Manufacturing and ISO Standards
Paris, Texas is not only known as a shipping point for commodities: cotton, grain, and livestock; Paris does a fair amount of manufacturing. Neighboring counties in the PJC area, also have cities with Type A sales tax intended for manufacturing and industrial development. If you are a small business with an industry class in manufacturing, you need to understand ISO Standards and what they mean to you as a business owner.
What are ISO standards?
ISO is the International Standard of Organization; or (formally) it stands for the International Organization for Standardization. In the 1920’s, several country representatives got together and said: “Hey, we want to make sure our products are safe around the world.” The International Federation of the National Standardizing Association (ISA) was formed by representatives from various national standards organizations who helped set standards worldwide for technical, industrial, and commercial manufacturing. The name was later changed to ISO after WWII and when the United Nations agreed to join forces to create an international standard. Their goal(s) are simple: creating a check-and-balance system for safe products. For instance, if you were transferred to the UK for your job, and needed a car seat for your child, you want to know the car seat you buy is just as safe as one purchased in the United States. If something is ISO certified, you can be sure the manufacturing standard is the same as in the US.
Are ISO standards just for manufacturing?
ISO standards can be used for much more than manufacturing. Think of ISO standards as a recipe, or formula, for the best way to do something. Rather you are manufacturing a product, providing a service, managing a process, or supplying materials, ISO standards can help you work more efficiently. ISO standards hold the wisdom of individuals who have experience and expertise in your business. Here are a few types of ISO standards:
- Quality Management Standards: Help you work more efficiently,
- Food Safety Standards: Keeps food from becoming contaminated, or unsafe.
- Energy Management: Shows you how to conserve energy.
- Environmental Management Standards: Keeps your environment safe, reduces waste and helps to be more sustainable.
- Health and Safety Standards: Helps reduce injuries and keeps the workplace safe.
- IT Standards: Helps keep private or sensitive information secure.
What are some ISO standards I should know about?
The best-known ISO standard is called ISO 9000. It’s actually a series of quality management and quality assurance standards that can help small business maintain an efficient quality system of business. The ISO 9000 series is adaptable to any size business and can be applied across all types of businesses. Here is a quick run-down of some of the most popular ISO standards that might help you when running a small business:
- ISO/IEC 27000: Information Security Management
- ISO 45000: Occupational Health and Safety Management (in the US it is managed by OSHA)
- ISO 14001: Environmental Standards and Management
- ISO/TS 16949: Auto Industry Standards
- ISO 22000: Food Safety Management
- ISO 50001: Energy Standards and Management
- ISO 13485: Medical Equipment
- ISO 31000: Risk Management
Why would I want to use ISO Standards?
Using ISO standards in your business can benefit you in several ways. First, you can learn the best practices, before bad habits develop. Second, being ISO certified helps your customers know that your products and services are equivalent to the high standards, set by the ISO governing body. In short, it makes you and your business more reputable and more appealing; customers know they can trust in you and in your product, service or supply.
How do I learn more about ISO Standards?
ISO standards are designed for easy implementation. There are many resources online to help you navigate the ISO standards world. Of course, we at the Paris SBDC can help steer you in the right direction. Contact us today!
For additional resources on ISO standards and how they apply to manufacturing or to your specific business, please contact us at the Small Business Development Center – SBDC – Serving Paris area: Lamar, Hunt, Hopkins, Delta, and Red River counties.