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Understanding ISO 21041 and Unit Pricing - ISOUpdate.com

With ISO 21041, consumers can now make better and easier buying decisions that allow them to compare the values of related products and decide accordingly which one to spend their valuable dollars on. Following ISO 21041 and its protocol is not only beneficial for the consumers but also for the retailers through unit pricing.

Did you know: ISO 21041 is the result of an international effort that was led by a team of experts from Australia?

What is ISO 21041?

ISO 21041:2018, namely, Guidance on unit pricing, sets down several prerequisites that will allow consumers to compare the prices of similar items to make more informed buying choices.

ISO 21041 guides store owners and retailers on an effective way to display unit pricing on all the products in their stores, regardless of whether they are on shelves or in packages, as well as in the advertisements for these products and demonstrates how important it is to educate and provide clarity to consumers to maintain transparency.

What is Unit Pricing?

Unit Pricing, also known as comparative pricing, is the way of pricing products or services such that the price displayed shows the price of one standard unit of measure. This way, consumers can easily determine which product provides more value.

For example, if one milk company offers milk in a liter pack and another company offers milk in a half liter pack, then unit pricing demands that the prices of both companies be displayed according to one liter. This way, consumers can easily decide which company to opt for instead of having to perform calculations.

Why is Unit Pricing Necessary?

Inconsistent pricing methods can lead to a confusing shopping experience for consumers, which can lead to purchase trade off, where a potential customer determines your product is less than a competitor based on value. Even worse, this confusion can increase their decision avoidance, where a purchase could have been made but was bypassed to avoid emotional costs of making the decision. – Source

This level of confusion leads to distrust among the consumers for the retailer. By opting for an easy to understand and evaluate method of pricing, retailers can demonstrate that they believe in transparency and aiding their consumers. This is because price transparency is one of the most effective ways to gain the trust of consumers as it makes it easier to make purchasing choices.

This relationship between consumer trust and pricing transparency was apparent in a study conducted by Australia’s Queensland University of Technology, where consumers remarked that unit pricing helped them make easier purchasing decisions so that they could shop with a higher confidence.

The research also showed that adopting unit pricing also led to a positive change in the attitudes of the consumers towards retailers.

Unit Pricing and Global Consumerism

Standardized unit pricing will also make it easier for consumers to make more informed buying decisions on a more global level.

By adopting ISO 21041 ambiguity and confusion around the pricing system can be nearly eliminated.

Summary

“ISO 21041 includes guidance on the provision of unit price, their units of measure used to express unit price including weight, length, volume, count, area and other forms of measure. ISO 21041 also highlights guidance on the display of unit price, and the implementation, communication and education of consumers.

ISO 21041 is applicable to any retailer, including supermarkets, hardware stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, automotive parts suppliers and pet product suppliers.

Note: ISO 21041 is applicable to packaged and non-packaged food and consumer products where the price is displayed, including

— at point of sale, including in-store and online, and

— when relevant communications about the product are released (including advertising by electronic and printed formats).

Note: ISO 21041 excludes services and merchandise, such as clothing and electronic goods sold as a single item.”  – Source

In short, adopting ISO 21041 and standardized unit pricing not only helps the consumers make better choices but is also beneficial for the retailers as it promotes positive consumer attitudes and increases customers trust in your brand.

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Since the 1960s, HACCP has been recognized internationally as a logical tool for adapting traditional inspection methods to a modern, science-based, food safety system.
Since the 1960s, HACCP has been recognized internationally as a logical tool for adapting traditional inspection methods to a modern, science-based, food safety system.

ISO 14001 is under review. After its original publication in 1996, this is the first time it’s going through major changes. The review process is currently at the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, the fourth stage of a six stage process, and  the final revised ISO 14001:2015 is due to be published by the end of 2015. Some of the main changes ISO 14001:2004 is undergoing are:

  1. The first change to ISO 14001:2004 concerns its structure. This revision is based on the ISO Guide 83 (“Annex SL”) which defines a common high level structure, text and common terms and definitions for the next generation of management systems. This structure aims to facilitate the implementation process and the integration of several management systems in a harmonized, structured and efficient manner. Such structure is as follow:
    1. Scope
    2. Normative References
    3. Terms and Definitions
    4. Context of the Organization
    5. Leadership
    6. Planning
    7. Support
    8. Operation
    9. Performance Evaluation
    10. Improvement
  2. New concepts have been added, such as “supply chain”, “value chain” and “product life cycle” and existing definitions have been modified to give a different emphasis and to improve clarity.
  3. Two new clauses have been introduced which focuses on an organization’s context. These require organizations to determine the issues and requirements that can influence the scope of its EMS and take them into account.
  4. There’s a greater emphasis on top management, requiring them to take the lead in integrating the environmental management practices into their organization’s core strategies, processes, and priorities.
  5. Regarding environmental policy, organization should be committed to protecting the environment rather than just preventing its pollution, as stated in ISO 14001:2004.
  6. A greater emphasis is placed on an organization determining its own risk profile.
  7. Organizations are required to control or influence processes and services associated with significant environmental aspects, organizational risks, lifecycle and emergency preparedness.
  8. There is a greater focus on environmental performance improvement across the value chain.
  9. The DIS does not include specific requirements for preventive action. The new standard no longer thinks of preventive measures as a separate topic, but rather as a central component of all environmental-related activities.
  10. Environmental objectives have been given a separate sub-clause with the “planning actions to achieve environmental objectives.”
  11. The terms “document” and “record” have both been replaced throughout the DIS with the term “documented information”. The DIS states that documented information must be maintained to the extent necessary to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned.

It is important to mention that this standard is still under review, and there is still to see which changes will make it to the final revision. However, it’s clear that the overall goal of ISO 14001:2015 is to respond to the latest environmental trends, help organizations improve their environmental performance and prepare them for future environmental challenges.

 

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The quality management system (QMS) standard ISO 9001:2008 is currently under review. Like all ISO standards, which go through a revision every 5 years, ISO 9001 is being updated to reflect new technological advancements in the workplace and a to give a higher focus on the quality of outputs to customers.

The review process is currently at the Final Draft International Stage (FDIS), the fifth stage of a six stage process and  the final revised ISO 9001:2015 is due to be published by September 2015. Some of the upcoming changes to ISO 9001:2008 are:

  1. The new ISO 9001 standard aligns with high-level organizational structure established on the ISO Guide 83 (“Annex SL”), requiring all new ISO management system standards to be aligned on a high-level structure with a set of common requirements. This structure aims to facilitate the implementation process and the integration of several management systems in a harmonized, structured and efficient manner. Such structure is as follow:
    1. Scope
    2. Normative References
    3. Terms and Definitions
    4. Context of the Organization
    5. Leadership
    6. Planning
    7. Support
    8. Operation
    9. Performance Evaluation
    10. Improvement
  2. Some concepts are replaced, such as the term “product” is replaced by “goods & services” and “continual” by “continual improvement.” “Purchasing” and “outsourcing” will be replaced by “external provision of goods and services”
  3. The new standard puts a greater emphasis on the “context of the organization” which implies a broader measurement, planning and implementation view.
  4. The new standard will take a risk-based approach to determine the type and extent of controls appropriate to each external provider and all external provision of goods and services. The proposed standard addresses risks which can affect conformity of goods and services as well as customer satisfaction.
  5. Senior management will be required to take a more active involvement in the quality management system.
  6. There will be general requirements for documentation, with no reference to documented quality manual, documented procedures or to quality records. The DIS refers to “Documented Information.”
  7. The need for exclusions may not be considered to be necessary in the new version of the standard but feedback on this is being sought as part of the revision process.

Regardless of the upcoming changes, ISO 9001 will continue to be a generic standard, relevant to all sizes and types of organizations in any sector and it will continue to deliver “confidence in the organization’s ability to consistently provide product or services that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements”.