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Many businesses operate quite successfully without being ISO certified; however in today’s crowded market place, being certified by a UKAS accredited certification body can give you a competitive edge. It may even be a requirement before you can start the relationship.

Goldfish_jumping_continual_improvementFor example, if you are looking to access new markets, getting certified will give potential customers confidence in your management systems and your ability to meet their requirements. The standards are international and are therefore recognised across global markets.

When you have a robust management system in place, your business will be able to streamline operations and improve productivity that will help to increase profits.

By assessing risks from natural disasters, accidents, cyber-crime or mismanagement, you will be able to mitigate their impact on your business.

Environmental disasters get much more publicity these days and keeping ahead of regulations and legislation is more important than ever. Demonstrating your commitment to reducing the impact that your operations have on the environment will enhance your reputation with your employees and customers.

There are a wide range of international standards available for organisations of all types and sizes and you can select the most relevant for your business.

The ISO standard or standards that you choose to meet your particular needs will help to meet the everyday challenges and risks faced by all organisations.

These are some of the more popular standards available:
  • ISO 9001     Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 14001     Environmental Management Systems
  • OHSAS 18001     Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
  • ISO 27001     Information Security Management Systems
  • PAS 43         Safe Working of Vehicle Breakdown and Recovery Operators
  • NHSS 17     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery at Highway Construction Sites
  • NHSS 17b     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery and Removal on Controlled Roads
  • PAS 80         Automotive Garage Services - Service and Repair of Vehicles
  • HACCP         Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems

The benefits to businesses are wide ranging and will provide a management system and structure that will help your business to become more efficient and sustainable.

Do you need ISO certification? Call us for a free, no obligation discussion to find out which ISO standard you need for your business. We are a UKAS Accredited Certification Body.

 

megabus_italyLeading international transport operator Stagecoach Group launched a new network of inter-city coach services in Italy in June 2015 under its megabus.com brand as part of continuing expansion across mainland Europe.

The new network, launched by Italy's Deputy Transport Minister Riccardo Nencini, links 13 destinations across the country with bargain fares from just €1. The major new network of inter-city coach services covers Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, Turin, Bologna, Verona, Padua, Siena, Genoa, Sarzana (La Spezia) and Pisa. As part of its commitment to high standards of customer service, megabus.com has invested in an €11million fleet of 23 state-of-the-art coaches offering free Wifi, power sockets, air conditioning and toilets.

In addition to boosting public transport, tourism and the economy, megabus.com is investing in Italy by creating around 100 new jobs through the opening of new bases near Milan and in Florence.

megabus.com worked with ACS Registrars Ltd on certification to the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system standard to support its entry into the Italian market.

Companies meeting the ISO standard consistently provide products that meet customer needs as well as relevant statutory and regulatory requirements. megabus.com carries more than 15 million passengers a year across Europe and North America. The number of passengers using the company’s growing coach network in Europe is up more than 60% in the past year.

Recent events have again focused attention on workplace health and safety, as investigators from the Health and Safety Executive have been questioning the owners and employees about a specific high-profile accident.

The latest statistics from the HSE website make grim reading:

•    1.2 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
•    2,538 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2013)
•    142 workers killed at work (2014/15)
•    78,000 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
•    629,000 injuries at work from the Labour Force Survey
•    28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
•    £14.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2012/13)

("Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence". http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics)

OHSAS_StatsIf you are found guilty of health and safety offences in a magistrate's court, you could face fines of up to £20,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment. Conviction in a Crown Court can result in an unlimited fine and/or a period of imprisonment of up to two years.

Limit your risks and protect your employees
OHSAS 8001 is the internationally recognised management system for assessing and auditing occupational health and safety.

Achieving OHSAS 8001 will help protect your employees from work related illness or injury and help to ensure they don’t add to the above figures.

Benefits of OHSAS 8001 certification include:

•    Keeps your company up to date with the latest regulations.
•    Limits the risk of prosecutions and fines.
•    Confirms your commitment to the health and safety of your employees.
•    Improves your company’s reputation with existing customers and when tendering for new business.
•    Increases employee morale.

By implementing a robust management system you will minimise the risk of prosecution and improve productivity by reducing potentially expensive disruptions.

The standard applies to all industries and all sizes of business. For more information, call us to discuss the certification process.

 
What does ISO 14001 cover?
ISO_14001_environmental_managementThe standard has been developed to provide an audited management process to help organisations reduce their impact on the environment by recycling, saving energy and meeting regulatory requirements.

The ISO 14001 standard can be implemented across all industry sectors and from small businesses to multi-nationals. It will provide an Environmental Management System (EMS) that will benefit the organisation’s reputation, efficiency and customer relations as well as helping the environment.

Benefits of ISO 14001 certification
Achieving certification will establish better management systems for identifying environmental risks and minimising the impact of operations and processes carried out by the organisation. There are also economic benefits to be had from making these environmental improvements. As well as the obvious cost reductions from minimising waste, improving efficiency and lower use of natural resources, there are the intangible advantages of public, employee and customer perception of the organisation.

By communicating your commitment to achieving ISO 14001 and demonstrating a responsible attitude towards the environment, you will gain an advantage over competitors who are not certified, when tendering for new business. You will also enhance your reputation with existing clients. If you operate in global markets the standard is recognised throughout the world and will help you to meet their individual market environmental regulations.
Your organisation will benefit from a robust management system that will reduce risks, prevent incidents and increase awareness of environmental issues to your employees.

 
This is not the first time we have written about the vulnerability of businesses to cyber-attacks and the latest government survey does nothing to allay those fears. Though the statistics show that incidents of cyber-crime have reduced slightly, the costs of dealing with these breaches has almost doubled.

ISO_27001The following statement has been taken from the 2010 to 2015 government policy paper published 7th May 2015.

81% of large corporations and 60% of small businesses reported a cyber-breach in 2014.
With the cost for the worst cyber-security breach estimated between £600,000 to £1.15 million for large businesses and £65,000 to £115,000 for smaller ones, the government must look at new ways to protect businesses and make the UK more resilient to cyber-attacks and crime.”

Businesses affected by cyber crime
There have been some high profile cases:

eBay
Hackers managed to access an eBay corporate account to gather user’s personal information.

JP Morgan Chase
A neglected server provided access to contact details for its account holding customers.

Home Depot
Payment systems were infected with malware that allowed hackers to steal credit card details.

Employees’ responsibility
It is not just about server access; employees are much more mobile these days and carry around company information on laptops and mobile phones. Data is stored on removable media which can be copied or lost.
Malware can infect company computers and mobile phones. To protect against these risks, you will need to establish policies to ensure employees know what they should and shouldn’t do.

ISO 27001 information security management system
There are numerous ways an organisation can protect against cyber-crime. Choosing an internationally recognised standard that provides an auditable method of monitoring, protecting and managing information is one option.
Achieving ISO 27001 certification provides a framework of policies and procedures that will help prevent a security breach and limit the impact of a cyber-attack.

Using experienced consultants, you will be guided through the process, identifying any risks and tailoring the management process to your individual requirements. This will help to keep costs and disruption to a minimum should an incident occur.

Other benefits include:
  • Customers and business partners will have more confidence in your ability to keep their information safe.
  • Continuity of supply following an attack.
  • More reliable systems for storage of information.

ISO 27001 provides for a regular auditing procedure so you can continually improve your processes and keep up to date with the latest security measures to stay one step ahead of the criminals.