Quality Management

By Matt Johnson, The Gary Law Group
May 3, 2016
THE TALK... | Codes & Standards
Everyone wants to deliver quality—whether in terms of products or installation. Today, there is an increasing focus on developing front-end quality-control procedures as critical steps to meeting end goals. Documenting these early quality evaluations is essential.
The North American Fenestration Standard/Specification and its prior individual standards always required fenestration manufacturers to have a quality check in place. The current NAFS certification requires a Quality Management System that focuses on evaluation and documentation of incoming materials and components well before a product is assembled. Manufacturers even have the option of adding more detail to their QMS to obtain an additional five years of certification by complying with requirements of guidelines like AAMA 103 and WDMA CS1. These programs address quality concerns before a product is finished by bringing more attention to the parts and components used in manufacturing.
For installers, Energy Star requires that products and installations comply with its guidelines. To ensure a quality result, installers must determine if a fenestration product and materials/methods of installation will meet Energy Star guidelines before starting a job. Local code and compliance officials are starting to require installers to comply with pre-work checklists in order to obtain final permits. Finally, the somewhat infamous RRP Rules addressing lead paint require installers to take steps to deliver a quality/safe installation before lifting a tool.
For manufacturers and installers alike, being able to document a quality job is essential. How a company records and manages its quality data can be essential to mounting a legal defense or claim evaluation. The mere existence of a quality management policy itself is not enough. The best quality data is reliable and allows discrete, contextual evaluations. 
Where does your company fall in terms of QMS documentation? Review this week’s poll, post a comment and/or email your thoughts on the subject. 

Survey Results for 05/04/2016:

How does your company manage quality assurance data?

In-house electronic reporting





We're deciding now





Paper forms





A dedicated Quality Management System






Matt Johnson is an attorney with The Gary Law Group, a law firm based in Portland that focuses on legal issues facing manufacturers of windows and doors. Contact him at 503/620-6615 or matt@prgarylaw.com.


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