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Transport and Logistics

ALE: Smarter heavy lifting.

Tailored quality assurance services, with multi-site certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards.

Key facts

  • 01



  • 02.

    Sectors served

    Civil engineering; metals and minerals; nuclear; oil, gas and petrochemicals; offshore; renewables; and shipbuilding

  • 03.


    Leaner, safer global operations

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Client challenge

From 150 tonne ship sections to 98 tonne girder beams, ALE is one of the largest providers of lifting and transport solutions for heavy, indivisible loads. Our client’s services also include installing, ballasting, jacking and weighing, supporting across sectors. Formed in 1983 and headquartered in Staffordshire, UK, the company has grown internationally to over 40 offices.

Rapid expansion required an integrated management approach worldwide. ALE first gained ISO 9001 quality management system certification for its Hixton UK site in 1994. Since then, it has also added ISO 14001 environmental management system certification in the UK and at several overseas branches. Certification has helped ALE strengthen its culture of continual improvement, providing a greater understanding of legal compliance, a concise and robust register of environmental aspects and impacts, and improved risk management. ALE asked as a leading technical authority to help introduce greater consistency internationally to the way the company managed health, safety, quality and environmental (HSQE) factors, with shared best practices, systems and processes.

How we helped

We started by designing a tailored quality assurance service package. This was centred on ALE’s global operations, with multi-site certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and a single, universal integrated management system (IMS). The IMS is now ready to be implemented across our client’s sites and can be supplemented, as required, by local and national systems and certifications.

We also appointed a co-ordinating assessor, responsible for assessing ALE’s UK operations and managing locally based assessors at the company’s international sites. Support included: 

  • making sure our assessment programme was met consistently
  • implementing global and business assurance approaches
  • producing a consolidated report after surveillance visits, highlighting themes and trends
  • preparing briefing notes, so direct assessors could select key themes or issues
  • giving targeted advice to continually improve the performance of ALE’s IMS.
“We chose LRQA due to its international standing and recognition among our global client base. This...

John Fitzmaurice

Global Health, Quality, Safety and Environment (HSQE) Manager, ALE

Business benefits

ALE’s universal IMS delivers time and cost efficiencies, while ensuring HSQE best practices are met consistently worldwide. New locations can easily be integrated into the tried-and-tested system, without the need for pre-assessment visits. Beyond ISO standards, ALE’s IMS also includes a safety management element, based on OHSAS 18001.

Our client lists the following business benefits:

  • a single executive summary, highlighting areas for improvements
  • integrated assessments, avoiding duplication, saving time and reducing costs
  • greater optimisation of practices, harmonisation, consistency and organisational balance
  • friendly competition between global sites to operate the best-performing system
  • a framework for continual improvement, described by our client as ‘constant evolution rather than revolution’.
Our IMS has made us leaner, smarter and stronger in the market. It’s changed our organisational culture at every level,..

John Fitzmaurice

Global Health, Quality, Safety and Environment (HSQE) Manager, ALE


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