DARe’s standards consultancy helps businesses increase productivity and market access

15 businesses have received international standards through the programme, with another 30 undergoing the certification process

Deputy MOFE Minister and DARe board member Dato Hj Ahmaddin (R) and DARe CEO Javed (L) at a networking event for businesses joining DARe initiatives last Thursday at Radisson Hotel.

Local businesses receiving international certifications through Darussalam Enterprise’s (DARe) Standards Consultancy Programme (SCP) have recorded increased productivity, revenue, and market access.

15 Brunei-based businesses have been certified as part of SCP since its introduction in 2018 in the international standards of ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 22000 (food safety), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP – food safety), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and ISO 18295 (customer contact centre).

DARe’s SCP provides sponsored consultancy through appointed experts who guide businesses on the systems and processes required to achieve specific standards. Participating businesses then engage an independent certification body for an audit.

Executive Officer at DARe Syazwana Wan Ali said that international standards help companies to set up internal frameworks and systems that enables them to operate consistently in delivering safe and quality products and services.

“These standards are also recognised internationally, enabling certified businesses to meet regulatory requirements and customer expectations,” she said at a networking event for businesses under SCP and DARe’s LINKS and Elevate initiatives at Radisson Hotel last Thursday.

Of the businesses achieving GMP certification; producer of frozen belutak (traditional beef sausage) Nikmat Rose have increased monthly sales by 25%; cosmetics and toiletries producer Bellary Enterprise has secured a Malaysian distributor; and supplements company BruHouse is negotiating for export.

“When dealing with distributors and customers there is always the question of product quality; without certifications and standards buyers have to take your word for it that your products are safe and of quality – there is no formal proof,” said Ted Jee, co-founder of Bellary Enterprise.

“With the certifications I can bring my products anywhere around the world and they (buyers) know the minimum standards it was produced under.”

Co-founder and Managing Director of Nuara, Grexa (L) sharing her company’s experience with ISO certification alongside Tasconi’s Operation Director, Syarifah Safina at the networking event titled ‘Tea & Talk’.

Meanwhile IT company Nuara Group – the first software development company in Brunei to achieve ISO 9001 last year – has since become the first Bruneian company to list enterprise resource planning software on Microsoft marketplaces, and seen revenue climb up to 30% since certification.

“We managed to get our ISO certification within the six month (programme) target which required the commitment from the whole team,” co-founder and managing director Barbora Grexa. “The 9001 helped organise our processes thereby improving efficiency and ensuring our systems enable continuous improvement.”

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Fiscal) and DARe board member Dato Seri Paduka Awang Hj Ahmaddin Hj Abd Rahman added that adopting international standards are increasingly relevant as productivity slows in certain industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe by embarking your businesses into being internationally certified, many customers would recognize that they can expect a high quality customer experience, and this enables you to add authority to your brand, and demand that your employees perform at a high level,” he said.

“With standards being acknowledged internationally, trade between countries would be less difficult, and your businesses will be able to access new markets and customers that can offer even better opportunities. This will therefore potentially lead in the recognition of Bruneian brands and businesses worldwide, which should be one of the key goals.”

An additional 30 companies are in the process of being certified in Brunei Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), ISO 45001 (health and safety), ISO 14001 (environmental management), ISO 13485 (medical devices), ISO 9001, ISO 45001, HACCP, ISO 22000 and GMP.

DARe has also organised standards training for 174 companies ISO 9001, ISO 45001, HACCP, ISO 22000 and GMP. The next cycle for standards consultancy for ISO 9001 and ISO 45001 will be later this month. Application forms and more information can be found on DARe’s website.