Advantages of Independent expert testing
Independent expert testing of goods and services has been widely used for a long time in economically developed countries. In Finland, famous for the high quality of paper, on many pulp and paper plants expert testing of wood raw materials is carried out by independent companies. Gradually, Russian companies begin to understand the advantages offered by this system. Our experience in working with numerous countries has shown that already after a few months after introducing independent expert testing, the quality of raw materials enjoys significant growth in quality. The client's' returns will exceed their expenditures on expert testing services, because:
- Suppliers of raw materials are paid for the actual, not the artificially inflated volume of supplies.
- Due to a continuous control over supplied wood, the plant does not have to pay for the portion of raw materials that has been found faulty.
- Having realized the impossibility of trading low quality wood, suppliers provide higher quality raw materials. As a result, the quality of manufactured paper, boards, etc. also increases.
client receives accurate and prompt information about the delivery, shipment, and quantity of raw materials in stock, which in turn lowers expenditures in storage and shipping.
The role of the "arbitrator," which Schmidt & Olofson plays in the relations between suppliers and buyers is difficult. As a rule, when the company begins working on a new site, some suppliers express suspicion toward the new quality control system. Soon suspicions become replaced by the confidence in the results of measurements and evaluation of the quality of the wood. We are always equally open for both the supplier and the consumer. In this situation there is only one road to success for an independent company-to remain unbiased in its work. The good name of our company, literally and figuratively, is more important than money.
Usually, the initial stage of work of our company is organizing control of the received raw materials. It is not uncommon for the client, however, to entitle us to control shipment of wood or end products, internal shipping within the territory of a company, and storage of seasonal stock at warehouses, as well. Such comprehensive approach bears its fruit. If this is the case, Schmidt & Olofson takes the trouble and responsibility of generating estimates, daily, and other reports, as well as inventorying remains of raw materials in warehouses. One might think that given the difficult current situation the companies of the forest cluster find themselves in they should not make additional expenditures on services of third parties. Many executives still share this point of view. The experience of our operation at domestic pulp and paper plants and other companies totally disproves this belief, or rather, this prejudice.
Ten or fifteen years ago, during the era of the total state monopoly in the forest industry, there was no need to attract independent expert testing organizations. Shipment and delivery, remains in warehouses, and quality and quantity were controlled by the services of the companies of the forest complex. The widespread neglect of GOSTs and other normative documents, as well as loading and shipping technologies were commonplace. The State covered excessive expenditures and supported unprofitable enterprises, of which there were many in the forest industry. After the changes in the economy and the introduction of open market stocks, companies that used wood raw materials could not put up with artificial inflation of volumes, discrepancy in sorting, kinds, etc., anymore. The low quality of raw materials decrease the demand for the products of the companies of the pulp and paper and wood processing industries, lowered their profitability, and in the end, to bankruptcy.
Some companies survived by reinforcing their quality control services as much as it was possible. The lack of specialists in forest commodity research and phytopathology has remained. Whereas formerly, those who worked in the forest industry were specialists who were trained in the appropriate educational institutions, with the development of entrepreneurship, non-professionals flooded this area of activity. This often resulted in conflicts between suppliers and consumers, most of which still lack the thorough knowledge of national standards and normative documents for quality and measurement methods.
Generally, the current situation on the forest market is not as critical as it was a few years ago, but it is still far from stable.
Thus, the unstable situation in the forest industry stimulated the demand for the services of companies that were prepared to carry out accounting of volumes and control the quality of lumber.
There is a clear necessity on the Russian market, including the forest market, for independent expert companies. Such companies may greatly influence the evaluation by international investors of prospects for working with Russian companies.
The investment climate of the country is not only a matter of the state of the tax revenue system, the level of industrial development, and political situation. Potential investors in Russia encounter such problems as discrepancies between domestic and international standards and not meeting quality conditions for supplies. Conflicts between the supplier and customer, and exporter (importer) and the customs are not uncommon. It such situations, independent expert companies that show a good knowledge of the domestic market take many worries off the shoulders of investors and company owners.
Organizations that provide professional expert testing services can quickly train their specialists to work with any standards used by both parties. In addition, working with suppliers strictly along the lines of national standards, specifications, and contracts imposes discipline on all participants on the forest market, making it more civilized and predictable.
The company that orders expert testing services interacts mostly with the firm responsible for the quality control and obtains accurate and relevant information from it. For example, the Swedish consortium Tetra Laval that bought the stocks of the Svetogorsk Pulp and Paper Plant entrusted our company the quality control of the raw materials. The American International Paper that came after Tetra Laval continued the collaboration of the plant with ZAO Schmidt & Olofson.
For domestic and international entrepreneurs, an independent company plays a role of a buffer between a supplier and a buyer. Such company is always between the rock and the hard place. The only way it can remain truly independent is by doing its job honestly and professionally.
Time has shown that the presence of independent expert companies in the forest industry is justified, and more than seven years of our experience proves it. Accuracy, objectivism, and professionalism have always been our highest values.