The intimate and significant relationship between science and technology has been growing in the Jamaican society for the last two decades.
Economically conscious Jamaica began its transformation by infiltrating science and technology into the collegiate syllabus. The crossover into academia consequently saw Jamaican companies incorporating scientific and technological services into effectively expanding their businesses, which in turn played an integral role in the progression of the country's thriving business industry. The leading company to facilitate and foster such change, providing quality service in the field to different entities for several years, has been Technological Solutions Limited (TSL).
Now located at the Trade Centre - 30-32 Red Hills Road, Unit 31 - TSL opened its doors in 1996 and has made positive strides in assisting and preparing its clients to handle the technological and scientific demands of the global marketplace.
TSL has been dedicated to providing a wide range of technical services and support needed to make these organisations more manageable and marketable locally, regionally and internationally, and has been involved in importation, exporting, manufacturing, distribution, agriculture, agro-processing, food services, hospitality and technology. Managing director and principal consultant Dr André Gordon declared: "TSL provides the support required to improve your competitiveness, profitability and meet your customers' needs."
The technical services that TSL offers include, but are not limited to, customised food safety, quality systems training, assessments (audits/inspections) and system implementation.
The company provides plant and facility layout and design, new product development, profit improvement, trouble-shooting and technical consultancy services.
It also offers laboratory/analytical services, and has built a satisfied clientele spanning companies locally to organisations located in countries within the Caribbean, as well as Europe, the United States and South Africa.
In explaining the process by which TSL establishes any company already a part of or who would like to be a part of the growing manufacturing sector, Gordon said: "We can provide all of the technical support and advice that they need to do everything from taking their initial idea through to having the product on the shelf. That is transforming their idea into a product, into a developing manufacturing plant, either their own or other people, to putting all the systems to develop and deliver a good quality product, help them design and build their plants, and have them export the products into whichever market they desire."
assiSting the productive sector
The reputable TSL has supplied technical assistance to the productive sector. Sectors like the agriculture and the agro-processing industry have benefited greatly from TSL, farmers received technical training in good manufacturing practices and good agricultural practices, needed to enhance and improve their companies and TSL assisted in the attainment of necessary certification requirements needed to tap into the export market.
Recognised by the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration as experts in food safety and thermal processing, TSL is the only company in the region to introduce and apply hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) systems in the Caribbean, approved by the regulatory authorities in the US and European Union, thereby facilitating exports into these markets.
TSL trains employees in getting food handlers permits, teaches good food handling practices, examines the quality of the products served, formulates them, sees how best they manage their distribution systems, and explores services they provide their customers.
Several technologies have been introduced into the Caribbean by TSL, some of which are routine today. TSL uses accelerated shelf-life determination, determining the shelf life of products. This is utilised by companies in the food services, manufacturing, importing, and distribution industries. TSL experts use formula-safe technology, to assist several companies to be able to have traditionally produced food products meet international standards. Many of the traditional products in the developing world do not have the scientific backing as elsewhere; the products are safe, but these companies are just unable to prove it. TSL works with these companies and their products, to improve the technology and document and refine the technology used to produce the product. Other technologies include ingredient technology, sensory measurement technology, and predictive modelling technology.
TSL aided in lifting the import alert set on canned ackees, assisting the Jamaican ackee-processing industry and regulatory agency to get FDA approval. The company was actively involved in getting strombus giga (Queen Conch) back into the European market by developing appropriate legislation, implementing compliant food-safety systems at processing plants and assisting with the upgrade of local capacity to regulate the sector.
TSL made extensive contributions in 2003, coming up with scientific study and characteristics, into putting locally produced Tastee Cheese back into the export market.
Vivette Gooden, quality assurance manager at Dairy Industries Jamaica Limited, announced that their association pre-dates her, but the company has had quite a good relationship with TSL, drawing on its expertise in thermal processes, auditing and anything food related. TSL has provided consulation and lab work for them, and they can rely on TSL, especially during crunch time.
General manager of the Jamaica Exporters' Association (JEA) Jean Smith noted that TSL has been a member of the association for more than 15 years. TSL has won several awards from the JEA for its performance as a leading exporter. They both partnered in hosting and undertaking successful workshops on standardised procedures such as HACCP for companies, geared towards meeting the requirements for the international export market.
TSL has built successful businesses through science and technology, providing services tailored to the company's specific business needs.
Gordon affirmed that, while some businesses only seek their services once something has gone wrong, quite a few companies have approached them with the intention of taking the necessary precaution to run and expand their company, while others will request exporting advice and services. He acknowledged international clientele is growing considerably, and TSL has surpassed its growth target of 35 per cent this year, despite the country's economic state.
'We can provide all of the technical support and advice that they need, to do everything from taking their initial idea through to having the product on the shelf. That is transforming their idea into a product, into a developing manufacturing plant ... .'
TSL provides the support required to improve your competitiveness, profitability and meet your customers' needs.