Partnering with an ISO-certified fleet electrification provider
By Iain Dyer, Services Director
We were delighted to be awarded our ISO certifications in December 2023. We achieved the widely recognised standards for Quality Management, Environmental Management and Occupational Health and Safety Management as set by the International Organization for Standardization who set standards for businesses and consumers across the globe.
As a company, we had reached the point where in order to provide quality assurance about our products and services to our customers, we needed to optimise our processes and gain ISO certification of our management system. It was the logical next step in the growth of our business.
We understood that attaining ISO certifications would strengthen our business processes, increase customer satisfaction and show our commitment to the importance of quality, environmental and health and safety management.
Quality, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety Standards
We selected these three certifications because they align to key aspects of how we do business and help our customers. All three combine well into one integrated management system.
ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management
We wanted to implement internationally recognised processes to ensure our customers receive high quality products and services.
ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management
The essence of VEV’s mission is with the environmental impact made by fleets today, so it was essential to integrate a recognised environmental management system.
ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management
We are committed to industry leading health and safety standards in the workplace and ensure that they are integrated with our management system.
ISO itself sets standards but doesn’t perform certifications. We demonstrated our capabilities through a rigorous audit process of our integrated management system with a UK Accreditation Service (UKAS)-accredited certification body. Some authorities and high-security operations insist on UKAS accreditation.
There were three key stages to the process. First a gap-analysis audit to identify any new processes required and non-conformities. Then the internal work to update our processes. Lastly the 3-day audit of our systems to achieve the certification.
Best practice for achieving ISO standards
Having worked in the financial services industry for over twenty years, I was used to working in companies with established integrated management systems in place. So I was asked to lead the initiative to integrate our management systems and achieve the ISO standards.
These are my five top tips if you’re embarking on the ISO path for the first time.
1 – Research consultants or certification bodies
It’s important to decide whether you will use an integrated management consultant, or a certification body to help guide the process. We decided to take a non-consultative approach and instead relied on the experience and capabilities within our teams, using the gap analysis audit for guidance.
2 – Establish a core team
Having a dedicated team in place to guide the project makes all the difference. At VEV, two of our workstream leads were also part of our company’s leadership team, which helped us make progress quickly and submit all the required documentation by the deadlines. We found that having the participation of our management team as well as all stakeholders helped us meet the required criteria efficiently.
3 – Identify and allocate specific tasks
Once you have your core team in place, it’s time to identify what tasks need to be completed and when. At VEV, we broke each task into smaller manageable parts and allocated them to team members to work on independently. We also scheduled 2-3 regular touchpoints per week to ensure we were on target for meeting deadlines.
4 – Communication is key
Integrating management systems is a team effort and all stakeholders need to be kept up to date with the project’s progress. Everyone in our extended business management team kept in contact throughout the entire process. We also made sure that the wider business was kept informed of the system’s development. When the project was complete, we organised a company-wide meeting to reveal the new system to all employees.
5 – Conduct an internal audit
Prior to your certification audit, you’ll be required to undertake a management review of your new integrated system. This is a good opportunity to ensure that your entire top level management team approves the system and is confident that it will deliver for the business. Having a well organised internal audit plan is also essential for ensuring that any gaps are identified ahead of the final external certification audit.
Peace of mind
For fleet operators seeking to achieve a seamless transition to electric vehicles, partnering with a provider that can manage all aspects of the fleet electrification process while adhering to all management standards, is an attractive option.
At VEV, our expert teams provide a turnkey solution encompassing end-to-end design and configuration, a transition roadmap, and a suite of tools and resources that support live EV fleet operations. Our service is underpinned by a market-leading software platform that analyses and monitors vehicles, chargers and energy sources in real-time.
Moving forward, our ISO certifications will help us benchmark our performance and customer service. They also put us in a strong position to pursue additional safety, energy and contractor standards in the future.
Get in touch with one of our expert team today and find out more about VEV’s commitment to accelerating fleet electrification.