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A published document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that sets out specifications and procedures to ensure that a material, product, method or service meets its purpose and consistently performs to its intended use.

Standardization
Standardization is the process that encompasses the initiation, development and application of standards documents. It’s the process of merging scientific research with application experience to determine the precise, optimum technical requirements for an aspect of technology. The output of this merger is an authoritative document called a “standard.”

Standardization is recognized an essential discipline for all global marketplace players—who must strive to be competitive. Today, companies have integrated standardization as a major technical and commercial element in business planning. They are aware that they must play an active role to assert their interests—or be prepared to accept standards established without them.

Standards
ISO/IEC Guide 2: 1996 defines a standard as a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.

Simply put, a standard is a published document that sets out specifications and procedures designed to ensure that a material, product, method or service meets its purpose and consistently performs to its intended use.

Standards solve issues ranging from product compatibility to addressing consumer safety and health concerns. Standards also simplify product development and reduce non-value-adding costs thereby increasing user’s ability to compare competing products. Standards are the fundamental building blocks for international trade. Only through the use of standards can requirements of interconnectivity and interoperability be assured and the credibility of new products and new markets verified—enabling the rapid implementation of technology.

Why are standards important? The 1991 Annual Report of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) may have stated it best. “Standards are a vehicle of communication for producers and users. They serve as a common language, defining quality and establishing safety criteria. Costs are lower if procedures are standardized. Training is simplified. And consumers accept products more readily when they can be judged on intrinsic merit.”

It may be worth taking the time to speak with a professional or standards expert. Your business coach or mentor should be able to advise whom best to speak with.

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