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Employee Spotlight: Mark Alpert


Mark AlpertMark alpert

Vice president, business assurance at TÜV SÜD America

#FutureInYourHands – This motto properly describes how TÜV SÜD empowers its employees. It’s best to hear from TÜV SÜD executives and staff members what their personal experiences are working for TÜV SÜD.

Can you discuss your role and what it entails?
I am Vice President of the Business Assurance (BA) division for the Americas. I am responsible for overseeing 3 service lines, including Management Systems, all ISO Standards, as well as Cyber Security services, which are consistently being crafted and developed.

I developed an interest in ISO standards while studying for my Master’s degree. At the time, I was drafting my thesis on Manufacturing Engineering. However, I quickly adjusted my topic when I came across some new, intriguing information. I was on a flight to Texas when I decided to read a copy of Quality Magazine to pass the time. On the front page was a short article about ISO 9000, and I remember thinking to myself that this was going to become a big deal. I developed my new thesis by gathering information about the EU led initiative from resources all over the globe. After graduation, I became the 6th employee in the U.S. for TÜV SÜD. I put countless hours of work into building the business, handling all things related to ISO 9000. I was also the first to start Management Systems services within the United States. As ISO became more prevalent across various industries, we began hiring more people to contribute to the business.

Why are the different areas of Business Assurance so important?
TÜV SÜD started 150 years ago due to the unsafe conditions surrounding the introduction of steam power in a manufacturing environment. TÜV SÜD was created with the intention to protect society as technology advances. Today, risks are more-so digital than physical. One of the most vulnerable areas in society is in cyberspace. However, as technology advances, so do we, by evolving our practices to best mitigate the risk of the technology at hand. From the Business Assurance perspective, we aim to bundle our services together, so that customers can take advantage of different types of safety provisions in order for plants to operate safely, products to be produced in a safe manner, and to have a reduction in threats from online cyber-attacks.

I believe that the world of manufacturing is gradually moving towards Industry 4.0. It’s becoming more digital and data-driven, so we need to be making consistent modifications to our services in order to keep up with the changes within the industry. On the other hand, manufacturers also face the challenge of keeping up with demand, especially while trying to maintain efficiency and cost-effectiveness. There’s also the challenge of moving towards automation. When things become more digitized, some factors are likely to change, like how information is accessed and how evaluations can best be done remotely.

How would you say the BA group differs from other areas of TÜV SÜD?
The BA division is working hard to increase collaboration with other groups. It makes sense to be in communication with both Product Services (PS) as well as Industry Services (IS). PS focuses on the products themselves, while BA focuses on the governance of that product. We are also looking into more ways to collaborate with Global Risk Consultants (GRC), which handles plant security and compliance assessment on fire protection and other risk-related things. Also included with that is management systems and governance work, so we are always looking for opportunities to work together.

What sets TÜV SÜD apart in these areas?
TÜV SÜD is a one-stop-shop. Our global footprint is highly beneficial because it allows us to help large companies with locations spanning the world. Wherever our customers are, we are, so that we can meet their needs with our best resources. TÜV SÜD is also an expert is product services, having a deep understanding of various products, the market, as well as all of the requirements.

I think TÜV SÜD also benefits from the auditing services that we offer. We conduct secondary audits, which are becoming more popular, where we go in on behalf of a customer’s company and we audit their supplies.

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