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The Grand Hotel Europe is the first Russian hotel to achieve certification from SGS for compliance with international quality standard ISO 9001:2008. Adherence to this standard will enable their current system of monitoring quality control to become the most progressive and efficient among the world’s leading hotels.

The Grand Hotel Europe is the oldest luxury hotel in St Petersburg, like the Grand Dame of Russian hospitality. Throughout its more than 130 years of existence, the quality of the hotel’s services has been outstanding, guaranteeing that even the most discerning clients become regulars.

In April 2008, the hotel’s Managing Director, Thomas Noll, made the decision to implement a quality management system, and Nils Kalle, Quality Director, was appointed project supervisor. “At the Grand Hotel Europe, we were able to implement the quality management system in just 10 months, which is record-breaking considering we are a big organization with 600 employees. My previous experience enabled me to implement the system,” Kalle shared.

“Moreover, even before this idea was born three years ago, I had already started to implement ISO elements in the hotel. It is a very convenient system: it allows you to standardize document flow and create a system that is independent of employees. The human factor is the most unstable one, and it frequently happens that after a key employee leaves, the company’s business starts to decrease. ISO enables us to build an information framework of the company and to generate a knowledge database,” explained Kalle.
“ISO certification is only the beginning of the process, like getting a driving license,” said Thomas Noll. “The next step is continuous work to further improve the achieved results,” he said.

Seven specially trained employees from different departments have been appointed as internal auditors in order to improve and develop the implemented system. These employees will carry out an inspection of all departments twice a year and will also help prepare for the annual independent review to be conducted by experts from the biggest international certification body — SGS.
“As a result of the certification audit implemented by SGS specialists, we are pleased to recognize the client-oriented attitude of the Grand Hotel Europe team and their impeccable security system, both of which strongly guarantee the comfort of hotel guests,” said Konstantin Timoshechkin, head of Systems and Services Certification department in SGS Vostok Limited.

The quality control system upgrade at the Grand Hotel Europe and their achievement of certification under ISO 9001:2008 will bring the hotel a range of strategic and economic benefits such as optimization of their quality management system, increase in efficiency of quality control systems, the gaining of advantage over competitors and ultimately, an increase in the quality of provided services. All these factors will make guests’ stay in the hotel even more comfortable and enjoyable.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) unites 157 countries each of which is represented by a designated person. ISO draws up international standards which are then applied to the economies of different countries enabling companies in these countries to cooperate with each other efficiently.

ISO has a range of international quality standards covering requirements regarding an organization’s quality control systems, basic guidelines, terms and conditions, goods description standards and the organization of internal processes, as well as requirements for auditing quality control systems and environment protection.

International experience proves that implementing ISO 9001:2008 principles is an effective method for creating a reliable management system, thus increasing a hotel’s competitive edge and bringing significant benefits not only to the business but also to clients, partners and contractors.

Certifying your Quality Management System through SGS will help your organization develop and improve performance. Certification under ISO 9001:2008 is testimony of your company’s high level of service quality and is key to new opportunities for business and expansion.

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognised as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 56,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.