Interview with Marc Barnes, Managing Director Australia & New Zealand and Global Director Food
Who is BSI?
We’re a global business that creates standards, assesses best practice and trains people to work more effectively. We started life in the UK in 1901 creating product specifications in areas like steel construction and helped standardise tram rails, succeeded in cutting production of different tram rails from 75 down to five.
As business needs changed we began to create standards focused on business processes and actually shaped some of the World’s most adopted standards including Quality Management (ISO 9001), Environmental Management (ISO 14001) and Information Security (ISO/IEC 27001). In the last few years as organisation’s risks have changed our efforts have moved into a new generation of standards covering people behaviour and culture such as anti-bribery and corporate social responsibility. Many of these standards are adopted by organizations all over the world to improve their business processes and protect their corporate reputation. We train people to understand how they can implement these standards in their organisation and assess their compliance to them, as well as helping organizations to understand the potential risks in their supply chains.
We now have over 34,000 standards in our portfolio and work with over 80,000 clients ranging from globally recognized brands to small local companies in 172 countries worldwide, including Australia.
How are standards made?
A standard is a collective work and we seek representation from a range of organisations with an interest and expertise in the subject matter. This normally includes consumer organizations; professional institutions; educational establishments; research organizations; enforcement bodies and government departments. These are brought together by BSI to form a technical committee to draw up the standard, with our staff facilitating their development and review.
What is your role at BSI?
I’ve been the Managing Director of our Australian business for the last 18 months and work with the leadership team here to set and execute our strategic objectives. I also hold the role of Global Director Food, leading the global food strategy for BSI and leveraging our considerable food sector strength and reputation in Australia and the Americas.
What are the main industries you work with in Australia?
Obviously the food sector is a large focus for us here and we work with businesses across the entire food supply chain including food manufacturing, wholesale, logistics, as well as with Australia’s largest retailers. Our food clients in Australia are many of the world’s most recognizable brands and we help them with many of the challenges they face including food safety, food scarcity, sustainability, land usage, energy, water and CSR issues. The other sectors that we have a strong focus on are built environment which includes construction and the infrastructure that comes with it, finance and ICT and the healthcare sector, especially in medical devices where we are very strong globally in medical devices where we certify 23 of the world’s top 25 medical devices manufacturers.
What do you see as some of the key business challenges in 2016 and how could the adoption of standards help?
One of the subjects regularly in the headlines this year is information resilience and the trust that consumers have that the information organisations hold on them is being held securely. With many high profile incidents of data theft such as Kmart and David Jones, many businesses in Australia are currently seen as a soft target. Standards like ISO/IEC 27001, the international standard for information security, has already had high adoption rates globally and now it has been mandated for all NSW Government Department we are likely to see a lot more organizations in Australia implement it to reassure their clients and protect their business reputation.
Supply chain resilience and understanding where the risks are in your supply chain is likely to continue to be a challenge, We’ve already been working with organizations who are implementing PAS 96, a standard on food adulteration that helps improve the resilience of supply chains to fraud or other forms of attack and should stop businesses come involved in incidents like the European Horsemeat scandal. With ongoing issues of slave labour in supply chains as well, supply chain networks are becoming increasingly more global and complex and organizations need to understand the ethical, environmental and security risks that can impact their brand.
For more information, please consult BSI’s website: www.bsigroup.com.
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