KINGSTON — The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce will be stepping up its campaign of encouraging micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to become certified in ISO quality management system and other equivalent certifications.
This has been stated by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Reginald Budhan, who also informed that a quality management system is integral to the improvement in the competitiveness of MSMEs.
"Enlightened companies are always sniffing around to find ways to improve their competitiveness, so that they can evolve. We want to see an exponential increase in companies certified to ISO 9001 quality management system and equivalent,” Mr. Budhan said.
The Permanent Secretary, who was speaking at the launch of a quality management workshop for MSMEs, yesterday April 19, at JAMPRO, in Kingston, encouraged managers of MSMEs to spend some time thinking strategically.
“One important strategic decision is to lead their companies to certification. A company that is certified will find that the management function is easier. The reason is that such a company will have systems in place that will show up non performers,” Mr. Budhan said.
He added that with a quality management system in place, product quality and the overall competitiveness of a product will improve. Mr. Budhan further noted that a good management system can help to make Jamaican businesses more competitive.
The Permanent Secretary informed that the Ministry will be holding more workshops on quality management, so that Jamaican companies across the MSME spectrum can become more competitive.
He pointed out that with the appropriate training in standards and quality, MSMEs will be in a better position to contribute to the economic recovery of Jamaica, as they compete effectively in the international market.
So far, 25 companies are currently certified to ISO 9001, while 10 companies have been certified to ISO 14001.
Meanwhile, Manager, National Certification Body of Jamaica, Sheryl Anderson informed that over the next eight weeks, 30 companies will be trained in ISO 9001quality management standard and the CRS 14, which is a CARICOM Regional Standard for quality management systems.
“We are going to teach how to implement both of these standards. We are going to teach you about internal auditing, route cause analysis, corrective action and that is really a crash course over the eight weeks,” Mrs. Anderson said.
In his remarks, Project Manager, CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality, Dr. Michael Seepersaud said that during the eight weeks of training, the participating MSMEs will be invited to become certified in the various quality management standards.
“The modules will provide in-depth coverage of the fundamental principles of quality management, such as customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, systems approach to management, continuing improvement, factual approach to decision-making and mutually beneficial supplier relationship,” he explained.
He urged participating companies to take advantage of the opportunities being presented. “I hope you share whatever you will learn with other MSMEs, because at the end of the day, we are looking for development in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean,” the Project Manager added.
The quality management workshop for MSMEs will be hosted by the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ), which provides affordable management systems certification services within Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, through committed and competent personnel and a certification decision, based on impartiality.
The unit has become the first certification body in the Caribbean region to be accredited to offer certification of management systems to both manufacturing and service industries, in the private and public sectors.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter