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Are BS Standards really worth the trouble?

Aug 15, 2013
Most businesses strive to deliver excellent customer service and to operate as efficiently as they can.

 










Good administration, training, health and safety procedures and reducing the company’s impact on the environment all play a part in running a business that customers will want to use and employees will want to work for. Managers all have their own ideas about the standards the business should aim to achieve, but do those standards measure up to others in their industry and how can they prove to their customers they are professional and competent?

 

Applying for accreditation to a recognised industry standard is one way of demonstrating a company’s commitment to quality and best practice, but achieving and maintaining that accreditation is time consuming and expensive and many companies, especially smaller organisations, may not think it’s worth it. The Mover spoke to three removals companies who have taken up the challenge to see if and how it had helped their business.

 

G&R Removals in North London specialises in moving pianos and decided to apply for BS EN 12522 – the standard for domestic furniture removals - thirteen years ago. G&R’s Managing Director Lance Green said that although he couldn’t directly attribute additional business to having the accreditation it did mean they had to look closely at the way they did things and meant they had to stick to the systems they’d put in place. “A formal health and safety policy and a documented fire procedure for example are things we’d have anyway, but because we need to produce them during our annual audit we make sure they’re kept bang up to date,” said Lance. “We get most of our business by referral so we don’t need to use BS EN 12522 as a selling tool, but it probably would help if we were formally tendering for a job.”

 

Central Moves in Twickenham is also BS EN 12522 accredited, MD Scott Rust said. “BS EN12522 has been very useful in that it gives us all guidelines to work to and a clear set of defined rules. It really has streamlined our operations and we don’t have to second guess each other because we all work to the same system – we have to.”

 

White & Co is one of the UK’s largest moving companies with branches across the country dealing with domestic, corporate and overseas work. The company holds a number of BS Standards as well as FIDI FAIM. CEO Ian Palmer says he is proud to advertise their accreditation and to make customers aware of them during sales negotiations. “I think most people who own property know about BS Standards and see them as a reassuring mark of quality when they’re choosing a removal company. Also, when it comes to tendering for corporate or local authority work they can make a difference to who gets the business, especially if it’s a close contest.”

 

Ian also finds the annual inspection by the auditors of value as it allows someone with a fresh pair of eyes to look at how they operate and sometimes suggest ways that things can be improved. “It’s easy as a CEO to see everything through rose coloured glasses, so it’s good for someone outside to take a look at our operations from time-to-time,” said Ian. “We set the bar pretty high for our branches and we know we comply with all the Standards we hold, but there is always room for improvement and I’ll often ask for the auditor’s opinion about items that are not part of the inspection. They have a lot of experience and visit other removal companies every day so they can sometimes pass on ideas and practices that may be useful to us.”

 

“Having so many branches the annual audit fee is a considerable investment for us, but I think the Standards are invaluable to our business and I would urge others, especially smaller stand alone companies to embrace them and go for accreditation.”

 

Quality Service Standards Ltd (QSS) a subsidiary of the British Association of Removers offers a range of certification and auditing services for the removals industry. The Mover asked QSS to contribute to this article but they declined.

Photos from top to bottom: Scott Rust, Lance Green, Ian Palmer


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