Ensuring Compliance in Business Facility Operations

May 24, 2024

Compliance procedures are a series of activities designed to achieve a specific goal. The main goal of compliance procedures is to ensure that the organization adheres to relevant laws, regulations, and standards. Procedures enable policies by providing a clearer and more structured approach to implementation.

To be successful in the marketplace, you must comply with legal and economic regulations, and meet essential services in your facility and your customers’ requirements. Non-compliance with regulations or requirements can lead to legal and contractual sanctions, especially in highly regulated industries such as banking, medicine, or pharmaceuticals.

Moreover, failing to meet customer expectations can damage client relationships and result in customer loss. Therefore, it is important to ensure that each of your process executions complies with your defined business processes and work procedures.

There are three strategies that you can implement to ensure process compliance:

Compliance by design

Compliance by design means applying a systematic approach to integrating regulatory requirements into manual and automated tasks and processes.

Map your processes and use these blueprints for optimization, standardization, and certification purposes. Process blueprints can be used not only for implementation but also for introducing process knowledge and procedural instructions in your company so that all employees know how to operate. Documenting your processes is a vital foundation for ensuring process compliance, but it should not stop there. It's essential to monitor process execution continuously.

Regular compliance audits

A compliance audit is an evaluation of whether a company is following certain set standards. Compliance auditing involves the review of an organization's policies, procedures, processes, files, and documentation to determine whether they are in alignment with existing regulations in that industry.

Based on the analysis of a sample of executed processes, auditors verify and certify your process compliance. This periodic compliance analysis ensures that your defined processes are adhered to and enables reactive actions in the event of deviations. However, this approach is applied only sporadically, e.g. once a quarter. Using only snapshots during a certain period does not guarantee continuous adherence to the processes, and does not enable timely countermeasures if anything becomes noncompliant. It is not uncommon for actual compliance to rise shortly before the start of an audit and then drop significantly again after it is done.

 

Compliance at runtime

In a general sense, compliance means abiding by a set of rules. For your business to function legally, it needs to comply with specific industry standards, laws, regulations, and ethical conduct standards that apply to your business.

Since the execution of a process can vary from case to case, analyzing realistic system data is the only way to achieve an effective and targeted compliance strategy. Only continuous monitoring of compliance immediately after processes are executed, or even during runtime, allows you to ensure continuous process compliance, quickly identify vulnerabilities, and take proactive action to improve compliance.

In daily personal life, individuals continually observe and comply (or not) with external regulations, personal guidelines, and social standards. In business, compliance is even more critical, especially in those industries that are highly regulated. The business reality is complex, with numerous execution variations in daily operations, even for standardized business processes. Ensuring your organization meets all business obligations and maintains consistent risk and compliance management requires vigilance to avoid penalties or even jail time.

In conclusion, ensuring compliance in business facility operations is not just a matter of meeting legal and economic regulations or customer expectations; it's a crucial part of maintaining a competitive edge over others in the market and also of fostering trust with stakeholders. By embracing strategies such as compliance by design, regular compliance audits, and real-time monitoring, organizations can proactively safeguard against deviations from established processes and mitigate potential risks.

Compliance isn't merely a box to tick—it's an ongoing commitment that requires dedication and vigilance. Whether it's mapping out processes, conducting regular audits, or monitoring compliance in real-time, each approach plays a crucial role in maintaining organizational integrity and minimizing the risk of non-compliance.

In today's dynamic business landscape, where regulations evolve and operational complexities abound, a proactive stance towards compliance is indispensable. By embedding compliance practices into the very fabric of business operations, organizations can not only mitigate risks but also enhance efficiency, foster a culture of accountability, and ultimately, drive sustainable growth and success.

 

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