Magazine article National Defense

ISO Standards Not All What Users Think

Magazine article National Defense

ISO Standards Not All What Users Think

Article excerpt

Contrary to the popular belief of many who must comply with the latest series of standards endorsed by the government, they are not the work of some federal bureaucracy. It's not even an acronym.

ISO-of the Pentagon's famed ISO 9000, which many companies have either earned certification or are working towards it-is the International Organization for Standards, a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from more than 100 countries that develops international trade guidelines.

The non-government organization, which means "equal" in Greek, increases global trade and user confidence by acting as a security blanket Products and services that follow ISO guidelines offer customers a greater guarantee that they will perform as advertised.

"This is an attempt to level the playing field," said Nevin Westenhaver, manager, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, said at the recent 37th ADPA/NSIA Technical Information Division Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona. "If you do business [with ISO certification], any country will accept your work without further inquiry."

International travelers, for example, have ISO to thank for making plastic a worldwide currency. Credit cards are all a particular size and thickness because of ISO, which published its first standard in 1951.

"Standards are needed because nonharmonized standards for similar technology in different countries contributes to so called technical barriers to trade," he said.

In just the past four years, international membership in the organization has more than doubled, to more than 100 countries. …

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