Cost-of-Living Crisis: 5 Things Businesses Can do!

We’re entering Autumn 2022 and the news is dominated by the “Cost-of-Living” crisis, a perfect storm of huge energy price rises, high inflation and other factors that affect private individuals and businesses alike.

For those operating a business it’s a worrying time, with people’s livelihoods on the line.

At Assent we Champion International Standards to drive improvement and manage risks.  Here we look at 5 things you can do to fortify your business amid the current pressures.

Audit Your Business Processes

This may sound complicated but really it just means looking at the activities in your business to see if they are still producing the results you require.

By observing your activities you might find steps that can be removed or improved to make the process more lean and efficient.

You might even find processes that are no longer required.  By removing these you can free-up resources to use elsewhere in the business.

Assent’s consultants provide a fresh pair of eyes to audit your processes and document them via a Process Mapping exercise.

Next Step: When you’ve taken this basic step you might also consider implementing a Quality Management System and achieving ISO 9001 Certification.

Audit Your Energy Use

The cost of energy is one of the biggest pressures affecting businesses now, so taking a baseline audit of your energy use is a good place to start.  

This will allow you to understand where energy is being used and how you can reduce waste.

Assent’s energy auditors can produce a baseline report and provide recommendations to improve energy efficiency.

Next Step: If your business is a high energy consumer you may benefit from implementing an ISO 50001 Energy Management System.  

This will put a framework in place for future energy management and helps to comply with legislation including Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Phase 3 and the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR).

Review Your Supply Chain

Reviewing your supply chain including energy suppliers, raw material suppliers, contractors, software providers and others, helps you to ensure you are getting the maximum value from these relationships.

The review can focus on the critical areas for your business, such as cost, delivery times or after sales support. 

Assent provides bespoke supply chain audits for our customers to ensure that their supply chain is delivering value and remains resilient to any future disruptions. 

Next Step: Supplier management is a feature of several management systems standards including ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 27001 (Information Security).

Train Your People

Investing in training for your team can pay dividends during tough times.  Upskilling staff can introduce new capabilities and improve efficiency.  It can also mitigate against risks such as cyber attacks and poor customer service.

Assent and our training brand Lorators can help you identify training needs and find the solutions that give you the maximum benefit, including classroom, online and eLearning solutions.  
Next Step: Browse our catalog of business and ISO training to get started!

Plan Future Strategy

Finally, with the information you’ve gathered from previous steps, you can plan future strategy and prepare for future disruptions.

Assent’s consultants can help you use recognised methods such as a SWOT or PESTLE analysis to find the right strategy.  

We also offer a Horizon Scanning service to look at local and global threats which could impact your business in the future.
Next Step: Strategy planning can be found in all management disciplines, but to achieve the core goal of improving business resilience, ISO 22301 for business continuity can be used to implement a structured framework and achieve recognised certification.

Summary

Businesses can implement many of the steps above themselves, however Assent’s consultants can bring a fresh perspective and knowledge of industry best practices to help you strengthen your operations.

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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