Customer Health & Safety

11 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

For us 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.

Key activities

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:

  1. Access Solutions segments
  2. 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:

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:

  1. Acknowledge that the customer has an issue, ideally within 24 hours.
  2. Assess the problem, prioritize and find a solution driver.
  3. Resolve the issue.
  4. Respond in a timely manner, keeping the customer informed of the status.
  5. Conclude with a proper follow-up to assess the customer’s 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:

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.

Our performance

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, 51% of reporting sites have achieved ISO 9001 certification.

Examples of contributions to customer health and safety in the financial year 2019/20 included:

In the financial year 2019/20, 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.


Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand in the access and security market has shifted to touch-free solutions. The protection of the health of staff and visitors to buildings and hospitals, and prevention of the spread of contagions is more important than ever.

The Access Solutions segments can contribute, for example, by developing and providing automated entrances which act equally as automated physical health checkpoints, such as by using infrared temperature sensors or facial recognition. Solutions can manage access over multiple entrance situations and changing alert levels without compromising security options. We will continue to expand our touch-free solutions across our extended product portfolio in order to serve many customer types and applications. Also, we will expand our antimicrobial finish options across several product lines.

We will continue scouting new lead- and nickel-free materials and less hazardous materials in the market. Our goal is to integrate these materials into existing production infrastructure with minimal modifications to the machinery, and if possible, without a cost increase of our products. We aim to develop a prototype of a battery-free electronic access system as well.

Key & Wall Solutions segment will obtain certifications for relevant products according to IEC/EN 62368-1, the new international safety standard of electrical and electronic equipment. Beta testing will be carried out for a new key cutting machine in partnership with one of the largest distributors of key cutting machines in Europe. The partner company will invite end users to test the new product in their labs to gather field data and feedback.

Offering safe product service during the Covid-19 pandemic

Interview with Christian Bauszus, Global Business Owner Services, dormakaba

Service colleagues around the world have been working on-site during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep our access and security solutions maintained for our customers. How did you handle this?

Early during the pandemic, we issued a global guidance for the service organization to ensure that neither our employees nor our customers are exposed to any undue risk of contagion. The guidance included best practices for hygiene as well as further recommendations directly related to services and installation work. One example is in physically demarcating allowed “touch points” on building property or construction sites. This included, for example, push plates, handrails, locking points, door handles and tablets or documents and pens. Hands-off everywhere else.

Other guidance included best practice examples of hygiene and hand-washing techniques, as well as Personal Protective Equipment, on bringing food from home rather than stopping at busy restaurants for lunch, daily updates on outbreaks and no-go areas, and recommendations to conduct service work outside of the customers’ regular business hours, etc. We also offered video conferencing and deployed augmented reality to enhance remote support services.

What kinds of customer service and communication processes did you set up?

This was managed based on the various local governmental regulations. We recommended local service teams to call the customer to understand special routines or measures on expected behavior before arrival. The guidance also included raising awareness of the safety guidelines for any subcontractors.

And we sought to support our customers not only with our services but also with our solutions, e.g., with upgrades of manual doors to touch-free automatic doors with respective sensor technology, wherever feasible, to give end users a better and more hygienic experience.

In Australia we also developed special checklists and procedures for field managers and service technicians for so-called Category 1 Sites, which included supermarkets, airports, hospitals and medical centers. And in the USA, we worked closely with our industry associations to deploy health and safety tips to our customers and provided direction on how to procure Personal Protective Equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic.


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