Black Hardware is now available

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Black hardware is back after a long hiatus. To meet the growing demand, we are now offering our levers, grips, and exit devices in black.

Design is trending towards darker finishes. If an architect or builder is tying into this overall aesthetic, looking to match other doors or even a wall, black hardware gives them a good and easy solution.

You can now find the black hardware option in the DoorBuilder tool, available through the distributor portal at

Important reminders

Sales Portal

There are some tools in your portal that can make your job easier. This is just a quick note to highlight a few ways you can use them to your advantage.

You can find some valuable key information available within our CRM, accessible through your portal. This includes distributor and installation contact information for your territory as well as sales to your distributors under your rep account.

Also, part of the sales pitch for Total Door products is the strict quality control we put into every aspect of our product production, delivery and installation. In order to achieve this stellar reputation certified installers are required to make sure the job is done correctly. It is in all our best interest that your distributors understand this and are educated in the project management process. As always, we are here to help should any of them run into a problem, including the availability of John Pierre to FaceTime with the installer during the process.

Feedback from the field


Ensuring that all of our products are made to comply with the strictest codes has always been a priority at Total Door. Lately we have been getting some good feedback that this is indeed an important selling point for our products.

We have heard from distributors that they find that Total Door being BHMA certified (including BHMA 156.32) is a meaningful selling point for them and to their customers. We have also heard that architects who have looked into our new SafeFrame™ system found the life safety certifications and smoke containment aspect of the product meaningful.

To create a deeper tie between our products and the building, fire, and life safety codes we adhere to, we are in the process of creating a Know Your Code eBook and interactive checklist. This will be available for download on our website once it is finished. It will be a useful guide for architects and contractors to use in their planning and building. And, of course, you and your distributors may find it handy, too.

Congratulations Candace Kitchen


Chances are you have had opportunities to interact with Candace Kitchen recently. And if you’ve seen her run the recent SafeFrame™ training sessions, you’ve seen her expertise and enthusiasm in action.

We are proud to announce that Candace has been promoted to Customer Service Specialist.

Her new role includes:

  • Handling design support calls
  • Researching opportunities to pass on to our Reps and Distributors
  • Reaching out to code officials to get confirmation for code compliance issues
  • Scheduling Zoom meetings, including running our SafeFrame launch webinars
  • Supporting the needs of our Reps and Distributors

Many of you have shared your positive experiences with Candace. Here is one we recently received: “I wanted to take this time to let you know what a help Candace has been to me over the past several months. She has been more than willing to help me at every turn, from explaining the ‘verbiage’ used in specifications, teaching me the ins and outs of Construct Connect, to assisting with reaching out to code officials, architects & end-users. She is always available, taking the ‘open door policy’ to another level. Even when she is out of the office, she still finds the time to answer my questions. Candace does all of this in a kind, caring manner – what a bonus! I consider Candace to be an integral part of our team, and I’m thankful I have her to turn to when I need a hand.”

We are thankful too. Congratulations, Candace.

The Total Door Systems SafeFrame Advantage

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From saving construction costs to saving time to saving lives – SafeFrame™ offers many advantages for you, and your customers.

SafeFrame provides a long list of benefits to you, including:

  • An exclusive solution for elevator shaft protection
  • Two simple measurements for ordering
  • Factory finished product for same-day installation of frame and door
  • Allows you to have total control of the opening and have fewer trades involved
  • Saves the cost of multiple trips to the job site
  • Pushes frame installation to the end of the project schedule
  • Eliminates the need for templating and coordination
  • Eliminates extra and separate shipments of materials to the job site
  • Adds profit to the contract

Installation Training Continues in Person


We are still offering installation training in person. These are now done with a smaller class size so we can be socially distant and remain safe.

Here are the upcoming dates for installation training/service seminars in 2021:

      • February 22 & 23, 2021
      • April 26 & 27, 2021
      • May 17 & 18, 2021
      • June 21 & 22, 2021
      • August 23 & 24, 2021
      • October 26 & 27, 2021
      • December 6 & 7, 2021

Next year’s dates for the combination sales & installation training are:

    • March 23 – 25, 2021
    • July 27 – 29, 2021
    • September 28 – 30, 2021
    • November 16 – 18, 2021

Coming soon: Installation Training in a Remote World

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With fewer people wishing to travel to Michigan for installation classes, we have decided to create a more robust Total Door Training Institute on our website. We want to create the entire installation training course as an online option.

To kick it off, we recently shot an installation video for our new SafeFrame™ product in our corporate showroom. John Pierre walks you through step-by-step instructions to install the entire system. It is the first of many to come.

We will introduce the complete video to you soon, as well as additional materials on SafeFrame.

Improvements for today. And tomorrow.

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As part of our ongoing efforts to create continuous improvement in our company, our process and our product, we have recently worked with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) to run a couple of Kaizen events.

The first Kaizen event took place in August focusing on our aluminum fabrication department. The second one took place in October, focusing on shipping and receiving. A third one is scheduled to go over our quality process. Eventually, we will do one for every part of the plant and even some departments in our home office.

Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning “good change.” Toyota referred to it as “continuous change” and used it in the 80s to improve quality and efficiency. Today, it’s part of lean manufacturing. It helps a company find and eliminate issues, shorten lead times and eliminate waste – both in materials and process. It is not a tool for eliminating people or demanding more without providing tools and strategies to do so.

A Kaizen event involves all of Total Door’s area experts, the plant manager, members of the executive team and the people who actually work in the area we are focusing on. It begins with a brainstorm outlining the things we want to address and areas that are of concern. Then we go into that area of the plant and start mapping out the processes involved.

For instance, in the aluminum fabricating area, we used the Kaizen process to look for where there was waste, including waste of movement. What does overproduction add into the process? How much waiting time is there and what does it add to the process? How does the layout affect it? We did a spaghetti diagram to see if there was too much time walking around in the process and adjusted the work flow.

Once we had the data and a plan of action, we went to work. We cleaned the whole area and got rid of old and outdated materials that no longer added to the process or needed to be there.

When we were done, we had 15 items to follow up on. It took us 30 days to achieve them. But it was well worth it. The department before this struggled to get a good score in our weekly 5S (Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain). Since our Kaizen event, it has consistently gotten 100% in their 5S. They are doing a great job following the new processes and keeping everything in it’s place.

By the time we have completed an event for every department, we will not only see improvement that everyone has been involved in, but we will have documented, sustainable, repeatable processes and procedures that will help when something new comes our way.

This is important since our business is all about creating customized doors. Things change every manufacturing cycle. Having processes in place that everyone is familiar with will keep us creating new and better products, no matter what your clients need in the future.

Upcoming Training and Webinars

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AEC Daily Live Webinar

There is one remaining AEC live webinar date this year for “Smoke Containment Strategies for Elevator Hoistways and Lobbies” with Jack Robbins.

  • Tuesday, December 8 at 2 p.m. EST.

Installation Training

Here are the upcoming dates for installation training/service seminars through 2021:

      • December 7 & 8, 2020
      • February 22 & 23, 2021
      • April 26 & 27, 2021
      • May 17 & 18, 2021
      • June 21 & 22, 2021
      • August 23 & 24, 2021
      • October 26 & 27, 2021
      • December 6 & 7, 2021

Next year’s dates for the combination sales & installation training are:

  • March 23 – 25, 2021
  • July 27 – 29, 2021
  • September 28 – 30, 2021
  • November 16 – 18, 2021

The more you know… your code.

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Most of our life safety conversations begin with an explanation of what the code requires. To support those conversations, we are planning an expansion of the “Know Your Code” section of our website. It will deliver more in-depth information that embodies the words “We’re the experts, so that you don’t have to be.”

This expanded section will have more product specific information. It will also map out how Total Door’s labeling, with code-specific information, is unique in our marketplace.

The Know Your Code page currently has a short list of need-to-know requirements related to elevator lobbies and door testing, including code-specific information for IBC and ASME, that can be downloaded. Here are the code sheets available now:

  • UL 1784 – Standards for Air Leakage Tests
  • IBC 3006.2.1 – Standards for Corridors Adjacent to Hoistway Openings
  • ASME A 17.1 – Standards for Additional Doors on Hoistway Openings

Total Door Systems 6145 Delfield Dr, Waterford, Michigan 48329
Ph: (800) 852-6660 | Fax: (248) 623-6866 |

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