17/09/10

By Jamie Stewart, Managing Director, Exact UK

The journey to compliance in today’s business environment is never quite over for businesses. Once compliance is achieved, companies must adapt to changing standards in order to help retain their competitive edge.

Compliance requirements are never static; industry standards evolve, and government rules and laws change. But with budgetary constraints hampering most organisations, companies are looking for ways to undertake a compliance effort without adding additional layers of bureaucracy and cost. Even where businesses face a mandatory compliance requirement, they have to maximise efficiency to avoid passing on extra costs to their customers. While the fundamental tenet of any compliance effort is to continually improve quality, companies must also take into account their company’s brand equity and reputation, working to bolster these intangible — yet valuable — assets.

Ultimately, compliance boils down to documentation. By effectively documenting all employee functions, companies should be able to provide an exemplary product or service. If that’s not happening, the compliance framework gives companies a methodical way to track down exactly where the issue is and change either the policy, the course of action or the procedure in order to rectify the situation.

When it comes to compliance, companies that decide to go it alone are in for a long, hard journey. There are tools designed to make the journey easier and provide benefits to the company along the way. A good compliance support solution will allow your company to adapt quickly, and affordably, to changing compliance needs without paying for additional, customised solutions.

The right solution will encourage your entire value chain to participate in the process, creating a 360-degree view of your company, its performance and its products or services. This information is invaluable in identifying strengths and weaknesses of your organisation and the compliance framework will help you to pinpoint and address their causes.

A good system will allow your company to create a compliance ecosystem that can adapt, change and grow with the ever evolving compliance landscape. Since compliance itself isn’t a destination, but a way of working, the associated documentation should support that fluid environment. A truly valuable compliance support framework will be affordable to obtain and intuitive to implement, otherwise the solution itself could turn into another layer of bureaucracy for management to deal with.

Faced with complex, dynamic business operations, organisations are increasingly flocking to this structured approach to corporate compliance to manage their business environment. As they struggle to balance tight budgets and stretched resources against more stringent regulatory requirements, a growing number of companies are recognising the benefits of having one central place where they can communicate. This helps them to manage their jobs more consistently and ultimately focus on fulfilling commitments to the customer, breaking down departmental barriers to create an accurate view of the personnel, finances, workflow, documents and asset information.

Regulatory compliance means that mistakes and quality issues should become the exception, rather than the rule, when it comes to the way you run your business. Those organisations that can successfully leverage technology to meet the critical compliance requirements set out by new regulations will be well placed to integrate and consolidate all corporate data within a single platform.

Exact are one of the leading providers of scalable solutions which cover all key business processes, allowing your people to share information and collaborate in real-time on a single platform. As well as helping organisations grow, Exact’s solutions consolidate the processes of companies conducting business internationally.

Business on an international scale heightens the need for precise reporting and visibility; Exact offer a solution that is dedicated to giving a company’s HQ total clarity on the entire business, from foreign subsidiaries to localised trading silos. With many businesses still performing a lot of tasks manually, or utilising IT systems that don’t work together, this provides complete process visibility and helps ensure employees work together to add value to the business.

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