The benefits of implementing standards - in hard figures

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By Roger Frost
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ISO announcements
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Implementing standards consistently provides benefits for companies, regardless of their size, business sector or which country they are based in, according to a new collection of case studies by ISO, the world's largest developer of International Standards for business, government and society.
Among quantified benefits identified in the studies on using standards are the following:
  • Streamlining internal company processes
  • Decreasing waste and internal costs
  • Increasing the efficiency of R&D
  • Innovating business processes
  • Reducing risk
  • Enabling international expansion
  • Supporting development of new products and markets

The studies are compiled in the second volume of  Economic benefits of standards – International case studies, recently published by ISO. The compilation includes 10 case studies of companies from nine countries: Mauritius, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, China, Cameroon, Senegal and Italy.

The new book follows a first volume published in 2011 of 11 companies operating in a variety of business sectors in 10 countries. The size of the companies varies from small enterprises with 25 employees and annual sales revenues of around USD 4.5 million, to those with several thousand employees and annual revenues of over USD 2 billion.

Overall, the 21 case studies demonstrate that the benefits of using standards are valued, in terms of contribution to company gross profit, at between 0.15 % and 5 % of annual sales revenues.

The studies have been carried out by ISO's Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, in cooperation with ISO national members and academic institutions. They are based on “the ISO Methodology” for the assessment and quantification of the economic benefits of standards. The new book includes a description of the methodology, which was developed by ISO in cooperation with Roland Berger Consultants.

Economic benefits of standards – International case studies (ISBN 978-92-10580-2), A5 format, 343 pages, English edition only, is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 38 Swiss francs for the paper edition, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.

PDF files of the studies contained in Volumes 1 and 2 can be accessed free of charge on the ISO Website, along with other studies on the benefits of standards, at:

These ground-breaking books present "The ISO Methodology to assess the economic benefits of standards" in action.


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