COVID-19 affected businesses differently depending on their geographical location and industry. However, being unprepared was consistently the biggest killer for businesses. ISO Certifications help businesses perform better by identifying internal or external disruptions to business; preparing them, and aiding them to perform better throughout COVID-19.
Small and medium businesses have been among the hardest hit throughout the pandemic, despite employing more than 75% of the world’s labor force. Crises are nothing new for small businesses, often due to limited market share and small teams, they are volatile.
The management systems of these small businesses are not resilient enough to enable them to navigate through this pandemic with appropriate mitigation measures and readiness to tap into new opportunities. despite the numerous tools developed for that purpose.
The four U’s in business that are destructive are; unprecedented, unexpected, unprepared and uncertain.
Boarder shutdowns and businesses lockdown closures forced many businesses to either get creative to create new lines of income or be forced to closed business.
Why are standards useful?
Standards drive down costs, boost productivity, build resilience, reduce risks and improve profits. Available are a number of international standards that can be very useful to small businesses to limit the impact of any crisis and be better prepared to rebound thereafter.
The standards offered by Best Practice Certification:
- ISO 9001 – Quality Management System
- ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System
- ISO 27001 – Information Security Management System
- ISO 45001 – Occupational Health & Safety Management System
- ISO 55001 – Asset Management System
These standards can be used alone or in conjunction with each other to build a businesses resilience and security. They help business continuity by identifying and minimising risks, and provide resources to adapt in difficult times.
Furthermore, another benefit of these standards is that they mandate periodic audits and another testing of backup and recovery processes, documentation of the results of these tests, and resolution of any problems encountered during these tests. Just as initial documentation of processes provides an opportunity to identify problems with disaster recovery processes, so do periodic tests that ensure these processes actually work in practice.
How can ISO 9001 (Quality Management) help businesses perform better?
ISO defines a “management system” as “the set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish policies and objectives as well as processes to achieve those objectives”.
- determination and monitoring of the organization’s ever-changing business context
- identification of relevant stakeholders and their changing needs and expectations
- leadership at all levels (including the timely deployment of action plans to address changing circumstances)
- consideration of business opportunities and their associated risks (“risk-based thinking”)
- planning and validating changes to maximize business opportunities and minimize disruptions
How can ISO 45001 (OH&S Management) help businesses perform better?
ISO 45001 helps to ensure businesses remain open while staying safe for workers and their customers if applicable. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s now more important than ever to become ISO 45001 certified and implement an effective safety management system to keep your team safe no matter what happens.
To become ISO 45001 certified, you must complete an analysis of your business from top to bottom and identify any existing gaps in incompetence, resources, or safety measures.
How can ISO 27001 (Information Security Management) help businesses perform better?
ISO 27001 aids the transition towards flexible working arrangements seamless, safe and protected. It is essential that organizations prepare for this and manage cyber risks properly to secure remote working in the future.
Benefits of implementing this ISO standard are;
- Meet the regulatory information security requirements for your businesses data
- Provide reassurance to your customers and suppliers
- Demonstrate a framework of policies, procedures, guidelines and resources that will protect your employees and the organizations information
ISO Certifications are powerful tools for businesses to identify both internal and external issues that will impact their continuity. As the pandemic slowly evolves, protecting the organisations income, assets, employees and safety will ensure a business performs better throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.