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As the DQP programme reaches 100, Stephanie Dawkins looks at how the programme increases standards

Last month, we reached a major milestone for a UK air conditioning manufacturer with the signing of our 100th DQP or Diamond Quality Partner.

That’s 100 key Partners who have made a serious public commitment to achieving the highest standards of design, installation and commissioning of our equipment – and 100 companies that have seen the value in helping raise the bar for standards across the UK’s HVAC industry.

And that’s not just in terms of the quality of their actual work. The rigorous annual process also examines all aspects of their business, including training, financial wellbeing and compliance.

With this milestone let’s raise a glass in recognition and celebration of these pioneering companies

Stephanie Dawkins Stephanie Dawkins Partner Programme Marketing Co-ordinator

True pioneers

As one of the largest global manufacturers of air conditioning, chillers, ventilation and renewable heating systems, we have been proud of the innovation and quality produced by our designers and our production facilities during our 100-year history. 

And we have always supported and encouraged our Partners to aim for the highest levels of quality in the work they deliver to the UK construction market, whether that is a small, start-up installer serving a local market, or a nationwide provider.

That’s why Partners are offered free training, extended warranties and a full set of marketing and product support.

With our DQP programme though, we wanted to take this aim of total quality to the next level and we believe their commitment also sets them up as true pioneers in raising the bar for the industry.

Mutually beneficial

When we originally developed our Partner Programme over a decade ago, we were looking for a way to build a mutually beneficial relationship with our customers that would go beyond mere discounts.

We wanted to build long standing relationships that would enable our Partners to grow their business with us, and clearly demonstrate their commitment to delivering the highest standards for their own customers.

We wanted to recognise the engagement with these companies, and set up different statuses as an Approved Installer (AI), and a Business Solutions Provider (BSP) – the higher the status, the more support we could offer in terms of both warranty extensions, products support and marketing collateral.

Raising standards

When we relaunched our Partner scheme in 2017, we added another level of engagement to take this even further by including independent verification. Subjecting themselves to scrutiny in this way, allows our DQP’s to clearly demonstrate their work as a mark of excellence within the industry.

This means that these Partners – the customers who purchase products from us and on whom we as a manufacturer are dependent, are willing to subject themselves to regular independent audits of one of their installations, along with verification of their business acumen.

And in return, we were able to offer them extended warranties on our equipment of 10 years, meaning that they can pass this on as an added value to their customers and set themselves apart from other companies as leaders in quality HVAC installations.

Long term relationships

The scheme has grown from 23 DQPS in the early days to 100 now, all of whom have to adhere to regular site audits.

Arranging these site visits has been difficult to schedule during the COVID pandemic, but we have still been able to achieve this huge milestone and we are grateful to both the independent auditors and our customers for their flexibility in these challenging times.

We believe the relationship with all of our partners is invaluable and we are continuing to look at new ways we can improve and streamline processes to reduce turnaround times.

The work to increase added value continues with our DQPs, and this includes piloting online purchasing and e-commerce with them, so that we can also improve the levels of service we can provide to all Partners and to the wider market.

In reaching the 100 milestone though we hope you’ll allow us a moment to raise a glass in recognition and celebration of these pioneering companies.

Stephanie Dawkins is Partner Programme Marketing Co-ordinator