Quality Standards form a framework that helps organisations worldwide to develop products and services in the most efficient way. A quality Standard is a norm which is set by a recognised body (International or national) that contain statements that outline the key elements of a quality program. These statements can be described as elements of good and best practice.
The main advantage of quality standards is that they promote product and service acceptance, reduce costs and provide assurance to the customers about the quality of the product, its safety and reliability. Organisations use standards as a source of knowledge and as a regulatory body and strive to conform to its specifications. Conformance results in meeting customer need and requirements. Quality standards hence define the criteria needed to decide the quality of an activity, a product or any service.
Quality standards are at the core, when compared to the other key aspects of a project frame work. At the organisational level, stakeholders are encouraged to work towards constant improvement through engagement in the processes of planning and evaluation in order to reach the desired quality standard.
In today?s globalised economy, standards help in relating an organisation to the industry and country of its existence. They are particularly helpful in the following areas for the Industrial sectors, governments and the public:
For the Industrial sector, quality standards help in,
- Bringing cost effective solutions and brings cost reduction in the manufacturing processes.
- Reducing the risk and help in handling risk effectively.
- Helping the industries to flourish all over the world, thereby giving better market reach.
- Giving assurance of quality.
- Bringing innovation and differentiation.
For the government, quality standards help in assessing the quality and the relative value of the products and service. It also helps during procurement for government operations. For example, while building bridges or canals, an ISO certified Construction Company can assure of a better construction quality.
For the society, quality standards ensure information on product and service and protect the consumer rights for safety and use. It also serves as differentiator while assessing products. For example, while purchasing any household item, an ISO certified organisation can be assured to produce standard quality.