Founded in 1975, Dowhigh Limited has risen to become one of the largest independent public works companies in the north west of England.

While the company’s strategy has always been to retain the ethos and ‘personal touch’ of a family business, Dowhigh’s ultimate mission is to continue to compete effectively on a national stage within a market dominated by PLCs and consortiums.

The unique mix of ‘hands-on’ professional management and strong leadership, combined with a commitment to innovation and best value has helped the company develop an impressive portfolio of clients.

Drivers for certification

Independent third party certification is extremely important within the construction industry. It can often be a prerequisite for tenders and new business opportunities. There is also some evidence to suggest that those organisations which hold certification tend to Dowhigh limited road image generally be more successful in the bidding process. Companies are often asked to demonstrate continuous improvement as part of the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and so ISO 9001 certification is an ideal way to show this – the same applies to ISO 14001 if asked to demonstrate that your business takes a sustainable approach.

Peter Allard is one of the directors at Dowhigh Limited as well as the business development expert, responsible for procurement via tenders, select lists and client consultation. His network of contacts reads like a ‘who’s who’ in civil engineering circles, and his personality driven approach has won friends across the industry. In charge of the company’s quality assurance and health & safety procedures, Peter has been a client of Alcumus ISOQAR for over 20 years.

Peter said: “We first began working with Alcumus ISOQAR in 1993. The company was recommended to us as the best certification service provider in the area. We are now proud to hold a number of management system registrations which have significantly improved the way we do things and have added quality to our procedures and processes.”

Since 1993, Dowhigh Limited has met the stringent requirements of four acclaimed management system standards; ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), OHSAS 18001 (occupational health & safety management) and the National Highways Specific Standard, NHSS 16, for the laying of asphalt. Each of these achievements demonstrates a best practice management approach and clearly proves that a commitment to health, safety and the environment are at the very heart of all that Dowhigh does.

Benefits of implementing management systems

Alcumus ISOQAR has played a fundamental role in helping Dowhigh Limited fulfil its best practice management commitments which in turn have helped the business grow. Implementing ISO 14001 has helped demonstrate that the business is taking its environmental responsibilities seriously and is limiting any detrimental impact which could potentially arise from its operations. Certification to OHSAS 18001 is proof that Dowhigh Limited is taking proactive steps to ensure the company complies with and stays up to date with appropriate legislation to ensure a safer place work for its employees.

Peter said: “Being certified to four different standards by a UKAS accredited certification body such as Alcumus ISOQAR proves we are a quality business with a commitment to continuous improvement. Whilst we always had a desire to implement these standards for our own internal reasons, the pressure really came from our clients who were demanding them. We hope that by meeting the requirements of industry recognised specifications we will address the needs of our current clients but also entice new clients to come and work with us.

We follow the solutions presented by Alcumus ISOQAR and the requirements of the management systems rigorously. We undertake external quality assessments on a regular basis which means that now all parts of our business are accountable and our activities are trackable. The management system standards we operate to are very ‘industry driven’ – and very much a necessity for us to compete with larger players in the market. Although certification requires a lot of work, Alcumus ISOQAR has made the process as pain-free as possible and we are delighted with the outcome.”

View more case studies