D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — IDA Approves Stronger Code of Business Conduct

© 2004 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2004
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 48

IDA Approves Stronger Code of Business Conduct
10 Questions for IDA President Garry Stewart

In October 2003, the International Door Association (IDA) board of directors approved a new, stronger, mandatory Code of Business Conduct (CBC) for Installing Dealers. To help us understand the new changes, we talked to IDA President Garry Stewart, owner of Doorman Service Company in Kent, Wash.

1. How did the new Code of Business Conduct come about, and how would you summarize the new changes?

During its annual review of the Code, the Membership Committee recommended amendments to the IDA board of directors, and the board unanimously approved the amendments. The IDA membership also voted to adopt the amendments.

The major changes to the Code include new sections on Customer Satisfaction, Truth in Selling, Contracts, and Warranties.

2. What spurred the IDA’s interest in revising the CBC?

The Code helps the IDA fulfill its mission “to provide services and programs to door and access systems dealers that enhance their professionalism and value.” Thus, the Code addresses professionalism and adds value to both the dealer and the consumer.

3. What are the primary benefits of a stronger CBC?

The most significant benefit of a viable CBC is that it provides dealers with a standard code and establishes a higher degree of ethical business continuity for dealers.

4. Is it now mandatory for all IDA dealer-members to comply with the CBC?

Effective Jan. 1, 2004, the Code became mandatory for IDA membership. Although this was a recommendation of the Membership Committee and adopted unanimously by the board of directors, it was the association’s membership who had the final say. The membership voted overwhelmingly in favor of a mandatory Code, and the association’s bylaws were amended accordingly.

5. Some of the items in the CBC say that dealers “should” adopt certain practices, while other items say that dealers “shall” adopt certain practices. Does this mean that certain CBC items (the “shall” items) are more important than others (the “should” items)?

Dealers are expected to honor and fulfill all aspects of the Code. Although the word “should” is used three times in the Code, the expectation of compliance is no less important than when the word “shall” is utilized.

6. Has IDA developed a procedure for how Code violations are reported and investigated?

The association’s legal counsel has prepared, and the board adopted, a formal enforcement procedure. In order for an alleged Code violation to be accepted, it must first be submitted in writing and signed by the complaining individual or his/her representative.

Written complaints are filed with the IDA managing director, who then initially carries out the enforcement process at the direction of the association’s board of directors. If deemed necessary, the association’s legal counsel will be called upon for enforcement administration and execution.

7. What can a dealer do when his/her company has been reported for a CBC violation?

The dealer can respond in writing to the allegation. In all cases thus far, the dealer has handled the complaints to the satisfaction of the consumer, and no additional action has been taken or required.

8. If a Code violation is verified, what happens?

Penalties of the Code include but are not limited to (1) a letter of reprimand, (2) suspension of membership in IDA for a stated period, or (3) permanent expulsion from IDA membership, including withdrawal of IDA-sanctioned credential.

9. What kind of reaction to the new Code have you received so far?

The favorable vote of the membership was a positive reaction. Also, 2004 membership renewals are being received at a normal rate, with zero resignations due to the mandatory Code.

10. Have you received any reports of Code violations yet?

There have not been any formal complaints filed under the mandatory Code. Under the previous voluntary Code, several consumer complaints were received. None required any sanctions by the IDA. All complaints were resolved by notifying the dealer of alleged discrepancies. In almost all cases, the dealer was unaware of the discrepancy or issue.

The new Code of Business Conduct is available online at www.doors.org. Find it in the What’s New section.