Don’t know what standards your existing storage schemes are designed to? Fed up of the time it takes to check the details on a storage firm’s quality credentials? Ever wish someone else had done the leg work on health and safety, use of trained labour and correct storage design so you can sign on the dotted line?
In the first scheme of its type for the storage industry, our SEMA Distributor Group has announced that from 2014, all SEMA Distributor Company members (SDCs) must be independently audited on no fewer than 25 quality measures to retain their membership status. Every member who has passed the audit will be able to prove that their products and services meet the SEMA QA standard by way of a certificate.
When the SEMA Distributor Group (SDG) was launched in 2011, our mission was to bring together those distributor members of the storage industry who wanted to collectively raise standards. And of course, no-one has better access to SEMA technical information than SDCs.
Using the SEMA Distributor Quality Assurance Standard (DQAS) as a baseline, we set out to benchmark criteria that SDG members must achieve so they can deliver clearly defined quality standards to end-user companies.
To kick start the audit process in 2013, the SDG recruited and partnered with external quality assurance company, QCS International to audit all 30 or so SDG members every three years. Last year’s pilot scheme proved successful and the programme is on target to audit every SDG company before May.
An SDG company is assessed by QCS International in two key areas; its process control of actual projects on the ground and proof of controlled administration. Companies must achieve 60% or above to pass and those achieving 90%+ are awarded the Highly Commended status. A pre-assessment of the member’s quality manual is followed by an on-site audit.
So what if a member doesn’t make the grade? SEMA believes in a process of continual improvement and although it’s not happened to a member yet, should an SDG be seen to be failing, the QCS-led audit will help a member to produce a satisfactory improvement plan to meet the DQAS standards. If when re-audited four months later, the company still fails to measure up, then the membership is declined, and to re-join, they must improve and re-apply.
In every industry, rogue practices are likely to exist. The SDG audit takes away that element of risk and sets its members apart from the rank and file. Each audit certificate is proof to the customer that their new storage systems will be correctly designed using new products, are installed by trained and qualified teams to meet HSE standards and that the SDG member is correctly insured.
Log on to sema.org.uk/sdg and watch a short video on the benefits of choosing an SDG member. A list of regional members can also be found. When buying storage systems, ask to see the SDG member’s audit certificate. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a member, call the SEMA office or visit sema.org.uk
Tel: 0121 601 6359