You have an extensive background in sales, especially within the certification field, can you tell us how you started your career; what’s your educational background, and what led you to this industry?
Having an engineering background and having worked in a food manufacturing plant right after finishing my undergrad degree help me in the certification industry. Walking into a manufacturing facility (especially in chemical/petrochemical and food manufacturing) is not a foreign experience; I am familiar with the processes going on around the plant. This allows for easier conversations with clients and builds trust, so I can help them understand how management systems advance their business excellence. , be it around better quality products, by making a commitment to their environmental, health and safety practices, or in any other standard they wish to adopt to help continuously improve their business.
I joined this industry after moving to Canada in 2002. The Canadian Standards Association was looking for a professional with a technical background; someone who could understand standards and make sense of the regulatory framework surrounding manufacturing companies, but at the same time had a strong commercial background. It was a good match – there’s no looking back now. I’m married to the TIC industry.
A few years ago, as I was growing in my career, I felt the need to complement my technical education with an MBA program, particularly to strengthen my financial acumen and allow me to understand the levers managers have in place to ensure their companies deliver on their financial KPIs.
Tell us about your role at BSI.
I lead a great team of professionals responsible for sales of BSI’s management system portfolio in the US, including all major ISO and management system standards (9001, 14001, 45001, IATF 16949, AS9100, etc.) as well as food safety standards. In addition, my team and I share the responsibility with other BSI professionals for sales of other services, such as:
- Management system and business training
- Entropy sales
- Customized audits
Our team is comprised of nearly 20 sales professionals, in various levels of expertise and focus. And, we are growing. We have people dedicated to certain sectors (aerospace, food, automotive), to certain services (information resilience, custom audits, or Entropy) and territory-based personnel selling a larger portfolio.
You have worked with many of our competitors. What can you say sets BSI apart from the other certified bodies? What sets BSI apart in its ability to support organizations?
BSI has always been regarded as a premium brand in the markets where I’ve worked (Canada and the US); it is known for selling value, and at a price which corresponds to the offering.
I’ve always had a huge degree of respect when going into bid situations with BSI. Now I’m on this side of the table and I have the entire support of a great organization to help grow our business.
I believe a few areas set BSI apart from our competitors:
- Strong operational and technical delivery
- A role in standards development well beyond what any of our competitors could achieve; this gives us valuable information in changes and updates to standards and allows us to provide insight to our customers before our competitors can.
- BSI takes a holistic approach to its service offerings – it’s about organizational resilience as a whole – not about doing various things independently. A company can come to BSI for one single certification or rely on us to help them excel in the various areas within the management of their business.
Given your background, why do you think certification is important as opposed to simply conforming?
I always tell clients as part of the Sales process: “If I quit my career to become an entrepreneur and open a new business, one of the first things I would do is become ISO certified. Likely to ISO 9001 or 22301”. I truly believe in the value ISO certification provides, well beyond simply a “certificate on the wall”. I’ve seen companies’ performance improve through ISO certification. And with the right certification body, such as BSI, this value is better achieved. We’re in the business to challenge our clients to improve. We need to ask the tough questions; we need to push them from the shop floor to management; we need to point out where they have issues – while acknowledging the good aspects of their business. Pure compliance with no oversight won’t give you this. It’s stagnant. Certification provides continual improvement.
BSI (British Standards Institution) is the business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, manage risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated. Renowned for its marks of excellence including the consumer recognized BSI Kitemark™, BSI’s influence spans multiple sectors including Aerospace, Automotive, Built Environment, Food, Healthcare and ICT. With 81,000 clients in 181 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.
To learn more, please visit www.bsigroup.com/en-us