New quality program focuses on small firms-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
WITH just 49 percent of applications to the Philippine Quality Award (PQA) gaining any recognition, the government agency handling the program hopes to bring small and medium enterprises on the way to better quality management with a new program.
The Philippine Quality Challenge (PQC) is designed for companies that are just beginning to work on organizational improvement.
The self-assessment and recognition program simplifies the criteria imposed by the PQA, responding to 40 percent of the PQA’s total requirements.
Herminio Viterbo Jr., trade and development analyst of the Department of Trade and Industry, said they opted to create the PQC to convince companies to try and give themselves a shot. He said there are many who are apprehensive to try for the PQA because of its comprehensive requirements. They find it difficult to prepare, he said.
He said most of the recipients of the PQA are large companies and they are yet to see SMEs getting recognition. This led their technical working group to offer the PQC to encourage applicants from the SME sector and those large companies still afraid to make the first step.
Viterbo said companies will benefit from applying for the PQC because the program identifies their strengths and opportunities for improvement. He considers it an excellent guide in improvement efforts and companies gain recognition for it.
While the PQA has 1,000 points for its criteria categories, the PQC only has 400 points that center on a company’s management, planning, customer focus, measurement and data management, workforce focus, operation focus and business results.
While the PQA has comprehensive and multiple questions that the company needs to answer, the PQC has simpler and basic questions.
Award recognitions have three levels, the highest of which means the company is ready to be given a PQA recognition.
The program started last year and has promising results–nine applicant companies have received recognitions, one of which came from the public sector.
Viterbo hopes to see more applicants from the provinces, noting that the applicants are based in Luzon. This is why the DTI is holding roadshows around the country to get more applications from the regions.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 10, 2013.