The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is re-engineering itself. ISO's officials want to make it more relevant to today's world markets, improve its flow of technical work, and cut the cost of producing standards. ISO President Liew Mun Leong hopes to strengthen links with the World Trade Organization. Purpose: to "build a bridge at the international level between standardization, industrial application, and regulatory requirements." Liew also wants to make agreements with industrial sectors that have been setting their own standards without waiting for the cumbersome ISO process. He wants to avoid fragmentation of standards. To encourage balanced regional participation, Liew proposes setting up ISO centers in various regions outside Geneva. ISO Secretary-General Larry Eicher says his organization is also considering a proposal to switch from a bilingual system to one that operates only in English. Another proposal involves commingling the administrative services of ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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