Why do we do it? Why does Macuch Steel endure the costs of maintaining our AISC certifications? Because we see the value and the results! While not all of the jobs hitting the streets are certified, what a difference there would be if more jobs specified an AISC Certified Company.
Quick Background: The American Institute of Steel Construction was founded in the 1920s to advance the interests of the structural steel design industry in the United States and better serve the overall construction industry. Since then, it has been the leader in research, education, code development, technical assistance, quality certification, and market development for steel construction.
One of the most important roles AISC plays is to certify that steel fabricators and erectors meet a rigorous — and constantly evolving — set of industry standards regarding quality, safety, administration, training, and more.
These certifications are not easy to get. Each takes some time and effort, not to mention expense, in order to qualify and maintain annually — so much so that some companies choose to skip getting certified entirely.
So what is the benefit of using an AISC Certified Fabricator and AISC Certified Erector? At Macuch Steel (we hold both certifications), we believe there are 5 main ones:
- Higher Quality
The prime differentiator between an AISC certified facility and one that isn’t is the level of quality control specified by AISC. Every important process, from contract and spec review to material identification to equipment calibration and testing to weld procedures, must adhere to standards and be documented in a Quality Management System to be followed by the certified company in their day-to-day operations.
For customers, this means that the final project and construction experience will have a superior quality with less errors and delays.
- Greater Accountability
Each AISC Certified Fabricator and AISC Certified Erector is subject to audit and physical inspection to make sure the company’s QMS isn’t just paying lip service to the standards, but that they are being applied throughout the company.
Hiring a fabricator and erector that is accountable to a third party for oversight gives the customer peace of mind that the firm not only knows what it is supposed to be doing, but is actually doing it.
- Leading Edge Technology and Standards
AISC works with many leaders in the construction industry, government entities, and the public to develop consensus standards and programs. As such, certification is the best way to ensure that the company you are hiring is exposed to the latest technological developments, building codes, and current best practices.
With so many changes happening in our industry at any given time, it pays to deal with a firm that stays up to date.
- Better Safety
One of the more obvious results of getting certified is the reduction in accidents and product failure thanks to the higher QC specs and greater training requirements for employees when compared with non-certified firms.
Every AISC Certified firm must develop procedures to identify non-conformance and implement corrective actions. The stress is on safety and providing the highest-quality product possible that will meet or exceed industry requirements.
- Improved Efficiency
AISC Certified Fabricators and Erectors tend to run more efficiently, since they have consistent processes and formal training procedures as mentioned above. In addition to making things safer, these factors also eliminate wasteful actions and save money — which can be passed down to the end customer through a more reliable and complete quote.
By using fabricators and erectors that pass the rigorous standards established by the AISC, you also prove that our industry can self-police and reduce burdensome government regulations and excessive interference.
While we are obviously a bit biased towards AISC certified firms (since we are one), it really is to your benefit to seek out a certified firm — even if the quote is slightly higher than a competing, non-certified company’s. In going that route, today’s minor savings might just add up to significant costs in the future.
Want to find out more about how our AISC certifications can benefit your next job? Call us today!