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Homebase invests in FIRA Gold Certification
Homebase has become the only kitchen retailer to receive the Furniture Industry Research Association Gold certification for both its fitted kitchens and installation services. FIRA Gold certification is a mark of excellence awarded by the furniture industry to show that products and installation processes are of the highest standard and will be continually audited for consistent high quality.
Homebase initially received FIRA Gold accreditation for its kitchen installation service in July 2007, and has now received FIRA Gold accreditation for its kitchen products too. Having seen the benefit of FIRA Gold certification for installation, achieving FIRA Gold certification for products was identified as the next step in Homebase's progression in ensuring customer satisfaction.
Homebase already holds a reputation for offering high quality customer service, with a recent Ipsos Mori poll showing nine out of 10 customers gave an excellent or good response when asked about their satisfaction with Homebase kitchen installation. FIRA Gold certification will ensure this high level of service is maintained and provide consumers with confidence that Homebase fitted kitchens and kitchen installation have been assessed against specified performance levels through independent tests and evaluation.
FIRA will ensure consistency in production quality through regular audit testing and inspections to check that kitchen furniture manufactured by Homebase provides a high level of performance. This, coupled with all Homebase installation teams having FIRA Gold accreditation, means that Homebase installation will be carried out to the highest standard time after time, giving further reassurance to customers.
Established 60 years ago, FIRA has unparalleled industry knowledge. The organisation works to raise performance throughout the furniture supply chain by offering research, information, testing, consultancy, customer service and aftersales service to the furniture and DIY markets.
"Homebase is delighted to be recognised by FIRA once again, in achieving Gold certification for fitted kitchen products," enthuses Ian Jones, Homebase retail and distribution director. "We are now in a unique position as the only kitchen retailer holding both FIRA Gold certifications for product and installation service."
"Achieving FIRA Gold certification for our kitchen furniture means we have not just reached minimum standards but have exceeded them through independent testing and evaluation by FIRA. The certification will ensure that our high consumer confidence in Homebase products and installation is maintained to ensure a high quality installation service with high quality products."
Jonny Westbrooke, chief operating officer at FIRA says: "As the UK's second largest home improvement retailer, it is fantastic news that Homebase has received both FIRA Gold product and installation certification. This is also great news for Homebase customers who can be assured that fitted kitchens purchased from or installed by Homebase will be of the highest standard. Ensuring fitted kitchens are thoroughly tested is more important than ever, particularly now that the BSI Kitemark for fitted kitchens has been withdrawn."
Homebase is planning to promote its new accreditation through PR and marketing, with reference to FIRA Gold certification included in Homebase brochures, points of sale, website and press releases. This shows that FIRA Gold accreditation also offers a unique selling point which differentiates retailers and manufacturers from their competitors, as well as ensuring high quality products and installation for consumers.
FIRA Gold gives specifiers, purchasers or contractors absolute reassurance that products meet the necessary and latest British, European and International standards. Products are tested through a recently updated independent third party product validation scheme for all types of furniture products and components. The initial product assessment is in-depth, objective and thorough. It covers, amongst other things, workmanship, ergonomics, strength and stability, finish performance and effects of atmosphere on a product. There is also an annual factory audit to ensure a factory produces the product to the same standards of the original assessment of furniture.
FIRA Gold Installation Certification
The FIRA Gold Installation Certification has also been designed with companies that install domestic products into consumers' homes in mind. The FIRA Gold Installation Certification scheme is the recognised installation approval scheme specifically designed for the furniture and kitchen industries. The FIRA Gold Installation Certification ensures consistency across all jobs and provides a template of standards to work to.
To achieve a FIRA Gold Installation Certification, a company must be able to demonstrate that the installers used are suitably qualified and that all necessary procedures, documentation and quality standards are in place. In addition, FIRA experts audit a selection of installations to ensure the procedures are being followed and standards met.
T: 01438 777 700
6th May 2011