Excellence Awards and Quality Standards

Excellence Awards

Excellence awards are prizes that are given to companies that are outstanding in one way or another. An excellence award is given to an organization as recognition of the company’s role in achieving excellence in providing quality products and services. The award may also be awarded to a company for its outstanding role in upholding practices that promote environmental sustainability. Some of the renowned excellence awards across global economic regions are discussed below:

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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

This is an award that recognizes the public as well as private organizations in the U.S. for their good performance. The President of the U. S. gives the award to the best organization. The organizations given this award are those in the business sector, education, health care, as well as non-profit making organizations. It is important to note that the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the only formal award in the United States that recognizes both the private as well as the public sector (Heaphy & Gruska, 1993). The award is managed by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. This is a program that was formulated by the ‘U. S. Department of Commerce’ and its management is under the ‘National Institute of Standards and Technology.’ The institution offers about 18 awards every year. Several classes of organizations are considered for the awards. The categories are arranged depending on the industries in which the organization operates. They include “manufacturing, health care, service industry, small businesses, non- profit making organizations, as well as the education sector.”

The prize was established in the year 1987 through the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987. The award was named after Malcolm Baldrige upon its establishment. Baldrige was a man who worked as the Secretary of the ‘U. S. Department of Commerce’ between the years 1981 and 1987 when he died following a road accident. The organizations that are considered for the award are expected to have met certain qualifications and should have excelled and improved in seven major areas that are referred to as the ‘Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.’ The areas are “strategic planning, human resource management, customer services, leadership, analysis management, as well as process focus and general business performance” (Heaphy & Gruska, 1993). The award has been effective in ensuring that business organizations improve on their performance and quality management.

The Deming Prize

Deming prize is recognized as the highest award in total quality management. This is the ultimate prize in the category of quality prizes. This is a reward that was established with the aim of rewarding Japanese companies. It was established in the year 1950. The prize was named after W. Edwards Deming. Since its establishment, the prize has now gone ahead to include companies that are not of Japanese origin. The ‘Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE)’ is mandated with managing the award. In addition to the Deming Prize being awarded to companies, it is also awarded to individuals who have been influential and contributed to the advancement of quality. It is important to note that this prize is awarded to companies that have made advancements in improving quality (Aquayo, 1991). Therefore, the main aim of the award is to promote quality products as well as quality services among companies across Japan and other companies that are non-Japanese. There is no laid down criterion that is followed in awarding the prize as of now. All that a company has to do is to improve in the best way it can. The company should come up with results that indicate quality improvement.

An organization needs to demonstrate how unique it is by doing things in a different way and a way that demonstrates quality. This award is very important, especially in today’s business environment. As mentioned earlier, the business environment today has become competitive, and organizations are looking for ways of doing their best to keep up with the increasing competition (Aquayo, 1991). Also, the award encourages innovation among individuals by awarding them for their exclusive achievements. Further, it demonstrates that an organization does not have to copy what others are doing to excel.

European Quality Award (EFQM)

This is an award that was started in the year 1992 in Europe. The ‘European Foundation for Quality Management’ issues the prize. The most outstanding firm in the area of TQM in Europe bags this award. The award has gone on to change its name from the ‘European Quality Award’ to the ‘EFQM Excellence Award’ after its establishment in the year 1992. The name was changed in the year 2010, and Nokia was the last company to win it before the change. For an organization to be eligible to win this award, it has to have applied for the award but has never won the European Quality Award.

The award is aimed at ensuring that the organizations in Europe become more competitive within Europe, as well as in the global market. Organizations are required to establish management systems that ensure quality production and quality services that can increase consumer satisfaction and, in turn, make the organization more competitive. It does not matter the size of the organization, its structure, or even the industry in which it operates to win this award (Kanji & Asher, 1996). An organization that has applied for this award can measure its position in terms of excellence, and it can be able to realize the gaps that hinder it from achieving its excellence objectives. The organization is, therefore, able to find solutions to these hindrances. The award has been so influential to the European organizations that all the organizations that have participated in it are viewed as key contributors to the economy, both in Europe and in the world. Participants are scrutinized based on EFQM standards, whereby they are required to have good partnerships. Firms are also required to increase customer satisfaction by adding value, strategic planning, as well as demonstrating the capabilities of offering quality products and services to their customers.

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Canadian Award for Business Excellence

The award was established in the year 1992 by the Canadian government. This award was formed as a partnership between the organizations in the private sector and the government. Canada was in the streak of losing its competitiveness in the international market at the time when this award was formed. There had to be measured in place to energize the private sector for the nation to regain its competitiveness. The private sector was seen as having the potential to improve the economy. As a consequence, the ‘Canadian Award for Business Excellence’ was formed with the major objective of re-instituting quality management and quality performance in both the private and the public sectors. The award was to be given to any organization, regardless of the size or the industry in which the organization operated (Davidson, 2001). This is done on an annual basis. According to (Davidson 2001), the criterion for evaluating the companies to be awarded is based on the categories that are outlined by the National Quality Institute (NQI).

The award has been very effective in reviving the economy of Canada. For instance, several works have been started through the ‘Progressive Excellence Programs (PEP).’ Also, the Healthy Workplace Program has been able to improve the working conditions in companies. It is important to note that the better the working conditions in an organization are, the more the workers feel motivated. In turn, their productivity increases, and this boosts the general economy in the nation. The effect of the award has been that Canadian organizations have been able to access more benchmarking as well as excellence programs. Those companies that receive the award signals their clamor for leadership in the various industries and sectors in which they operate. Generally, this award has helped in the improvement of quality products and services in Canada. This has gone ahead to improve businesses and the economy. It, therefore, gives a clear indication that quality management has a positive implication on the economy of any nation since it is what led to the revival of the Canadian economy.

Australian Business Excellence Award

This is an award that is given to Australian companies, as the name suggests. It is almost 20 years since the award was established, whereby the award has been given to companies every year. The award has helped in the promotion of business organizations that have excelled in terms of customer service, innovation, as well as leadership. It is worth noting that leadership and innovation are some of the critical factors that determine the success of any organization. Good leadership is a motivation for employees. Also, good leadership ensures total quality management is achieved. As a result, employees can come up with innovative ideas that, in turn, assist in improving the quality of products and services. Innovation facilitates customer satisfaction and increases the competitiveness of an organization. For a company to qualify for the award, it has to demonstrate quality in both products and services offered to customers. The firm must be a leading company that serves as an example to others (Friesen, & Johnson, 1995). The company should also be result-oriented and show proof of the results it has achieved in the financial year in question. This award has helped in improving the quality of Australian companies and making them competitive in the global market.

The Quality Award in China

Organizations in China have grown fast to establish themselves as world forces. The China Quality Award was established in the year 2001 and given the mandate by the government to review companies for quality management and increase the competitiveness of Chinese companies in the global market. Also, the award was aimed at stimulating business in China as well as directing business for organizations in the country. The award had to set strategies for assisting the development of businesses and making them competitive in the international business environment to stimulate business in China (Friesen & Johnson, 1995). All the organizations that have won the award are among the top companies in China. These are organizations that have a significant effect on the country’s economy.

It is believed that Chinese organizations can only survive if they adopt quality management in an economic environment that has become very competitive. The award helps organizations improve in quality management. Chinese organizations stay on the look in matters related to quality products and quality services. Also, the award serves the social interests of the Chinese people in a collective manner.

The Dubai Quality Award

This award is given to Dubai companies. The award was established in the year 1994 with the primary goal of recognizing business organizations that are considered to be role models. The award was formed by the ‘Dubai’s Department of Economic Development’ that is chaired by Sheikh Mohammed. Recipients of the award are an organization whose performance is influential to other companies within Dubai. Role model organizations are those organizations that can be used as benchmarks by others. The Dubai Quality Award is an award that gives directions to organizations on how to excel by adopting good practices and embracing approaches that can improve their performance. The desired direction that the organizations are expected to follow is that of being competitive within the country and in the rest of the world (Mortimer & Mortimer, 2004). One interesting point to note is that the Dubai Quality Award uses a model that was adapted from the ‘Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).’ It is a model that has been effective in improving the quality of both private and public sector organizations in Europe. However, the model used for the Dubai award is known as the ‘Dubai Quality Award Model.’ It has also helped in the improvement of external as well as internal trade in Dubai, a factor that has boosted the competitiveness of Dubai companies.

Sheikh Khalifa quality award

This is an award that was formed to recognize the performance of companies in the Abu Dhabi region by the government of UAE. Organizations in the UAE have recognized the need for quality management to become competitive. Any organization that demonstrates a high level of performance in Abu Dhabi and shows consistency in improvement is rewarded with this award. The award is known for providing a roadmap through which an organization can achieve success. It also offers a benchmark on which organizations can assess their performance against companies that have excelled in Europe and the rest of the world. Organizations in Abu Dhabi have improved in terms of domestic and international competition since the award was established. The level of customer satisfaction has also improved.

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Quality Standard

Quality standards are also widely known as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. The ISO sets quality standards that a company is supposed to meet to be certified as compliant with international standards of quality. A company acquires ISO certification after proving that its processes are quality and up to the set standards by ISO. There are various ISO standards, each evaluating different aspects of quality to meet international standards. These certifications are discussed below:

ISO 9000: 2000

This award is based on principles that are designed to help companies excel in offering quality products and services to increase customer satisfaction. The ISO 9000: 2000 outlines the standard that a company is supposed to meet to offer quality to customers. An organization that has been certified for ISO 9000: 2000 has more benefits than a company that is not certified in that its quality management practices are recognized throughout the world (Hoyle, 2003). Also, a company that is ISO 9000: 2000 certified offers more satisfaction to customers compared to companies that are not certified. As a result, certified companies are likely to be more competitive and make more profits.

ISO 9001:2008

This is a policy that is about the marketing plan of business organizations. It also focuses on the needs of consumers. It requires that the employees offer services that are of high standards and can maximize customer satisfaction. The ISO 9001:2008 was set to ensure that organizations have management systems that are of high quality. The certification should be applied to all organizations. However, it is considered as an exclusion in case it is not applicable in a certain organization, and conformity claims cannot be accepted in such an organization.

ISO 14001:2004

It is a policy that focuses on the environmental management system. It aims to enable an organization to adhere to the legal requirements that require it to be responsible for the environment. This certification only applies to those aspects that the organization can control. Also, the certification is only applicable to organizations that are willing to implement, improve, as well as maintain environmental management systems. An organization has to be self-determined to assure conformity with the standards that are outlined in the environmental policy.

ISO 18001:2007 OHSAC

This is a standard whose focus is on management systems that ensure health and safety in an organization. The ISO 18001:2007 OHSAC was established to give guidelines on how an organization should minimize the health and safety issues that may occur to its employees. The certification gives guidelines on how an organization can follow legal requirements to ensure that the workplace is safe and free of any possible risks.

Reference List

Aquayo, R 1991, Dr. Deming: The American who taught the Japanese about quality, 1st Ed, Fireside, New York, NY

Davidson, E 2001, Who’s who in Canadian business, 21st Ed, University of Toronto Press, Canada

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Friesen, M & Johnson, J 1995, The success paradigm: Creating organizational effectiveness through quality and strategy, Quorum Publishers, Westport, CT

Heaphy, M & Gruska, G 1993, The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, London

Hoyle, D 2003, ISO 9000: 2000: An A – Z guide, Vol.1, Butterworth–Heinemann, London

Kanji, G & Asher, M 1996, 100 methods for quality management, Sage Publications, London

Mortimer, D & Mortimer, S 2004, Quality and risk management in the IVF laboratory, Cambridge University Press, New York, NY

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