The standard at the service of the markets

Standardization for the benefit of the market

Standards are reference documents developed in an open and transparent framework by experts representing all stakeholders at the French, European and international levels. They coordinate the commercial relations between the market players. If you choose to take part in the standardization work, you contribute to shaping the markets of tomorrow; you choose to boost the expansion of your company.

Standards result in a consensus between the different market players

The different market players (manufacturers, intermediaries, users, regulatory authorities, technical supports, evaluators, consumers, NGOs..) must reach a consensus to develop a standard. Standards are the result of a collective and reasoned choice. They represent the best compromise between the customers’ needs and the manufacturers’ abilities; they describe the current state of art at a given time.

Standards facilitate the B2B exchanges and relationships

Providing quality, safety and more generally reliability, standards reduce technical obstacles to exchanges between customers and suppliers and thereby improve their relationships, simplify the drafting of technical specifications, enable to master the technical characteristics of products, and support the CE marking of products on the European market.

Standards are at the service of innovation

Standards represent the state of the art at a given time; the actual and future vision of the market. From this point of view, the follow-up of standardization activities should be done by the R&D and marketing teams, just like technology watch or market watch.

From the innovative SME to the multinational company, each organization can find in standardization a means to develop (or protect) its competitive advantage, both nationally and globally. Used upstream of the innovation process, standardization is a tool to identify the expectations of market players, anticipate their projects. Changes in product specifications are pointed out through discussions around the table. These are signs about future market rules that a company can consider creating new products.

Profitability and new market conquest : standards give leverage for companies' expansion

A joint AFNOR-UNM study conducted with the Bureau for Economic Information and Forecasting (BIPE – Bureau d’Informations et de Prévisions économique in French) showed that a company’s participation in standardization works contributes to 26% of the growth in gross operating surplus (when EBITDA grows by 1%, participation in standardization contributes to 0.26%), and to 16% of the growth in export sales. 

In other words: companies involved in standardization expand faster than the others, particularly at the international level.

Standardization and leadership strategies

Even if standards are the result of consensus, they are never truly neutral. An entire profession takes a path that can be decisive for its development.
Therefore, each economic sector must define their standardization strategy, taking into account the market conditions, the regulatory environment and the parties involved, and then determine whether the development of a specific standard will meet their needs. 

At UNM, we are highly committed to guiding our stakeholders to establish a clear and common national strategy for standardization, which is key to have a voice at European and international level. 

We are aware of the stakes to achieve leadership in a tense, global economic and geopolitical context. That’s why we launched a powerful leadership strategy to support our stakeholders

Access to standards: a valuable advantage for the experts involved

Since the end of 2022, each expert registered in a UNM standardization committee can have free access to the entire collection of standards within the scope of their committee. This is a strong recognition of the importance of the contribution of the experts and companies involved.
AFNOR publishes and distributes all the standards in France, including those developed by UNM. Standards and normative documents are protected by copyright: you can buy them online, on the AFNOR store.

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