As the world commemorate quality week, Kenyan Micro Small and Medium Enterprises have been challenged to embrace quality in manufacturing and value addition to increase its viability both locally and globally.
While celebrating the quality produced by MSME’s in the country, Bernard Nguyo the chief manager of quality assurance and inspection at Kenya Bureau of Standards applauded the manufacturing enterprises in the country for it’s innovate and creative products. At the same time urging the businesses to prioritize quality so as to have a niche in the East African Community Countries.
“Our core mandate as KEBS is to do product certification, but when we engage with MSME’s we advise and help them to do quality manufacturing. We then certify their products and when they attain that certification, they are now able to put those products into the formal supply chain in the supermarket and they can also export. The standardization mark is a notified mark meaning it’s recognized across the east African community countries and when one has that mark, the market becomes wider,” the quality assurance manager explained to the entrepreneurs.
The celebrations of this year’s quality week brought together MSME’s from different sub counties in Nairobi. Different MSME’s representatives converged at Kariobangi Medium and Small Enterprises Authority, where they interacted with key stakeholders who enlightened them on the great opportunities that the entrepreneurs can take advantage of to help them grow their businesses.
“some MSME’s do not just need training they need us to help them grow that’s why we work together with Medium and Small Enterprises Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and others. We come together like we are here now where we listen to them and chat a way forward in relation to their specific needs,” Mr Nguyo said
According to Mr. Nguyo, Kenya Bureau of Standards in it’s strategic plan has put in place programs to help the MSMEs get training both in certification and support to Micro businesses. KEBS has been running programs in different parts of the country to help manufacturers embrace quality in production. According to Mr. Nguyo entrepreneurs in Marsabit, Mombasa and Nairobi have already gone through the training programs.
“When we include quality in our manufacturing processes those products will find a place in the market place because they shall have an assurance of quality and suitability by users. Through controlled processes of manufacturing we are going to reduce wastage, we are also going to experience sustainability in terms of our environmental impact and the net effect on that we are going to have a competitive advantage as an enterprise and eventually as a country,” Added Mr. Nguyo.
The manager expressed his optimism while deliberating on how to help the Micro businesses grow to bigger businesses. The entrepreneurs were challenged that quality of their products is directly proportional to the business growth. Those in the micro businesses have been put to test to have healthy competition that will help them grow.
“Quite a number of micro and small businesses mostly concentrate on the price. You’ll find someone selling the products at slightly a lower price than the competitor. Yes, you’ll get customers but at the end of the day you are likely to lose the customers if you compromise the quality. Another competitor who has worked to better the quality of the same product will definitely retain the customers and get more that will be looking for a better quality,” Mr. Nguyo explained
The world commemorates quality week at the second week of every November. This year’s quality week is celebrated from 6th to 10th under the theme realizing your competitive potential.