By Chris Frederick
NPCA plant certification is recognized in 39 states and twice that many localities for work in the public domain, but there are distinct advantages in the private sector as well.
To qualify for certification, a precast plant must exceed a level of excellence defined by NPCA in accordance with industry standards in the NPCA Quality Control Manual for Precast Concrete Plants.
This takes a commitment to quality and an ability to raise the bar that is not lost on private contractors and engineering firms – as the more than 370 NPCA certified plants are finding.
Those processes and procedures give facilities an advantage when seeking work. Being able to stamp products with the “NPCA Certified Plant” mark gives specifiers peace of mind and provides plants a leg up through the bidding process.
Mike Worden of Concrete Systems Inc. in Hudson, N.H., understands this. Concrete Systems has been an NPCA Certified Plant since the program’s inception in 1987. Worden has seen the advantage that “NPCA Certified” not only brings with state DOTs but in private businesses as well.
Worden fully believes in the program benefits.
“Consistent quality throughout the industry with all members subscribing to the same high standards and following a common QA/QC program is highly important,” he said. “Being NPCA Certified instills confidence in the engineer, contractor and owner they are receiving a high-quality product that meets its expected design life.
“I have seen NPCA Plant Certification required in the private sector, not just on DOT projects. It provides credibility to all entities involved in construction of water, sewer, roads and heavy highway construction.”
Another longtime NPCA Certified Plant is Lindsay Precast in Alachua, Fla. Like Concrete Systems, Lindsay Precast can date its certification back to the program’s inaugural year.
Lindsay Precast CEO Ron Lindsay said the advantage to being a NPCA Certified Plant pays for itself on DOT contracts and then pays it forward in gaining work beyond the public sector.
“We use it as a selling point to owners, specifiers and contractors, and it has been an effective marketing tool for years,” Linsday said.
Being NPCA Certified adds instant credibility, Lindsay said. Contractors may not know you personally, but they know NPCA and what its program stands for.
“Being NPCA Certified is very helpful when presenting an alternative product to other competing materials,” Lindsay said. “It adds credibility in situations that specifiers might not be as familiar with the precast industry.”
Every facility, whether certified or not, needs a QA/QC program in place to manufacture quality precast. The NPCA Plant Certification program provides the required guidance necessary to manufacture these products.
Whether you are currently participating in the Plant Certification program or are thinking about joining, it is important to remember to use Plant Certification as a selling point in every job you bid on.
Being NPCA Certified is something to stand behind. It provides the support and credibility that can put a bid over the top – just as it has done for Concrete Systems and Lindsay Precast throughout the years. PI
Chris Frederick is senior director of membership and regulatory services at NPCA.