The market favors stronger qualifications: Success in RIM space comes from more scrutiny, not less

June 5, 2015

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

In the span of 30 minutes of watching TV, there was commercial promoting Angie’s List as a source of qualified service providers from dentists to plumbers, another promoting the Trust Certified service providers for a wide range of consumer services, and finally one from the Better Business Bureau promoting the use of BBB Accredited services.

The point is that consumers are increasingly relying on certifications as their due diligence. In the records and information management (RIM) and IT asset management spaces there are a growing number of such certifications being promoted. They range from those where you simply send in a check and some paperwork, to others, like NAID’s, that are more extensive and require scheduled and unannounced onsite audits.

While inexpensive certifications with less scrutiny can be tempting to service providers, they are not likely to cause any material disruption in the industry or provide a long-term benefit to their adopters. I don’t say this because NAID’s program happens to sit on the higher end of this continuum. I say it because the reality is that the highest standard will always be favored by informed customers.

Look at it from the customer’s perspective. If I am a customer looking at two providers, and all else is equal, but one undergoes a higher degree of scrutiny, why would I choose the lesser? In fact, if I felt someone was using an inferior certification, I might actually think they were trying to trick me in some way. The only way the lesser certification works is when the customer does not learn of the difference. That’s a pretty shaky strategy.

And, I know this first hand. I have had that very conversation with more than a dozen customers and it takes me less than five minutes to explain it. I look forward to those conversations.

True success and change in our industry will not come from lower standards. They will come from higher standards. To learn about the depth and integrity of the NAID AAA Certification Program, click here.