A critique of the impact of Eskom's quality management system failures on business operations
Semase, Pheta Ishmael
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The implementation of Quality Management Systems plays a major role within the majority of the companies wishing to excel in their business operations and customer service. Eskom embarked on a journey to Business excellence in March 2012, which involves the implementation of auditable Quality Management Systems in all its divisions and departments in its value chain. The company achieved a companywide ISO 9001 :2008 certificate in March 2013, compliance and consequent certification are a major achievement, particularly for a company of Eskom's size, more so due to the short period of time in which this achievement was reached. For any company to reap the benefits of ISO 9001 :2008 Quality Management System certification; surveillance audits, internal audits and other risk mitigation initiatives has to be conducted by the company as part the continuous improvement initiatives prescribed by the ISO 9001 standard. This study was carried out by obtaining data from audit and inspection reports, focused group discussions with professional quality practitioners and a site visit to different power generating stations was also conducted by the researcher, engaging with different people at shop floor level as part of the direct observation data collection. Although control of product and service non-conformances goes a long way in reducing failure rate in company operations, OMS also plays a critical role in ensuring that operations are controlled and ran efficiently. Results obtained from this study indicated that Eskom has not fully benefited from the implementation of the ISO 9001 :2008 systems as a result of inconclusive audit findings, reoccurring non-conformances relating to the Turbine and Boiler equipment
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