ISO helps company corner the offshore windfarm service market

BY Rebecca Randles ON 23rd June 2015.

A huge increase in business from the offshore windfarm service market was a direct result of ISO certification for a Poole-based company.

PME Power Systems Group is the main UK support and service centre for MAN diesel engines, catering for clients in the marine and shipping industry, notably luxury yacht manufacturer Sunseeker International and Princess Yachts, and in the commercial sector Guardline and MPI Group. It also has a number of clients in the farming sector, servicing and providing diesels engines for combine harvesters.

Seven years ago, PME decided to go through the ISO 9001 Quality Management System process in order to secure a refurbishment contract with the MOD, which led it to a way of improving its processes and demonstrating quality to its clients and potential clients.

The impact has been a big upturn in business, in particular from the offshore windfarm service vessels sector.

“One hundred per cent, the ISO has helped us to get more businesses,” Paul Vincent, PME’s Project Development Manager, explained. “When we started we had one client in the windfarm service vessels market. Now we have 70 per cent of that market – the ISO has really opened doors for us.”

PME, which employs more than 20 people, has offices in Plymouth and Cumbria as well as Poole, with plans to open another office. PME Power Systems Group was formed in 2013, but has been operating for far longer under a different identity.

When the company decided to go for ISO 9001, IMSM was recommended to it by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Paul said: “We wanted to go for an ISO, and 9001 was the best fit for us and it still is. Going through the process was a steep learning curve but it was very helpful, and once everything was in place it became a lot more logical and has become straight-forward to maintain. As we make additions to what we do, we can make them fit with ISO requirements.”

PME made some changes to its systems and processes as a result of ISO. For example, it now has a formal booking-in procedure. Paul said: “The system did work before, don’t get me wrong, but now we have processes which are clear and which make tracking and cross-referencing easier.”

Paul ensures PME remains compliant, and each month carries out an internal audit on at least one area of the ISO. This makes the annual, external audit more straight-forward.

PME now plans to take steps towards ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, which will be the perfect fit for a new area of the business which is currently being developed.