Industry Standards as a Benchmark

Using industry standards as a benchmark of competence offers various benefits for businesses. These benefits range from the customer knowing the quality of what is on offer will be better than someone without the same qualification to the ability to gain access to bigger, or more relevant markets. Neither of these should be ignored where sustained growth is your aim.


There is a view that industry standards define best practices, they don’t. I think we’ve all moved on from using a typewriter, but you can never be too sure. Standards, when implemented correctly, ensure a consistent application of quality across your products and/or services to a particular level. Adhering to these standards demonstrates a commitment to delivering the required level of excellence.


Most standards include the commitment from a business to adhere to health and safety guidelines. Obviously, these are different, in practice, from industry to industry but this is explained within the documentation that supports any particular certification. Adhering to these standards protects consumers and enhances a company’s reputation for producing safe and reliable products.

Companies that can evidence that they surpass any minimum industry standards placed by an industry (gaining a platinum level qualification rather than a bronze level one) can use this as a competitive advantage. It differentiates them in the market, attracting customers who seek higher quality and reliability. Where these do not exist, it can be more difficult to evidence that you go “above and beyond” the call of duty!

Market Access

What is it you want to do, or where do you want to go? A question that is often not given the importance it should be given. Why, many industries have specific regulations and standards that must be met for market access. Adherence to these standards is often a prerequisite for doing business in certain markets.

Do you just want to stay local, or do you want to go further afield? In today’s globalized economy access to Europe is easier than it has been due to abundant expertise in this area. Why stop there though? Showing your competence to a global market may seem impossible however, adhering to international industry standards, like the ISO standards, can facilitate trade across borders. It simplifies expectations and ensures that products or services meet common global expectations.


What we all want, as business owners, is advocates for what we do. Why? well they either come back time after time as a customer or spread the word about what we do.

Meeting industry standards builds trust with customers as each one, regardless of the size of their order is, or should be, treated in exactly the same way. So, it signals that a company’s products or services meet recognised benchmarks, increasing customer confidence and satisfaction.

One thing to remember is that industry standards evolve. The investment you put into certifications and qualifications, both in time and money, helps you to evolve. Competent organisations don’t just meet standards; they strive to exceed them, fostering a culture of innovation and efficiency.

Continuous Improvement

A desire for innovation and efficiency are the keys to continuous improvement and this can take many forms.

Many industry standards often define specifications for the ease of the transfer of information through the business, including their systems, or other automated processes. Following these standards ensures that products or systems can work seamlessly with others in the industry, facilitating collaboration and integration.

There are, in many cases, expectations for employee competence. Companies that invest in training aligned with these standards enhance the skills and knowledge of their workforce, contributing to overall competence.

Risk Management

Risks management is an underused term in the SME world, unless you are in particular sectors, as most businesses concentrate on the basics. I’m not going to argue about the importance of that, but looking at the bigger picture is what may industry standards want you to look at in greater detail.

Improvement isn’t solely focussed on process; most want you to understand that how you do things can expose you to more risk than would be acceptable. So to adhere to a particular standard you may need to investigate how to mitigate legal and operational risks. Companies that follow established guidelines are less likely to face lawsuits, fines, or operational disruptions.

Supply Chain

Understanding you supply chain is very important and many client/supplier parings will adhere to the same industry standards, and it creates a harmonized supply chain. This alignment ensures that all parties are working towards common goals, promoting competence and efficiency.

Many certifications and qualification concentrate on local and environmental sustainability. Adherence to these elements of a standard is not only ethical but also aligns with growing consumer preferences for environmentally responsible products and practices and supporting the local community.

It might be relevant for you to look through some of my other blogs here: Blog – Eye Bray Limited. The information you want may well have been provided already. Some of what I provide is very detailed.

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