Good workshop management isn't just about costs and savings. Spencer Law, MD of Refuse Vehicle Solutions, told LAPV how to create and maintain an efficient workshop and a happy, productive workforce.

'It's all about the people,' says Spencer. 

He was talking about the three major accreditations Refuse Vehicle Solutions has achieved for its workshop in the last six months: ISO9001 for Quality Management; ISO 14001 for Environmental Management; and OHSAS 18001 for Occupational Health and Safety Management.

The choice to go down the accreditation route was not simply about processes, procedures and ensuring the workshop runs smoothing and efficiently.

'As much as anything,' says MD Spencer Law, 'it was about ensuring the safety of the company's staff, identifying training needs and helping to create a career path for every team member.

'We've always tried to invest in our people. In practice, this means that we want everyone to feel they are listened to and that their opinion is worth as much as the next person's, irrespective of age or seniority. We believe that if you pay people what they are worth and value them, they will stay'

Health and safety is of the utmost importance to RVS, and the company put all of its management team through the IOSH Managing Safely course. It is also compulsory for workshop-based staff to attend the IOSH Working Safely course. 'We don't want to pay lip service to this issue; we want our staff to know that we take their safety seriously'

Spencer explains that a benefit of going through the accreditation process is that it requires the creation of a procedure for every possible eventuality. By doing this, companies can automatically deal with anything that comes their way, quickly and effectively.

Using the same processes across every area of the business creates a consistency of service and also means that staff can move more easily from one job to another. 'We like to swap people around and rotate their skill sets so that each person can do another person's job. It provides variety, keeps things interesting, and removes the “single point of failureâ€