Issue 43 – October 2012
Many companies around the world participate actively in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standardisation. IEC Global Visions has interviewed some of their CEOs and CTOs to find out why – despite economically challenging times – they see value in sending experts to work in the IEC.
CEOs and CTOs are notoriously busy people. They generally don't like to waste time on details and unimportant stuff. The fact that so many of them have accepted to be interviewed for IEC Global Visions is testimony to the importance they allocate to IEC's work.
Small and big companies depend on the trust of consumers, investors, regulators, and even insurers to build new or expand existing markets. IEC work helps them gain that trust. IEC Standards contain key elements that allow companies to take important short-cuts; the kind that allows them to build consistently and verifiably better products.
Industry leaders tell IEC that because of their participation in the standard setting process, they are able to reduce production cost while improving innovation and design processes. When their standardisation experts sit at the table where the rules for global trade are written, they are able to ensure that their company's technologies are taken into account and that competition doesn't have the only say
When IEC talks to CEOs of new industries or of start-ups they tell IEC that their participation in the IEC makes it easier for them to convince investors or gain regulatory approvals. They find it allows them to avoid mistakes others have made before and helps them in the certification process.
George W. Arnold, Chief Operating Officer, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), says: 'The IEC is the preeminent Standards body at the international level in the electrotechnical sphere and so there are many IEC Standards that have been used historically in the grid and newer Standards that are under development. By having international Standards that are as uniform as possible around the world, it helps everyone. It reduces the costs for the manufacturers, which in turn reduces costs for electric utilities and ultimately reduces electricity rates for consumers.'
Dr Zida Yu, Senior Vice President and Corporate Technology Officer, Haier Group, says: 'Our active participation in the IEC allows us to build trust in our products among our worldwide customers and ultimately millions of end-consumers. Participating in IEC work has proven to be the most effective way for us to build our business and open new markets. I believe that any company that wants to sell and promote its goods and services to the global market has a strong interest in participating in IEC work. The IEC can help you promote your products to global customers, distributors, and industry within the shortest time and at lesser cost. By participating in the IEC, we learn a lot from our international peers and this increased knowledge also helps us in our technology development.'
Note: As New Zealand's representative for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Standards New Zealand ensures that New Zealand has a voice in the international Standards community.
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Summarised from IEC's e-tech, August/September 2012.