Standards Relevant for all Businesses

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With World Standards Day to be observed next Friday, October 14, representatives from the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) have challenged businesses of all sizes to embrace standards application.

Chief Technical Officer, Fabian Scott, advised that adopting global benchmarks not only provided quality products for the local market but ensured the company could transition into regional and international ones as well. He noted that:?? "…domestically focused [companies] may not be aware of the need for standards; however, once they shift to a more international market, or CARICOM market, they then find that there are these requirements by the customers or by the regulatory authorities…You’ll find they will be scrambling then to get their product or service to meet the standard…."

The BNSI Officer explained that his organisation continued to work on developing standards which were relevant to Barbados and, in some cases, were requested as areas of merit by stakeholders.?? The latest additions to the portfolio covered a range of areas, namely motor vehicle exhaust emissions, processed tomato concentrates, inbound tour operators, fruit and vegetable juices and customer satisfaction codes of conduct.

Mr. Scott disclosed that the BNSI would soon embark on a pilot programme which would engage one public and one private sector entity in implementing the latter standard, which, he said would be of particular relevance, vis-??-vis the ongoing public outcry about poor customer service.????

He addressed the misconception that including standards into daily business operations was costly and restricted innovation, noting that "… the potential benefits of implementing a standard far outweighed the costs. It may cost you $50 or less to purchase a standard [manual]; however, you’ll find that once you implement the standard, implementation doesn’t always require a whole set of costly endeavours, it may just require some simple changes…The value of that implementation, surely, will be worth more than the $50 you spent."??

He offered examples of companies which had taken the plunge and benefitted from standards application, with increased efficiency and reduced consumption.?? The BNSI Officer also pointed out that whether micro, small, medium or multinational, all companies stood to benefit from a streamlined approach to doing business.

The World Standards Day theme for 2011, Creating Confidence Globally, highlights the purpose and power of standards worldwide.?? They continue to be used as tools to protect consumers, establish quality benchmarks for products and services and increase efficiency and consistency in various industries.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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