Specialist Access & Rescue Products Ltd fast track to ISO9001: 2008 certification

We are manufacturers of specialist access and rescue equipment supplying to a diverse client base including mountain rescue organisations; police constabularies; Fire Brigades, Coastguards and Special Forces. Our customers are drawn from around the world.

Given the nature of our products we realised that it is important to get it right but how could our potential customers know that? We knew that we needed to demonstrate to everyone that SAR products are the best on the market and that our exacting product quality standard is no accident.

It soon became apparent that what we needed was some sort of internationally recognised system and that system was to be ISO9001. Once we decided what we wanted, we wanted it now or by the end of the year at least.

We approached SGS, the UKAS accredited organisation that provides our CE marking and they introduced us to Lynwood Consultancy Services Ltd. We met with Ann Johnston, the lead consultant appointed by Lynwood for our account. She made it clear that gaining certification by the year end would take a significant amount of effort and dedication by SAR. Work commenced on 26 May 2009.

One of the things that attracted us to Lynwood is that they don’t provide ‘off the shelf solutions’. All of the management systems built by Lynwood are bespoke for each client, ensuring that we would realise significant benefits from our certification, rather than just a piece of paper on the wall.

In addition to the tight schedule there were a couple of other minor obstacles to overcome. We were split over two sites, which changed to one site during the development stages, introducing a number of changes to our still embryonic system. Though we are fully aware that we are the best at what we do we are equally aware that what we didn’t do is document how we did it. The loss of one person could result in the loss of a massive amount of knowledge and information. People are still key to what we do but we now have documented procedures and systems in place to help ensure the survival of SAR in the event of a disaster.

The standard itself was also embarking on a few changes of its own, namely the transition from ISO9001:2000 to ISO9001:2008.

Ann and her team at Lynwood took all this in their stride. Working closely with our people here at SAR Ann made the whole process as painless as possible. Not all of the advantages of the requirements of the ISO9001 standard are immediately apparent but Ann took care to explain and justify every detail.

I am pleased to say that we were awarded our ISO9001:2008 certification at the first attempt on 26 November 2009. That is just 6 months start to finish.

The workforce has developed new skills, many of which are transferable to other aspects of what we do and our administration is more streamlined. Our customer feedback has improved and through this process our customers know that we care.

Other benefits are more difficult to analyse. Already, since our recent certification, we have won a new major contract. The tender process included an audit of our ISO9001 system. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

I am grateful for the efforts of my staff here at SAR and I am proud of their successes.

I also acknowledge the vital guidance and assistance provided by Lynwood, without whom things would have been significantly more difficult. The service provided was very hands on and went way beyond mere consultancy. Lynwood took care of all the required arrangements and we are very impressed by the Quality Manual and associated documentation that Ann has helped us to build.

For any organisation looking for help with their management systems, health & safety or training needs I can whole heartedly and without reservation recommend Lynwood.

Thank you Ann.

Dave Allport
Technical Director

Barrett’s Event Caterers

We have used Lynwood to assist with our health & safety for a number of years now.

In 2006 new food hygiene legislation was introduced throughout Europe, which imposed various process and procedural changes on our organisation. We needed a new Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system.

Managing these changes and de-ciphering legislative documentation could have been a time consuming and expensive exercise, distracting our staff from what we do. Lynwood were on hand to develop our new HACCP system, which has since been given the approval of the local authorities without any need for change. This new system needed to be communicated to the workforce. Lynwood were able to help with this too. They developed our training package incorporating our corporate identity and were even able to deliver the training for us.

Lynwood continues to assist us in gaining new contracts by producing risk assessments, method statements and maintaining our quality management systems.

In the food industry it is important that what we deliver is in peak condition. Our customers can rest assured that, with the assistance of Lynwood our products are prepared to the highest standards. The work of Lynwood is fundamental to our continued success and we are very happy with their services.

Matt Barrett
Managing Director

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