Quality is the basis of everything for Skarta20.01.22
Skarta Group consists of several companies, and good quality practices with the relevant certificates are extended to cover the entire group. Similarly, continuous tracking of customer satisfaction is standardized. Last autumn, two quality managers were appointed to observe the practical quality work.
“Customer surveys show that Skarta’s quality is at quite good level, but our direction remains forward and upward, and we aim at constantly improving our quality and customer satisfaction. Quality is the basis of everything we do”, says Skarta Group’s Director of Strategy and Development Jukka Raudasoja, who is responsible for quality at the group level.
In Skarta Finland, customer satisfaction has been measured systematically since 2004 and it has always been more than 8 in a 4-10 scale. Overview of the latest survey gave a result of 8,92.
“Skarta Finland has always had good quality practices, and certificates for several decades already. There are good practices and certificates in our other companies as well. Now we are developing the group level quality system in all our companies to a consistent direction, and certifications are extended to cover the whole group if there is room for improvements regarding the coverage in the subsidiary companies. There is also an ongoing development work in the group in which applying certification standard 19443, that regards nuclear power projects, is being prepared for.”
According to Raudasoja it is essential that entire Skarta fills all customer requirements from quality, environment, as well as safety perspective. “It is not enough for us to go with the minimum requirements by the skin of our teeth. We want to make progress to a better direction all the time and set the bar higher and higher.”
The quality of every project is systematically monitored
Two quality managers began their duties at Skarta in October, Minna Vartiainen, Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, and Lari Hakulinen, civil engineer. They both have already worked for Skarta for a few years.
“I started at Skarta in 2018 and have worked as a production engineer primarily in Kuopio region and in some projects in other parts of Finland. The work has been diverse, and quality matters have become familiar in the working site, so it has been natural to embrace the duties of a quality manager. I already had prior experience from assisting the quality manager every once in a while”, Vartiainen says.
“I arrived at Skarta the same year and started as a construction engineer in Pyhäjoki. I have also been working in Lahti, where I became familiar with the quality matters when carrying out the quality documentation for the client. I was in contact with the quality manager a lot”, Hakulinen says.
Both Hakulinen and Vartiainen continue to work as engineers in the working sites as well, and approximately half of the working hours are spent with quality manager’s tasks. They describe the contents of their new job description:
“Quality managers take care of the quality system at the operative level. Skarta has its own operating system that is based on the ISO standards, and systematic documentation practices are in place. As quality managers, we look after the everyday work in our sites so that everything is done as agreed and observe if there are places for development. Our work includes many project-specific practical matters, such as preparing of reports. External and internal audits are also an essential part of our work”.
Quality Control Manager was previously responsible for quality in the group. As Skarta is expanding and the quality perspectives become more and more highlighted, responsibility for quality was reorganized, and duties at a site level were divided into two areas: Vartiainen is responsible for the waterworks and industrial construction, and Hakulinen for the energy and infrastructure construction.
“Raudasoja is responsible for quality at the group level – bigger picture of strategy and development – but we of course communicate and plan in cooperation between the three of us”.
Photo: Foundations of a wind power plant at the beginning of the reinforcement phase at Juurakko wind farm in Kalajoki. Quality assurance is a crucial part of the operation, and several plans and minutes have already been documented at the working site.