to measure safety and quality against high standards. Testing a product against established standards will help you meet consumer expectations. When consumers buy a product, they expect it to be safe and functional. They also hold expectations for business practices.
What about emotional/social expectations?
ISO standards can also help you meet some consumers’ emotional expectations. For example, most consumers expect businesses to make a good effort to protect the environment during production and distribution. Social responsibility plays a major role in consumer loyalty. According to IBM’s 2020 Research Insights publication, nearly 60% of consumers said they’d change shopping habits to reduce their environmental impact.
The ISO 14000 standards for Environmental Management establishes standards for auditing, communication, life-cycle analysis, and meeting environmental challenges.
Trust is another expectation consumers hold. By meeting ISO standards, your organization is automatically in a better position to earn and keep consumer trust.
4. You can become ISO-certified
When your organization meets ISO standards, you can get certified. ISO certification tells your customers – and potential business partners worldwide – that you have a solid, reliable system in place for meeting high standards for safety and security, among other requirements.
Do you want to create a system for your business to manage waste as efficiently as possible? ISO 14001 is the standard that specifies requirements for an environmental management system (EMS). Getting this certification will give you the framework necessary to create and maintain an effective EMS within your organization.
ISO certification gives you an advantage
Getting certified will give you a competitive edge in your market. For example, say you run a company selling wholesale environmentally-friendly packaging. When you have certifications that verify your commitment to sustainability, you’ll be the consumer’s first choice. You’ll gain trust just by displaying your certification.
Your own standards might be good, but they’re not enough
After spending time in an industry, you’ve probably come up with your own set of standards for production. While your standards might be good, the international standards are better. ISO standards are continually worked on and refined by many brilliant minds in every industry to create the very best standards. The combined expertise that goes into creating the ISO standards far exceeds what one person can do alone.
If you haven’t been following ISO standards applicable to your industry, don’t wait any longer. ISO standards are your ticket to a better business and happier customers.