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Quality Times | News and updated from the AWI Quality Certification Corporation Q
In This Issue:
What's New
•  Friendly Reminder: 2010 Renewals are Underway
•  QCP Interest Remains Strong Despite Slow Construction, Poor Economy
•  Tips for Easing the Transition to the AWS
•  The View from Here
•  Preparing for a Biennial Inspection
Tech Talk
•  What Fell Off the Truck...or Should Have
•  Comings and Goings
Rep. Spotlight
•  Jan Boutrese
Q
What's New
Friendly Reminder: 2010 Renewals are Underway

We are very well aware that the economic environment is the most challenging it has been in more than a generation. We know that you are working harder to earn less, and that every additional cost is painful. In contrast to the mild deflation which has impacted the American economy, operating costs for the AWI Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) have increased. There will be no increase in fees for 2010. We are working diligently to lower our costs while increasing and improving the services that we provide to you and your company.

Renewal invoices, which were distributed on Nov. 1 to all currently accredited participants, are due by 11:59 PM EST on Dec. 31, 2009. Companies that submit after this date will be charged a $300 late fee, so be sure to renew now in order to avoid additional costs. Click here to renew online (requires a username and password.)

According to Q-program policies, all current participants are required to renew their accreditation annually. The renewal process involves two steps:

  1. Payment of renewal fees (see fee schedule below.)
  2. Sign and date the AWI QCC Code of Ethics agreement.

Renewal Fees
AWI Members = $1,100
Non-AWI Members = $2,500

Those who have not yet been Q-accredited for one full year are also required to renew; however in this instance, renewal fees will be pro-rated according to application date. Please refer to your invoice for details. 

QCP Interest Remains Strong Despite Slow Construction, Poor Economy

Data indicate architects see increased value in the Q
The number of Q-accredited woodworkers, project registrations and certified projects continue to rise despite the economic downturn and slowing in the construction industry. The number of Q-applicants has grown 52 percent since 2006, when the economy first showed signs of slowing. The number of projects registered and certified projects has increased 43 percent and 35 percent respectively, during the same timeframe. “Even more impressive,” says AWI QCC Executive Vice President Craig Elias, “is that the number of architects who withdrew the QCP specification has fallen steadily during this time, indicating architects see increased value in the quality assurance benefits of the Q, particularly at a time when more and more potentially unqualified companies are pursuing QCP projects as a means to survive.”

Tips for Easing the Transition to the AWS

With the release of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) comes the requirement for Q-accredited woodworkers to comply with new methods of fabrication, finishing and installation. This could be a daunting task, particularly for those who utilized the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI) for so many decades. To make matters more challenging, it is likely that the complete transition to the AWS will last several years, during which time woodworkers will need to be proficient in both sets of standards. Here are some suggestions for making the transition to the AWS a little easier:

  1. Look at the three most common items your company manufactures. Open both sets of standards and figure out where the common ground is between the way you manufacture and what each standard allows. You may find that minor changes to your standard operating procedures will allow you to meet either both standards or easily adapt to one or the other if so needed on a job-per-job basis.
  2. Include engineering and production management in this process. They have to draw it and build it. Certainly include estimating and project management in the process as well.
  3. Use the opportunity to create a “what-if” sheet that identifies what technique you’ll employ for each standard, understanding that the QSI will be phased out over the next few years. Distribute this “what-if” sheet to all necessary parties. If your engineering technology allows it, build these options into your CAD, CNC and/or other parametric templates.
  4. Once you have done this for your three most common products, move on to your next three. The second time around will go much faster. 

This exercise will bring everyone up to speed on the standards, their differences, and more importantly, how you can leverage the standards and your company’s strengths to be prosperous during the transition.
For more information, click here to visit the AWS portion of the Web site FAQs.

The View from Here
By Dean Rummel, President, AWI QCC and TMI Systems Design

Preparedness is key
As we prepare to put a wrap on 2009, we need to be extremely diligent about our businesses in 2010 and beyond. Anticipate a longer recovery in the construction industry than what has occurred in the past. Current projections are for a continued reduction in new building construction for 2010. Since construction generally lags the recovery of the overall economy, the most challenging years for the woodworking industry might be 2011 and 2012. However, those who have prepared their balance sheet for challenging economic times and those who are in a position of financial strength have some great opportunities, such as: 

  • Woodworking equipment. New and used equipment can be secured for bargain prices. Now may be the time to update before inflation increases and the value of the dollar declines further.
  • Talented people. Many individuals in our industry are unemployed or under-employed. Now is the time to hire talented, creative and multi-skilled people.
  • Raw material. Prices are stable, and at times, declining. Vendors in the industry are fiercely competitive.  
  • Improve processes. Increase efficiency, reduce rework, identify the “root cause” of problems and eliminate problems to save time and money.
  • Explore other markets. Woodwork, millwork and casework are used in multi-family housing, stores, shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, schools, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, museums, jails, courthouses, religious buildings, transportation terminals, stadiums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Although this may take you out of your “comfort zone,” in a down economy you might have to try a different market for your product.  
  • Enlist the help of the QCP. The AWI Quality Certification Program delivers a valuable service to our industry. It levels the “playing field” and assures those who utilize it that the products manufactured and installed by the industry maintain a level of quality, customer satisfaction and acceptance. Certification is one of those investments that reap a rapid reward, but can sometimes be difficult to measure. I encourage you to promote the QCP along with your organization as you explore the various markets and capitalize on these very challenging times.  

Preparing for a Biennial Inspection

According to program policies, Q-accredited woodworking firms must be re-inspected every two years. Following the steps below will help the re-inspection process go smoothly:

  1. Make shop drawings available to your Q-representative for review prior to or during the biennial inspection.
  2. Refer to the sample criteria list included with your application. During inspection, your Q-representative will inspect samples of work in sections you want to certify. If you do not already have samples of these items in your plant, you will be required to manufacture them in preparation for the biennial inspection.
  3. Previously completed work in place is an acceptable sample, but must not be older than two  years. Be prepared to document the timeframe.
  4. Submit proof that the same management team was in place for all QCP projects provided as samples. This may be substantiated in the form of payroll records of any type of correspondance confirming dates of employment.
  5. If non-compliant samples are found, you will be required to submit compliant samples within 60-days of notification in order to retain accreditation in that section.
  6. If your firm was previously accredited for premium-grade in a particular section, but your biennial inspection sample passes for custom-grade, you may accept the level change or you may produce and submit premium-grade compliant samples within 60-days of notification in order to retain premium-grade accreditation in that section.
  7. If samples of some previously certified sections are unavailable during the biennial inspection, you will retain certification in those sections for the current period. However, inspection of samples in these sections on or before the next biennial inspection is mandatory in order to retain certification in these sections.

Additional Tips from the Reps

  1. During your next project that calls for items in the sections and grades for which you are accredited, make 2 additional pieces and set them aside for the next biennial inspection. For example, if you have to make 50 premium-grade plastic laminate cabinets, make 52 and store the two extra.
  2. If there is a project on the horizon which includes work in all or the majority of the sections within your scope of accreditation, contact your Q-representative and ask if you can use this project for your biennial inspection. Timed properly, this will allow you to avoid making samples, thus keeping your costs lower. 

Q
Tech Talk
What Fell Off the Truck...or Should Have
By Ashley Goodin, Q-representative

The “QCP culture” in the shop
In my experience as a former owner and project manager, there is nothing more frustrating than having punch list items or call-backs on a project for minor issues that should have never appeared on the project in the first place. These errors are costly, sometimes difficult to repair or replace in the field and have the potential to damage your reputation with the customer and contractors.


As I travel throughout my territory, I take time to discuss with woodworkers the “QCP culture” in their shops. A large part of this culture is quality control at the plant, before the products are shipped for installation. Many errors in the machining of standing and running trim for instance can be corrected prior to finishing. If your finisher is aware of the Standards and grade for the project, they will be able to identify production flaws and correct them prior to finishing. For example, the trim in the photo shows mill marks through the finish. The evaluation for compliance of interior and exterior millwork is stated in the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), section 6, page 153. This section of trim was clearly not sanded to 120 grit as is required for premium grade per section 6-4.3.1.1.3.3. Had this piece of trim been installed, it would have been considered a deficiency in need of correction. Multiply this error over an entire project and you get the picture of the cost involved for correction.


Products with defects such as this should never be shipped. If your entire production team is aware of the quality that is expected of them and is actively participating in the “QCP culture,” project inspection and certification will return fewer deficiencies, leading to fewer corrections in the field.

Comings and Goings

The AWI QCC extends immense gratitude to Rick Kogler, who has completed his term on the AWI QCC Board of Directors. Rick is a long-time advocate of the QCP. He began his involvement in 1996, alongside QCP founder Lee Biagiotti, and was instrumental in the development of many facets of the program, including the first Policy Manual. He has also been actively involved with the creation of the Standards for the past 17 years, offering strong support for the recently released AWS. Rick served on nearly every AWI committee during his tenure, and was elected AWI President in 2005-2006. Rick will continue his involvement in the architectural woodwork industry with Strategic Development, a company he founded that provides business consulting services to woodworkers, contractors and architects. We wish him great success in future endeavors!  

 

The AWI QCC welcomes Matt Lundahl, Meyer and Lundahl, to the AWI QCC Board of Directors. Matt became involved in his family’s architectural woodwork shop early on. After high school and three years in Hawaii where he honed his skills as a finish carpenter and an estimator for a small general contractor, Matt returned home to the family business and continued his education in construction management at Arizona State University. He has worked in all facets of the business: cabinet making, machine operator, drafting, installation, scheduling, project management and senior management. Matt is heavily involved in AWI, and currently serves on the AWI Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Central Arizona committee for the Apprentice school for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.  

 

“Rozie” Roznovak has joined the team of AWI QCC representatives. A 1978 graduate of the University of Houston with a B.S. in Technology, C.L. Roznovak or “Rozie” as he likes to be called, has been involved in woodworking for over 30 years, primarily in Texas and Utah. Rozie began his career as an apprentice and transitioned to trim carpenter, cabinetmaker, lead furniture maker, shop foreman and ended in the office. For the past 22 years, Rozie worked with premium grade architectural millwork and was responsible for estimating, sales and project management. He resides in Wimberley, TX, and will be responsible for conducting plant and project inspections throughout the state.

 

Justine Godown joined the AWI QCC staff as Manager of Projects. In this role, she will be responsible for all project-related administration, including project registration, project inspections and label/certificate of compliance orders. Justine began her career in hospitality design. In 1999, she joined an architectural design firm in San Clemente, CA, where she worked in the Construction Management and Administration department and was involved in several public school housing projects. She also worked with the California Division of the State Architect (DSA). In 2005, she became architectural liaison to the DSA for their Lower Education Division. In a volunteer role, Justine assisted with California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing, where she was responsible for organizing extensive meetings for the California DSA’s transition to digital submittals.  

 

Roxanne Bowen joined the AWI QCC staff as QCC Coordinator. In this role, she will work closely with Credentialing Manager Jennica Nishida. She will also assist the entire AWI QCC staff with day-to-day responsibilities. Roxanne has more than nine years of administrative experience in a professional office environment. She recently relocated to the Northern Virginia area from South Florida.

Q
Rep. Spotlight
Jan Boutrese

Jan (pronounced Yon – rhymes with Gone) is the Q-representative responsible for conducting plant and project inspections in parts of the Carolinas, Tennessee and other parts of the southeastern United States. He has served as a Q-representative for about a year. Jan was born and educated in the Netherlands. He got his start in the woodwork industry as a cabinetmaker and draftsman. Jan and his wife Debbie started Hardwood Designs, which they owned and operated for 25 years. His son, Brian, a Ph.D. candidate at NC State University, helped implement various IT components for Hardwood Designs, which contributed to the firm’s success. Along the way, Jan honed his project management and customer service skills, eventually becoming CEO of the firm he founded. Though Hardwood Designs was recently acquired by new owners, the company continues to thrive based on strong business relationships with well-known companies such as Duke University, the University of North Carolina and Glaxo Smith Kline. Jan and Debbie reside in Durham, NC. 

Fourth Quarter, 2009
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Congratulations to the following companies that recently earned Q-accreditation. Look for these and more than 500 other Q-accredited woodworkers at www.awiqcp.org.

 

Superior Millwork, LLC 
Wilmington, NC 
Date accredited: 12/9/2009 
Premium grade: 300, 400a, 400b, 400c and 1700

 

Horizon Millwork Manufacturing 
Wayne, MI 
Date accredited: 12/10/2009 
Premium grade: 300-600 and 1500-1700

 

Cooper Cabinet Systems 
Oklahoma City, OK 
Date accredited: 12/2/2009 
Premium grade: 400a, 400b, 400C, 600 and 1500 - 1700

 

M&J General Contractors, LLC 
Smiths Grove, KY 
Date accredited: 12/7/2009 
Premium grade: 500, 600, 1500 and 1700

 

Modern Woodcrafts, LLC 
Plainville, CT 
Date accredited: 12/2/2009 
Premium grade: 300-500, 700, 900 and 1400-1700

 

Hackney Millwork, Inc. 
West Point, VA 
Date accredited: 12/8/2009 
Premium grade: 300, 400a, 400b, 400c, 600, 1500 and 1700

 

Fixture Concepts, Inc. 
Saint Peters, MO 
Date accredited: 12/2/2009 
Premium: P400a, P400b, P400C, P500, P900 and P1400-1600  

 



AWI QCC Board of Directors


QCC President
Dean G. Rummel
TMI Systems Design
Corporation
Dickinson, ND


Steve Bialek
ISEC Inc.
Englewood, CO  

Tim Byrne
Woodbyrne Cabinets
St. Louis, MO

Doug Carney
R & S Casework, Inc.
Fargo, ND

Philip Duvic *
Architectural Woodwork
Institute
Potomac Falls, VA

Shows Leary
Shows Leary Project
Management
Petersburg, NY

Matt Lundahl
Meyer and Lundahl
Phoenix, AZ

William A. Munyan, AIA, CSI
R&M Group PLLC
Charlotte, NC

Patrick Nartker *
2008-2009 AWI
QCC Treasurer
Ted Bolle Millwork, Inc.
Springfield, OH

Greg Shenkler
Skanska Building USA
Raleigh, NC


* ex officio
 

The board, which convenes in the fall each year, is responsible for program oversight, including policies and budgets.

 

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