By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, April 29, GNA – Professor Goski Alabi, Dean, Centre for International Education and Collaboration, University of Professional Studies, (UPSA) has called for strict adherence to quality culture at all levels of organisations.
She said looking at the global economic competitive index of 2015, out of 140 countries that participated in it, Ghana placed 111; and noted that that this would be made better by focusing on quality as a culture to reduce wastage in the system.
Prof Alabi made these remarks in Accra at the UPSA’s Second International Conference on Business Management and Entrepreneurship Development.
The two-day conference was on the theme: “Remaining Competitive Amidst Rising Cost of Operations: The dilemma of Small and Medium Enterprises”.
It brought together both local and international experts of business management and entrepreneurial development to discuss trends, challenges and solutions with the aim to enhance industry.
Prof Alabi, who spoke on the topic “Staying Afloat by Maintaining and Improving Quality Standards”, said “in the past, quality was seen as a choice, because it is a strategy in marketing, and in strategic management we talk about quality as a strategy; because at the corporate level theoretically we are told that there are two key things that an organisation can use to differentiate itself and these two are either cost or quality.”
“But today quality is no longer a strategy and therefore, quality is no longer a choice. Why? Because quality is a culture; it is a way of life, it is something that is expected.
The International Standards Organisation defines standard as a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.
She cited a basket exporter from the Upper West Region who had been exporting baskets to Europe, and attempted to enter the American market with two 40 footer containers of baskets but the baskets were rejected because the exporter had used wrong colours and a wrong ship.
She said the exporter did not realize that the requirements of the United States when it comes to baskets are different from what it is in Europe.
Prof Alabi said there are different types of standards – standards for products, standards for procedures and standards for processes.
She explained that the millions of dollars on malaria treatment would be averted by Ghana, if quality covered drains were constructed to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding and spreading the malaria parasite.
“When we talk about quality as a culture, it is embedded in the very way we do everything. It is a philosophy. It is a culture and we as a people can be competitive only when we stop to look at quality as a choice, and we begin to look at it as a culture and a way of life,” she said.