The Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency has continued to implement ISO 9001:2008 –Quality Management System in its operation since it was certified by Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) four years ago. ISO is an international standard for implementing a quality management system and its sets out how an organization can establish an effective quality management system to meet its customers /stakeholders’ needs. The main reasons for implementing ISO 9001:2008 in its business is to assist Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency to operate efficiently in service provision, achieve customer satisfaction, and secure sustainability of its operations.
The Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency, ISO 9001:2008 journey started way back in the year 2008 when it started sensitizing its staff on the system. In September 2010, the Board trained the Quality Internal Auditors, who were to carry out documentation and check on our own Quality Management Systems before ISO consultants were hired to assist in the documentation process. Upon the training of all its divisional heads, documentation process of its activities were done that saw the development of specific procedures on how to carry out our duties in a more organized way followed by a series of Quality Internal Audits to establish if the systems were working.
The Board invited KeBs, its certifying body, for stage I audit which was conducted on the 24th May, 2011. After carrying out a few amendments, especially on documentation, KeBS was invited for stage II audit which was carried out for two days from 14th July, 2011 to 15th July, 2011. KeBS confirmed RVWSB’s Certification on 19th August, 2011 and the Board signed a certification contract with KeBS which was to ensure that the Board maintains and conforms to the standards which were agreed upon as stated in the contract document.
In the contract KeBS is supposed to carry out (4) four surveillance audits to ensure RVWSB does not deviate from the standard requirements. The first surveillance audit was carried out between 20th March, 2012 and 21st March, 2012, and a few non- conformities were found which were addressed. RVWSB was issued with a letter for continued certification by KEBS on the 12th July, 2012. The second surveillance audit was carried out in December, 2012 followed by subsequent audits in 2013.
Towards the end of the life of the first certificate in August 2014, the Board started preparing for its re-certification by KeBS. All the non-conformities found in the last previous audits were fully closed, internal audits conducted in May 2014, and the staff was refreshed on the ISO requirements and standards. In July 2014, RVWSB invited KeBS for a recertification audit, which was a great success, and the Board was recertified and issued a new license on 19th August 2014 which is valid till 18th August 2017.
The Board widely acknowledges that proper quality management improves business, with a positive effect on investment, market share, competitive advantage, and avoidance of litigation. By implementing ISO, this Board has witnessed a number of benefits in its operation and these included creation of a more efficient and effective operation, increased customer satisfaction, enhanced marketing strategies, improved employee motivation, awareness, and morale among others.
By implementing ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System RVWSB has improved on efficiency in the operations of the Boards activities leading to improved customer satisfaction. Improved organization and retrievability of documents can be noted in all offices and this has made it easier to respond to issues. This attributes can be confirmed by our clients whose response in our annual survey has continued to improve. Many of the clients visiting our offices have continued to be mesmerized by our level of cleanliness, order, documentation, attention accorded, good feedback received, good customer care and timely resolution of complaints among other traits.
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