Delivery of reliable transports is in the DNA of Swedish Orient Lines' operations. To achieve this goal, the quality of work must also be of high quality. The quality management system is certified to ISO 9001:2015, and there is also responsiveness to specific customer requirements.
Swedish Orient Line, SOL, has been conducting structured quality work for many years. The starting point is that customers and internal functions within SOL should always experience the company’s quality as consistent and reliable.
“The most important thing is the customers,” says Olof Lang, Quality Manager at SOL. “Our primary focus is their requirements and expectations of us. We do everything we can to ensure the customer is satisfied before, during and after a project is completed.”
The quality policy of SOL is characterized by a genuine interest and openness to customers’ needs in the company’s interactions with each customer. Every interaction is to be prompt and efficient, and the completion of a task has to strengthen and increase the customer's confidence in SOL.
“The policy is based on several general customer requirements, which in turn permeate our work,” says Olof Lang. “It may involve our procedures, how we handle deviations, and how we assess our suppliers.”
The quality management system is certified to ISO 9001, part of the ISO 9000 “family”, which consists of five quality management systems standards by the International Organization for Standardization. They help organizations meet customer and other stakeholder needs related to a product or service. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard must fulfill.
“The fact that our tool is quality assured creates internal security, as the working method meets certain requirements. Additionally, it is a prerequisite for working with certain customers, especially within the public sector. To be eligible, one must meet certain requirements,” says Olof Lang.
One customer who appreciates Swedish Orient Lines’ quality and sustainability work is LKAB, the Sweden-based international mining and minerals group. They also visit selected suppliers to conduct their own audits. One such audit has been conducted at SOL to ensure compliance with LKAB’s supplier code of conduct.
“We feel that SOL engages in a constructive, transparent, and developmental dialogue with us about improvements and how we together can contribute to being exemplars in sustainability. We feel that the supplier relationship with SOL is mutually beneficial, not only for the shipment of an important product but also in our shared values,” says Ulrika Liikavainio, Category Manager, LKAB Group.
LKAB also expects suppliers to evaluate their own supply chains to ensure that requirements are passed on to their subcontractors, who in turn assess their suppliers, and so on.
“Securing the entire value chain in terms of sustainability is not easy, but if we continue to work on these issues together, we can make a difference,” says Ulrika Liikavainio.
Photo, Olof Lang: Anna-Lena Lundqvist
Photo, mining and iron ore: LKAB
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