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2015 ANSI Conference Standards and the Service Economy Session Highlights Widespread Standardization Efforts, Impact Across Globe


Standardization experts from leading companies and standardization organizations convened at the 2015 American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Conference:Standards and the Service Economy on Tuesday, September 29, in Washington DC. Speakers offered diverse perspectives on how their organizational standardization efforts help service providers meet business and economic needs across a spectrum of industries. The event was part of World Standards Week, which ran from September 28 - October 2.

Kevan Lawlor, president and CEO of NSF International and ANSI's chair of the board of directors opened the discussion. He noted that while the services industry as a whole is quite diverse, many service providers are dependent on standards development work to meet their needs. He emphasized that the conference served as a platform to inspire discussions for continued outreach and improvement.

Mary Saunders, the associate director for management resources at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) moderated the first session of the conference, entitled "Strategies for Addressing Standards Needs in the Services Sector," which explored how various international, regional, and foreign standards bodies have developed strategic policies for addressing the specific needs of the service sector. Panelists included Torsten Bahke, chairman of the executive board of DIN (German Institute for Standardization) who highlighted how common standards can remove Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), and Kevin McKinley, acting secretary general of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), who described several ISO committees developing services standards—ranging from the financial planning services to tourism.

Panelist Sauw-Kook Choy, assistant chief executive of SPRING Singapore gave an overview of the services sector in Singapore and noted that services represent more than 70 percent of the GDP in the country. Ashok Ganesh, director of innovation at CEN/CENELEC (European Committee for Standardization, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) discussed European standardization and the benefits of service standards (including an improved ability to demonstrate service quality to customers), but also outlined current challenges across industries, such as lack of awareness of standardization and its benefits.

Richard Taylor, director of standards marketing development at BSI Group, differentiated "Horizontal Standards," which are concerned with service delivery, process, and behaviors. (e.g. customer service) and "Vertical Standards," which define specific requirements of service, expectations, performance indicators, design, and processes.

Presentations from the "Strategies for Addressing Standards Needs in the Services Sector" panel are available to view below.

  • Torsten Bahke, Chairman of the Executive Board, DIN (German Institute for Standardization)

  • Kevin McKinley, Acting Secretary General, ISO (International Organization for Standardization)

  • Sauw-Kook Choy, Assistant Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore (plus a video)

  • Ashok Ganesh, Director of Innovation, CEN/CENELEC (European Committee for Standardization, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization)

  • Richard Taylor, Director of Standards Market Development, BSI Group

The second session, "Stakeholders Speak - Service Industry Needs," was moderated by Laura Hitchcock, senior project manager of Boeing, and included a number of service providers from different sectors, who discussed how the domestic and international standardization system work better to meet their needs. Panelists included Ron Dearing, Jr., manager of worldwide development and technology at Walt Disney, who explained that the company spans a number of different service sectors, including tourism, entertainment, retail, and more, and strives to use industry standards wherever possible. Donald Deutsch, vice president chief standards officer at Oracle explained the company's role in standards engagement and how Oracle's business model has shifted and change to embrace services alongside hardware and software.

David Heumann of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) outlined past and existing water standards and health effects of drinking water system components. Ari Marcus, the director of Citi's Information Services Group, provided an overview of the importance of standards to financial services, including a case study that reveals opportunities for standards to add value to business.

Presentations from the "Stakeholders Speak - Service Industry Needs" panel are available to view below.

  • Ron Dearing, Jr., Manager, Worldwide Program Development and Technology, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

  • Donald Deutsch, Vice President, Chief Standards Officer, Oracle

  • David Heumann, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

  • Ari Marcus, Director, Information Services Group, Citi

ANSI also published an electronic poster highlighting 75 of the thousands of Standards Supporting the Service Economy. Like other ANSI education and outreach materials produced in recent years, the intent behind the poster is to demonstrate - in a fun way - how standards play an important role in our everyday lives.

A photo album from the event is also available.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]