For confidential document shredding and storage firm Shredall and SDS, its upcoming audit for ISO 27001 certification highlights just how important customer confidence is to the family-run business.
The company has made best practice and continuous improvement its focus since receiving its first accreditation, the ISO 9001 Quality Management System, for its Nottingham headquarters in 2002.
18 Years of Growth
It was a major turning point for the firm which now employs 55 people across three offices nationwide, 18 years after being launched as a back bedroom business with just £50,000 of savings and one mobile shredding van.
In the years since, Shredall and SDS has gone on to achieve OHSAS 18001 in recognition of its health and safety risk management and legal compliance. It also earned the environmental standard ISO 14001 for creating a culture of environment improvement right across the business, with 100 per cent of ‘end product’ paper waste now recycled.
NQA’s support and involvement has played a big part in the company’s success, as founder and chairman Lloyd Williams explains.
“When we first applied for ISO 9001 we were a very different company to the one we are today. We were smaller but growing very quickly and I could see there was plenty of space for improving how we worked and developing our best practice in a practical, scalable way."
Improving quality and security for clients
“Since then, we’ve been able to build a culture of quality improvement across our entire business, for our own benefit and that of our customers. As we’ve gone on to achieve further certification, our longstanding relationship with NQA has been just as important as the flexible nature of the certification schemes themselves, which are regularly updated to reflect changes in our industry.”
“Achieving the certifications has been a steep learning curve in parts, but in doing so we’ve built up the perception in our customers’ eyes that our business is based on quality, customer service and satisfaction. This gives us the edge over our competition, especially those who don’t comply to the same certifications.”
Building trust with certification
The nature of the work done by Shredall and SDS requires its name to be synonymous with the word trust. Helping clients of all sizes - from large multinationals or public sector bodies to SMEs and sole traders - to store, scan or shred confidential waste securely requires.
Certification through NQA has given them industry-wide recognition, and as MD of Shredall and SDS Lucy Shipley explains, the added benefits don’t just end with the certificate.
“Each time it’s a long journey for everyone involved from the initial gap analysis through to the certification we receive from NQA, but it’s always a positive experience and the learnings we take away from it extend right across the business. We’ve even won new clients directly as a result.
Proving credentials with ISO 27001
“As with all our previous certifications, we know that the management systems we put in place must be nurtured and maintained if they are to stay relevant to our business year after year. We’re all up for the next challenge as we prepare for ISO 27001 later this year.”
The ISO 27001 will allow Shredall and SDS to manage its s information security risks. ISO 27001 provides a robust framework for the management of both physical and digitally stored information. This is critical for Shredall as a physical breach of information security represents a risk that has to be actively managed.
ISO 27001 also plays an important role in ensuring IT governance practices satisfy current legal frameworks and international standards. To achieve it, the company will have to work hard to prove it can mitigate and prevent any future information security threats.
Laura Cottom, NQA Commercial Director, said: “Shredall is a great example of a forward thinking company using the best practices delivered by having certificated management systems. This has given Shredall a solid platform from which it can expand its business whilst consistently managing its risks.”