Introducing the KSA
The KSA or Kitchen Specialists Association, is a regulatory body which oversees the kitchen industry from manufacturers, to installers and suppliers. To give our customers a better idea of what it means to be a member of the KSA, we’re taking a closer look at the association and its standards.
We, at Sonae Arauco, are proud members of the KSA. In order for us to obtain and retain membership with the association, we are required to meet a set of strict criteria that ensures that our wood-based decorative panels, customer service and business practises are of the highest quality.
According to the KSA website it is a non-profit organisation – which currently has regional committees based in a number of provinces, including Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape – which was established to oversee and regulate the kitchen industry, including both manufacturers and installers of kitchens, as well as material and equipment suppliers in South Africa. They go on to state that, as an association, they have two main missions, namely:
- “To create a professional and stable trading environment in which the industry can prosper, and consumers can enjoy peace of mind.”
- “To be a national organisation, representing the country’s reputable kitchen manufacturers and associated product suppliers with the purpose of offering the public peace of mind by association as well as facilitating solution driven resolutions between members and consumers in areas of dispute.”
The KSA has a number of strict requirements and regulations which its members need to meet in order to ensure that the companies which fall under the KSA umbrella are producing products of the highest quality and, as a result, affords consumers protection and a sense of security when purchasing kitchen products. Having a membership with the KSA also gives kitchen manufacturers, installers and suppliers the opportunity to call themselves kitchen specialists, distinguishing themselves as well as their products, within the industry.
In order for a company – whether a supplier such as Sonae Arauco, or a manufacturer and installer – to apply for KSA membership, they are not only required to have both a good standing within the industry, but their references must be thoroughly checked and they will need to meet the following minimum standards:
- The company must have a showroom
- They need to be a registered company in terms of South African law, be registered for VAT and need to have been trading for a minimum of three years
- The company is required to offer a minimum of a one-year guarantee on their product and installation
Beyond that, the KSA also offers both consumers and members recourse against unsatisfactory work in the form of mediation services. This gives consumers the option to lodge a complaint against a member if the work or product they received does not live up to the KSA’s standard, at which point the KSA will then make every effort to investigate and resolve the issue in a way which is fair to both of the parties involved.
The KSA also has a secure holding account where both consumers and members can place disputed funds, deposits and other payments, which enables the KSA to protect the consumer’s funds and build trust between the consumers and its members.
Lastly, KSA does not only exist to ensure consumer security, it also brings many additional benefits to its members. Being a member of the KSA gives the kitchen manufacturer, supplier or installer the opportunity to have a say in the future of the industry and KSA policies, as well as free local sales leads and publicity generated by the KSA’s marketing campaigns, information updates which enable members to stay on top of regulations and industry trends, access to affiliate members (such as leading manufacturers) and in-store point-of-sale support material.