In our last article, we looked at a number of ways small and medium sized enterprises could expand their business with the help of streamlined IT services. One of the subjects we covered was applying to fulfil Government contracts – a lucrative and often under-explored area of growth.
The UK Government aims to spend 33% of its procurement budget with small businesses – meaning there’s billions of pounds that could be available for companies like yours.
If you plan to apply to fulfil Government and local authority contracts your organisation has to meet certain levels of accreditation. While these vary somewhat based on your industry – we’ve listed the 5 most significant, what they are and how VectorCloud can support you on your path to accreditation.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) was founded in 1996 by retailers who wanted to bring a standard to food safety throughout the supply chain. Since then, the BRC has expanded its scope to be a benchmark for quality standards not only foods, but packaging, storage and distribution, retail and consumer products.
In 2016 BRC Global Standards was bought by an international sciences group – a move that meant the BRC would evolve again, this time developing from simply being a standards and audit organisation – to including consultancy services for companies who want to produce, manufacture and supply good that meet high quality standards. If your business trades around any of these areas, looking at what’s necessary for BRC accreditation can be a positive step.
With our credentials as one of Scotland’s best data protection and backup specialists you’ve already heard a lot from us about the move from the Data Protection Act to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. The new regulation works with enormous changes in how customer data is captured and used by businesses – and levies big fines for those who don’t demonstrate good practice.
With painfully frequent high-profile instances of data loss, identity theft and ransomware attacks, the Government want to ensure that your practices are in line with the newest and most stringent safeguards, which for now means adhering to the Data Protection Act 1998 – but in May 2018 will mean full adherence to GDPR laws.
ISO 9001 is the world’s most recognised quality management system standard – although rather than being an achieved certificate that’s then placed on the office wall, the standard offers an on-going method to improve processes, streamline operations and reduce costs.
The certification requirements are far reaching, ensuring your business works to a high standard with stakeholders and your entire supply chain – a must for any Government contractor whose affiliations must be up to standard.
Where some of the previous certifications look at your business practices and your supply chains, Investors in People looks entirely within your organisation – specifically the management and development of your company’s employees.
Assessors for the organisation use rigorous methods to consider workplace employment trends, skills and employment structures to ensure your workforce has the best opportunity to perform to the highest standards – whichever industry you’re in. Achieving this type of accreditation lets Government procurement teams know they’re working with a reputable organisation who takes their employee’s well-being seriously.
Cyber Essentials is the name given to the Government-backed and industry spanning supported scheme that helps organisations protect against a host of up-to-the-moment cyber threats. The full scheme was launched in 2014 after extensive work between the Government, the Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME) consortium and the Information Security Forum (ISF).
If your company can prove it meets the qualifying criteria for Cyber Essentials it’s clear message that you meet cyber protection with the high level of seriousness it deserves – a badge of honour that speaks volumes about your company to the businesses and customers you work with.
Protecting your data to this level is a prerequisite for bidding on Government contracts – so the accreditation comes with the possibility of lucrative work when you’ve proved your practices fall into line.
While some of these accreditations have far more emphasis on IT than others – VectorCloud has extensive experience of working with companies who either hold – or are working toward all of these certifications. If you find IT adjustments are required for you to meet the standards – we’re able to support you toward solutions that will fit the bill without compromise.
What’s more, we’re an authority on GDPR – having implemented necessary changes ourselves – and for the huge number of clients we have that are keen to make sure they’re ready for the changes 2018 will bring.
2017 has seen VectorCloud become approved for Cyber Essentials too – meaning we’re perfectly positioned to support you in achieving the highest industry standard cyber-compliance. If you’re looking at taking the first steps, give us a call – we’ve got the knowledge and experience you’ll need.
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