Customers shopping at Nakumatt Rwanda outlets can rest assured of the firm’s strict adherence to quality management standards.
Nakumatt Rwanda, an ISO9001: 2008 Quality Management Certified firm is the only ISO certified retailer in Rwanda.
As events to mark the World Standards Day progress, Nakumatt Rwanda Country Manager Adan Ramata has assured the firm’s customers that strict standards will continue to be maintained to guarantee quality service.
Nakumatt Rwanda’s, ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management Certification, is audited by the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) the national quality assurance body.
Globally, the World Standards Day is celebrated worldwide each year on October 14 to honor the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop standards to advance society. It also aims at raising awareness among regulators, industry players and consumers on the importance of standardization to the global economy.
Nakumatt currently has the ISO 9001:2008 standard and is looking to migrate to the new ISO 9001:2015 next year once RSB has approved it.
Speaking on the importance of the standard, Ramata noted that the ISO 9001:2008 standard is recognized worldwide and their customers understand the benefits of working with companies that are ISO 9001certified.
“It gives them assurance that our management systems are constantly assessed and approved,” he noted.
He added that it is a process to acquire the certification and that they work and improve everyday to protect it.
“It’s not that easy because it’s about the procedure, presentation and making sure that we provide what is expected from our staffs to the customers. We are audited by RSB and we ensure that we give the best,” he explained.
Indeed, the team at Nakumatt ensures every procedure is followed to the dot.
Further, items that do not conform to RBS standards are never stocked at Nakumatt Rwanda or any of its sister stores in East Africa.
When it comes to storage, they make sure that perishable or dead products are well-stored and not mixed with expired products.
They ensure a customer doesn’t access expired products.
“We ensure that every expired product is removed from the shelf timely, ahead of its expiry date and within its shelf-life,” said Ramata.
They also ensure that everything is done timely as per a plan and in strict compliance to local and global quality management standards.
“For example, we re-stock clothes ahead of a holiday such as Christmas, which is why our tagline is ‘you need it, we’ve got it’.”
Come the first week of December, Christmas festive items shall be well-stocked at Nakumatt.
“We think about our customers ahead of time and ensure that we keep ahead of our competition because they cannot ignore anything while we assume we are the best. We keep on improving day in day out.”
ISO certification not only for imports
Ramata emphasized that the ISO certification does not mean that Nakumatt Rwanda imports all its products because they are ISO certified.
“We have so many Rwandan products that are ISO certified and we always advise all our local suppliers to ensure that they have quality products, which also includes their packaging.”
He said that they advise suppliers to liaise with RSB, who are very approachable and ready to assist and advise to ensure that people have the best products and right packaging.
“This is something RSB has to be credited for.”
Thanks to the improved quality of Rwandan products today, Nakumatt buys from local suppliers close to 50 per cent of its stock, up from 20 per cent when the regional retail giant had just started in Rwanda.
“We are supporting farmers and anybody who comes with quality products. Our offices are open every day and all the time and we are ready to assist them whenever they need us. We are also available on phone and email for them.”
He urged Rwandan entrepreneurs to embrace standardization because it is an enabler of business that opens markets for local products.
“With a quality product, a trader has a chance to export it abroad so that they can grow as local producers.”
As Terry Hill, president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) said two years ago: “International standards stimulate trade, overcome artificial trade barriers and help level the playing field. This makes companies, industries and economies more competitive, making it easier for them to export, and stimulates diversification nationally and internationally.