A Sunderland firm that helps businesses gain the ISO accreditations they need to succeed says its services have never been more in demand.
And busy Compliant director Mark Henderson says that can only be a good thing for homegrown companies bidding to win important contracts where only businesses operating to the highest standards will be accepted.
Compliant FM, (the FM stands for facilities management), was launched in 2017 when Mark decided to put decades of experience working in the haulage and storage industry, combined with dealing with the upper echelons of companies, to best use.
He said: “I could see the need to deliver important industry accreditation to companies in ways which made it easy for business leaders to implement.
“Those running companies are completely focused on delivering whatever their products are – as they should be – and they don’t have the time to get involved in accreditations.
“They know they need accreditations to win contracts but it’s not really their core role, and that’s where Compliant comes in and makes things simpler and easier for them.”
Put simply, ISO accreditations certify the achievement of internationally recognised standards for organisations operating in areas like industry, manufacturer and service delivery.
They show potential employers that the company they’re dealing with has been certified as operating to a competent and safe standard.
They are essential for businesses hoping to win contracts big or small and for any organisation – private or public – are important statements of credibility, integrity and competency.
Mark said: “Big organisations putting contracts out to tender, especially in the public sector, need to be reassured that the companies they’re dealing with are operating to a responsible and safe standard.
“If companies don’t have the accreditations that contractors deem necessary, then they simply won’t get past the first hurdle.
“ISO 9001 Quality is the workhorse accreditation that companies need to at least put themselves in contention when it comes to tendering, but there are many others that are very important and will be taken into consideration, depending upon the nature of the contract.”
The number of ISO accreditations increases with the growth of industries and new requirements and Compliant is on top of those, adding them to their list of services as they come into operation.
Mark explained: “The big five are ISO 9001 quality; ISO 14001 environmental, ISO 22301 business continuity, IS0 27001 information security and ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety.
“With all these accreditations and others, the process is the same, because it is the same standard whoever you are.
“But every client is different because we literally deliver to everyone from the proverbial one man in his shed, all the way up to nationals and multinationals.
“We can identify areas of demand and high demand though – so, for example, an awful lot of accreditation work seems to be going on in the field of education right now.
“And one area where there has been a huge jump in demand is for ISO 27001, information security, because more and more organisations are wanting systems which protect their data security.”
The world of accreditations can feel like a complex and complicated world to the uninitiated but that’s where Compliant fits in.
“We’re here to take the complexity and the stress out of it for our clients,” said Mark.
“We offer a free assessment because, as I said, every client is different and will have different needs – there will be some accreditations they definitely need and some accreditations which perhaps they don’t.
“And then not only do we take them through the process of gaining those accreditations but we can help them cope when it comes to ongoing compliance.
“On a retainer basis, Compliant can come in and ensure those accreditations remain valid and it just removes a headache that clients don’t need as they seek to focus on their business goals.
“We find a lot of demand for that service and it helps us build up those relationships which are needed for good business practice.
“As a company, Compliant has only been going since 2017 but we’ve really found our feet now in the business world and whereas the pandemic might have caused us issues, we’re finding it’s quite the reverse and businesses everywhere have either used the time to update and improve their systems or are doing it now.”