BSI: Standards for growth

Chris Wright, BSI

Chris Wright, marketing director of BSI, reflects on the roundtable discussion and considers how applying standards can help growing small businesses continue to thrive

WRIGHT It has been a fabulous discussion and I hope you’ve got a lot out of it, I know I certainly have. One of the things I observed as we started talking about innovation [is that] we went back to basics. We talked about being authentic, being honest, being customer-focused not product-focused. We talked about the importance of our people. They don’t seem new age or radical new thinking and I think holding onto these principles as an organisation – whether you’re small, large, or in the middle – is clearly vital.

Before we sat down for breakfast, we talked about the challenges that small businesses face when they grow – how as they grow from small to medium to large, often they lose sight of their original raison d’être. There are pressures and dimensions that can potentially throw you off course from the original vision of that original concept. The complexity that a business has increases as it grows and the management population gets larger and larger. So I think it’s been a fascinating reminder of those fundamental principles of good business that we’ve observed as we’ve gone round the table.

How standards can help
BSI is the business standards company that helps organisations of all sizes improve – and stay true to the authentic, customer-focused principles discussed at the roundtable – through the effective implementation of standards. Standards define best practice for organisational processes and the specifications for products. They are developed collaboratively by panels of independent industry experts and consumer bodies – there are standards in practically every area, from biodiversity to running sustainable events, and across almost every industry sector. They fall into two broad areas:

Product standards Last year we tested over 5,000 products in our Testing Centres of Excellence. We award the BSI Kitemark (an officially recognised UK ‘Superbrand’), which was first introduced in 1903 and is therefore one of the oldest consumer ‘trustmarks’ still in use today. Some 72 per cent of the UK population recognises our Kitemark as a mark of trust, safety and reliability and therefore it can really help brands differentiate their products in crowded and competitive marketplaces.

Processes standards When it comes to processes, we have three core areas of focus – helping companies to improve operational efficiency; helping them manage their risk; and helping them grow in a sustainable way to ensure standards of best practice become habits of excellence, that are demonstrated by everyone throughout a company, whether the business is large or small.

End-to-end services
We also have a range of comprehensive business services that help organisations understand and implement a standard, through our training courses. Then, when clients are ready, we independently assess and certify them, enabling them to promote their adherence to an internationally recognised standard of excellence. Finally, we work with clients to ensure they continually improve their business and maintain standards through additional training and software tools.

The scope of BSI
BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body, formed over a century ago, and today is recognised as a trusted partner for businesses globally. We are a Royal Charter company, which means that our profits are reinvested back into the business to continually improve the services we provide to clients.
We work with over 80,000 clients in 172 countries – from SMEs to global enterprises – have 37,000 current standards and are responsible for originating many of the world’s most commonly used management systems standards, such as the Quality Management Systems Standard ISO 9001 (see left). We have over 3,100 colleagues worldwide supporting our clients. Every person at BSI is dedicated to enhancing the complete experience
for our clients, helping them to make the most of the opportunities to grow their businesses.

Just a handful of the thousands of standards that can help boost businesses…

Quality Management ISO 9001
Will help you to continually monitor and manage performance across all operations. As the world’s most widely recognised quality management standard, it outlines ways to achieve, as well as benchmark, consistent performance and service.

Environmental Management ISO 14001
An internationally accepted standard that outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place. It is designed to help businesses remain commercially successful without overlooking environmental responsibilities. It can also help you to grow while reducing the environmental impact of this growth.

Occupational Health and Safety Management BS OHSAS 18001
A framework for an occupational health and safety management system. It can help you put in place the policies, procedures and controls needed for your organisation to achieve the best possible working conditions, aligned to internationally recognised best practice.

Information Security Management ISO/IEC 27001
A management framework for what good looks like in information security. It helps you identify the risks to your important information and put in place appropriate controls to help manage the risk.

To find out more about BSI, visit

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