THE EUROPEAN DREAM
—— Transporting goods throughout Europe by rail is fast, dependable and environmentally friendly. Yet different standards and gaps in the network still hamper cross-border rail traffic. This is about to change.
Where would we be during the corona pandemic without the internet and WLAN? Thanks to digital tools, many companies have been able to relocate their work and shift their employees into home offices. Online shops and delivery services have also experienced a boom in business. What’s important in this: IT security. Phishing or hacking attempts are dangers that are more real than ever. Here, too, TÜV SÜD has never been in greater demand: after all, the experts from TÜV SÜD Sec-IT are absolute pros for everything to do with cybersecurity. And they share their knowledge: since the start of the crisis, the TÜV SÜD podcast Safety First has focused on new online habits and has spoken with both in-house and outside experts about topics including data protection, password security and IT security when working from home. In the podcast, TÜV SÜD Sec-IT CTO Stefan Vollmer recommends two simple steps you should take: use just one computer for business purposes and ensure that all devices, including the WLAN router, are up to date.
Strict hygiene protocols have been designed to protect the health and safety of both personnel and guests as restaurants, businesses and hotels have begun to reopen—but these also present enormous challenges for companies. During this very demanding phase of the pandemic, TÜV SÜD is helping its customers to provide the best possible protection for their personnel and guests. The TÜV SÜD COVID 19 Hygiene app supports companies in monitoring implementation of the regulations in their stores and locations, documenting compliance with official requirements and informing customers and employees about protective measures. TÜV SÜD has benefited from its many years of experience in reviewing hygiene concepts and from the expertise of the start-up firm “flowtify”— a strategic partner of TÜV SÜD upon whose platform the COVID 19 app is based. In the future, TÜV SÜD will be expanding its range of simple, agile and pragmatic app solutions.
During the hot phase of the corona pandemic, a lot of company employees suddenly found themselves with a lot of free time. Actually, it would have been the perfect time for advanced training courses—if there hadn’t been a ban on people meeting together in seminar rooms. The solution: digital courses. The TÜV SÜD Academy quickly expanded its range of virtual classroom offerings and a majority of the trainings and courses were available online within just a short time. “We quickly expanded our offerings because the courses were very well received by participants,” says TÜV SÜD Academy Regional Director Tobias Maucher. With physical distancing measures being enforced, the potential of digital instruction has become clear. Of course, everyone will be delighted when it becomes possible to hold live courses again at some point in the future. But until then it’s clear: webinars, virtual classrooms and virtual reality training courses will become even more important than before in supplementing face-to-face events.
Environmental standards, processes, product quality: TÜV SÜD certifies companies according to important international standards, for instance with regard to the quality management standard ISO 9001 or the environmental management standard ISO 14001. Usually these also include on-site visits to the company—no easy task during times of contact restrictions and difficult travel conditions. So that customers can receive important certifications in spite of this, a certain amount of flexibility was required over the past several months. In coordination with organizations including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), remote audits were conducted via video call wherever possible. This isn’t permitted in all areas, but is allowed for more than had been previously assumed. Instead of performing inspections on location, the TÜV SÜD auditors examined the necessary documentation, systems or processes from their home offices. The main methods used were video conferences, teleconferences and also video tours of production facilities or warehouses. The future belongs to this model of auditing: the share of remote audits as part of individual certifications will be further improved and expanded in the coming months.