This is the process of agreeing and adopting generic specification or descriptions of the items required. Standardization can also be defined as the process of grouping like items together in order to simplify examination of the complete range of any given type of
items within the store. A standard differs from specification in that while every standard is a specification not every specification is a standard. Standard may be distinguished according to their subject –matter, purpose and range of application.

Advantages of standardization:

  1. There is accurate comparison of quotation since all prospective suppliers are quoting for the same thing.
  2. Quality is easier to monitor because visual inspection is easier and use of tried or tested items means that defects are less likely to occur.
  3. It gives clear specification and removal of any uncertainty as to what is required on part of both buyer and the supplier.
  4. Save time and money by eliminating the need to prepare specifications each time and reducing the need for explanatory telephone calls.
  5. Easier communication and less room for misunderstanding and disputes between buyers and users.
  6. Save inventory and cost through variety reduction.

After standardization is introduced the following attributes should be observed:

  • Ensure specifications are observed
  • Ensure new specifications are suitably revised and approved.
  • Ensure old specifications are reviewed, replaced, amended or even eliminated if they are not necessary.

Application of variety reduction and standardization in new stock: Before a new item is added into the inventory as survey should be conducted to avoid a situation where many lines or variety is maintained and also to ensure that standards are adhered to. This is done using a survey/ questionnaire that seeks to establish whether the new stock should be introduced or not.

Common questions include:

  • What are the functions of the item?
  • Are there any substitutes of the item?
  • Does the item meet the current specifications?
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