Case Study: Airport Transfer Cars
24/7 Airport Transfer was created through a desire to provide a quality service beyond what the existing private taxi hire market was offering. In a short few years, the company has grown to become a real success story, managing 50 drivers covering the Greater London area.
The company’s commitment to service began with accreditation to the Investors in People standard, where they met the Bronze level for meeting 26 additional criteria. Moreover, they achieved a 5 Star Rating for excellent service from their trade body. However, in 2014, the company went a step further in achieving certification to the internationally recognised ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. Below, we find out how they accomplished this feat.
Having worked for a similar company previously, 24/7 Airport Transfer’s Ionel Tanasa was determined to do things differently, with quality being at the core. He explained their ethos, saying;
“I wanted us to be able to set a new benchmark for how customers and drivers were treated. With our people being key in the delivery of a great service, we implemented Investors in People to demonstrate our people management was up to scratch. The next stage was to find a framework to help with service delivery and customer satisfaction.”
Ionel, being well aware of the link between professional customer service and sustained business, began researching ISO 9001 in early 2014 as a framework to aid the business. He commented;
“A smooth running minicab business requires great communication and a commitment to following procedures. ISO 9001 looked like a useful tool to help us establish good working processes. On top of this, we looked at the ISO 14001 environmental standard to demonstrate good ethics.”
With their sights set on achieving certification to the ISO standards, it was a case of choosing a certification body to move forward with. Ionel explained why he decided upon the British Assessment Bureau (BAB);
“With the ISO standards looking like a great model, we then decided to use the BAB having read multiple positive reviews about their service. I felt they were trustworthy and considered them the perfect match for our company.”
Leading from the front, it was Ionel who took overall responsibility for the implementation of both standards. As the founder of the company and General Manager, he had the necessary influence to be able to foster buy-in to the standards.
The first step towards achieving certification is to have an initial Stage 1 assessment to see how the organisation already aligns to the standards’ requirements. Most are surprised that they do many of the right things, it’s just that not all processes are documented or formalised. With strong values, 24/7 Airport Transfer certainly fell into this category, with Ionel commenting;
“We did not encounter any major obstacles, but saw the implementation process as an opportunity for a considerable development in our management processes. We also learnt precious lessons when it came to attending to environmental policies and administrative practices.”
With a roadmap in place, Ionel and his team were provided with a toolkit to assist them in the documentation requirements of the two standards. As implementation began, their dedicated auditor was also on hand for any clarification.
Testament to their hard work and established good practice, the company was ready for their Stage 2 certification audit just two months later. Achieving certification without any major problems, Ionel reflected on the experience, saying;
“The entire experience was truly inspiring and the team was more than happy to take part. We can honestly say that the whole process was very useful. Whilst we expected to receive generally positive feedback and a few friendly guidelines for the future, our weak spots have been outlined in a professional manner and we have taken all the cautionary measures to improve and avoid any future problems.”
Still a young business, 24/7 Airport Transfer have the kind of credentials more established companies aspire to. The company can now move forward with confidence despite being in a very competitive industry.
A few months on from achieving certification, Ionel spoke of the highlights of having achieved certification;
“We now have improved levels of management practices, reduced costs, unified service delivery, complete awareness of the company’s procedures, and – last but not least – a well-deserved competitive advantage.”
“The certifications have certainly given us more credibility on the private hire market in London. They are very important for any customer service oriented company and we hope that our clients appreciate our efforts of continual improvement.”
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