How can you be confident that a company’s services will be top-quality? How can you ensure that a company considers the interests of both customers and partners – and is environmentally conscious in the process? How can you know what sets one third party logistic (3PL) provider’s services apart from those of the other tens of thousands operating around the world today?
ISO quality standards have become a universal "measuring stick" that help answer all these questions for many customers. A company can officially meet these standards only after passing a number of tests designed to establish whether its operations comply with international criteria.
It was this test that the AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG corporate group passed this October. As a result of the audit, the group received another ISO certificate – ISO 28000:2007.
We talked to Vitaly Lazovsky, Supply Chain Security Manager at AsstrA, about what this qualification means and what it will change for AsstrA customers.
- Vitaly, tell us more about this ISO standard.
The main objective of ISO 28000:2007 is to give guidelines for assessing the reliability of supply chains. By meeting these comprehensive requirements for safety management systems and undergoing regular compliance inspections, supply chain companies – such as importers, customs brokers, rolling stock operators, and often even manufacturers who organize transportation on their own – can officially be ISO 28000 certified.
- Why was it important for AsstrA to get this certificate?
For AsstrA, applying for ISO 28000 certification was an important part of the security management program we established for 2018. After all, transportation is an integral part of any Central Processing Unit (CPU). Preparation for the application was carried out in close cooperation with AsstrA’s Quality Management Department. In addition to a third-party ISO audit, the application involved the revision of some of the company’s business processes, the development of internal instructions and checklists, adopting the latest techniques for risk assessment, the introduction of new tools for tracking high-risk shipments, interviewing AsstrA suppliers and customers, employee trainings, revising existing contracts, and so on. It is important to understand that supply chain security is not a matter of luck or even experience – it is a result of clear planning, ongoing inspections, and in-depth risk analysis. Without constant and consistent security improvements, a transport and logistics company cannot guarantee its customers successful Key Performance Indicators in the short term, let along the long term. Therefore, obtaining an ISO 28000 certificate is important proof that AsstrA places the highest priority on security and is ready to pass even the most stringent tests to put customers’ minds at ease.
- What exactly does the certificate demonstrate for clients?
An ISO 28000 certificate demonstrates that we have effective risk management for each stage of transportation. It is obvious that this risk management will reduce loading / unloading complications and the number of incidents of theft and damage of goods. It will also optimize the cost of transportation. In addition, many of the world’s most professional companies have internal guidelines prohibiting cooperation with 3PL providers without ISO certification. Therefore, obtaining this certification is not just a public relations move to strengthen our reputation in the market. It is a real opportunity to cooperate with new customers within a framework that is proven and recognized in the world’s best corporate security systems.
It should also be understood that the certificate is the result of a current assessment of our activities at this stage. However, this does not mean that we should lose vigilance and stop developing. Each employee should understand the importance of transportation safety and pay sufficient attention to the requirements of our company and of our customers.
The AsstrA corporate group will undergo these audits annually in coming years to confirm compliance with the high standards of ISO 28000:2007 and to continue improving its supply chain security management systems.