Why do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need special attention from standardization organizations?
- they represent more than 20 million businesses in Europe;
- they employ more than 80 million people;
- they do not play a leading part in the development and application of standards as yet;
- because standards allow access to state-of-the-art technology and provide uniform conditions to access the market.
How do we care for SMEs at SIST?
- by encouraging SMEs in various ways to participate in standardization, and
- by enabling SMEs to pursue their interests through participation.
Welcome to researching, in case you would like to learn the answers to the following questions:
- What is a standard?
- Who develops standards and how?
- Why should my business participate in standardization and use standards?
- Who can provide me more information on standards in relation with legislation?
- Where do I learn more about standardization?
Welcome to visiting the tools intended expressly for SMEs who wish to familiarize with standardization.
WHAT IS A STANDARD?
Very briefly, a standard can be described as a document that describes an agreed way of doing things. Thus a standard can relate to the production of a product, management of a process, provision of a service or delivery of material – in short, standards address a wide range of activities carried out by individual organizations and used by their customers.
WHAT IS SIST?
SIST is the Slovenian national standards body that carries out standardization activities in the Republic of Slovenia.
The standardization system itself is organized at the international, European and national level.
At the national level SIST, assisted by experts associated in different technical committees (TCs), is responsible for preparing, publishing, translating, selling and promoting Slovenian national standards and standardization documents.
FACTORS ENABLING SMEs TO PARTICIPATE IN STANDARDIZATION
- Export-oriented Slovenian businesses, structure of business organizations: Slovenia has numerous voluntary associations, interest groupings and non-profit associations of legal entities and natural persons representing the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises;
- High level of standardization culture: Slovenian standardization has been supporting the Slovenian interest groups since 1946 ; its legislative acts and public procurement contracts make reference to standards (formally adopted voluntary standards); and
- Non-technical standards (e.g. in public procurement contracts).
The benefit of participating in national standardization lies in common language and culture. Through national technical committees (TCs), SMEs can influence standardization at the European level.
In SIST, we have launched a Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) Committee. It includes chambers and associations representing MSEs in Slovenia. The areas of activity of the MSE Committee are as follows:
- Tracing the state of the art; providing information, free training on the rules for placing products on the market, conducted by the Contact Point;
- Providing abstracts of new Slovenian Standards in Slovenian and participating in the preparation of standards interpretation documents;
- Developing strategies for the work of technical working bodies in preparing standards;
- Coordinating cooperation with the SIST Technical Boards, in particular in the areas of interest to MSEs;
- Taking part in the preparation of national positions for individual standards from the MSEs' point of view, and exerting influence on voting;
- Providing training on proper application of European standards conducted by the SIST Contact Point; distributing circular letters, and the like;
- Participating in the preparation of standards interpretation documents, when there is interest;
- Providing training to MSE representatives for participation in preparing national, international and European standards – seminars organized by SIST;
- Setting up a system for absorption of European funds in support of MSE participation in European standardization;
THE SIST CONTACT POINT
A Contact Point operates within the Slovenian Institute for Standardization, which provides free information to those interested on the applicable standards and regulations as well as other requirements to be met in order to place on the market safe and quality products only. In addition to providing information, the Contact Point prepares each year a one-day free seminar for the representatives of MSEs on the development of standards, and on the purpose of operation of the national organization for standardization.
Phone: +386 1 478 30 13 (SIST Secretary's Office)
Fax: +386 1 478 30 94