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23.10.2008 Business & Finance

Nkulenu plans to reach international market

By The Statesman

Among the private business enterprises that have shown a high degree of resilience in the country is Nkulenu Idustries Limited, producers of assorted items.

Having flooded the local markets with its products for many years now, the company wants to make a triumphant entry into the international markets - beginning with the West African sub-region.

Disclosing this to States Business a couple of days ago, the company's Production Manager, Dongdem Achillis, said that there had been a lot of desire by his outfit to explore the international markets as well so that it (company) could experience the stiff competition outside so as to increase productivity.

He added that when there was a rise in demand there would also be a rise in productivity and a revenue increase.

Mr. Achillis noted that before any meaningful inroads could be made in the international markets, packaging of the finished products should meet international standards.

"How to package our products is one of our major concerns', he underscored.

He therefore implored the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development & President"s Special Initiative, to offer more training programmes in that regard.

In his response, the Trade Minister Papa Owusu Ankomah disclosed to States Business that a training programme on the impartation of quality and quality management skills had already begun throughout the regional capitals.

According to him, one such programme was organised in Accra recently and that it would continue until the needed impact had been made.

Chief Director of Ministry of Trade, Industry,

Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiatives Seth Evans Addo has stressed the importance of quality in driving forward Small and Medium Enterprises.

According to Mr. Addo, quality is the top priority for both industrial and final goods by consumers and domestic markets. 

 As explained by the Chief Director, quality can be defined by the extent to which customers' expectations, needs and demands are met.

Going on, Mr Addo explained, '[Quality Management] allows companies to compete successfully, bring down international costs, improve on production and management process, reduce defects and increase productivity, among others.'

'In this era of globalisation and competitiveness, every category of products and services is characterised by accelerating changes, innovation and massive amounts of new information,' commented Mr Addo.

'Commitments to product quality and customer satisfaction programmes,' he explained, 'are essential for companies to compete.'

Using the example of the ISO 9000 series, a Quality Management System developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the Chief Director underlined the value of such a system, and the necessity for manufacturers and service organisers to set quality standards in order to be effective competitors.

'[ISO 9000] can be used by the management of companies to improve performance and obtain high quality output,' Mr Addo said.

Furthermore, the Chief Director pointed to recent high profile food safety scares, such as the case of melamine being found in infant milk and reports of some food products in Ghana failing to meet Food Safety Standards, to illustrate the importance of such Quality Management Systems.