ISO 9001 is the most commonly requested ISO Standard, with well over one million companies registered as holders around the world. It measures your company’s quality of supply for either physical product or service, the quality emphasis on fitness for purpose. It shares a lot of its requirements with many other standards, things like document control, record control, non-conformance control, internal audits, and a requirement for good communication both internal and external, all essential stuff for good management.
In our current world of growing availability of product from global locations, we are also subject to growing threats, both natural and intended, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, terrorism, acts of war, they all help to affect the uncertainty of on-time delivery to those customers we have pledged to give a quality service to with our ISO 9001 certification.
There is a fast growing standard to help us prepare for possible disasters, its current format is ISO 22301:2012 Business Continuity, putting plans in place to assist us through adversity so that we can do our best to continue our promise of quality of supply made through our ISO 9001 certification.
Business Continuity is not for everyone, if you have a retail business, and your premises are hit by a flood or other disaster, customers can go elsewhere, or perhaps buy online, but if you manufacture or supply / service equipment that is not readily available, or is made specifically for a particular customer, its absence can have a huge impact on your customer, however well they manage their operations, any business is only as good as its weakest link, and if your company doesn’t have backup plans, you are probably that weakest link. As any good Boy Scout will tell you Be Prepared!
In recent years we have seen the change in attitude of buyers, they have learned from the mistakes that have cost other, sometimes huge organisations that have been left on the brink through lack of planning for “What If” scenarios. As a company serving many hundreds of customers, we have learned a lot from them, and one requirement stands out above others, Reliability of Supply, so now we study our customer’s promises to their customers, and in some cases have come to the conclusion that Business Continuity would be of no assistance at all, but for others, we have identified a major need for Business Continuity plans to be in place, and where we have put this in place with them, we have urged them to flaunt their advantage over other suppliers by including with tenders copies of certification, advertising their advantage etc even where such a requirement wasn’t asked for. The difference has been plain for all to see, orders received from buyers who realise its potential and importance, not every day, but at the time when it really matters.
How many sleepless nights could you save for your customers, and how much more valuable would your supply be by having it in place?
For more information, send us an e-mail, let us know what you do, or, ask your customers whether they feel it would assist them if you had it in place, or whether it would raise your standing as a supplier to them.
If you decide it could help you, contact us, we’re easy to talk to, and NEVER pressure sell.
12 June 2015
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