Are standards mandatory? No. Whether or not you use standards is up to you. Because using standards is, by definition, voluntary. A standard is an agreement about a product, service, process or method. It is a consensus between the parties involved: producers, sectors and governments. Standards stand for quality – they reflect good craftsmanship.
Within your organisation, it’s you that decides whether or not to apply standards. However, the government may set certain standards aslegal requirements. These are usually safety or health regulations, such as the compulsory CE marking on machinery, toys or building materials. This marking is the guarantee that a product meets the minimum requirements in terms of health and safety.
In a B2B environment, conformity to standards is common practice. For example, specifications for construction or government contracts state which standards a product or service must meet. As a supplier, can't you guarantee that? Then you are out of the boat for that project anyway.
Labels such as Biogarantie or FSC also have a contractual obligation. Do you want to carry the label? Then you must meet the various standards that apply.
Using standards leads to greater efficiency and better quality. And that saves you money. TThey also make it easier and more likely for other markets to accept your product or service. Standards therefore promote free movement and increase your export opportunities. Some standards define safety requirements, fwhether for consumers and employees, or for sustainability and the environment. All these elements together contribute to higher customer satisfaction.
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