THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WORLD STANDARDS DAY AND WHY WE MUST ALL EMBRACE STANDARDISATION
The principle of creation and the standards that go with it requires all human beings to show interest in standardisation. A standard establishes a norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task. The process of ensuring that things conform to standard is known as standardisation. Thus, by standardisation we refer to the process of developing and implementing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties including firms, users, interest groups, standards organisations and governments. World Standards Day is celebrated for two key reasons.
First, the occasion serves as a platform for paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as standards. Second, it is to raise awareness of the importance of standardisation to the world economy and to promote its role in helping to meet the needs of business, industry, government, and consumers worldwide.
The theme for this year is “Video standards create a global stage.” The innovation of recent decades has driven a huge leap forward in video quality. The gains in both the sophistication and accessibility of video are built on Standards. When standards are applied in the things we do, they lead to certain benefits which lead to quality of life in the world. Products are manufactured in different places resulting in new brands and others that are not known to many of us, yet the application of standards make it possible for such products and services to conform to quality, making them fit-for-purpose. At the bottom of it all is quality which can simply be translated into fit-for-purpose.
When products and services are fit-for-purpose for which they are made they bring joy to everyone because they guarantee public health, public safety and protection of the environment. Various governments desire for standardisation in their countries. This is because standardisation helps to properly regulate activities in society, in addition to providing technical support for social projects, among others. In the case of industries, areas such as engineering, component production, warehousing, distribution, installation, dismantling and recycling, among others, are all assisted to be developed properly.
ied by these industries. Consumers, like governments, also benefit from standardisation in a number of ways. They are able to compare products and services and choose the ones that are able to meet their expectations. Here, sub-standard products are rejected by many of these consumers in the market. Thus, quality-conscious consumers apply rigid standardisation principles in the selection of goods and services that they patronise, thereby rejecting sub-standard ones to protect their safety, ensure that they stay healthy as well as protect the environment.
Standardisation helps to improve products and services. In addition, it helps to attract new customers, increase a company’s competitive edge, inspire added trust in business and also lessens the likelihood of mistakes in production. Again, standardisation reduces business costs, makes products compatible, helps to comply with regulations; makes the export of goods easier and helps to improve the chances of business success. It helps to preserve the environment, bringing about economic, technical, social, political and many other benefits. Managements in organisations also benefit by avoiding patronising sub-standard products that may require rapid replacements for not being fit-for-purpose. Standardisation is beneficial to all, so we must embrace it for a satisfactory, quality life.
DR. KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY.