1. South African Quality Institutes Latest News

    April 20, 2013 by ahmed

    The South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa.

    In the Feb-Mar newsletter “e-Quality Edge” SAQI announced the theme of 2013 Quality Week which is “Building Quality into our Nation”, SAQI is trying to promote a culture of quality throughout South Africa. In the newsletter there are a number of interesting articles such as:

    a) part 2 of Paul Naysmith’s article “My Toyota Dilemma”. In this part Paul compares between registering a car in the UK and in Louisiana, US from personal experience.
    b) “Does lean thinking apply to Service Industries?” by Jacques Partner”
    c) “Supplier management” by Monde Mekute.
    d) “Looking Back & Going Forward” by Terry Booysen,

    Also, included is the regular column by Dr Richard Hayward about quality in schools where he talks about homework. Dr Hayward presents five tips for parents to help children get into a good homework study routine.


  2. Toyota Leadership Changes Signal New Direction, Analysts Say

    April 18, 2013 by ahmed

    Toyota motor is the largest car manufacturer in the world, Toyota name is associated with quality and reliable cars. Unfortunately, its image was badly hurt by a safety-related recall of more than 7 million cars.

    The incidents raised questions about the company’s quality control and customer service. The company was criticized for its slow response to react and manage the crisis, which was due to the management structure that prevented quick decisions.

    The company also suffered from a supply-chain disruptions post to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but in spite of the difficult years Toyota has returned to No. 1 largest automaker in 2012 for the first time in two years.

    So, how has Toyota managed to achieve this?

    For the first time in its history Toyota started a series of promotions and appointments of senior managers and board members from outside of Toyota. Is that an indicator of culture change in Toyota? It could be.

    To know more about the new appointments, read Industry Week article below.

    Note: Industry Week magazine is one of the leading magazines in the industrial sector, it’s is available in full-text up to date as part of BPIR membership, join now to and get access to 600+ periodical.


    Toyota’s management style has been criticized in recent years as too parochial for a global business, and its shortcomings were highlighted by a slow response to the recall of millions of vehicles since 2009 over safety defects.

    A management shake-up at Toyota heralds a new era that will force the firm to look beyond the narrow confines of corporate life in Japan and help it in the global marketplace, analysts said on Thursday.

    The world’s largest automaker said it had appointed three outside board members for the first time, and would appoint non-Japanese CEOs in the U.S., Africa and Latin America, in addition to Europe.

    It marks a huge shift for Toyota (IW 1000/5), which had always followed traditional Japanese management practices, with most of its executives and senior managers picked from people who had risen through the ranks.

    But its management style had come in for criticism in recent years as too parochial for a global business, and its shortcomings were highlighted by a slow response to the recall of millions of vehicles since 2009 over safety defects.

    Analysts said they hoped the changes would lead to a new management approach.

    “Toyota’s leadership changes portend a new era,” said James Post, an expert on corporate governance at Boston University School of Management.

    “New directors, drawn from beyond Japan’s shores, will help develop a truly global view at the top,” he added.

    The overhaul includes the appointment of Mark Hogan, an American who used to work for arch-rival General Motors, who will become the first foreign businessman to sit on the Toyota board without having come from the ranks of the company.

    The two others appointed to the board are Japanese – Ikuo Uno, executive adviser for Nippon Life Insurance, and Haruhiko Kato, president of Japan Securities Depository Center.

    The leadership shuffle came after a few difficult years for Toyota, which included the huge recalls that were both expensive and embarrassing.

    “Toyota has always been criticized on its quality of corporate governance,” Koichi Sugimoto, a senior analyst at BNP Paribas said. “We expect something positive to come out of this new system.”

    Critics have also said the traditional Japanese management style practiced by Toyota focused on team spirit and consensus, and produced bosses who tried to avoid making waves and were unprepared to take risks.

    However, previous attempts to bring international members onto Toyota’s board have not gone well.

    The first foreigner promoted onto the board was American Jim Press, who was given a seat in 2007 after nearly four decades with the company. However, he resigned from the post after just five months and went to rival carmaker Chrysler.

    President Akio Toyoda said he hoped the shake-up would cement Toyota’s recovery from the quake-tsunami in 2011, which hammered production and sales, as well as floods in Thailand that hit key suppliers.

    Industry Week, 7-Mar-2013

  3. Tata’s Baldrige Advantage: A Multinational’s Model for Performance Excellence

    April 14, 2013 by ahmed

    The Baldrige framework for Business Excellence has been used as an award framework in many countries around the world for more than two decades. However, it has been shown that organisations get the most benefit if they embed the business excellence concepts into their systems and processes and undertaken annual self-assessments against the framework.

    One organisation that has truly embraced business excellence is the Tata Group. Tata group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology (Tata Consultancy Services were a runner up in the overseas category for the NZ Best Practice Competition 2012), engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries.

    The group started to implement the framework in late 90’s and called it Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM) which is ‘customised-to-Tata’ adaptation of the Malcolm Baldrige model.

    Performance is measured in absolute points; companies have to achieve a minimum of 500 points (out of 1,000) within four years of signing the Brand Equity and Business Promotion (BEBP) Programme agreement.

    Below is a blog post from Blogrige (the official Baldrige blog) on Tata’s Business Excellence journey


    If you live in North America, you’re probably familiar with Tetley, Good Earth, and Eight O’Clock coffee. These brands are among many owned by some of the more than 100 Tata companies, spanning six continents, whose combined revenue was $83.3 billion in 2010-2011 and whose combined global workforce is over 425,000. Based in India, the multinational conglomerate known as the Tata Group operates in more than 80 countries and exports products and services to 85 countries.

    What you might not realize is that Tata companies have been using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence for more than 15 years. While each Tata company or enterprise operates independently, all Tata-branded companies use the Baldrige systems framework. That’s because all Tata companies benefit from using the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM). The TBEM is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and maintains the seven categories of the Criteria framework by name. To license the Tata brand, each Tata company must sign a legal agreement with the Tata Group holding company, Tata Sons, that ensures that it will follow Tata’s code of conduct and the TBEM.

    According to Tata Quality Management Services’s Sunil Sinha, Tata companies began using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in the early 1990s. Based on their success, the Tata Group formally adopted the Baldrige Criteria and introduced the TBEM in 1994. Since then, the conglomerate has continually adapted its use of the Criteria to its strategic situation, bolstering self-assessment questions to strengthen each Tata company’s strategy. Tata also has added emphasis on systematically focusing on innovation as it uses the Criteria in its internal performance assessments.

    As Sinha affirmed in a recent phone interview, the Tata Group maintains a reputation for strong corporate governance values and practices that reflect a responsibility to society and the environment. “We realized that a group that has global aspirations needed to be strong in [Baldrige Criteria item] 1.2,” he says. So, among other adaptations of the Baldrige Criteria scoring system, Tata companies receive separate scores on their safety processes and safety results in TBEM assessments, and if they score relatively low in safety results, points are deducted from their score on leadership processes.

    Sinha presides over the Tata Group’s TBEM assessment process in his role as chief executive officer of Tata Quality Management Services (TQMS), a Tata division that helps other companies in the conglomerate improve their performance. TQMS conducts three kinds of assessments: (1) Basic: a high-level, fundamental assessment tailored for companies at relatively lower levels of maturity that quickly identifies key opportunities for improvement; (2) Standard: a fuller Criteria-based assessment like those of the Baldrige Program’s annual award process; and (3) Intensive: a detailed examination of the Tata company’s strategy and processes, which considers the robustness of its improvement strategies. This is done for the more mature companies and typically is more prescriptive.

    For the past 18 years, each Tata company receiving a TQMS assessment has received a site visit as part of the process. “Every company, whether low-scoring or high-scoring, gets a site visit because we want to give them an opportunity for learning,” says Sinha. During a site visit, a company receives a set of Criteria category scores and category-by-category presentations on its performance; later, it also receives a detailed feedback report. In each case, a TQMS consultant supports the assessment team in ensuring a high-quality assessment. The assessment system also helps each company create action plans based on the feedback, with a TQMS account manager assigned responsibility for helping the company improve. This account manager works jointly with the TQMS consultant who assisted the assessment team in interpreting the feedback for the assessed Tata company. To prepare internal assessors for this process, the TQMS division trains about 3,000 managers every year from across the Tata Group companies. “This allows for cross-pollination and builds managerial capability across our companies,” says Sinha.

    As a result of the use of the TBEM and assessment process, Sinha has witnessed significant benefits to Tata companies around the world. “We have seen a lot of companies becoming more competitive, customer-oriented, and process-focused,” he says. At the same time, he stresses, “The program is an improvement process, not an award process.” According to Sinha, the key insight that the assessment process must be part of a company’s ongoing performance excellence journey, and not a short-term focus on winning an award, led Tata to rename the model TBEM from an award program originally named for the Tata Group’s former chairman, JRD Tata. “If [the TBEM] is treated purely as award criteria, there could be some resistance to embark on the journey,” says Sinha, adding that this risk is particularly strong where a company’s market is very demanding. However, he says, if use of the business excellence model “becomes part of a focus on continuous improvement, more companies will benefit from it.”

    In one of Tata’s Leadership Thoughts videos, Sinha explains more about Tata’s use of the Baldrige-based TBEM program. Another video tracing the evolution of the use of the Baldrige Criteria through Tata’s Business Excellence Model may be found here.

    Clearly, Tata’s internal Baldrige-based business excellence model and assessment process have created a unified system to promote performance excellence in its companies around the world. Is it time for your company to start reaping similar benefits from a Baldrige improvement journey? Get started here. Or, if your organization is already using the Criteria to great benefit, please share your story!

  4. BPIR Best Practice Newsletter April – 2013

    April 10, 2013 by ahmed

    Check out our latest BPIR newsletter:

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  5. Impact of business excellence quality awards on enterprises

    April 9, 2013 by ahmed

    According to research conducted by the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research there are at least 86 countries that have a National Quality or Business Excellence award, this is nearly half countries of the world.

    The question that comes to mind is what is the impact of Business Excellence awards? Do they deliver a competitive advantage? Is there a real benefit that justifies the effort and cost associated with implementing and promoting Business Excellence awards?

    To answer these questions COER conducted research on behalf of the Center of Excellence (COE) of the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO). The research aimed to identify the relevance of business excellence for long-term competitiveness and sustainability in Asia.

    The research focused on five countries: India, Japan, Republic of China, Singapore, and Thailand. Participating organizations were from the private sector and ranged from early adopters of business excellence to award winners.

    The research has made a significant contribution to the understanding of business excellence, its application, and its impact within Asia.

    Following the research, COER published three guidebooks for SMEs to assist in the the uptake of Business Excellence within Asian SMEs.

    • Engaging SMEs in Business Excellence: A guidebook for National Productivity Organizations (NPO)
    • Understanding Business Excellence: An awareness guidebook for SMEs
    • Implementing Business Excellence: A guidebook for SMEs

    The full research report and the three guidebooks can be downloaded from COER’s website here.