The importance of product conformity cannot be overstated in its place in the modern world in ensuring manufactured goods meet the required standards for the safety and well-being of users.
By Brian Minchin, Principal Consultant
Product conformity is critical for the safety, reliability, and quality of consumer goods. It refers to the degree to which a product meets the relevant standards and regulations established by industry, government, and other authoritative bodies. Ensuring that products conform to these standards is essential in reducing the risk of harm to consumers and the environment, enhancing their confidence in the products they purchase, and promoting fair competition among manufacturers.
To manufacturers, product compliance can be a myriad of complex, ever-changing regulations that need to be constantly reviewed to understand how they impact products, the manufacturing process, and cost. Often, suppliers question if they must need to comply – perhaps not?
To regulators, product compliance has been developed from a mixture of historical evidence, performance, and technological state-of-the-art based on recent scientific and engineering developments. While this list is not exhaustive, known consistent standards for manufacturers provide a level of safety for goods when placed on the market, ensuring they operate as intended and for other reasons, including:
- Customer satisfaction: When a product conforms to quality safety and performance standards, customers are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase and trust the brand.
- Legal compliance: Products that do not conform to regulations can result in legal penalties and reputational harm.
- Safety: Non-conforming products can pose a safety risk to consumers, property, and the environment, which can lead to liability issues and severe reputational damage.
- Brand reputation: Conforming to quality, safety and performance standards helps to build a positive brand image, especially in relation to sustainability which can lead to increased customer loyalty and sales.
- Market access: Most markets may only allow entry of products that conform to specific standards, and non-conforming products may be subject to fines or even banned.
The time vs. the cost of implementing and maintaining this conformity is difficult and a challenging task. Therefore, suppliers must be chosen wisely based on their performance and knowledge of the supplied goods, as well as their awareness surrounding the regulations affecting their products and services.
By developing these relationships with suppliers, it can help unlock your success in navigating the regulations. Product conformity is critical for ensuring that products are safe, reliable, and meet customer expectations, which can help to build trust and maintain a strong reputation for the brand.
Why do we need product compliance in the marketplace?
Goods placed on the market must operate to their intended design and have a high degree of safety for the user and the environment in which they impact. This is a key part of product conformity, as it helps maintain a high level of safety and improves it over time. Without this, the potential for failure increases along with the impact on the user and environment. For example, pressure equipment placed on the market using known manufacturing standards and the Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU can ensure safe operation and maintenance.
When things do go wrong, all people are failed. The safety of us and others should be the number one priority.
At DNV, we can help guide clients through this process in several conformity areas for many different products. Contact one of our experts today to find out more.