Standards can serve as a catalyst for innovations and help in anchoring solutions more quickly on the market. Incorporating innovative aspects into standards can prove crucial for market success since the market is then best prepared for the product. In particular innovations that extend across industries and value chains are becoming increasingly important.
What are the benefits of standards?
The ability to systematically translate new findings and ideas into products, processes and services is decisive for the competitiveness of the Swiss economy. Digitalization is in full swing and is changing industries and markets at a fundamental level. There are also overarching issues such as globalization, climate change and demographic change. This poses enormous challenges for many companies and for society, and creates a strong pressure for innovation and transformation throughout the world.
The benefits of standards at a glance
In today’s networked world clearly defined interfaces and compatibility between individual components and systems is more important than ever. Cross-border suppliers in particular must ensure that in the age of Industry 4.0 they are still suitable for the operational requirements of the company they are supplying. A person who disregards standards can be quickly excluded from the market.
Standards as the global language of technology reduce technical trade barriers and facilitate the free movement of goods. Standards serve as door openers and promote exports: European standards (EN) open up access to the European single market, international standards (ISO) open up access to the world market. In Europe, the rule for goods today dictates: one standard – one test – accepted everywhere.
Standards enable efficiency improvements and cost savings across all company divisions, such as R&D (research and development), construction, purchasing, manufacturing, and quality and systems engineering. Standards also serve to rationalize and reduce production costs, and thus satisfy consumer demands for low-cost services while maintaining good quality.
Standards define quality and minimum requirements and provide recognized solutions for the protection of consumers, health, safety and the environment. By complying with quality and safety standards, the risk of accidents can be demonstrably reduced, thereby contributing significantly to the health protection of consumers and employees.
Standards provide clarity about the properties of a product and are considered to be clear and recognized rules of technology. In contracts, reference to standards increases legal certainty. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly common to refer to national, European or international standards in laws, ordinances and regulations in order to adapt them to the latest state of technical development.