Customer Health & Safety11 min
It is our aim to make access in our customers’ lives smart and secure. End-user health and safety is therefore a top priority and an inherent part of our business plans.
Why it matters
As one of the top three global access control and security solutions companies, customer health and safety is fundamental to our sense of product responsibility. By identifying and minimizing all possible risks of our products – including those arising from harmful materials or potentially endangering functional features – we ensure the safety of our customers and end-users.
Read about how increased need for product certifications can impact delivery in this interview with Andrea Costa, our supply chain and logistics expert.Read interview
It is our aim to make access in our customers’ lives smart and secure. End-user health and safety is therefore a top priority and an inherent part of our business plans. Public buildings must meet high standards in terms of public health and safety, as well as for our built-in products and solutions. dormakaba meets these product and customer requirements with product certifications for internationally recognized standards such as from the European Standard (EN), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN). We pay particular attention to the DIN 18040 standards, which apply to barrier-free construction in public buildings. Furthermore, the ISO 9001 ensures that quality management requirements are continuously monitored and improved.
Our product management team is responsible for this work, in close consultation with Product Development, as required by the Group Directive Adaptive Innovation Methodology (AIM) and defined by Group Innovation Management. Our product quality assurance process, which includes both internal and external resources, ensures that our products have all necessary labels. No product can be installed in-field or released for production without the appropriate certification in hand. This is a necessary step in the product development life cycle, i.e. the product verification phase based on AIM. At a Group-level, the product management team is responsible for customer health and safety, in close consultation with Product Development. In our business units and at our production sites, ISO 9001 processes are implemented locally and managed by local quality assurance managers.
To ensure product and solution specific customer health and safety, each dormakaba segment develops adequate action plans:
- Access Solutions segments
- Key & Wall Solutions segment
Access Solutions segments
Our Access Solutions (AS) segments provide products such as escape routes, entrance systems and hotel access systems. dormakaba works to address fire safety, electromagnetic interference and hazardous substances, as well as the need to ensure emergency exits open following a power failure. To ensure customer health and safety, our business addresses these topics through the following activities:
- Hazardous substances: products are designed to comply with the EU Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS directive 2011/65/EC and its amendment 2015/863/EC). For example, RoHS restricts the use of cadmium, as it is highly toxic and exposure to this substance is known to cause cancer. All components and materials in dormakaba electronic products sold in the EU market are determined to be RoHS compliant before any product manufacturing begins.
- Fire testing: an example of a fire test requires the door assembly with locks be placed in a door leaf and subjected to a temperature determined in the door leaf specification for a period of three hours. Requirements are met if no flaming occurs on the unexposed surface of a door assembly during the first 30 minutes of the testing period, among other prerequisites; the fire test fails if flames are going through the door leaf during the whole test time.
- Electrostatic discharges: for various Electronic Access and Data products, we focus on product certification. For example, the dormakaba Wireless Gateway 90 42 is certified to EN 55024, which tests for immunity in cases of electrostatic discharges, power surges and interruptions, or radio frequency interference. The product is also certified to IEC 60950, which specifies requirements intended to reduce risks of fire, electric shock or injury for the service person, operator or end user who may come in contact with the product.
- Emergency exits and escape routes: automatic doors are subject to the highest safety demands, in accordance with EN 16005. To meet these demands, self-monitoring sensors are mandatory. Obstacle self-detection and automatic reversing are also included in many products. For example, Talos CSD circular sliding doors and Talos RDR revolving doors feature a safety sensor system. Emergency exit and escape route doors are equipped with a redundant operator, an additional control unit for safety purposes and a self-monitoring motion detector. The ES 200-2D door operator features emergency opening following a power failure. Additionally, revolving doors require a safety risk assessment before installation, in accordance with DIN 18650. This is provided by dormakaba at the building site before a sale is made.
- User Testing: in some cases, new product launches require the product development team to initiate an alpha (internal) and a beta (external) user testing. This is in addition to product certification and performance testing. Beta testing is the process by which the first initial products released from the production line are installed in a limited customer setting, and monitored closely by the technical support, product management and engineering teams. During the beta testing, any issues can be escalated to the team, to which an investigation is carried out and issues resolved prior to the full launch of the product in the field. This provides an extra layer of verification and validation to most of our product launches and further deployments.
In case of emerging risks and customer complaints, dormakaba has a Group-wide customer complaint process in place based on the principles of ease of access, solution-driven expertise, short response times, positivity and focus on our value "Customer First".
The process follows five steps:
- Acknowledge that the customer has an issue, ideally within 24 hours.
- Assess the problem, prioritize and find a solution driver.
- Resolve the issue.
- Respond in a timely manner, keeping the customer informed of the status.
- Conclude with a proper follow-up to assess the customers satisfaction and integrate lessons learned.
Regulatory compliance falls at the top of the list of priorities for any development leads and requires immediate action plans. An incident response plan is put in place to enable direct access to the required resources as well.
Key & Wall Solutions segment
Our Key & Wall Solutions segment provides product categories such as automotive solutions, keys and space-dividing solutions. Both business units, Key Systems and Movable Walls, have individual approaches to customer health and safety that are product specific:
- The business unit Key Systems approaches customer health and safety as an element of its ISO 9001 certifications and ensures compliance with both mandatory (such as the European CE Declaration of Conformity) and voluntary safety standards. Over 16 product certifications apply. Each Key Systems product features: proper documentation, such as an owner’s manual; a Declaration of Compliance; contact details for the manufacturer; quick guides and tutorials available on the web; and training on demand or during product installation to provide the customer with all the information relevant for proper product use and safety features. Regional distributors are periodically trained on the same topics.
- The business unit Movable Walls has over ten active certifications, including those from Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Product certification includes fire testing, smoke testing, ball-throwing tests, and weight bearing tests on suspension track systems, for example. The related legal registers are regularly monitored and updated.
In addition to the Group-wide dormakaba customer complaint process, which is described in the Access Solutions segments section above, the ISO 9001 quality system within Key Systems includes a further grievance mechanism. Each production site implements its ISO 9001 processes locally. Quality assurance managers have ownership of the grievance mechanism and track any complaints from receipt to closure, including feedback to the customer. The steps are registering the complaint in the ticketing system, evaluation, problem analysis and corrective actions, verification, lessons learned, and closure. The intended users of the grievance mechanism are all the relevant stakeholders such as customers, technical assistance, procurement, quality control, logistics, manufacturing, product development, and sales teams. Effectiveness of the grievance mechanism is based on the number of open, accepted, refused and closed complaints per fiscal year. Additionally, at least once a year, a management review assessment evaluates related KPIs and performance status.
To ensure we are on the right track, we internally and externally verify customer health and safety through various certification programs (including ISO 9001), testing, and stakeholder feedback. For example, 52% of reporting sites have achieved ISO 9001 certification.
Individual segments have made further contributions to customer health and safety. For example, AS DACH’s product launch of the TS98 XEA was another big achievement for customer health and safety: the slide channel door closer makes opening fire-protection doors easier, especially for disabled people. We are also developing door operators that tailor the way the door opens depending on walking pace, use of wheelchairs or strollers, etc. This is a real technical challenge, considering all the sensors, behavioral pattern recognition and reaction times of the hardware mechanisms that must synchronize. To meet this challenge, we are deploying product developers to different segments and locations to improve knowledge sharing on technical developments but also customer demands.
In the financial year 2018/19, there have been no incidents of non-compliance with regulations or voluntary codes concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services, which have resulted either in a fine, penalty or written warning.
In order to supply the markets with new innovations in a targeted manner, Product Development AS DACH will focus on developing a core competency model, emphasizing local market requirements. As a first step, Singapore will concentrate on the development of hydraulic door closers and on the system development of revolving doors. The necessary know-how transfer will be achieved by temporarily deploying engineers with the technical knowledge to the various business segments.
In addition, knowledge and resource transfer between the segments will be achieved through an overarching core competency model. Product Development AS DACH, for example, will use the development know-how from Product Development AS EMEA in the field of communication (software development); while Product Development AS EMEA will use the know-how of Product Development AS DACH in the field of product approvals.
Increasing requirements for product certifications
An interview with Andrea Costa, Head of Silca Supply Chain & Logistics, dormakaba Key Systems EMEA
Product certification helps ensure quality and safety of products against a unified and independently verified set of standards. How is the Key Systems business unit impacted by the increasing trend on product certifications?
Mainly we are hindered in outbound logistics, because the risk in delayed certification can lead to late shipment of our products. Document preparation for the certifications can take a long time, both for the product certification itself and for specific additional documents required by the countries we serve. Each country has specific import rules and requires different documents. There is no standard import procedure, globally.
For example, one of our customers recently requested us to provide a Saudi Arabian Standards Organisation certificate, which was time intensive to obtain: it took us five months to complete the task. Or consider that in some African countries we are requested to provide an SGS certificate: in this case it can take a month to ship out our products.
What is the biggest challenge in managing product certifications?
There are some product types which are considered dangerous goods for which official regulations on how to proceed, from an operative-logistics perspective, are not available. A specific example is the transportation of products with a lithium battery. Every air freight company has their own rules and requirements on how to manage the transport.
To fulfill our purchase orders efficiently, we therefore streamline our internal workflow by continuously improving enterprise resource planning procedures and regularly training our logistics team to stay updated on new requirements and procedures.