The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI ) is urging business owners to act now in order to future proof their business.
Launching its Annual Report for 2019, the National Standards body says the COVID-19 crisis has shown that putting systematic structures in place can give Irish businesses independence and can ensure a strong footing when external factors threaten to derail operations.
“Businesses simply can’t afford to take an improvised, reactive approach to risk. Using Standards can help business owners identify risks and minimise them. Companies thinking about recovery in the months ahead should consider how Standards and Certification can offer a methodology which will ensure future resilience,” NSAI Chief Executive Geraldine Larkin, remarked.
More than 1,500 Standards were published by NSAI last year in areas such as Innovation Management, Universal Design and National Rules for Electrical Installations. This compares with the publication of just over 1,300 Standards in 2018. This vital work helps to ensure that SMEs and larger companies across Ireland can compete on both a national and international level.
The NSAI Brexit division, established in 2018, has been actively engaging with SMEs and larger companies through a series of seminars and roadshows to drive home the message on the Brexit impacts for Standards and Certification in areas such as construction and medical devices.
“Standards are crucial in today’s global marketplace and can offer a competitive edge. I would encourage all companies, particularly SME’s to implement ISO standards, which can help them reduce their costs, de-risk, and enhance their competitiveness. Businesses should also consider and adopt NSAI guidance on the impacts of Brexit on the Standards and Certification of products and services, as we move closer to the January 1st deadline,” Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English T.D., stated.
According to the report, NSAI made key contributions to the Government’s Industry 4.0 strategy in 2019. Experts from across the world attended eight International Standardisation plenary meetings
hosted by NSAI, in areas of digitalisation such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Data Security and Robotics. Workshops which ran alongside these events gave Irish SMEs a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from industry experts about the new technologies and how they will impact business in the future.
NSAI’s certification activity continued to support Irish business across sectors such as construction, medical devices and the automotive sector. Some 2,300 Certification audits were completed last year, compared to 1,132 in 2018.
Under the Government’s Climate Action Plan, NSAI are also supporting actions on the supply chain for renewables, retrofitting homes and climate adaptation, through the certification process.
NSAI Legal Metrology Inspectors carried out almost 15,000 inspections last year on instruments used in trade such as petrol pumps, taximeters and retail weighing machines. The overall compliance rate stands at 90 percent, up from 88 percent in 2018.
The National Metrology Laboratory continues to support trade and other measurement related activities by increasing the reliability of measurements. 4,798 instruments were calibrated last year, compared with 4,627 in 2018. Typical instruments calibrated include digital thermometers, torque meters, digital multimeters, pin and ring gauges, load cells and mass standards.