Make success take care of itself

Make success take care of itself

BLOG · BY TTF CEO, DAVID HOPKINS · FIRST PUBLISHED IN WOODWORKING NEWS MAY 2021

The 20th century automotive industry billionaire, Henry Ford, made some pithy statements about the realities of business in his time, one of which was: “Quality means doing it right when no-one is looking.” Many of us may believe that we already embody that attitude, taking great pride in producing and supplying quality products to our customers. But there’s one aspect of delivering quality that we’re being asked to check, which may not always come immediately to mind for time-pressed business owners, and that’s the quality of information.

In the timber and joinery sectors we buy, manufacture and sell wood products based on the knowledge we have and the information we either receive from our suppliers or give to the end-users of our products. The Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), which starts its roll-out across all areas of the construction sector from this summer, asks that those of us who convey information to buyers, specifiers or end-user customers make sure that our information passes five ‘acid tests’, being:  clear, accurate, unambiguous, up-to-date and accessible.

The Code is part of ongoing post-Grenfell work across the supply chain from product manufacturers to builders and contractors, making sure we all transmit correct information on any kind of ‘construction product’, from widgets to wood, worktops to windows, to those who buy, specify, install, use or maintain our output.  Conducting an audit of your own information, just to check that it’s all up to scratch, is a good starting point. For example, if you offer a guarantee or warranty, do you clearly and accessibly display on your website what that includes, what it excludes, and the conditions under which the guarantee is valid?

For the moment, the CCPI will be voluntary. Companies are encouraged to put themselves forward for the audit needed to receive a CCPI license, and thus to be able to use the CCPI logo in marketing. The logo will become another mark of quality, showing that your product or output ‘does what it says on the tin’, if you’ll pardon the turn of phrase.

Working this back up the supply chain, we are asking members of the Timber Trade Federation to check that the information they provide to you, our customers in the joinery manufacturing sector, also meets the ‘acid tests’, so you can have confidence that you are buying ‘timber you can trust’ from a TTF member supplier.  Whilst the majority of our members are not the primary targets for licensing under the Code, we feel it’s incumbent on us to ensure we deliver the highest standards of customer service to joinery manufacturers.

Another aspect of the CCPI is to ensure information is relayed by provable-competent people.  We are currently re-examining the qualifications in the timber supply chain to make sure they are also fit for purpose. Timber suppliers act as an unseen arm of most joinery businesses. We therefore believe, as Henry Ford also put it, that: “If everyone is moving forward together then success takes care of itself.”   

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