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Demystifying Standards; Who Should Or Shouldn't Use Them?

Sometimes some truths are so simple that most people miss them because they would be looking for something more complex. This is the case about using standards.

We get questions such as:

  1. "My company only has 3 employees. Why do we need a Quality Management System?"
  2. "Our company started only 4 months ago. Don't you think we are still too young to invest in a management system?"

Questions such as these make us realize how much we still need to do in order to ensure people understand what standard are all about. 

So what is a standard?

According to the British Standards Institution, "a standard is an agreed way of doing something. It could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service, or supplying materials – standards can cover a huge range of activities undertaken by organizations and used by their customers."

Now, let's revisit the two questions sited earlier. Regardless of whether your company has one employee, or you have been in existence for only 5 days, do you have a service or product you are offering to a client? If yes, then it means there are some processes you are already implementing. E.g. a sales process, a billing process, a production or procurement process, etc. This means you already have "a way of handling those processes". Question is, are you handling them in an acceptable manner?

Now that is where the use of standards comes in. ISO standards seek to answer the question, "what is the best way of doing this?" This is a question that is not bound by the size of an organization. It is a question whose answer has created numerous tools that have helped organizations of all sizes improve their performance while mitigating potential risks.

Here below are some benefits of using Standards:

Improved Performance - Standards give you the knowledge you need to fine-tune your organization so it performs at its best, day in, day out – at every level. The results are tangible growth and increased profits. Now, what organization wouldn't want to improve their performance profits?

Improved performance, improved profits

Reducing Business Risk - They say high risk, high return, but that doesn't mean risking blindly. Accidents, security breaches, natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, extreme weather conditions, etc, loss due to fire, among many others can cripple a business. Using standards systematically prepares you in advance so threats like these, and many others you may never have thought of, are far less likely to hit you, or can even be turned into opportunities. That is why we have a training specifically targeted at empowering organizations with tools to enable them manage risks. 

Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness -  This means there is an increased awareness of how resources are used. E.g. people will be more conscious of how and where they can conserve energy, save money and time, etc. This in turn increases sustainability not just within the organization but also around it. The environment is conserved, people become more socially accountable among many other benefits. As they do this, the company begins reaping other benefits which translate to profitability. Talk about a ripple effect.

There are many other reasons but for now, we believe those four have helped demystify the use of standards.

We offer consultation in various certifiable standards. See a full list here.

Interested in implementing standards in your organization? Send an email to enquiriesatamenconsulting.co.tz with your query or fill in this form and we will get back to you. You can also WhatsApp or call +255 676 877 995.