I want to ask a simple question: how often do you read the labels on your packaged food? Are you Person A, meaning you thoroughly inspect the label for hidden chemicals or cleverly-named additives, or are you Person B, which means you just toss the package/can in the cart because you know Uncle Sam won’t let companies put anything too crazy in the food?
If you’re Person A, then you’re a researcher and probably know what scientific lingo to look out for; however, if you’re Person B, you’re still pretty protected because the food is indeed regulated. Thankfully we have the Food and Drug Administration set in place to make sure our food is tested for good quality and honest labeling.
Let’s bring this same concept back to the dispatch world. If you’re not a researcher digging into the legitimacy of a company and its product, then WHO is regulating your height-adjustable desk for good quality and honest labeling?
Can You Measure Quality When It Comes to Dispatch Consoles?
Unfortunately, the advertising in the height-adjustable desk world is not so blatant, and you have to be a little more of a Person A to find quality and affordability. Many times you’ll hear different words used interchangeably for your desk, such as console, workstation, furniture, etc. Aren’t they all the same?
Well, not so much. If referring to specific terms, there are NO standards set forth for height-adjustable dispatch consoles. The closest parallel to the FDA in the dispatch world is the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA), who is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). BIFMA provides standards to furniture manufacturers, therefore a manufacturer in compliance with BIFMA standards has been tested to meet specific standards to ensure durability and long-term safety of their products.
However, these are all long names that regulate very simple problems. Have you ever heard someone at your center comment that the equipment around the center sure does get beat up? At most centers, it’s a given that we lean on desks, sit on counter tops, and when no one is looking, we even prop our feet up on those conveniently placed bookshelves. Similarly, some centers don’t have enough space for storage, so maybe a purse or lunch bag gets hung from a cabinet door.
These are all pretty common occurrences, but most of us don’t know that BIFMA and ANSI have set furniture standards to ensure that this normal wear and tear can be endured for several years.
What Kind of Quality Assurance Should You Look For?
How strong is the console? How long will it last? These are usually everyone’s favorite questions, and to find the answers, you may have to bring back in Person A, as the only way to know if a console is durable is if it’s been tested thoroughly. Some examples of certifications to look into for quality consoles include:
Racking resistance test
Storage unit drop test
Force test for door locks
Cycle test for extendible elements
These tests provide concrete, unbiased evidence that goes further than any good recommendation. Just like when taking an emergency call, all of the facts need to be known, and as much detail needs to be collected as possible. When tasked with a project like looking for new desks, often we need a little more reassurance than a generic statement saying that the desk is strong. Checking the facts on durability, along with making sure qualified parties are the ones who are performing these tests, leads to an objective perspective on what the desk can truly handle.