Having standards as part of your business is extremely important because it communicates your company’s requirements and expectations as they relate your business objectives. The International Standards Organization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization. The main goal of ISO is to bring experts together to share knowledge in an effort to create relevant international standards that support process revolution and provide solutions to problems in all industries around the world. ISO was shaped in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met and decided to come together to create an organization that facilitates the international integration of industry standards. Fast forward 70 years, ISO now has more than 21,000 standards and other published works that are available to companies globally in a variety of different industries such as technology, food safety, agriculture and healthcare. They provide specifications for the manufacturing of products, providing services and the use of systems to help ensure quality, safety and efficiency.
Over the years, studies have been performed to reveal the benefits that are provided by ISO. Many of these studies reveal that ISO has provided a positive impact on business and the economy. Research reveals that businesses that are motivated for better productivity and efficiency generally achieve greater success, especially when the change affects the principles behind the day-to-day business operations. Some benefits mentioned by business owners that have embraced ISO standards are as follows:
- Enhances brand image within the marketplace
- Provides a competitive edge
- Customers take the company more seriously
- Increases credibility among the marketplace
- Increases in compliments vs complaints from customers
- Regulators speculate less
- Board’s risk mitigation plan has more structure
- Staff has a clearer understanding of their roles and responsibilities
- External audit results provide better insight on the effectiveness of business systems and processes
- CEO feels more relaxed that their business is better controlled using ISO standards
Understanding the benefits of having standards such as ISO has proven to be an effective tool for businesses around the world. It is important to understand that incorporating any standards into a company should be more than just checking a box off that shows your business is in compliance with a particular standard. Using standards like these can take the success of your business to a whole new level.