Business Continuity and Quality Management, what lessons are businesses learning?

In a time where most companies (have suddenly found the majority of their workforce working remotely) a lot of organisations are finding that systems/departments, (that were considered background or secondary to frontline services are of far higher priority to their businesses than first anticipated.)

Business Continuity Plans that had been written down and agreed as good, robust SOPS in practice haven’t worked. Many find IT Infrastructure and systems don’t operate as harmoniously as expected, or simply cannot be actioned in the current situation, for example, the recent closure of non-essential shops resulted in companies unable to source home working equipment for their employees, despite their best efforts and well laid out plans. The biggest learning curve for most has been how to continue to deliver a quality service, while most staff are at home and it is most certainly not business as usual!

There are probably a lot of business owners and senior managers out there wishing it would all go back to normal, but the truth is it can’t and most likely won’t.  Even when countries come out of lock down and business resumes for a lot of organisations, lessons have to be learnt, most of them the hard way! This will forevermore impact the way these Owners or managers run their businesses for better or worse businesses across the globe will be forever changed by the events of 2020.

One of the biggest opportunities this has given businesses as a whole is hindsight that more investment (Time and Money) needs to be put into Business Continuity, IT Infrastructure, IT Security, and Quality Management, if companies do not learn these lessons they may not survive the next financial crash, pandemic, or global crisis unless we heed our recent lessons.

I’m sure there will be lots of companies out there will be rewriting business continuity plans and there is likely to be a surge in ISO 22301 Business Continuity Certifications over the next year. Five of the biggest questions we will be asking companies after we come out of lockdown are:

  • “How easy was it to maintain quality control, after you had managed to help your employees work remotely?”
  • Were you one of those businesses just trying to keep your head above water and make it out alive? A company that didn’t look at quality of provision because they were trying to just survive?
  • How much time did your company spend buying laptops or trying to setup Microsoft Teams?

and

  • How much money did you spend on infrastructure or outsourced services to allow remote working?

But most importantly Did it work?

Survival comes first, I don’t disagree, but if we have robust plans with the right processes in place not only, will your business survive, it stands a better chance of being in a healthier position when you come out the other side of whatever disaster you were facing.

How much time did your company spend buying laptops or trying to setup Microsoft Teams/Zoom etc?

How much money did you spend on infrastructure or outsourced services to allow remote working?

Did it work?

ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems ensure quality on a day to day basis and add value to business operations, company brand, and operational efficiencies.  By amending these slightly and adding in processes alongside your business continuity plans you can ensure that in times of crisis there is less time running around reacting to things and more time implementing and ensuring business operations run as smoothly as possible, whatever the circumstances.

These are crucial to organisations survival and retaining their customer bases, how many of you have found suppliers that were either unhelpful or unable to support in the current climate.  This is all part of the risk assessments of ISO9001.

Now is the time to start planning, now is the time to start getting the building blocks in place so when your organisation resumes work to it’s full capacity you have the processes and procedures in place, so you don’t get caught out next time.

For more information on our ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, Business Continuity, and how we can support your business, contact IBCN on 01376 402069 or info@ibcn.co.uk

 

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