Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is the local supplier of water and electricity. The company was founded in 1992 by a decree issued by the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The enterprise was formed as a result of merging two companies – Dubai Electricity Company and Dubai Water Department – which previously operated independently of each other. Since the very day of its establishment, DEWA was substantially supported by the Dubai Government. Nowadays, the corporate customer profile consists of 760,000 individuals and organizations, and the current service satisfaction rate has recently reached the rate of over 94% (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority [DEWA], 2016a, para. 1).
The company is known for its commitment to sustainability. One of the significant DEWA’s achievements was the reduction of large losses in power transmission and distribution to 3.3% which puts the company in the position of the leader among the European and American water and electricity suppliers (DEWA, 2016a, para. 2). Additionally, the organization launches various green initiatives including the research clean energy sources and the promotion and design of green devices for electricity generation.
Development of the high-standard quality plan is associated with the following costs:
- Expert consultation, system assessment, and audit;
- Registration to ISO standards;
- Regular surveillance visits.
The following chart represents the list of the employees who have authorities and responsibilities in DEWA’s Quality Management System (QMS) in hierarchical order:
|I Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer|
|II Quality Manager|
|III Customer Service Manager||III Technical and Engineering Advisor|
|IV Distribution Manager||IV Information Technology Manager|
|V Project Execution Management|
Quality Policy and Objectives
DEWA’s responsibilities and commitments are outlined in the Integrated Management Systems Policy. The policy ensures that DEWA implements innovative and efficient practices and follows the best Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment standards. By including these standards in the corporate management policy, DEWA agrees to comply with the relevant regulatory and legislative norms and develop the awareness of standard requirements among employees. In this way, the company contributes to the increase in stakeholders’ satisfaction with the service and the overall well-being.
It is also DEWA’s policy to:
- to prevent air, water, and soil pollution, and reduce environmental deterioration;
- implementation of waste disposal practices;
- prevention of injuries, diseases, and incidents at the workplace;
- commitment green principles in the management of natural resources (DEWA, 2017).
The organization also has a specifically developed policy for its corporate responsibility management. The objectives aimed to promote the sustainable growth of the UAE are provided in DEWA’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. They include the commitment to innovation, utility and local and national policies and legislation; preservation of national identity; workforce Emiratization; integrated and fair business practices; serving the public interest (DEWA, 2017).
DEWA’s mission statement reads as follows:
“We are committed to the happiness of our stakeholders and promoting Dubai’s vision through the delivery of sustainable electricity and water services at a world-class level of reliability, efficiency and safety in an environment that nurtures innovation with a competent workforce and effective partnerships; supporting resources sustainability” (DEWA, 2016b, para. 2).
Consistently with its mission statement, DEWA sets a few strategic priorities which include sustainability, innovation, and service excellence. Moreover, the company aims to provide a reliable and high-quality supply of resources continually, increase stakeholders’ satisfaction and happiness, and improve their social responsibility.
Along with customers, the major stakeholder groups of DEWA are the UAE government, management, business partners, investors, and various social communities. Based on this, the organizational quality initiatives are not limited to the improvement of customer satisfaction but cover a wider range of practices such as cost efficiency, operational transparency, development of the skilled workforce, retaining of talents, and so on (DEWA, 2016b, para. 4-5). In general, DEWA’s objectives are aligned with the broader UAE developmental goals: sustainable national growth, reduction of ecological footprint, increase in the overall quality of life of the citizens. All the mentioned aims require knowledge and skills, and they also emphasize the significance of quality improvement activities within the organization.
Standard ISO/TS 16949 states that the senior management shall ensure that employee responsibilities for quality management are well determined and communicated within the organization (Whittington & Associates, 2009). By the given standard, the authorities in DEWA’s quality management system are defined by the top management group and Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the managing director, and the chief executive officer of the organization. The employees are given with a varying degree of authority in management, performance, decision making, and verification of work affecting quality. Their responsibilities and subordination are outlined in the organizational chart and determined in DEWA’s job descriptions.
Responsibility for a quality system
The major goal of DEWA’s quality systems manager is to ensure the accuracy and efficiency of the industrial processes, as well as compliance with the standardization. The quality manager is one of the leading representatives. The assignment of the major quality management responsibilities to a member of senior management/leadership is critical to maintaining control over the top-level supervision of the system and is required by standard ISO 9001 (Hammar, n.d.).
One of the core responsibilities of the quality management responsibilities at DEWA is QMS process maintenance. It means that the management representative monitors the establishment, implementation, and maintenance of the QMS activities at DEWA. To do so, he or she inspects internal organizational performance and reviews audits, communicates with employees and other managers, and so on. The management representative serves as a focal point of the QMS responsibility distribution, and his/her role allows a greater level of control over the situation and optimization of the diverse quality management practices in one process.
Secondly, the quality system manager is responsible for reporting on QMS performance to leadership. Reporting implies the identification of any needs for enhancement, weaknesses, and strengths of the current QMS. The top management uses the major DEWA values, objectives, and goals mentioned in section 1.4.2 of the manual as a point of focus when defining the needs for resources and improvements of the system and its implementation. The management representative provides the feedback regarding QMS with consideration of these criteria to the top management. In this way, he/she represents an important link in the improvement of the organizational profitability and providing a return on investment as the analysis data provided by the quality manager serves as the evidence in managerial decision making.
According to ISO 9001 requirements, “top management shall ensure that customer requirements are determined and are met to enhance customer satisfaction” (International standard ISO 9001, 2008, p. 4). Based on this, DEWA’s management representative ensures the promotion of customer requirements. It means that he or she ensures the employees and other stakeholders at all organizational levels understand well the customer requirements and needs. In this way, DEWA strives to achieve greater customer satisfaction, and the quality manager is the primary advocate for customers’ interests within the company. In this way, the management representative plays a leading role in the promotion of customer values at DEWA and providing two-way communication between the parties.
The quality manager performs a set of additional responsibilities including an external liaison. His or her professional role is to provide the links between the organization and some external parties and certification bodies in particular (Hammar, 2014). The quality manager communicates with specialists to arrange for audits, supervision, correction, etc. He or she will also manage complaints and other comments from customers and different external stakeholder groups. However, due to the secondary nature of the given responsibilities, they should not overtake the primary focuses of quality management.
Responsibility for contract quality
Consistently with ISO 10005, the contract quality plan includes the following sections: scope, quality objectives, management responsibilities, control of documents and records, resources, customer communication, design and development, preservation of the product, and so on (Bureau of Indian Standards, 2005).
Specific customer/contractor requirements are defined at the initial stage of the contract development and establishment of the scope and quotation phase of a project. Contract quality is ensured by the DEWA quality manager, checked by the project managers, and approved by the execution manager. They will ensure that the contractor’s interests are clearly defined and well documents and that the company has the necessary resources to meet the specified requirements adequately before entering into the contract. To do so, the responsible employees will first determine the customer’s requirements and then identify the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the product of interest. After this, DEWA will define all secondary requirements relevant to the company’s internal processes including financial responsibility, terms of purchase, credits, etc.
“In preparing the quality plan, the organization should agree and define the respective roles, responsibilities and obligations both within the organization and with the customer, regulatory authorities or other interested parties” (Bureau of Indian Standards, 2005, p. 5). Therefore, upon receipt of the contractor’s request for a project generation or placement of the order, the quality representative in collaboration with the intended project manager will demand the customer to provide specific requirements regarding purposes, documentation, and supervision measures, and other features such as quality characteristics. The latter requirements will be applied to all relevant project documentation because they are critical to the maintenance of the control and compliance with customer requirements.
Responsibility for product quality
As stated in the international standard ISO 9001 (2008): “The organization shall monitor and measure the characteristics of the product to verify that product requirements have been met. This shall be carried out at appropriate stages of the product realization process by the planned arrangements” (p. 13). To meet the given regulation, DEWA implements a strategy for the planning of product realization defined by DEWA as the “level of product and service quality management.” It occurs in case a new process or product is to be launched or when it is to be improved, changed, or substantially revised.
The individuals responsible for product quality are the management representatives, customer service managers, and engineering representatives. They identify the need for quality planning through cross-sectional discussions of stakeholders’ interests and requirements, strategic analysis data, and other relevant information obtained during the management meetings.
Quality planning is initiated when DEWA is not able to meet the identified customer requirements using the available resources and current production operations or when substantial changes in the organizational QMS are needed.
In regards to product quality management, the senior management will evaluate the following aspects of performance:
- needs for the revision and creation of new quality objective for a particular product or service;
- needs for the revision and design of practices and documentation;
- needs for the provision of resources required for a new product or service;
- any control, measurement, and validation activities applicable to a product or service, as well as the criteria for its approval;
- product-related quality standards.
As a result of initial activities performed in DEWA’s product quality management, the top management will generate or revise the current QMS documents and manuals.
Responsibility for subcontractor(s) quality
The category of subcontracted operations includes all supporting services and activities including information technology and systems. Top management representatives will identify the subcontractor management plan for every particular project, establish its purposes, scopes, approaches.
The senior managers will choose project managers and assign them with responsibilities to support subcontractors’ needs and provide two-way communication between subcontractors and the organization. Additionally, the quality manager in collaboration with the project team will define subcontracts’ responsibilities. After this, the top management representative will verify if DEWA has sufficient resources to meet subcontractors’ requirements and will also provide them with information regarding financial procedures.
The project management should verify the project terms and schedules before the work is started. Moreover, IS/ISO 10005: 2005 states: “change requests that affect the functionality as seen by the users must be approved by the company” (Bureau of Indian Standards, 2005, p. 20). Thus, the project manager approves all suggested design changes before the beginning of the actual work process as well.
DEWA’s responsibilities in subcontractor(s) quality management include:
- establishment of unambiguous subcontracts and development of appropriate Work Statement (including purposes, scopes, and terms);
- development of a cohesive business plan in which all subcontractors’ activities will be outlined;
- proper documentation of interfaces and agreement of progress reporting techniques;
- provision of an agreed authorization to perform to subcontractors;
- development of team cohesion and team building.
The output of the given practices will be the integration of subcontractors into DEWA’s work processes and mitigation of risks for their isolation and misunderstanding.
Registrations and Approvals Held
DEWA demonstrates its compliance with the guidelines and standards mentioned in the given quality manual through the formal ISO registration process. The company QMS is approved by an ISO registrar, and currently, it is registered to such standards as ISO 14001 (Environment Management Systems), ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 550001 (Asset Management Systems), BS OHSAS 18001 (Occupation Health and Safety Assessment), and BS ISO/IEC 27001 (Information Security Management Systems) (DEWA, 2017).
Bureau of Indian Standards. (2005). IS/ISO 10005:2005. Web.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. (2016a). Our history. Web.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. (2016b). Strategic direction. Web.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. (2017). Policies & certificates. Web.
Hammar, M. (2014). Additional responsibilities of quality management representatives. Web.
Hammar, M. (n.d.). What is the job of the quality management representative?. Web.
International standard ISO 9001. Fourth edition. (2008). Web.
Whittington & Associates. (2009). Summary of unique ISO/TS 16949:2009 requirements. Web.