In 2018, VRT’s management systems were certified according to international standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001. The certification process includes external audits annually, and after three years there was time for the renewal of all three certificates. Hannu Helama, Lead Auditor at Kiwa Inspecta Oy and Business Development Consultant at Happy Note Oy, has been along with our audits from the beginning, and we got to discuss with him about VRT’s approach to certified management systems and ISO standards in general.
“ISO standards are widely known all over the world, so one of their functions is to prove the credibility of a company. The certificates show that quality, environment, and safety are all equally considered in VRT’s management system. The standards emphasize a customer-oriented approach, which is also built-in in VRT’s business culture”, Hannu Helama describes.
Common sense is a good starting point for certified management system
ISO standards work as guidelines how an effective management system is formed. There are requirements for documentation, risk analysis and process planning, for example. The main idea behind the standards is to think through the business and recognize the strengths and things to be improved in the processes. There are no cast-iron rules, which means that a certified management system may be quite different in different companies.
“The main thing is to figure out processes which support the company’s own business strategies and enhance the effectiveness of operations, not to create a new procedure just for the sake of it. Common sense works well in planning the management system”, Hannu says.
“VRT is a good example of a company, where the management system evolves with the business development. They react to the changes in the business environment, and the changes are reflected also to the management system”, Hannu continues.
Management system benefits both VRT and its clients
This all is not done just for the cool diplomas on the office walls. The certification process has proved to be highly beneficial for VRT itself and its clients.
“We have carefully gone through our processes and fine-tuned them to work as a well-oiled machine, which improves our resilience as a company also in challenging times. When the processes are clear to all personnel working in a project, and the documentation supports easy communication, it doesn’t matter if we work remotely or in the office. It is also easier to be flexible and react to changes when the foundation of the processes is solid,” Pia Asikainen, Organizational Development Specialist at VRT, describes.
The work with management system is never ending, as continuous development is a main principle in ISO standards, as well as in VRT’s values. The clients of VRT expect high-end services, and the aim is to exceed the expectations. With well-thought processes the clients receive the best possible service.
“VRT, as an innovative and dynamic company, is a challenging but a very interesting client for a lead auditor. I look forward to see in the coming years how the business develops and how VRT’s management system grows with the company!” Hannu concludes.