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National Quality Week Business Excellence Seminar

23 November 2015 – The Business Excellence Seminar directed at business owners, CEOs and quality managers was held at Valverde Eco Hotel on 12 November, and was aimed at introducing business leaders  to the latent benefits of using the right processes, while engendering an attitude of quality as the proven means to achieving better profits, rapid business growth and ultimately – lasting success.

Quality goes beyond being just an element of business, and really should be the driving force and core of the business. Quality is the backbone of competitiveness as shown in the Ferdows and De Meyer studies.

“Success goes further than just running your business systematically, and the quality and predictability of its processes is vital. Too many businesses are struggling simply because they have failed to ensure they have the right systems in place, and they do not have the right tools to monitor, support and improve those processes,” said Ian Huntly CEO of RSPH and founding member of Manufacturing Accelerator Programme (MAPtm). The mission of MAPtm is to support growth by raising the competitiveness and profitability of business through defining a clear and distinctive business strategy and knowledge transfer; focussing on innovation of products, markets or processes; continuous skills development of management and employees; operational processes underpinned with modern industry-specific information management, ensuring repeatable processes with accurate measurement of performance in the critical areas. Ignoring essential business elements like these is suicidal.

Based on the Japanese Nakane model, the suggested path of priority should be:

  • quality -> dependability -> cost -> flexibility

South African manufacturers generally tend to do this in reverse, which will ultimately result in the business going backwards.

Chairman of The South African Quality Institute and quality expert, Dr. Lucas Moloi was at the event and explained the importance of ensuring organisations have their houses in order now, and why they should adopt the best standards for the business. Our South African constitution is the only one in the world that mentions quality of life, “Ensure that the quality of life you expect today lasts and improves the lives of tomorrow’s unborn.”

When talking about quality of life, Moloi not only spoke about the importance of what we project to the world in terms of personal pride and the quality of our interactions with the people we surround ourselves with, but also the quality of the legacy we leave behind. “Would our descendants be proud or ashamed to be associated with us as individuals? If the quality of our thoughts and actions are pure and have integrity, then those attributes inevitably filter through our organisations as we lead by example. As South Africans, we have generally accepted that mediocrity is normal. We do not make the effort to report a price discrepancy on the shelves of shopping centres because we have allowed ourselves to accept unaccountability.”

Quality has to come from within at a personal level. “Once you have internalised the quality standards you expect, MAPtm is a marvellous process with tools that can help you achieve and maintain those standards across the board,” said Moloi.

Mapping out the right standards and processes for your business to operate optimally is a journey that is dependent on deep commitment and perseverance. Once you have begun that journey it is imperative to ensure you have the right software in place to ensure they are adhered to and maintained for as long as they serve the organisation as a whole – not simply for the sake of having an ISO compliance certificate on the wall.

SoftExpert CEO and founder Ricardo Lepper elaborated on how Brazilian companies are succeeding during this economic depression and why the timing is so important. Brazil has had an even more torrid time with the commodity slowdown than South Africa, however the difference in recovery is quite startling.

Brazilian business owners realised very quickly in order to regain competitiveness in today’s volatile market required a deep review of their business and eliminating the wasteful processes ruthlessly. They have more than doubled their commitment to the ISO processes, standards and have been seeing dramatic results in a very short period of time. Lepper challenged SA businesses to expand or run the risk of extinction, and work with their team in Southern Africa.

Mike Smith, quality expert and business process consultant for RSPH described how the lean business processes of today are matched by capabilities of the SoftExpert System and demonstrated some powerful examples of meeting the challenge of Business Excellence as honoured annually in the Baldrige Awards. Having the right software in place to help support and manage business processes also helps to measure the performance of organisations as an overall entity. If your finger is not on the pulse of business at every point, you cannot possibly fix what you cannot measure.  

About MAPtm

Established in 2013 by Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings and Isah International B.V. from the Netherlands, MAPTM aims to capture world class practices and technologies to enable the regeneration of the South African manufacturing sector and, by addressing elements such as cost, quality, on-time delivery, to elevate SA’s manufacturers to equal world class in a unique and highly transformative engagement. MAPtm South Africa has become part of the world-wide MAPtm programme which combines best practices, knowledge and experiences from all over the world, including the US and Canada.

About The South African Quality Institute (SAQI)

While quality includes principles such as inspection, control of processes, auditing etc based on standards such ISO 9000, it also includes, for example, management systems and continuous improvement, customer satisfaction and market focus, teamwork and the well-being of employees.

These principles are all critical to success, whether in health care, education, manufacturing, the service industry or the public sector. Quality is the critical success factor in competitiveness, especially when doing business internationally. SAQI is where South African companies go to find direction in establishing and maintaining Quality principles in their organisations.

About SoftExpert

SoftExpert is a market leader in software and services for enterprise-wide Business Excellence through business process improvement and compliance management, providing the most comprehensive application suite to empower organisations to increase business performance at all levels, and to maximise industry-mandated compliance and corporate governance and compliance programs. Founded in 1995, and currently with more than 2,000 customers and 300,000 users worldwide, SoftExpert solutions are being used to enhance existing ERP systems by thought-leading corporations in all kinds of industries, including manufacturing, automotive, life sciences, food and beverage, mining and metals, oil and gas, high-tech, IT, energy and utilities, government and public sector, financial services, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and many others.  SoftExpert, along with its extensive network of international partners, provides hosting, implementation, post-sales support and validation services for all solutions to ensure that customers get the maximum value from their investments.SPH

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