We would like to reassure that we have taken action in response to concerns brought to our attention about the quality of ring mechanisms – a fundamental component in our organiser products. In response to the petition organised by Kate Bernasconi earlier in the year, we responded that we were working closely with our ring mechanism supplier to mitigate issues. Since then we have reinforced this commitment by spending a great deal of time re-educating all suppliers involved in the chain on our quality expectations – not only the manufacturer of the ring mechanism component, but handling points, assembly (which is done by hand) and final inspection at our warehouse and distribution centre.
To explain further, our ring mechanism supplier is the largest in the world its field and they have excellent, world class production facilities. The ring mechanisms we buy are not their standard product and we have our own enhanced Filofax specification and quality criteria. This includes, amongst other things, their operatives regularly checking the product for consistency of ring dimensions, alignment, straightness, trigger tension, marks, dents or scratches during production. Filofax ring mechanisms are stored according to strict guidelines to ensure they maintain their structure.
When the ring mechanisms arrive at the organiser assembly point, another set of inspections are put in process during the hand assembly of our personal organisers. All fitters wear gloves when handling the products and supervisors are constantly carrying out random checks throughout assembly and the finished, assembled products are checked again at the packing stage. The organisers then undergo further, final QA checks when they arrive at our distribution centre. Unfortunately it is not practical to do a 100% check on all products received at our distributor centre although we have increased the rate of final inspection. Hopefully we are demonstrating that there are several points during manufacture, packing, shipping and warehousing process where someone is physically handling and checking the mechanism against numerous criteria.
Whilst we would obviously have expected this detailed checking process to happen as a matter of course, sometimes in any manufacturing process, it is necessary to re-educate all parties involved. We hope this will result in far fewer unsatisfactory products getting into the hands of consumers. The re-education and heightened measures have been introduced recently and products that have gone through this process are in the system.
Whilst there has been lots of comments about ring mechanism quality in the social community in recent months, we do believe that as a percentage of our total worldwide production, these issues amount to less than 1%. Of course we hope that the actions outlined above ultimately reduce this and we will continue to address any individual consumer concerns quickly and appropriately through our customer services team.
Thank you to Filofax for taking our concerns seriously