Why are standards important?


World Standards Day is recognized October 14th, but International Organization for Standardization generally hosts a poster contest in the beginning of the year to support the annual theme. For 2014, the theme is "Standards level the playing field," and the voting just ended to decide the winning design. But, why do standards matter and how do they level the playing field? * Companies have increased confidence in the quality and reliability of suppliers who use standards. * Ensures positive change. * Harmonizes global best practices. * Eliminates technical barriers to trade. * Companies actively involved in standards more frequently reap short- and long-term cost-savings than those that do not participate. * Having influence in the content of a standard is an important factor in gaining competitive advantage. * Standardization can lead to lower transaction costs in the economy as a whole, as well as to savings for individual businesses. * Standards can help businesses avoid dependence on a single supplier because the availability of standards opens up the market. The result is a broader choice for businesses and increased competition among suppliers. * More choices for the consumer. * Standardization encourages cooperation between businesses at the same stage in the value chain. * Businesses not only reduce the economic risk of their R&D activities by participating in standardization, but can also lower their R&D costs. American National Standards Institute is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system. We posted useful ANSI resources from a webinar they hosted to our blog: http://blog.proqc.com/what-is-an-american-national-standard-anyway "Together, standards and the conformity assessment measures that ensure their effective use directly impact more than 80% of global trade - or over $3 trillion annually - by helping to increase efficiency, open markets, and reduce costs." Learn more about World Standards Day: "On October 14th, 1946, delegates from 25 countries first gathered in London to create a new international organization dedicated to the coordination and unification of standards work. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was officially formed one year later. To commemorate this occasion, World Standards Day was first held on October 14th, 1970, and the spirit of celebration has since expanded to include members of ISO, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)." ISO Standards in Action - http://www.iso.org/iso/home/news_index/iso-in-action.htm

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