Hat-Trick of ISO Standards
For multi-discipline electrical engineering and contracting company, Gilks (Nantwich) Ltd, being both professional and credible is of upmost importance. For twenty years it has worked with NQA securing and maintaining certification to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards to highlight and prove these attributes. Having the three standards has set the company apart from its competitors and enables it to win and tender for much more business. OHSAS 18001 has also led to an 85% reduction in health and safety non conformities.
In July 1993 Gilks achieved its first certification, ISO 9001. This was followed in 2008 by ISO 14001 after the company witnessed an increase in demand from existing and potential clients. Only two years later the same demand was seen for OHSAS 18001 which prompted the contractor to begin working towards certification, which they achieved in August 2012.
The demand for these certifications was driven primarily though tender questionnaires and Gilks’ desire to never have to say ‘no’ in the questionnaires. Mark Ashley, SHEQ Manager at Gilks said: “When it came to OHSAS 18001 I knew what we did was good, it just wasn’t certified. When we noticed that potential customers were asking for it in tender documentation, going for certification was a no brainer.”
Being the best
As a business Gilks believes whole heartedly in evolving and continuously striving to better its ways of working. The company wants to be the very best in the industry and it is because everyone at Gilks is completely on board when it comes to the standards that the resulting certifications are taken very seriously. The audits are viewed by everybody from the Managing Director downwards as being highly beneficial to the business and to its customers.
For Gilks, having the three standards means having a greater level of professional credibility. The electrical contractor market is highly competitive, driven by client demand and the ISO certifications set Gilks apart from its competitors. As there are not many electrical companies in Gilks’ geographical area that have the standards, the company feels that this places it in an extremely strong position. For customers, the standards reinforce the message of credibility and demonstrate that Gilks as a company doesn’t just talk the talk but also walks the walk.
A lot of the work done at Gilks involves tender documentation, and it is strongly believed that if it wasn’t for having the three standards Gilks would not be considered for inclusion on so many tender lists, especially when major contractors are involved.
Reducing health and safety non conformities
A strong believer in OHSAS 18001, Gilks feel that given the potential legal consequences of a health and safety failure, the OHSAS 18001 system is of huge benefit in terms of offering assurances of legal compliance and up to date safe working practices being implemented and utilised. A scheme introduced by Gilks in line with the OHSAS certification, brought about an 85% reduction in health and safety non-conformances from site inspections during its first year.
Gilks have been working with NQA for several years now and have never had a reason to think about switching to another certifier. NQA has a very good reputation and is one of the global leaders in the market place. It is because of this that Gilks feel that the utilisation of NQA’s services can only be positive moving forward as a business.
This year Gilks will undergo an audit covering all three standards and despite the hard work involved it all forms part of the company’s strategy to be the very best in its specialised industry sector.
The true benefits of system integration
Having an integrated management system presents multiple benefits over having several independent management systems. Not least of these is the reduction in duplication – there are many elements of a management system that will be similar or the same across different standards, such as the need for document and record control, internal audits and management reviews. If you have an integrated management system you will only need one process in each of these areas, instead of one per standard, cutting down on a lot of duplication and effort.
If you would like to discuss management system integration within your organisation please contact a systems advisor on 0800 052 2424.