Darlington-based waste management company, Total Recycling Services believes in the importance of acquiring accreditations. Rather than just ticking a box, the multi-million-pound organisation strives to go over and above and is urging other businesses to do the same.
Since beginning in 2009, Total has earned accreditations from professional bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization, British Standards Institution, and the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme amongst others.
Andy Dobson, Operations Director at Total Recycling Services knows accreditations inside out and with the help of a dedicated Integrated Systems Manager, he has guided the company throughout its growth from a few contacts and members of staff, to a £15m turnover and over 97 staff operating from its Darlington site.
To help bring some clarity, Andy, explains why accreditations are of top priority at Total Recycling Services and why they should be for any businesses who are wanting to grow.
He said: “The simplest way to put it, is that accreditations give us a route into a lot of our customers.
“There are a lot of customers that won’t even entertain us if us don’t have the relevant documentation. These customers are the big blue-chip companies that place a lot confidence in the people they choose to work with and without the evidence to show you are a credible company, they won’t even give you a second glance.
“What these customers ideally want is for their systems to align with yours and be of a similar standard and as ISO is the internationally recognised accreditation it means there are more doors open to us as a company.
“So, if you share the same qualification, your customer will be happy and confident that you have the same things in place. “
Total Recycling Services works with number of large companies including Akzo Nobel, Nissan, Hitachi and Caterpillar.
Andy, continued: “The companies that we chase, the ones we want to work with. We wouldn’t get through the tendering process without the accreditations we have.
“Most of the big companies now have tender packs that are sent out and we have to provide to them the relevant documentation before we even try to tender.
“It’s not just a case of meeting with them and having a cup of tea and some biscuits, we have to show we have BSEN ISO 9001:2015; BSEN ISO14001:2015; OHSAS 18001:2007 as a first step, as well having the documentation available to show how this was achieved
“Pretty much, if you can’t tick that box you have no chance with the tender.
“At Total Recycling Services, we’ve held ISO accreditations since the first year that we opened in 2009, working to their principles. Having them has certainly helped us to work alongside a lot of the larger companies in the region.
“However, for us it’s not about passing something on an annual basis, they’re about continually working at them and driving improvement all year round as well as giving a solid foundation for legal compliance, particularly with Health, Safety and Environmental matters, which are critical in our industry.
‘All systems need to be audited on a regular basis, allowing ongoing opportunities for improvement and being able to demonstrate that you’ve done it as well, year on year.
“Sharing good practice with our customers through this process has also helped. If a customer has developed a good working method or safety system for example, and we can adopt that too – it gives them the additional confidence that we share similar goals. A real working partnership can develop this way.
“It’s absolutely beneficial to all companies to seek out these accreditations. For Total Recycling Services its helped us take that step to where we want to be with our customers and our business. We wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with them and we are proud to say we work with the big firms.”
Andy’s advises other companies must do the same too if they’re looking to go for different tenders.
He said: “I cannot emphasise the importance, that no matter how small a company you are, if you’re wanting to work with bigger organisations you must look at the relevant accreditations.
“It can be a lengthy process but it’s definitely worth it. One new contract can totally take your business to the next level.
“There are a million accreditations out there, but you must look at the ones which are relevant for your business. Most recently we became members of RoSPA and worked to receive our bronze award in health and safety.”