- The principle of creation and the standards that go with it require all human beings to show interest in standardisation so as to be able to ensure quality products for everyone on earth.
A careful observation of creation shows that the creator of the universe did not create the universe and all the things in it without conforming to certain requirements that ensure that all created things, natural and man-made, are meant to fulfil certain levels of purpose, quality, usefulness and satisfaction.
Human beings, for example, are created with brains, nervous systems, bones, blood, certain tissues, etc. that help men and women systematically grow up from childhood to adulthood and perform the functions required of them. Nothing is created anyhow but according to certain standards set by the creator for the good of mankind and the universe as a whole.
The principle of creation and the standards that go with it require all human beings to show interest in standardisation so as to be able to ensure quality products for everyone on earth. This should be the guiding principle of everyone on this earth, including individuals, nations and the global community as a whole.
What is a standard?
A standard is an established norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task. It is usually a formal document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes and practices. The process of ensuring that things conform to standard is known as standardisation.
Thus, by standardisation, we refer to the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties that include firms, users, interest groups, organisations and governments.
Each year on October 14, members of the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) celebrate World Standards Day 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 meet the needs of business, industry, government and consumers worldwide.
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. When we take consumers, for example, we know that they buy products to use and also get satisfaction from them.
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 were/are made, they bring joy to everyone because they guarantee public health and safety, as well as protection of the environment.
Various governments desire for standardisation in their countries. This is because standardisation helps 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. This leads to quality of life, as well as satisfaction of people who patronise products supplied 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 improve products and services. In addition, it helps attract new customers, increases a company’s competitive edge, inspires added trust in business and also lessens the likelihood of mistakes in production.
What is more, standardisation reduces business costs, makes products compatible, helps comply with regulations, makes the export of goods easier and helps improve the chances of business success.
In short, therefore, standardisation helps 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.
In conclusion, it is important for all and sundry to embrace standardisation in everything they do in order to avoid incurring needless and avoidable costs or expenditures that may come their way for not being a little more careful in their socio-economic life. Standardisation is beneficial to all, so we must embrace it for a satisfactory, quality life.
The writer is the Director of Corporate Communications, Ghana Standards Authority.