Maudslay's work, as well as the contributions of other engineers, accomplished a modest amount of industry standardization; some companies' in-house standards spread a bit within their industries.
With the adoption of BSW by British railway lines, many of which had previously used their own standard both for threads and for bolt head and nut profiles, and improving manufacturing techniques, it came to dominate British manufacturing.
At a regional level (e.g. Europa, the Americas, Africa, etc) or at subregional level (e.g. Mercosur, Andean Community, South East Asia, South East Africa, etc), several Regional Standardization Organizations exist (see also Standards Organization).
The (ISA) was founded in 1926 with a broader remit to enhance international cooperation for all technical standards and specifications. The body was suspended in 1942 during World War II.
The existence of a published standard does not necessarily imply that it is useful or correct. Just because an item is stamped with a standard number does not, by itself, indicate that the item is fit for any particular use. The people who use the item or service (engineers, trade unions, etc.) or specify it (building codes, government, industry, etc.) have the responsibility to consider the available standards, specify the correct one, enforce compliance, and use the item correctly: validation and verification.
In the context of social criticism and social science, standardization often means the process of establishing standards of various kinds and improving efficiency to handle people, their interactions, cases, and so forth. Examples include formalization of judicial procedure in court, and establishing uniform criteria for diagnosing mental disease. Standardization in this sense is often discussed along with (or synonymously to) such large-scale social changes as modernization, bureaucratization, homogenization, and centralization of society.
Standardization has a variety of benefits and drawbacks for firms and consumers participating in the market, and on technology and innovation.