SADC Quality Awards: Manzini Municipality Wins Again
The Municipal Council of Manzini has once again won in the 2022 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Quality Awards. The award ceremony was held virtually last week Thursday. The Municipality got first prize in the category of company of the year – large enterprise as well as in that of service of the year – large enterprise. The Municipality’s SHERQ Officer, Khombisile Dlamini, who is responsible for driving the urban government’s quality management system, also got special recognition for her commitment in driving quality in the organisation. The Municipality adopted the ISO 9001 Quality Management System global standard way back in 2015. It started off with the ISO 9001:2008 standard and later on transitioned to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. The ISO 90O1 is a customer-centric quality management system whose primary objective is the achievement of customer satisfaction in service delivery. The Municipality also won during similar awards in the year 2020. Many a people might be wondering what it is that the Municipality does so perfectly for it to catch the attention of quality experts at the SADC level. The following is a high level insight into the Municipality’s quality prowess;
- SERVICE IMPROVEMENT CULTURE
- The Municipality has adopted a culture of continual improvement in service delivery. For example; the turnaround time for processing of building applications has improved from six weeks to one week. Moreover, the timelines for processing of health inspection applications has improved from 21 days to three days. The cherry on top has been the introduction of a night response team for purposes of addressing issues of noise pollution during the night; amongst other responsibilities. Furthermore, convenient methods for rates payment have been introduced. As an improvement from only cash payments at the Rates Hall, ratepayers are now able to pay their rates using MTN Mobile Money, Eswatini Mobile e-Mali, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), debit orders and debit/credit card swiping. More user-friendly payment mechanisms are being explored.
- AN ORGANISATION THAT LISTENS TO CUSTOMERS AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION
The Municipality has in place multiple mechanisms through which it receives service delivery feedback. On an annual basis, Integrated Development Plan (IDP) feedback meetings are held with city citizens at the community level. This platform provides an opportunity for the Municipality to report progress in the delivery of the five-year IDP, and where challenges are being encountered, such is also expressed. The organisation also conducts citywide customer satisfaction surveys every two years as a way of gauging the level of citizen satisfaction in the municipal service that is rendered. Based on the results of the survey, an action plan is developed for service improvement purposes. The Municipality also has a 24/7 Call Centre (800 2004/2505 email@example.com) and WhatsApp numbers (7808 2333/7908 2333) through which it collects customer feedback in relation to service delivery. The customer feedback is documented, action taken and feedback given to the customer. Again, service rating is conducted on a case by case basis. The Municipality is also available on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) wherein service related interaction happens between itself and customers. An effort is made to address service concerns that are raised by customers.
- MUNICIPAL LEADERSHIP DEMONSTRATES COMMITMENT TO QUALITY SERVICE DELIVERY, INNOVATION AND CUSTOMER FOCUS
The leadership of the Municipality demonstrates undoubted commitment to municipal quality service, innovation and customer focus. Organizational vision and mission statements put emphasis on quality municipal service, innovation and partnering with stakeholders. Moreover, the leadership has introduced what is referred to as quality circles for purposes of finding solutions to service gaps. The Municipality also has a mechanism of identifying service inefficiencies and appropriate interventions put in place. Moreover, annual internal and external quality audits are conducted in order to ensure consistent compliance with the ISO 9001 standard. Where deviations are noted, non-conformance reports and (or) opportunities for improvement are issued. Additionally, it is a requirement that each department convenes periodic quality management system meetings. Quality issues also form part of the agenda in management meetings. Quality objectives and targets are set by the leadership team and performance reviews conducted.
- MUNICIPALITY PRIORITISES STAKEHOLDER ACCOUNTABILITY, CONSULTATION
The Municipality values the good governance principles of accountability and constant communication with its stakeholders. On an annual basis, it holds an Annual General Meeting; during which it reports on its performance during the previous year, challenges encountered as well as takes service improvement suggestions from its stakeholders. Moreover, it has adopted a stakeholder participatory approach to development. For example, the process of developing its 5-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP) starts with consultation of stakeholders in order to afford them an opportunity to influence the projects and programmes that end up making it into the final IDP. Even during the development of the annual municipal budget, stakeholders are consulted. The Municipality also prioritises communication with its stakeholders; through multiple communication platforms including both traditional and digital media.
- MUNICIPALITY INTRODUCING MORE QUALITY SYSTEMS
The Municipality is in the process of introducing more quality management system standards. For example, its microbiological laboratory is currently awaiting accreditation on ISO/IEC 17025. The organization is also currently establishing the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management system. Moreover, a customer experience team has recently been introduced and all departments are represented therein.
…MANZINI MUNICIPALITY’S QUALITY POLICY STATEMENT
“Quality service delivery is core to the mission of the organisation and the quality policy is a deliberate effort by MCM (Municipal Council of Manzini) to continuously improve its operations in order to ensure provision of quality services to the city’s customers. This is done to ensure that the needs and expectations of our stakeholders are met and exceeded at all times. The provision of quality services is linked to the ever-changing external and internal setting of the organisation for relevance and sustainability purposes. The purpose of the quality policy is to provide guidance in the organisation on best practices of providing quality services through the Quality Management System (QMS) based on the ISO 9001:2015 standard to contribute towards the overall achievement of the mandate of the organisation. It provides a statement of intent to customers and relevant stakeholders and sets a framework for developing quality objectives. The Council commits to ensuring the following goals are met;
- To continously engage our stakeholders to gather needs and expectations for effective planning and delivery of services.
- To deliver reliable services to customers in time and according to our customer needs and expectations.
- To gather and effectively address all customer related complaints on time.
- To demonstrate compliance to ISO 9001:2015 standard requirements, legal and other requirements.
- To develop and maintain a good relationship with all suppliers and stakeholders through effective communication and encouraging feedback.
- To continually improve our operations including QMS operations through effective process management.
- To effectively communicate the quality policy and its goals to all employees, customers, suppliers and all parties for effective implementation”.