Business Excellence | Improve Your Business!
Business excellence, what is it? It is surely an important factor in today’s competitive global market. Over the decades there have been a number of attempts to develop a business excellence tool which will help businesses large or small to fully understand, implement and benefit from business excellence fundamentals.
Usually within an organisation there is a corporate quality head who has been nominated by the CEO or Managing Director. This individual is usually a representative of the senior management team and is often referred to as the business excellence process owner. They possibly have had experience in quality techniques such as Six Sigma, Integrated Business Planning / MRPII Class A (Oliver Wight) or ISO 9001
Total Quality Management and Business Excellence
If a business is really serious about realising its excellence objectives it should be fully committed to providing client satisfaction through a system of continuous improvement. Indeed in my organisation there has been a Business Improvement Log maintained for the past five years , where operational excellence ideas are logged, monitored and in due course (on the rationale that the concept is truly viable) implemented.
In our organisation, we have truly achieved, in some areas, world class operational results.
This approach also helps the organisational efforts to create and sustain a working environment that is conducive towards the employee for them to perform at levels of excellence, whilst at the same time achieving personal satisfaction and active participation in the unequivocal success of the business.
Quality Equals Success (Most of the time!)
Quite simply “Quality” is a basis of achieving an improved way of working. Specialists who look to use “quality management” to improve their organisations effectiveness and awareness are essentially attempting to create a directional map to business excellence success.
A company can measure its true business excellence success by measuring the effectiveness of what it does against that of its competitors, endeavouring to be more efficient and delivering higher satisfaction to their customers.
There are a number of ways to measure performance (in my eyes if you don't know how you are performing whether it be bad or good, you will never know if you don't have some sort of measure) the most common being an agreed set of key performance measures. These must be indicators that can have a true bearing on the success of your operations and not just measures that will make you feel good because you know you will easily achieve them.
There is never any harm in setting targets that can be achieved, but also set some stretch goals. It is generally agreed in the market place that senior executives who are seen getting hands on and assisting their staff, actually promote better results.
The Business Model
Business excellence differs slightly from TQM (total quality management) as it is more of a management discipline to steer business performance and embed a continuous improvement culture.
The readers of this paper who are close to business excellence models and are well versed in its theories will have heard of Baldridge. This is a world renowned excellence model revolves around its framework of central values and ideals that are found to be common drivers of business excellence in organisations that are seen as market and/or industry leaders.
The fundamental starting point for your business is to know where you stand at this very point in time. Introduce some core performance indicators that are believed to be the fundamentals of your business and ones that can offer an advantage over the competition.
These values need to be developed so a culture of continuous improvement can be adopted, ideas are encouraged to flow and that your leadership drives forward these ideas to an end result and continued business success.