Commitment To Quality
IN SAFCO's organization, quality control comes in two forms. Firstly, the company has adopted a comprehensive Quality Assurance system internally. QA is more important than ever now, as we have grown larger and this aspect of the business cannot simply be controlled from the office any more. We have therefore created a team to ensure that all of the field work is carried out in an appropriate way. We have also allocated three people to visit the various branches, without prior notice – in order to monitor the performance in the offices, as well as on-site, to ensure that processes are being followed, that safety is being taken care of, and that all aspects of the project are going to plan. We have never had any safety Incidents – nonetheless, we have grown to such a size where we now need this in place.
Further testament to the company's strong focus on the adherence to stringent procedures and the provision of quality services is the ISO 17025 and Iso9001 accreditation that the company achieved Five years ago although we chose to acquire it in order to demonstrate our commitment to such issues.
Naturally, training staff the SAFCO way has played a crucial part in the company's impressive results over the years. Each branch has a Branch Manager, and two types of engineers – the engineers that work on the reports and the engineers that are on-site with the laborers. All engineers are trained at our headquarters in Jeddah, before being deployed to the other branches. The branch managers that we have in place now were actually trained in Jeddah in the early 1990s, For Quality Control; SAFCO develops its people in the same way, with technicians based in the main office in Jeddah for the first three months to receive training, under the supervision of SAFCO's experienced laboratory attendant. Our laboratory attendant is actually the oldest staff. He has been here since 1978 and all of the technicians work under him – so, he has basically been responsible for the development of about 150 technicians over the years.
Safco has undoubtedly proven its worth – assuring the foundations of some of the most prestigious projects in the region for the past forty two years, and with some of the biggest names on its order book, what does we believe have been some of the key strengths that have led to SAFCO's impressive growth and expansion over the years? Our expertise and our perseverance. Over the years, the field of geotechnical engineering hasn't really altered; there have been no new developments since the 1950s. We are engineers and scholars – and basically, what you read in the book is what you need to adapt for the field. So, we have done everything by the book and have managed to do well from it. Another point is that geotechnical engineering is quite an argumentative field – any report could be changed from one person to another, but we have experienced engineers on board with good PhDs, we have experienced labor on-site, and we know what we're doing. So, perseverance has been important – going after every project and keeping good relations with clients.
Indeed, in geotechnical engineering, it appears that there are no short-cuts – “It's all about experience and knowledge, of a strength that will be as key to SAFCO's future as it has been to the company's journey thus far, especially considering the potential challenge faced by an influx of foreign contractors, tempted by Saudi Arabia's still buoyant market while the global economic recession continues elsewhere. Of course, with what is happening in other Gulf Countries, some of the markets have gone dead. Some countries have led the way for foreign contractors to seek potential work in Saudi Arabia. This, in turn, has led to increased competition here. But still, not everyone can make it in Saudi Arabia – we have been here for 42 years, so we know how things work.