Being competent and relevant in the global market-A A +A
By Art Tibaldo
Monday, September 2, 2013
IT HAS been said that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Philippine economy and a key factor in alleviating poverty. In a highly globalized business environment, it is therefore a must for SMEs to constantly develop and enhance their productivity in order to stay competitive and relevant.
Recently, I attended a day long orientation program in Baguio on the Philippine Quality Awards and Philippine Quality Challenge with a sharing of best practices by past awardees. The Philippine Quality Award Program is a global competitiveness template that aims to encourage and engage public and private organizations and other stakeholders to strive for and attain performance excellence. It is a national award program that recognizes achievements of public and private sector organizations in their journey towards performance excellence.
The PQA is the centerpiece program of the National Action Agenda for Productivity (NAAP), the blueprint for the country's integrated approach to improve economy-wide productivity during the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos in response to the growing challenges of globalization. It was created through Executive Order 448 on October 3, 1997 and on February 28, 2001 it was institutionalized through the signing of Republic Act 9013, also known as the Philippine Quality Award Act. The PQA sets a standard of excellence to help Filipino organizations achieve world-class performance and serves as a "template" for competitiveness based on the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM).
The PQA has three objectives and the first one is to promote standards in organizational performance comparable to those of leading business abroad, pursuant to the country's effort to be globally competitive. The second objective of the PQA is to establish a national system for assessing quality and productivity performance, thus providing local organizations regardless of size, sector and maturity with criteria and guidelines for self-assessment to guide their quality and productivity improvement efforts and the third is to recognize organizations in both the private and public sector which excel in quality management and overall organizational performance, thus providing Philippine industries with benchmarks and models to emulate.
President Benigino S. Aquino in last year’s PQA awarding in Malacanang said in his speech that as long as private companies, the government, and the Filipino people continue to work for self-improvement, they will weather any challenge and will become globally competitive.
The Philippine Quality Challenge on the other hand is a simplified PQA with a set of criteria for those in the beginnings of their journey to organizational improvement. It is likewise a form self-assessment and recognition program with an integrated approach to managing the organization’s business and processes.
Its objective is to assess the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement and provide recognition at an annual conference and public relations exposure.
As the first step for the Philippine Quality Award, the PQC can stimulate an accelerated change, faster growth and improvement in an organization thereby giving it better chance and opportunity for the ultimate award.
The International Organization for Standardization or better known as ISO, the organization that promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality when the establishment or service provider has been duly accredited. For ISO 9001:2008 of which my office is accredited with, it guarantees and addresses various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO’s best known standards. The standards provide guidance and tools for companies and organizations who want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently improved.
For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.
Having mentioned all these standards from PQA, PQC and ISO, I’d like to end with a note that I lifted from a presentation that says quality is never an accident but the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 03, 2013.