ISO Quality Standards implementation in ADWEA

Introduction

One of the most prominent features of the current structural changes in the economy and the society is the growing significance of the service industry (Blind 163). Active participation in these structural changes presents a great challenge for the service sector. In addition to ensuring quality service provision, service providers have to deal with the challenges associated with globalization and regionalization such as standardization which ensures delivery of services, which have been tailored to meet the local needs.

Companies which have implemented such measures have achieved remarkable success in their operations in a highly competitive business environment. Across the service sector, standards are mostly analyzed in the context of quality (Blind 163).

Quality standards have been defined as the consumers expectations expressed in a meaningful way to employees in their guideline in improving quality standards. Numerous quality standards governing bodies have been established in the modern world in order to regulate quality standards in both manufacturing and service sectors.

Currently, the international organization for standardization is among the most specialized international agency for standardization (Blind 164). The agency has united national standard bodies of over ninety countries. One of the major objectives that ISO standards seek to achieve involves the promotion of global standardization which promotes international trade and promotes regional cooperation in terms of scientific, technological and intellectual field consequently promoting invention and innovation.

In the past, companies sought to increase competitiveness in the global market through extensive restructuring of their companies by downsizing, outsourcing, customer-supplier partnering among other efforts. However, the modern economic environment has prompted organizations to adopt simple but effective organizational, managerial, and operational processes as a means of gaining competitiveness. Efficiency and quality service provision plays a major role in promoting profitability of any organization.

The ISO 9000 is an approach that has quietly emerged over the years and has often been viewed by companies in terms of compliance. Companies seek ISO 9000 registration because the modern consumers require it as a condition rather than an option for a business. This has transformed the global view of ISO 9000 from a business issue into a compliance issue which serves to promote efficiency and quality in business operations.

Numerous organizations across the globe have sought to register and comply with ISO standards in order to promote consumer confidence in their products through continuous quality assurance. These companies have reportedly registered remarkable growth through the implementation of ISO 9000 within their organizations.

ISO 9000 registration awards promotional credibility to the company’s products conveys operational and systems assurance, acts as a marketing tool, and promotes customer-supplier partnering in organizations.

Upon registration and implementation of ISO 9000, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority would reap numerous benefits from the project. Our study will focus on the reasons and benefits associated with ADWEA registration of ISO 9000, the policies that the organization is likely to adopt in order to achieve its objective, implementation as well as monitoring and control of the entire process.

Background Information about the Company

Initially, the government of Abu Dhabi had established the water and electricity department which aimed at providing water and electricity to the residents of Abu Dhabi in a safe and cost effective manner (ADWEA 1).

This department experienced remarkable growth in service delivery over the years and by 1996, the organization supplied a capacity of 3000MW and 200 million gallons of desalinated water per day and had also attained a multinational compliment of technical efficiency coupled with a support staff of more than 15000 employees (ADWEA 1).

In the same year, the government established a privatization committee for water and electricity sector in Abu Dhabi. The privatization committee engaged in extensive consultation and preparation of recommendations which were meant for improving the services within the water and electricity sector.

Further, the committee facilitated the formulation and implementation of plans for the privatization process (ADWEA 1). Following the efforts of the privatization committee, the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi approved the law No. 2 of 1998 which created a provision for the establishment of Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA).

Currently Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority have its full ownership under the government of Abu Dhabi. ADWEA serves a substantial number of people residing in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The organization is further charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality service provision and government policy implementation in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADWEA is governed by a board of management under the chairmanship of H.H Shaikh Diab Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (ADWEA 1).

Through the chairman, the board ensures that the organization’s mission which entails efficient service provision to the people of Abu Dhabi is achieved. The organization therefore seeks to provide quality service to their consumers. Further, the management ensures that the organization continuously demonstrates improvement in health, safety and environmental issues while still complying with both local and international standards and regulations.

In order to achieve these objectives, the organization has formulated the health, safety, and environmental policies (HSE). These policies enable ADWEA to work towards the attainment of its objectives in environmental and health issues which consequently improves the electricity and water industry in Abu Dhabi.

The organization seeks to achieve the highest standards in health, safety and environment since it acknowledges that such achievements will result in compliance with the current legislation in the emirate and will also benefit the organization as well as the external environment. ADWEA constantly performs self assessments and monitoring in order to assess the effectiveness of the implemented HSE management system.

With the organization’s philosophy being to serve the best quality to the customers while maintaining and developing the living standards, the organization has achieved remarkable popularity among the consumers in Abu Dhabi (ADWEA 1). Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority have received world wide recognition through its quality service provision. The organization’s quality assurance and quality control section plays a major role in ensuring efficiency and quality within the organization.

The quality section develops and maintains the group’s engineering standards within the organization and manages third party contracts for inspection, testing and monitoring services and audits for suppliers (ADWEA 1). The quality assurance and quality control section, which reports to the director of projects directorate, would therefore be charged with the responsibility of implementing ISO 9000 standards in ADWEA.

Reasons for the Process

Contrary to the predictions of numerous critics, ISO 9000 has continued to evolve and persist in modern organizations. This is primarily due to the economic view of the standard as a condition of business (Hutchins 2). Further, ISO 9000 is simple, practical and it is simple for organizations to implement. The standard has evolved over the past years from largely a compliance set of standards to a bunch of commonsense business processes and systems.

The organizations seeking to gain competitiveness through this process often reap benefits from both the implementation of ISO standards and formal ISO registration. However, some of the organizations focus more on the procedures and paper work rather than making the quality systems the major corporate value.

ADWEA can choose to register with and implement the ISO 9000 standards due to the applicability of the quality system in diverse industries. It has been widely adopted by government agencies, nonprofit companies, service organizations among other groups which promote its efficient applicability in Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. However, the organization has to adapt and creatively interpret the specific clauses of the ISO in order to fit in their organization.

The modern economy is characterized by wide spread competition between organizations dealing with similar or partially differentiated products. The major goal of any organization is to optimize its operations in order to survive under these competitive conditions (Hutchins 6).

In order for ADWEA to face off competition from other private organizations such as Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, the organization should seek to optimize its operations through reengineering, ISO 9000 implementation and continuous improvement of the same. Through ISO registration and implementation, ADWEA can be able to establish the baseline from which it can assess the effectiveness of its HSE policies.

Continuous monitoring of the companies process of achieving its objectives would promote the achievement of these goals in the long run. In addition, the process would promote the organization’s internal focus, facilitate in understanding of operations as well as control processes. In addition, implementation of ISO 9000 would promote commitment of the employees to quality service provision by enlightening them on quality policies, procedures as well as the work instructions (Hutchins 8).

Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority are committed to the continuous improvement of HSE management and performance which calls for regular self assessment and performance measurements (ADWEA 9). ISO 9000 creates a provision for internal auditing as one of the major requirements for the quality system (Hutchins 8). This ensures that the organization’s activities are continuously monitored in order to eliminate any deficiencies or make improvements where necessary.

In addition, ADWEA implementation of ISO 9000 would promote consistency in operations within the organization. Quality is heavily dependent on operational consistency, product uniformity, as well as product’s reliability (Hutchins 8). Through the quality system, the organization would be able to effectively minimize the variations in its labor pool and its procedures.

Further, the organization is likely to achieve high returns from the actual implementation of ISO 9000. In addition to making the internal operations of ADWEA more effective and efficient, the quality system improves the image of the company among its customers consequently boosting consumer confidence on the company’s products as well as attracting new consumers.

External and Internal Benefits of ISO 9000

Marketing has become one of the key aspects in modern business. ISO 9000 acts as a marketing tool in this modern business context where quality service provision is held in high esteem. The quality system ensures that organizations develop their products under quality foundations and its quality policies are implemented at all the levels of the organization (Hutchins 3).

In addition, ISO 9000 ensures that an organization’s operations are efficient and consistent while the quality systems are stabilized, accurately documented and constantly improved. Since the modern consumers require quality assurance for products, ISO 9000 registration plays a major role in providing this assurance to consumers consequently acting as a marketing tool for the organization. ISO 9000 further serves to promote the company’s image among the consumers.

The registration process takes substantial amounts of time, resources and effort and while it does not in itself guarantee quality, it portrays the image of the company as one of high dedication and commitment to consumer satisfaction (Hutchins 4).

ISO 9000 registration and implementation would consequently differentiate ADWEA from other competing firms in the same industry which would further strengthen its competitive advantage in Abu Dhabi. In addition, the ISO 9000 would promote independent and objective internal audit which would promote the company’s compliance and achievement of its long term objectives.

Implementation of ISO 9000 by the ADWEA would make the internal processes of the organization more effective and efficient (Hutchins 8). Implementation of the system’s standards ensures that the company’s activities add value to the company and promotes improvement in areas that had been earlier neglected. Due to the dynamic nature of the modern economy, there is an increased need for development and continuous improvement of production methods and products.

Through ISO 9000, ADWEA can achieve low cost production and high quality service provision to the water and electricity consumers in the emirate of Abu Dhabi through the implementation of formal design review procedures. Further, there exists an inherent need for continuous learning within the organization.

Training is one of the major requirements of ISO 9000 (Hutchins 9). Extensive and continuous learning among the employees of ADWEA would serve to improve their service provision skills, competitiveness and would create a pool of skilled labor which would promotes invention and innovation in water and electricity sector. Clearly, implementation of ISO standards in the organization would be beneficial to Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority as well as their customers.

Procedures and Policies Adopted

“ISO 9000 defines quality policies as the overall intentions and orientation of an organization towards quality as formally expressed by top management “(Hoyle 126). The body establishes these quality standards in order to guide organizations actions towards its attempt to achieve the quality standards as well as the long term objectives of the organization.

The procedures that ADWEA would adopt towards implementation of ISO 9000 would therefore have to incorporate the setting up of quality objectives and the subsequent operational processes and resources required to fulfill quality objectives. The quality objectives should aim at promoting customer satisfaction, improving leadership within the organization, developing a mutually beneficial supplier relationship and developing factual approach to the decision making process within ADWEA (Hoyle 121).

The organization should define the purpose or the mission from the onset and assemble a group of people who should be charged with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation procedures. The management should further conduct a feasibility study to assess the probability of objective’s achievement in the long run. The objectives should be validated using SMART and subsequently communicated to all the stakeholders in order to promote adherence to the standards (Hoyle 125).

ISO recommends that the management should take responsibility for quality planning within the organization (Hoyle 125). The planning process should aim at establishing the processes needed to meet the organization’s quality objectives and ISO requirements effectively and efficiently. Therefore, the quality plans should seek to clearly outline how the ISO requirements are implemented within ADWEA.

Under quality planning, the management should identify the reliability and maintainability programme plans as well as control plans in order to promote long run implementation of ISO 9000 within the organization.

The ISO 9000 standards would require ADWEA’s management systems to incorporate well documented statements of the adopted quality policy and would also require the management to clearly demonstrate its commitment to implementation of ISO standards within the organization as well as maintenance of the same (Hoyle 126).

ADWEA management should therefore establish policies that express clear intentions to implement the ISO 9000 standards which are centered on customer satisfaction, leadership improvement, and involvement of people, continuous improvement, and supplier relationship among other issues. The organization should further seek to implement these policies within the organization through effective communication and continuous monitoring of the implementation process.

Implementation of ISO 9000 Quality Standards in ADWEA

Due to the increasing demand for quality service, Abu Dhabi water and Electricity Authority should improve the quality of their services in electricity and water industry in Abu Dhabi in order to enhance their performance. The organization should seek to address the consumer’s expectations and grievances as well as the expectations of suppliers regarding their services in order to promote satisfaction at all levels (Hoyle 127).

HSE among other quality policies should be effectively communicated to the company’s employees through the management which exemplifies the core values of the organization in order to guide the behavior of the fellow employees towards achievement of ISO 9000 standards.

The management should motivate the fellow employees and promote their active participation in the project. Involvement of others in organization development provides a conducive environment for employees to realize their full potential by fully contributing to the process of quality standards implementation. ADWEA should adopt a process approach towards implementation of ISO 9000 standards.

ADWEA relies on other companies for water and electricity supplies after which it undertakes to supply to the people of Abu Dhabi. The organization should periodically assess the quality of the products being produced by their suppliers by emphasizing on ISO supplier registration. Through ISO registration by suppliers, ADWEA can establish its supplier’s commitment to quality, service and delivery (Hutchins 10).

Further, the services provided by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (water and electricity) should be delivered promptly to consumers. This is facilitated by ISO 9000 requirement for all its registered companies that they should have efficient storage, handling and delivery systems operating properly and efficiently in order to facilitate just in time delivery consequently promoting consumer satisfaction.

Further, the company’s commitment to the implementation of ISO 9000 standards should be demonstrated by the organization’s orientation towards the processes and systems of ISO 9000 which promotes quality service provision. However, the process should be continuously monitored over time in order to ensure continuous quality achievement.

Monitoring and Control

Control and continuous monitoring of the process of ISO 9000 implementation is important in ensuring continuous compliance to quality service provision. Therefore, ADWEA should conduct constant random self assessment and internal audits in order to determine the effectiveness of ISO 9000 implementation in the organization and promote compliance and development of ISO 9000 in the long run. The organization’s audit program management should identify the ISO standard appropriate for the audit to be conducted.

Internal audits are selected by the organization’s management while the eternal audits are dependent on external organization’s selection of ISO 9000 standards. Under the supervision of the audit program management, both internal and external auditors should provide accurate results which are essential in assessing the company’s level of compliance to the quality system standards.

Through self assessment and constant auditing, ADWEA management should identify the areas which require further improvement and adjust them accordingly.

Conclusion

Due to the increased need to provide quality products and services to the modern customers, numerous companies have adopted various quality standards such as ISO 9000. This has enabled organizations to provide quality products and services to their consumers consequently promoting consumer confidence and loyalty. These organizations have further registered remarkable growth from ISO 9000 implementation making the quality system one of the most popular standards of the time.

These achievements are primarily due to ISO 9000 marketing ability as well as its ability to promote quality service. Therefore, any company seeking to register and implement the ISO 9000 standards enhances its efficiency and competitiveness in the economy which justifies Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority strategic plan to implement ISO 9000.

Works Cited

ADWEA. “About ADWEA.” Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. Web.

Blind, K. The Economics of Standards: Theory, Evidence and Policy. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004. Print.

Hoyle, D. ISO 9000:2000: an A-Z guide, Volume 1. Wildwood Avenue: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003. Print.

Hutchins, G. ISO 9000: A Comprehensive Guide to Registration, Audit Guidelines and Successful Certification. NY: John Wiley and Sons, 1997. Print.