Standards provide a framework for proper agreements. From the A4 format for paper and 4G network rules to agreements on safety and quality: standards are an integral part of our daily lives and also have major impacts on the way we work. Have you ever thought about the impact of standards on your SME, and did you know that you can contribute to the development of standards yourself?
What is a standard?
A standard is an agreement about a product, service or process. It’s not a binding obligation, but is applied voluntarily by everyone who has an interest in it. By referring to a standard in legislation, its application becomes mandatory. This can be done, for example, to better protect consumers or employees. You can also make standards enforceable by referring to them in contracts or in the context of certification.
42,000 that's how many standards are currently available at the NBN
5 reasons to implement standards in your SME
Standards are available in all forms and around the most diverse topics. There are several advantages to using them as an SME. These are the main five:
Cost savings – thanks to greater efficiency and better business processes;
Export opportunities – products or services are more easily accepted in other countries;
Innovation – sharing knowledge and new techniques becomes easier;
Customer satisfaction - by increasing the quality of products or services;
Sustainability – standards help create environmentally friendly, safe and sustainable products or processes.
How can you use standards as an SME? What are the benefits, and do they stand in the way of things like innovation? Download our white paper to find out.
Help develop standards yourself
Implementing standards gives your SME a boost. But did you know that you can also help develop standards yourself? The NBN facilitates the development of standards in Belgium. It does this through standards committees: the NBN brings together experts so that they can develop the standards relating to their fields of specialisation. Many of these experts include representatives of SMEs.
Why participate? Taking part in the development of standards allows you to stay one step ahead of your competitors:
You learn - you are the first to be aware of future developments and trends;
You network - you are constantly exchanging ideas with other experts;
You influence - you exert influence during the norm development process.
DMK Recrea Services seizes unique opportunity to gather sector insights
Participating in the development of European standards gives experts tremendous insights into their sectors. At the same time, those experts benefit from the experience of making a real difference. Koenraad De Maertelaere, manager at play structure and play area specialist DMK Recrea Services, also testifies to that. He is involved in developing standards for play structures in public areas.
2.636 that's how many Belgian experts are currently helping the NBN develop standards
About the NBN
Together with its sector operators, the NBN acts as the Belgian knowledge centre for all activities related to standardisation. We play a societal role by helping companies, consumers, public authorities and other stakeholders strive for greater quality within an international competitive context. We do so by offering services related to the development, publication, dissemination and use of standards.
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Do you have any questions on standards or standardisation? Contact us.