Dealership Glass Auto Glass announces that it’s the first member of the Ford Certified Glass Network (FCGN) in Washington State. Service manager Lloyd Ryan expects other vehicle manufacturers to follow suit in offering a service similar to Ford’s, which he says provides a system of checks and balances that ensures windshield installations are up to snuff.
“I’ve always been a big fan of systems, so if there’s a system we can adopt that can help us, I’m usually all in,” Ryan says, noting that Dealership Glass performs a lot of work on Fords. “It promotes access to their procedures, troubleshooting, calibration techniques and things of that nature. That was probably the biggest reason I wanted to pursue certification.”
Ford Motor Company’s initiative is designed to ensure that glass installation and calibration on Ford and Lincoln vehicles are performed to the highest quality standards. The program requires that all companies installing glass be accredited members of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC).
“The only thing I can compare it to would be the Auto Glass Safety Council,” Ryan says. “Other services, it’s just a subscription to access their software whereas with AGSC and FCGN, you get access to their systems but they also follow up on whether you’re meeting their requirements. So, they have a system of checks and balances and it’s the only one I’ve come across that has that part to it.”
Ford’s network prepares installation companies to meet emerging requirements for proper glass installation. An annual enrollment fee provides installers access to the Ford Workshop Manual, including glass installation and calibration procedures. Enrollment also comes with an assessment by a third-party specialist to ensure proper utilization of tools, equipment and training.
Ryan says the certification process begins by answering a series of questions related to operation location, number of employees, technician certifications, calibration equipment and more. Then, a third-party administrator heads to “provide some broad strokes on what they’re looking for.”
“It’s pretty extensive,” Ryan continues. “They inspect the shop, calibration equipment, software and they watch you do an installation. They make sure you have pre- and post-diagnostic scans and that you calibrate correctly; it’s pretty interesting.”
Ryan’s guess is that the future of calibration will require shops to enroll in such programs. He says calibration for certain Ford models, such as the 2021-22 Mach-E, requires an internet connection. If that connection dropped out, work came to a halt.
“When they released FCGN, I read about having access to updated software modules,” Ryan says. “I bet as the years progress if you want to calibrate, you’ll have to get on board with their systems. It’s just a guess, but I bet I’m right.”
Ryan says his technicians are all for pursuing developments that show an investment in competence. Ford customers made aware of the certification come away with the impression that they’re in capable hands.
“I absolutely think that’s the direction the industry is going to go, which was another reason to get on board with this one,” Ryan says. “I think going forward, all of the majors are going to have a similar process in place. This feels good and I’m glad we were able to successfully complete it.”
Visit the FCGN website to learn more about the program.