Businesses Need To Adhere To Standards

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A regional consultant is unhappy with the slow pace of adhering to standards by some businesses, despite a proliferation of information about improving their output.

Principal Advisor with the Jamaican-based HBS Consulting firm, Hermon Edmondson, made this observation today, while delivering the final draft of the National Quality Infrastructure Project, at the Savannah Hotel.

Emphasising that standards were not implemented overnight, he stated: "It takes time and resources before they [standards] are implemented.?? Thus, it is better to see it as a journey rather than a destination.

He further explained: "Companies should begin by implementing the basic requirements and then as their operations grow, they would be in a position to meet the international requirements in full. "

Mr. Edmondson also advised businesses to embrace quality as a competitive strategy. "This means that you will set goals which ensure that you become competitive, and then with those goals you will be aligned to strategies, and the strategies of course, one of them is quality.?? And of course, you will have programmes like standards and conformity systems to support you.

Give this situation, he urged manufacturers to use the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as an opportunity to bring their products in line with international trading stipulations.??

"We should see this as an opportunity … In the global context, once we can understand the roles, we can actually be in the game by using the rules to our advantage.?? So, I believe that the EPA is an opportunity that we can look at and through improved standards, we can meet these requirements," Mr. Edmondson underlined.

The Consultant also crticised the importation of ???sub-standard’ merchandise from China and noted: "You do not necessarily have to accept those products.?? Under the World Trade Organisation rules, if you have standards and regulations, you can either test, or, request that testing and certification be carried out on the products, to determine if they are exposing your population to adverse health, safety and environmental risks," Mr. Edmondson declared.

jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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