ABSTRACT

A guide to help buyers, specifiers, users and material suppliers formulate and assess perceptions of the quality of manufacturers and fabricators of FRP corrosion resistant equipment. Presentation reviews oral and written communications and makes a visit to a vendor?s facility with an emphasis on identifying the true indicators of the quality and integrity of the products as well as the company. Provides the user and manufacturer of FRP equipment a means to judge the image and perceptions of companies and products.

INTRODUCTION

This presentation is about perceptions of quality manufacturers and fabricators of FRP corrosion resistant equipment. Some buyers and users have experienced specialists that qualify vendors and inspect fabricated equipment. Some use third party consultants. Unfortunately, many more do not have in house capability, prefer not to use third parties, and rely solely on price in making vendor selections.

Consultants have been in a number of shops and have seen a fair amount of equipment both in vendors? shops and in the users? plants. The perspective and perceptions of consultants are different than those of a fabricator or user. Some, like the author, were fabricators and have a good practical understanding of the fabricator?s role, responsibilities and business.

Look at some definitions first. What are perceptions ? According to Webster?s dictionary, perceptions are a consciousness; an observation; a mental image; a physical sensation interpreted in light of experience; or an appreciation. What is quality? Webster lists eight thoughts for quality: a peculiar and essential character; an inherent feature; a degree of excellence; superiority in kind; social status: or rank; a distinguishing attribute; an acquired skill; the attribute of an elementary sensation that makes it fundamentally unlike any other sensation. And there are also two very good synonyms, stature and caliber.

Whose perceptions should be considered? Customers?, suppliers?, competitors?, employees?, neighbors?, and even regulators?. And what creates perceptions? Written and verbal communications, participation in industry activities, plant visits, and finally, the product itself. Each of these creates or generates perceptions. Fabricators communicate quality every hour of every day in just about every contact that is made. Outsiders form impressions, good and bad, from interactions with the fabricator. Somebody answers the phone. Somebody else greets a trucker making a delivery, or a visitor walking in the front door.

This review is intended to stimulate the buyer and user?s thinking in the appraisal and evaluation of fabricators based on some of these perceptions. Fabricators and material suppliers will also benefit from a slightly different perspective.

When thinking about perceptions and quality, the first thought is likely product related. There?s nothing wrong with that. These products shout quality. And it doesn?t matter whether it?s good or bad. But what else creates perceptions?

Consider the position of an outsider, and take a candid and objective view of a fabricator company. The image, perception, and performance of a company, based on a personal experience, will be more realistic than any created here. Using this discussion outline as a guide, focus on the impressions that an outsider would have of this vendor.

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