Supporting business through standards
A BSI case study

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Page 3: Development

New products and new businesses are important as they promote growth in the UK economy. BSI plays an important part in supporting the development of new products, processes and services by setting out specifications and guidelines for companies to follow.


Standards support innovation by setting codes of practice, specifications and guidelines. The benefits include:

  • sharing best practice
  • setting benchmarks for performance, quality and safety
  • defining technical requirements
  • reducing risks
  • reducing costs
  • ensuring related products are compatible.

By following best-practice guidance, businesses can improve their processes, allowing them to increase efficiency and become more profitable. Designers can focus on developing better products.Standards provide a common framework for products that need to work together. For example, all CDs are the same size so they fit into different CD players around the world.


As with all good design and manufacturing solutions, group work underpins the development of standards. A team of experts discuss what factors are needed to make a product safe, reliable and of high quality. This panel creates a list of rules, ideas and tests that a product or process needs to meet. This covers both goods and services. The development of standards for services is very important: 75% of gross domestic product in the UK economy comes from service-based industries.


Standards for services

Service-based businesses need standards too. For example, many service-based companies, such as retail, banking or insurance, have to deal with customer complaints. Complaints can provide valuable information for a business to enable it to develop and improve services. However, it needs to handle each complaint in a systematic way. BS ISO 10002:2004 provides guidance on the process of handling complaints. This covers planning, design, operation, maintenance and improvement.


Developers have to be sure that the products they produce will be safe and durable. For example, research shows that safety is parents' first priority when buying toys. There would be no point in developing a brilliant new solar-powered toy if it proved to be dangerous to children. Consumers would also complain if the toy breaks too easily.


BSI provides standards to ensure toy manufacturers work to the highest levels of quality and safety. These standards guide manufacturers on many aspects, including age warning labels, use of chemicals, requirements for indoor and outdoor toys and equipment and safety labels. By working with these standards, designers and manufacturers can produce products in which parents will have confidence.

BSI | Supporting business through standards