The basics of manufacturing standards
A standard is a something that is measured against.In school, we are measured against academic standards and given a grade that reflects our standing when compared to that standard.In manufacturing, there are standards of operation and management.These standards are generic, meaning that they apply to all manufacturers and business owners no matter the size or nature of the organization.The business can be a public, private or even government entity and the generic standards would still apply.
The management system of an organization is responsible for overseeing processes, activities, and the products that the company is responsible for.It is the job of the management team to satisfy the requirements of the customer in the form of meeting standards of quality, federal and state (and in some cases international) regulations, and meeting environmental objectives for responsibility. The management team is responsible for adhering to not only their internal set of rules and regulations, but also to industry standards that aim to create an equal playing field no mater one's international location.The ISO is an organization that heads these efforts to create and legislate the standards that manufacturers can then choose to abide.Failure to abide by these standards does not result in any legal penalty, but consumers who expect a certain degree of standardization are less likely to do business with your company if you do not abide by the manufacturing standards that have been put in place.In other words, adhering to manufacturing standards is good for business.If you do not adhere to these standards, eventually your business will suffer and eventually your customers will find other manufacturers who are more willing to provide them with the standard of consistency that they expect.
Manufacturing standards are created and enforced both internally and from organizations outside of the organization.Managers create their standards in what is generally a three part process.The first step is to plan what you want the objectives for your organization to be.You do this by analyzing your organization, the goals that are in place, and develop plans to achieve those goals.Next, managers must implement their plans.Finally, as a manager for your manufacturing plant you must check to ensure that you are actually meeting your objectives.Be sure that you have ways of measuring your results.If you find that you are not reaching your targets, repeat the process.
Manufacturing standards developed by agencies like the ISO are continually evolving just as practices for operation are always evolving.There is no one right system or a best way of operation for all manufacturing organizations.The larger a manufacturing organization is, the more opinions there will be regarding what constitutes best practices.Creating and enforcing a manufacturing standard is not about dictating how every manufacturer must run his or her business, but rather it is a tried and true method that is being suggested.Manufacturing standards often provide great benefit to the company in the form of effectively utilizing resources of time, money, and materials.Standards are there to ensure that no one process or check-point is left out and that everyone is aware of what their role is in the overall process.Specifically, ISO aims to distribute these standards to all countries and all businesses.Even the smallest business in the most remote country has the opportunity to benefit from the combined resources and expertise that an international standardization organization provides.Of course there are a lot of very specific items included in the ISO system, all of which cannot be expounded upon in this basic introduction to manufacturing standards.