Gefco: The people behind CEIV

CEIV certification – who really gets it done?

Naomi Landman from Gefco, a valued member of Pharma Gateway Amsterdam, gives us an insight into the hard work, passion and dedication they have put in to become CEIV certified.

I have always believed that to get the best out of your team you should value personal qualities as much as professional experience. GEFCO Netherlands’ CEIV Pharma certification is a testament to the dedication, professionalism, and innovation of our operations teams, who have worked towards the result for eighteen months.

When we at GEFCO Netherlands made the decision to go for the CEIV accreditation, it was this team that we were counting on to make sure the process went smoothly from the start – and our Quality Manager actually kick started the process a year before the first audit!

Together with the operations team, who know our internal processes and operations, she designed a tailored audit process that would work for our business, and completed the process with the core certification team (pictured), made up of team members from all corners of the business.

The great thing about this process is that everyone in our team is given the opportunity to contribute. Their day to day operations, and their observations for improvement, are at the core of how we, at GEFCO, improve our service to our customers.

Our warehouse and office operations teams seem to define the ethos of the CEIV certification: from accepting and labelling; to storing within the correct temperature room, or section of the warehouse.

Together we cross examined our current operations with the IATA CEIV certification process, and identified where we needed to adapt to adhere to the new set of standards.

The core team then led everyone through the rigorous audit process; meeting with each member of staff individually to discuss how they could help with process change and importantly how to create best practice on a daily basis.

The enthusiasm with which our people then tackled the new training requirements demonstrated to me that our talent acquisition techniques are right – to recruit based as much on the person as the experience.

As an organisation, we have gained much more than certification; we have further developed our processes and templates, streamlined global and local procedures, and assisted our people to work better together.

Not so long ago, an alarm went off in our warehouse – and it was a National Holiday. Despite having left for the weekend, our warehouse manager knew that with the cargo stored, if something wasn’t right it could be problematic and took time out of his holiday to turn back and check that everything was in order.

The customer might never see or hear of the dedication behind the scenes, but they certainly reap the benefits. There is no reward for it – it’s simply a part of what we do. Our core value is commitment, and that is how we source the people who make everything (and anything!) possible.

Our ethos of championing teamwork and collaboration extends outside of GEFCO, and joining Pharma Gateway Amsterdam has been a perfect partnership for us. This initiative at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is another example of success by collaboration and we are proud to be a part of it.

This is not simply shipping boxes. Our team is helping to save lives, and putting their heart into it.