The need to maintain a minimum standard of quality for product function and design due to increased global trade has become a priority for all the firms engaging in international trade. Furthermore, the competition in the international market means that companies are competing against different types of markers and criteria which vary from one country to another. Therefore, to compete on a level playing field, all the companies need to adhere to the principals of quality frequently set by international organizations.
Definition of International Quality Standards
The International Quality Standards are a set of rules which are set by organizations that provide specifications, requirements, guidelines, and characteristics which need to be consistently followed to guarantee all products, materials, services, and processes are suitable for their intended purpose. Furthermore, these standards offer organizations with a shared vision, procedures, understanding, and vocabulary necessary to attain the expectation of all the shareholders. Usually, it is a standard precise terminology and description, which offers companies an authoritative and objective basis for consumers and organizations to conduct business and communicate.
Subsequently, with these rules, it is easier to conduct business on a level playing field while still allowing more collaborations by taming regional or local restraints.
Who Makes Use of International Quality Standards
Companies around the globe make use of the International Quality Standards to get definitions, guidelines, and procedures which assist them in achieving their overall goals. These goals include;
- Conforming to all the set rules and regulations.
- Safeguarding all the products and services the final consumer uses are safe.
- Fulfilling the quality requirements of the customers.
- Adhering to the agreed upon environmental regulations
- Guaranteeing all the internal process are recognized and controlled.
- Protecting all the products against climatic and other adverse conditions.
Importance of International Quality Standards
Organizations and business must comply with the International Quality Standards to guarantee that the services, products, and personnel of one are acceptable to beliefs and practices of another country.
Most of the International Quality Standards safeguard the interest of users of all products and services traded in the international market. Additionally, standardization makes the lives of consumers simpler. Therefore, service or product based on international standard needs to be compatible with other products and services around the globe, with this consequently increasing the number of available choices across the world.
All international companies recognize that International Quality Standards are essential to the success of the firm and these standards identified as business tools which need to be managed alongside safety, quality, environmental policies, and intellectual property. Also, standardization lowers cost by reducing recalls or errors, minimizing redundancy and reducing time to market.
International Organization for Standardization
There are several organizations which are mandated with the setting, monitoring and managing these International Quality Standards, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the most influential of the bunch.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1947 and works by coming up with technical standards for both services and products sold globally. It was necessitated due to an increase in international trade thus the incentive for the international standardization of goods and services. Moreover, it is because firms with overseas operations need to ensure the services and products they contract from outside the home country need to conform to their needs, with this being the only way which both parties involved in the transaction meet all the set standards.