Why Ukrainian Exporters Must Seek For European Certification?

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For the B2B sector an expression “The customer is always right” is still inviolable and has immunity that is several times stronger than the deputy’s one. For export-oriented enterprises, it means that in addition to the price and quality of products, the customer wants to make sure that there are no risks related to the production management.

Customers are interested in everything: from the workers’ competence to the impact of production on the environment (environmental management).

Faced with this status quo, we decided to act proactively, therefore, the Azov Cable Company was the initiator of audit by our important customer − Siemens Corporation.

Two-stage verification of German partner, conducted in May, was a condition of the concern for cooperation. It has been lasting for more than half a year and ended with the assignment of the highest “A” category rating of reliability to our plant.

But that is not the point, this is about motivation.

Having resolved to take this crucial step, the plant was guided, as happens in such cases, by several considerations. I hope that our export colleagues will appreciate the argument and enter into an arduous discussion, that is even desirable.

Firstly, the certification by Western concerns is a must have for an export enterprise, moreover, from such country as Ukraine. For example, it is customary in Germany that business controls business in many areas (think of TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein) certification).

(Siemens audit. Documentation and business processes analysis, Q&A. First published).

ACC supplies more than 90% of its cable and wire output to the external markets of India, South Korea and the EU. And in these regions, the institution of reputation works well.

In a sense, the successful completion of Siemens audit is not only a technical event (believe me, this certificate was obtained by a meticulous converting of manufacturing, environmental and social labor processes to the European denominator), but also a marketing one.

The European certificate significantly simplifies our commercial communication with prospective customers now.

Secondly, speaking with European customers in their language (in this case, the language of certificates) significantly affects our status.

Now we are not just in a position of a supplier from the country whose GDP per capita in 2018 was almost 16 times less than in Germany, but one of the few enterprises of the Eastern Europe, which fully complies with the harsh ideas of the German business about what a reliable partner should be.

However, even before the story with the Siemens certificate, we have strengthened our reputation as a stable exporter with a number of other documents which are considered mandatory in our industry for those who want to sell products to Europe.

These are IEC, DNV GL (special standard for the shipbuilding industry) and NEK 606 (standard for offshore oil and gas platforms).

Thirdly, if Ukrainian exporters are holders of this or similar certificate, it guarantees their reliability and ensures that they will not cause reputation crises for the EU consumer, which, for example, may be associated with failure to comply with the declared characteristics or environmental (fire) standards.

The more such applications for a desire to comply with European standards, the faster the image will appear in the minds of foreign consumers that Ukraine is not only “Ukraine-Krise”, as the German media like to write, but also unique manufacturing plants and inexhaustible potential.

The mission of certificates is to demonstrate self-confidence in the language of a profitable business, as well as to show that working with you does not involve any risks− especially for your foreign partners.

Author: Vitalii Kara, the Director General of Azov Cable Company. Source: Бизнес.Цензор.

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