The Competitive Advantage of ISO Standards
There are many benefits associated with ISO certification. While ISO certification is voluntary, it enables certified organisations to gain the upper hand over their uncertified competitors as it signifies a commitment to becoming best in class and acts as a sign of the organisation’s credibility. Achieving accreditation to ISO standards provides organisations with a slew of benefits. Firstly, it provides a way for companies to demonstrate their core competencies and to enable them to look at their processes in a new light and to take a more active approach to management. This ensures that they are reacting correctly to changes in the market while also allowing them to reduce risks and increase operational efficiency and productivity due to continuous improvement techniques employed by the organisation’s certification enables organisations to make cost savings leading to a direct impact on the company’s’ bottom line.
Furthermore, certification to ISO standards enables organisations to keep up-to-date with technological change and innovation ensuring that they stay ahead of their competitors in facilitating business transactions, supporting industrial development, promoting scientific progress and regulating social governance. They also establish the expectation levels between businesses. By placing two businesses side-by-side (one with certification and one without), customers can easily identify the key areas that certified companies will out-perform uncertified organisations, leading to increased market share and ultimately increased profits.
Some of these areas include:
- A commitment to a quality good or service, the environment and the safety of its staff
- Enhanced credibility through third party registration and auditing
- Improved operational efficiency and labour productivity
- Increased competitiveness
- Reduced risk
- A commitment to consumer satisfaction
Companies committed to certification will enjoy an enhanced corporate image, improved relationships with the wider community, shareholders and governmental and environmental organisations.
Sequentially, ISO standards allow for the harmonisation of national rules, labels and methods through the minimisation of trade barriers. This enables certified organisations to access new markets, therefore facilitating global trade, stimulating economic growth and improving the economic benefits for the organisations and markets involved.
The future of businesses is closely linked to the development and implementation of international standards. In almost every industry, many companies have adapted a ‘wait and see’ attitude, holding off seeking certification until industry conditions demand it. Companies who take action and achieve certification will jump ahead of the competition and gain a competitive advantage and enjoy many of the benefits highlighted above.