1 Jun, 2017
Welcome to the June 2017 edition of the ISO Quality Services Ltd Newsletter. This month’s edition is all about Risk Management!
Risk management can be defined as “the identification, assessment and prioritisation of risks followed by co-ordinated and economical application of resources to minimise, monitor and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximise the realisation of opportunities. Risk management’s objective is to ensure uncertainty does not deflect the endeavour from the business goal.” – Wikipedia
As business owners and managers, we all know that we need to take risks sometimes. Taking risks helps businesses to grow, develop and prosper – the farmer that now runs a campsite for example. But all businesses, regardless of size, need to be aware of their risks, analyse them and address them to help not only minimise the eventuality of that risk occurring but to have the processes in place to resolve issues quickly and effectively should the worst happen.
So what types of risks do businesses need to think about? Risk for each business can be very specific. Broadly however, these can be split in to five main categories:
Most businesses have (or should have) a business plan. But how often is this reviewed? If you don’t review and update regularly your plan can become very outdated. As a result of this, strategic risks can take many forms – changes in technology, new competition, decreased (or indeed increased) customer demand to name a few. Failure to predict and adapt to these changes can present a serious strategic risk for businesses.
We’ll assume for these purposes that you are all currently legally and regulatory compliant! But laws and regulations are often updated. How do you keep up to date with changes in your trading sector? What happens if you branch in to new sectors, find new suppliers or change geographical locations perhaps even to start trading internationally? Breach of laws and regulations can have a significant cost implication for business and in some cases, can result in inability to trade.
This type of risk would be something that could severely affect the day to day running of your business. It may be a people failure – an employee who wipes a whole client database or makes an incorrect payment to a supplier, or it could be external such as a power cut of a significant duration. Either way the operational effect to continuing business on that day and beyond could be huge.
The money flowing in to and out of your business is its lifeblood. Any possible change in that flow is a risk. Does a large proportion of your revenue come from just one customer? Have your clients been gradually and surreptitiously extending their credit terms? What happens if a major customer becomes insolvent? Do you have a lot of debt as a business? Do you have a loan on a flexible rate interest? What happens if interest rates increase?
Whatever business you are in, your reputation is key. It is the reason why your customers do business with you. In this day and age, reputation can be damaged in a 140 character Tweet. It’s easier than ever for customers (or competitors) to air their potentially negative opinions of your business. This could result in loss of business which could be immediate or gradual. Employees could become demoralised and leave which could in turn lead to recruitment issues. Other business and strategic partners may be less keen to be associated with you. There could be legal repercussions which could be costly. How would you deal with this?
None of us has a crystal ball to predict the future (if only!) Thinking about what risks are relevant to your business and having an honest conversation with your co-owners/directors/employees about how you would cope should the worst happen is the first step in becoming a proactive, responsible and accountable business.
The next step is to utilise the information you have about potential risks to your business and put suitable processes and procedures in place for dealing with these risks. By putting some simple, well documented procedures in place you can minimise potential business downtime, lost employee hours and perhaps ultimately loss of customers in the face of any risk.
Don’t forget, review your risks periodically. They can and will change over time. Failure to review your risks could end up being your biggest risk of all!
ISO QSL Limited offers a number of ISO certified standards to help businesses streamline their processes to help with risk management. For more details of some of the specific standards that can help with this please visit our standards page here.
13th June 9:00am – 4:30pm
Quality Suite, Oak House, Everoak Industrial Estate, Bromyard Rd, Worcester
No information security management system can achieve its potential unless the underlying principles are understood, supported by management and become part of a company’s normal operating procedure and provide a foundation for companies who are interested in using the standard as the mainstay for their information security approach.
This course will cover the main principles and elements of the standard and due to the depth of the standard and breadth of the subject of security it will primarily aim to familiarise delegates with the principles and provide a skeletal road map.
Information Security Management training will cover the following topics, as well as allowing for question and answer sessions on the day:
This time of year sees companies all around the country complete entries for the National Apprenticeship Awards.
As the rise in popularity of apprenticeships continues, awards which recognise the achievements of apprentices are now more prevalent. Now in it’s fourteenth year, the National Apprenticeship Awards allows companies to enter as a whole or nominate individuals who they think should be recognised for an award.
“The awards recognise excellence in businesses that grow their own talent with apprenticeships and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplace. They provide businesses and individuals with a platform to showcase how apprenticeships have made a real difference to their organisation and careers.”
– National Apprenticeship Service
At ISO Quality Services we have entered the awards since 2015, when we won the Regional Small Employer of the Year award. We continued to enter in 2016, when we again won the regional award and came in Highly Commended for the national award in the same category.
Apprenticeships have been a core part of our business since we recruited our first apprentice in 2012. With the company having a passion for developing people, running an apprenticeship scheme allows us to develop our apprentices to become highly skilled and experienced members of the team. Having now recruited six apprentices since we started, we have seen the benefits that it has had in the company and by entering the awards it allows us to recognise the achievements of our apprentices.
“The advantage of an apprenticeship in a small business is that apprentices can have increased responsibility and breadth of experience early on in their careers, and we are glad that apprenticeships are celebrated with the awards.”
– Jennifer Appleton, Operations Director, ISO Quality Services
We will also be entering the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards this year. Recognising apprenticeships within Worcestershire, the awards give us another opportunity to appreciate our apprentices as well as demonstrating our commitments to apprenticeships.
If you are interested in finding out more about the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017, you can visit their website here.
If you are interested in entering the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 2017, you can visit their website here and download an entry form.
Tuesday 20th June
18 Hole Stableford Competition at Bransford Golf & Country Club, Worcester
The agenda for the day is a 9.45am registration with bacon butties, tea and coffee and the chance for networking before heading out to the course for a 10.30am tee off.
In the afternoon sit down to enjoy a one course meal followed by a prize giving presentation and charity raffle, before continuing networking until around 6.00pm.
The cost of the day will be £35.00 per player including a donation to our charity, the Midlands Air Ambulance.
On arrival, you will be given a complimentary pack of three ISO Quality Services golf balls and a limited number of buggies are available on a first come first served basis.
So if you would like to join us for a day on the green or for more information please email email@example.com or call 01905 670303.
Also, share our Golf Day post on Twitter or LinkedIn and follow our page to be in with a chance of winning a 4-ball at The Vale Golf Club.
Listen to Operations Director Jennifer explain who we are as a business and what we can do to help you achieve ISO certification.
ISO news, training updates and offers, meet the ISO QSL team and connect with other like-minded individuals.
Take your pick of a free case of wine, £50 Marks & Spencer’s Voucher or £50 donation to Midlands Air Ambulance!
(To qualify for this you must refer a successful lead).
To offer your referrals please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01905 670303
ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.
Do you want to get ahead of your competition? Win more tenders or save time and money on reoccurring issues? Contact us today on 0330 058 5551 or email email@example.com.
Alternatively, you can request a quote by filling out our enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.