The Value of Standards

Standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in production, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the purchaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product to meet his or her need. In addition, the process of standardization allows manufacturers to come together to reach consensus on the best way to describe a product or system and their performance characteristics.
– National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

Standards are a vehicle of communication for producers and users. They serve as a common language, defining quality and establishing safety criteria.
Costs are lower if procedures are standardized; training is also simplified.

During the 1980s, the Army was using more than 350 different types of 1.5-volt to 30-volt batteries, consuming nearly 20% of a typical Army unit’s annual budget. In 1996, the Army spent $100 million on batteries and battery expenditures, and portable power requirements of the digitized battlefield were increasing the demand for more powerful primary and rechargeable batteries. A 1996 audit cited that, during a three year period, the Army could reduce expenditures 66% by using rechargeable batteries for training, and could save another $1.9 million if five selected units switched solely to rechargeable batteries.

Through standardization of primary and rechargeable batteries, the Army achieved a higher level of battery interchangeability and unit readiness within military units and across joint and combined operations. The Army decreased battery types used from more than 350 to 35, with a goal to standardize to 25. The Army now spends $75 million a year on battery purchases for all applications, a 25% reduction from its 1996 baseline. During the first four years alone, the Army saved more than $43 million, of that more than $30 million was related to rechargeable batteries. In the end, the Army met audit expectations by reducing expenditures on batteries by 66% over a three year period.

– U.S. Army