Every person and every company gives its own interpretation to quality. It is an important pillar for the Steinweg Group, and of course also for Steinweg Netherlands. But what does quality mean to us? Jojan van Dokkum is Quality Manager at Steinweg Netherlands. He explains what quality is for Steinweg Netherlands and how it is guaranteed.
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Say what you do, and do what you say
“Within Steinweg we have separate departments for quality and for health, safety & environment (HSE). In many companies you see this together in a QHSE department. We have a different company structure, but of course the two divisions work together a lot”, Jojan explains. The quality department consists of Jojan, Karin Massop and Bert Koppe. Jojan is Quality Manager, Karin is a Quality Consultant and Bert, as Project Manager, focuses on quality projects. “Together we deal with the day-to-day quality issues. At Steinweg, quality is mainly in the services we offer. In other words, the agreements we make with our customers. Say what you do, and do what you say, that’s what it’s all about.”
The ISO 9001 certification guarantees that quality. In this context, the processes, risks, control measures, working documents and forms for the organization have been recorded in a quality management system (KMS). “We use it to monitor the quality. Every month we check the organization based on internal audits. We are also periodically checked with external audits from customers or certifying authorities. To guarantee quality as a company, you must ensure that your employees have a certain level of knowledge, you want insight into customer satisfaction, you must handle and analyze deviations correctly, etc. In short, there is quite a lot involved and it is something for which we have a joint responsibility within Steinweg Netherlands. That awareness is increasing. We want good service and satisfied customers. That’s what we do it for.”
In addition, quality standards, but certainly also environmental and safety standards, have also become the norm in our business. “Certifications used to be a nice to have, but nowadays this is almost a must for many customers. We have about 150 forwarders at the office, who receive many questions from customers about, for example, sustainability or safety. How does that work with us, what have we set up in this area, etc. It gives confidence to be able to refer to a certificate. That immediately shows the value we give to this and how we guarantee quality in these areas.”
Opportunities instead of shortcomings
Therefore, at Steinweg we conduct internal audits ourselves and are audited externally by customers and certifying authorities. Jojan sees deviations and recommendations that emerge during these audits as opportunities to improve quality. “If we fall short in something, we have to work on that, it’s as simple as that. With such a large organization as Steinweg, it is logical that improvements are sometimes necessary. The audits certainly help to improve ourselves.” To optimize and guarantee quality within Steinweg, Jojan works closely with the managers of the various departments. “Together we look at how we can implement improvements and what is needed for this. A very pragmatic method. Not everyone on the work floor is concerned with quality on a daily basis, which makes sense. It is up to us to work with them to make quality, but also, for example, the environment and safety, part of the work. It has to become part of the culture, as a matter of course.”
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Understand the importance to create support
“If our staff understands the importance and experience the benefits of certain processes, systems or documents, then it is also more likely to be applied. For example, consider making a SWOT analysis. This provides insight into the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of your service or product. As a department, you can see it as a pure necessity for a standard, but you can also see it as an opportunity to optimize your services.”
That is why Jojan and his team pay a lot of attention to the implementation of quality improvements. “In terms of quality, we are actually a spider in the web of all departments. We consult with them periodically to see how we can support.”
A continuous process
Jojan is satisfied with the quality of the services provided by Steinweg Netherlands. “I started here in 2017, and we’ve made quite a bit of progress since then. However, we remain critical. After all, you want to improve continuously! Steinweg has a good reputation, partly due to the quality we deliver and of course, we want to keep it that way. Our focus is on the Netherlands, but the other locations within Steinweg Group are also concerned with quality daily. However, certifications apply per country and therefore quality management is arranged per location. Here in Rotterdam, we are the point of contact for questions from other Steinweg locations worldwide. In this way we share our knowledge internationally and indirectly support the entire group in optimizing quality.”
Published on: 15 June 2023