‘Implementation of standards is imperative for growth in the Guyana economy’
--says Dr Chatterpaul Ramcharran
June 24, 2002
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In Guyana with its present level of technological development and its increased need for international trade, there is great need for institutional standardisation. Since the economic prosperity is our goal, it is imperative that we continue to establish and utilise standards in our domestic as well as our foreign production. We are part of a world community and should strive to improve continually if we are to survive in the international market.
Standards are the prerequisite for the controlling of product quality and service quality, since they provide a guideline for the achieving of an acceptable level of performance. Therefore, if ever there is need for standards within industry and commerce in Guyana, it is now! While the world is advancing technologically and productivity is improving consistently, not all manufacturers in Guyana, are taking the business of standardisation seriously. Given this trend of behaviour, Guyana could very well find itself behind as other countries gallop apace
Some manufacturers find it extremely difficult to compete with imported products to the extent that several factories went out of operation and others are on the verge of closure.
As trade liberalisation progresses the world over, this trend will continue and many manufacturers would be forced to close their doors or merge their operations with others in order to survive. Various industries will be under severe threat unless manufacturers can produce quality goods in accordance with national or international standards.
Local manufacturers must put quality systems into their operations and reorganise such operations so that consistently standard products would be produced, comparable with any foreign products and which can compete with any such products in any market.
Standards and quality should be the key operative words of industry. They cannot be taken for granted anymore, but must be fully respected.
Proprietors, Chief Executive Officers and Managers of most manufacturing concerns have to demonstrate commitment to standards and quality, and in addition, direct involvement in ensuring the establishment and maintenance of proper quality systems.
There are many shining examples in Guyana of companies, which trade on standards and quality and thus perform marvellously well. Their products can compete anywhere on the local and foreign markets.
However, a number of companies do not have quality control and quality assurance systems in their operations. These companies do not have basic testing facilities in place to support their processing lines.
The absence of quality assurance systems and testing facilities in manufacturing entities is responsible for the significant variation in the quality of the end products from batch to batch and from day to day. Such products would not stand the test of competition in any market and would eventually be phased out.
Standardisation seminars were conducted at the various manufacturing premises in offering assistance to put necessary systems in place, but not with much success.
Also, many manufacturers who had started work to implement the ISO 9000 Quality Management systems did not continue because of lack of commitment. Certification to ISO 9000 standards is becoming the criterion for doing business on the international market.
If local manufacturers want to compete with foreign products, whether at the domestic or international market, they have to seriously commit themselves to standards and quality, and thus make all the arrangements necessary to streamline their businesses. They must act now before it is too late.
Remember, economic prosperity and industrial development cannot be achieved without the implementation of standards for they are essential for the expansion of trade and the protection of the consumer.