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February 2013

ISO Focus+, 2/2013

Small business

How do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) compete on a level playing field with the biggest business? Quite simply: by applying International Standards.

This issue looks at how International Standards help businesses of all shapes and sizes to work more efficiently, increase productivity and access new markets.

The issue also brings together a portfolio of articles covering the application of software engineering or environmental management standards in smaller settings, or the benefits of standards and participation in standardization for SMEs. The implementation of an integrated Management System Standard by SMEs is also highlighted.

Denis Tremblay

Guest interview

Tetra Tech

Denis Tremblay

In an exclusive interview, Denis Tremblay highlights the importance of International Standards to the company.

"International Standards serve as a bridging mechanism. They constitute a tool for a company, enabling it to overcome barriers and gain greater market access. The more standards are used, the greater their level of competitiveness. This, in the end, gives the ultimate client a big payoff in terms of cost savings."

Special Report

New opportunities - Improving SME access to standards

by Henk J. de Vries, Knut Blind, Axel Mangelsdorf, Hugo Verheul & Jappe van der Zwan

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form a diverse group, ranging from simple crafts manufacturers to innovative high-tech companies. According to the European Union’s definition, these can include one-person firms to 250-strong companies. Many SMEs could derive greater benefit from standardization, although standards are sometimes perceived as a burden rather than an advantage. This article highlights the obstacles that prevent SMEs from profiting from standards and standardization and offers solutions.

Read the full entry

Standards in action

Singapore - How International Standards helped HISAKA grow

by Jackie Cheng

Established in Singapore in 1992, HISAKA has transformed into a leading automation solutions provider in the Asia-Pacific region, specializing in mechanical motion products.
The Group’s principal activities can be broadly classified into services and manufacturing segments, with supply chain management forming an integral part of both. The services segment consists of mechanical motion components management while the manufacturing segment is made up of metallic precision manufacturing and mechatronics integration.

Read the full entry

Management solutions

Integrated management systems

by Dick Hortensius

Yearly surveys on the application of ISO management system standards (MSSs) show a steady worldwide increase in certifications based on ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management). However, while these surveys do not indicate the size of the organizations that have implemented the standards, experience in the Netherlands and other countries shows that a growing number of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) implement multiple MSSs, though some face difficulties in doing so and need help.

Read the full entry

About ISOfocus magazine

Published in English and French, six times per year, ISOfocus is your gateway to International Standards. Whether a multinational enterprise faced with major decisions or a small business looking for ideas, ISOfocus seeks to provide both the kind of overviews that strategic planners need and the little details that can make a big difference.


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All ISO magazine articles including those from ISOfocus and ISO Management Systems are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Switzerland License.

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Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
Elizabeth Gasiorowski Denis
Elizabeth Gasiorowski Denis
Editor-in-Chief of ISOfocus
Communication Services
+41 22 749 03 25

Former Magazines

From 2001 to 2009, we also published a magazine called ISO Management Systems. This magazine is no longer in print however you can consult the archives.