Making the right investment decisions for your business is a challenge at the best of times. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, it’s even tougher.
Yes, I’m talking about Brexit of course. It’s a discussion we’ve been having for more than three years now with many prospective clients who ask the question: “How will Brexit affect ISO certification?”
My answer is nearly always that whatever the outcome of Brexit, certification makes more sense than ever.
First, some background. ISO certification, which demonstrates your compliance to agreed international standards, is to all intents and purposes beyond the remit of the UK government and EU. Whether we leave on WTO terms or with any kind of deal, or even if we don’t leave at all, ISO certification remains intact. ISO is global. (That said, different Brexit outcomes could affect the role of UKAS, the UK’s national accreditation body, in different ways.)
But why does it matter now more than ever?
The first reason is it helps you manage through times of economic uncertainty. An ISO system, be it quality management, environmental management, health and safety or whatever, brings consistency, compliance and efficiency. Our own research amongst clients shows that the vast majority report improved internal operations, efficiency and cost control as a result of ISO certification. So it makes sense as an investment decision at any time. In times of uncertainty, the fact you have proven processes to help you control costs is a particular benefit.
The second reason really does relate to Brexit. The international nature of ISO certification - the global recognition of the standards - shows to export markets that you have the edge on your competitors. ISO standards are recognised by potential customers across the EU and around the world. Post-Brexit, whether there are growth opportunities or a downturn, differentiating yourself from your competitors will be more important than ever. If your products and services are going to be more difficult and expensive to sell into the EU due to trade barriers, then at least in the ‘plus’ column you’ll have ISO certification to demonstrate your competence, compliance, quality and reliability.
That’s it, in a nutshell: you can control costs and increase your market opportunities. ISO certification elevates you to a select group of businesses and provides the foundations for long term success whatever the economic or political backdrop. And from a business perspective, that really is the point of ISO certification.
Please give ISOQAR a call to discuss how we can assist with your certification needs or contact me directly at [email protected].