When people want to understand something, they compare their observations to an established standard. Standards give people structure around which they can thrive while aspiring toward even greater accomplishments and upgraded standards.
Productivity depends on standards, even as innovators seek to redefine them. Formalized standards are documents, both print and online, that include specifications, procedures and morphologies that detail assurances for the reliability of products and their composite materials. Standards represent the protocols that producers and consumers alike can trust as they strive to understand the world and its inherently competitive landscape.
Through the centuries, technologies have gone through cycles of innovation, standardization and occasional ossification. Manufacturers are always seeking to improve productivity, and entrepreneurs will often distinguish themselves from competitors by adopting or developing innovations in technology.
The automobile industry exemplified the Second Industrial Revolution. Standards in manufacturing processes, parts specifications and related products, such as refined petroleum and roadways, paved the way toward expanded human progress. When consumers became confident they could top off their tank at any filling station and hire qualified mechanics wherever they happened to be, entire continents opened up for greater exploration.
Today’s businesses are increasingly digital. Characteristics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution entail a harmony of things physical and virtual, encouraging enterprises to pursue operational advantages that include:
Rapid prototyping of research and development (R&D) discoveries.
Process agility and ease of redesign.
Transparency and accountability within supply chains.
Improved customer satisfaction and personalization.