Jin Luo - Executive Vice President of Laboratory Recognition & Asia Pacific Operations
“Going international” has become a trend for many large organizations and corporations to embrace in today’s global economy, but this is not something new to The IAPMO Group. With the first word of IAPMO being “International”, The IAPMO Group’s goal “to promote international public health and safety with environmental awareness” has led our efforts beyond U.S. borders for decades. For more than 20 years, IAPMO’s Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC®) has been introduced to many countries around the world. Today, the UPC has been either implemented directly or used as a guide to develop plumbing regulations in many countries in Asia and the Middle East. In addition, the IAPMO Group has also developed a series of plumbing codes specifically used in other countries, such as the UPC-I for India and SNI 8153:2015 for Indonesia.
As for IAPMO R&T, although our certification program is designed mainly for plumbing product certifications required in the North American countries of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, our services are extended even further. In fact, numerous manufacturers around the world choose IAPMO R&T’s certification services when they want to bring their products to the North America market. Our certifications serve manufacturers representing more than 40 countries, from every part of the world.
Back in the year 2000, IAPMO Group leadership envisioned the potential of the Asia-Pacific region and thus strategically set up an IAPMO R&T office in Beijing, China. This move gave us several years of advantage over other competing organizations to build relationships with governmental and industrial associations, as well as leading manufacturers in the region. Today, as the result of these close relationships with key organizations and industry leaders, our cUPC® certification program is very well recognized and chosen by the manufacturers in Asia, which contributed greatly to the significant growth of our program in recent years.
As another example of IAPMO R&T being recognized in other countries and regions, The IAPMO Group’s CEO and COO were invited as VIP guests in May to attend the opening ceremony of the Taiwan Plumbing Renovation Institute located in Changhua, a historical town in central Taiwan that makes plumbing valves. This invitation is a true testimony to IAPMO’s international outreach, highlighting IAPMO’s contribution to the Taiwan plumbing industry, with its first faucet exported to the United States being certified by IAPMO R&T in 1986.
IAPMO R&T’s leading position as the world largest certification organization for plumbing products is also recognized by organizations and government agencies when seeking help to deal with plumbing product certification and regulations. In early 2016, representatives from the Taiwan government’s Bureau of Standards, Metrology, and Inspections (BSMI) visited IAPMO R&T to discuss the implementation of low-lead regulation through certification. As the organization having issued the majority of the low-lead certifications in the United States, IAPMO R&T’s experience has proven to be essential for the agency in Taiwan to regulate the lead content from drinking faucets in their home region.
The continued rapid growth of IAPMO R&T’s product certification program would have been not possible without the involvement and support of international organizations and manufacturers. It remains our top priority to continue our participation in international activities in the future.
Ohannes Dembekjian - Executive Vice President of Continuous Compliance
As 2016 comes to an end, the Continuous Compliance department of IAPMO R&T prepares to finish another successful year. This year brought increasing challenges exuding from the steady growth of our certification program. Each year, the continuous compliance department performs inspections in compliance with ISO 17020 for all locations that manufacture and/or warehouse IAPMO certified products worldwide. In order to meet this demand, we employ knowledgeable inspectors located in strategic geographic regions, ensuring the best, fastest, and most efficient customer service, conducting inspections usually in the local language and by inspectors familiar with the local culture. We take pride in our striving to have the most capable inspectors in the industry.
This year, as in years past, we accomplished this goal by holding our annual Inspector Training Seminar, an in-depth, two-day event where all of our inspectors from around the world gather at IAPMO headquarters. This meeting is crucial to the success of the department, as it is here that our inspectors are retrained on all of IAPMO R&T certification programs. They conduct one-on-one exercises, have an opportunity to discuss their challenges and market trends, and the event provides a forum for discussion, where the newer inspectors can learn from the most experienced members of the team, a resource that has proven to be invaluable.
In order to maintain the highest level of trust and credibility in the IAPMO R&T certification marks, this year our Continuous Compliance Retesting program continues to retest hundreds of certified products. This program ensures that certified products, even after their initial certification process, continue to be in compliance with the applicable plumbing code and standard, whether it is for the U.S., Canadian, or Mexican market.
The Continuous Compliance department understands the importance of providing excellent customer service and strives to attain the highest customer satisfaction ratings in alignment with IAPMO R&T’s 97 percent customer satisfaction goals. Our hard working professional office staff and highly trained team of field inspectors ensure our goals are met by engaging in honest and continuous communication with our customers, assisting them directly, or by providing a point of contact with IAPMO to assist their needs. In order to ensure our goals are on track for the year. We employ customer satisfaction surveys, issued after every inspection performed. This provides a direct link between our client and our department in which the facility personnel can directly inform us of the quality of service provided. We are excited to state that our customer satisfaction results for this year exceed the 97 percent baseline.
We look forward to continuing this established trend and strive to enhance it further for the coming year. At the end of the day, we say to our valued customers: Thank you for your continued support of our listing programs. We also appreciate very much your business and look forward to serving you again.
For more information on having plumbing and mechanical products certified, direct your Web browser to www.iapmort.org or call (877) 4-UPC-MARK.