Getting and keeping product certifications is a huge part of keeping your business running smoothly. But the question remains: should you manage certifications yourself, or entrust someone else to do it for you?
The answer depends on how much time (and how many resources) you want to devote to compliance. If you want a team of experts on your side without training or hiring staff, investing in a compliance consultant or agency may be the best option. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of managing certification in-house:
Cons of managing your own certification:
Strain on resources
Managing product certifications is not an easy task. Whoever is responsible for obtaining and maintaining certifications must understand the applicable regulations for each market, keep up with any changes, and track renewals and expirations at all times.
If you manage certifications in-house, be prepared to invest resources in training existing employees to meet compliance requirements or hiring someone with a compliance background to manage the process. These costs can add up long-term, especially to bring internal resources up to the level of a third-party compliance expert.
Longer go-to-market timelines
Even with employees dedicated to certification management, handling certification in-house tends to take longer to go to market. Every day counts in a competitive marketplace, so the longer it takes you to enter the market, the more ground your competitors can gain. Employee turnover, rule changes, and new contacts for certification bodies or testing laboratories affect in-house teams to a greater degree than independent compliance professionals.
This is especially true for companies that are scaling up and looking to enter multiple new markets. Whether itís China CCC, India BIS, Russia EAC, or another market, each additional certification comes with its own regulations, certification bodies, procedures, and even language. Companies that manage their own certifications must add new staff to address these areas or conduct extensive training to bring existing employees up to speed. With outsourced certification management, market experts are already at the ready to help the company expand.
Pros of managing your own certification:
Culture of compliance and continued improvement
Managing product certifications requires a high level of training and consistency when it comes to global regulations. This type of knowledge, represented by a compliance expert or even an entire department, can increase the salience of compliance as an organizational issue. When companies consider compliance in product design and development, itís easier to ensure the final product will undergo successful testing and certification.
Higher up-front cost
Outsourcing product certification requires paying a higher immediate cost to secure the services of a trusted compliance partner. However, any costs of a compliance agency should be carefully considered against the costs of training or hiring staff to perform compliance duties in-house. Companies that already have a strong compliance department with experts in different global markets may be less inclined to pay for the services of a third-party compliance agency.