American, European, and Chinese National Quality Awards
In my opinion, quality awards are essential to companies as this is a perfect marketing tool and a showcase of business excellence. National and regional quality awards differ in the requirements and the whole procedure of judging the companies and products. For example, Deming Prize includes American companies. In this case, if the company fits the requirements, it can win the award. For other regional awards like European Quality Award, only the companies within the continent of Europe are taking this prestigious nomination like this award. Another interesting award is the Chinese National Quality Award which is constantly developing its requirements for companies to stay competitive in terms of quality issues. Business Excellence is achieved through the constant process of striving to obtain the nomination. At the same time, the judging process is already a positive result for each company that becomes a contestant. Business Excellence always requires a view from the outside and in this case critical recommendations and the areas in which the companies should improve are highlighted.
Chapter 8 of the book focused on the international standards of quality. ISO is one of the most prominent of them, and it features a whole strategic system of quality and planning. While reading this chapter, I have got an interesting view that the standards of quality are important in terms of providing knowledge to the company specialists who are entitled to do the action plans and develop the company vision for the future. Everyone who creates a company strategy should remain focused on detail. At the same time, these details should not overlap with prioritizing quality and standards. That is why ISO and other standards like ISO help companies stay focused on the most important areas of function and operations. Too many organizations worldwide are now seeking for this ‘best way’ of improvement that will lead them to the expected outcome, i.e. business excellence. Standards help such companies remain focused and remain up-to-date in the constantly changing business environment.
If my organization strives to achieve business excellence in operations, I would first of all start with evaluating the current position – where it stands at the moment, what is the market position, market share, who are the customers, what business processes require implementation of standards, and finally how it fits into international quality standards. Then, I would focus on Six Sigma to implement quality standards within the organization. Everything in the company would be changed to fit the requirements of customers and the errors of operational processes to Six Sigma standards. After the organization achieves the Six Sigma business process status, the standards will be moved to obtain ISO 9000:2000. This standard will enable everything in an organization to function properly. Only after the company works after ISO standards, one can talk about business excellence. And this would be the final goal – fitting company strategy together with ISO 9000:2000.
In U.A.E., I once experienced poor customer service with one of the major mobile operators. I had a problem – too much money was deducted from my account just at once – and decided to call the hotline. But the guy was really rude, and he was not helpful at all. Instead, I felt like I did not know where I was calling. Perhaps, the organizational design of this mobile operator does not involve quality control for call centers. Or maybe these call centers are outsourced, and there is no control at all. The problem in such cases is not in the hands of those individuals who are working for these companies, but the company design and the denial of standard operating procedures which need to be implemented at every stage. Customer service nowadays becomes more and more advanced, and companies like that must be excellent in providing customer service. Having read these chapters on business excellence, I now know that many companies are simply unaware of what is going on at the bottom line. So I prefer to help them by writing politely and writing customer complaint letters recommending the company to test their customer service and fit it to standards.
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