Maintaining a minimum standard of quality for product design and function has become a priority for companies entering the global market. Competition on the international market means competing against different sets of markers and criteria that vary from nation to nation and region to region. In order to compete on this level, companies must adhere to principals of quality that are often set by international organizations.
International quality standards are criteria or rules set up by organizations that help determine compliance across national borders. These rules make it easier to conduct business on a level playing field and also allow more collaboration by overcoming local or regional constraints.
International standards center around issues such as the rules of measurement units, use of symbols or how to define a process to meet quality control.
A number of organizations have taken the lead to set, monitor and manage these standards.The most influential group that monitors global standards is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO helps define a consensus among participating groups, such as national standards institutes from over 160 counties and various industry associations. The 18,000 and still growing number of consensus points define standardization rules around environmental issues, telecommunications guidelines and product design.