When fast-growing West Port’s full-time head of certification left the business, the company had a problem.
Always priding itself on an uncompromising commitment to excellence across the board, the firm was suddenly left without someone to oversee a crucial aspect of its business at a time when fenestration firms were under the spotlight more than ever before.
West Port quickly set about finding a replacement. But before long, thoughts turned to a more convenient and cost-competitive solution.
Enter up-and-coming third-party certification providers Bluesky. Bluesky offer a comprehensive certification service which independently verifies that a company’s windows and doors are manufactured exactly in line with the desired specification.
By focusing on the manufacturing process, rather than on paperwork, Bluesky requires its customers to achieve a high level of consistency in the quality of the manufactured product.
West Port Operations Director Andy Tyas takes up the story on why his firm is now adopting Bluesky’s fire door scheme.
“The Grenfell disaster was a much-needed wake-up call for everyone in UK construction. For years, we’ve been warning about the shockingly poor fire safety standards we’ve repeatedly seen across fenestration and other related sectors – but, tragically, it’s only now that many in our sector are starting to take the issue seriously.
“At West Port, fire safety has always been one of our highest priorities -subjected to rigorous testing by both Cambridge Fire Research and BRE, our FD30 door managed to withstand temperatures in excess of 900 degrees Celsius for 42, or 40% longer than the required BS Standards.
“But now we’ve decided to take that commitment even further. When it comes to saving people’s lives, compromise isn’t an option. We need to know that every door we ship is going to meet our exacting quality standards, not just for the first six months of production, or the first year, but for the entire time that the product is produced.
“That’s meant that Bluesky’s approach is the perfect fit for our business. They not only help us to ensure that every product we manufacture is of the highest quality possible – they’ve actually saved us money too.
“Thanks to the technical information that we now have, and because of the way Bluesky manage our certification, we haven’t needed to recruit a replacement for our internal manager. The burden of administrating certification has largely passed to Bluesky.
“At the same time, sufficient separation exists between us and Bluesky to ensure that their certification process remains independent and rigorous. This means that West Port can have confidence that the product warranty it passes onto its customer really means something.”
Phil Jones of Bluesky comments: “West Port’s primary business is fenestration not certification, but certification is a key part of the offering to the purchaser.
“With this in mind, we used our expertise to create a managed service for West Port. This means that we now hold West Port’s certification records and are able to notify them of updates and respond to technical questions regarding certification requirements.
“We’re delighted to be working with one of the UK’s leading timber manufacturers and look forward to continuing to build our relationship with them in the future!”
Combining time-honoured craftsmanship with cutting-edge manufacturing technology, Cumbria’s West Port offers something unique in UK glazing. Today, the firm employs more than 180 craftsmen and technicians, and operates from a 175,000-square foot factory kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment, the result of a far-sighted attitude that’s seen it invest extensively in boosting efficiency, improving quality and helping it continue to stand out from the crowd.