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Organisational Culture : Making the Change

Organisational Culture : Making the Change
Why is organisational culture change so difficult to achieve? Culture concerns people – their behaviour, beliefs, expectations, sense of security and comfort zones. People generally resist change since change brings uncertainty about the future. Change challenges a belief system and philosophy. It forces one out of a manageable context into the unknown.

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6+1 Rules: The X-Factor in Sales

Do you know that everyone is a salesperson?

We naturally “sell” our ideas unconsciously. Now, in the corporate setting, as a salesperson, you have a target to be achieved. First things first, let’s look at how to make clients spend money to buy your product or service instead of your competitor’s.

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6+1 Rules: The X-Factor in Sales

Why Lean Six Sigma Deployment Fail?

Why Lean Six Sigma Deployment Fail?
Over the course of many years helping organisations deploying Lean and / or Six Sigma Programme, I would like to highlight the reasons on why such Programme fails. Typically, there are 5 key success factors which need to be in place to drive the right change – otherwise the deployment Programme will not last long.

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Communicating More Effectively with Lean Emails

Although there is no denying the impact of Lean in manufacturing, the far reaching effects of Lean in office transactions and support functions cannot be overstated. 

Let’s look at how Lean concepts can be applied to improve communication - specifically email communication.

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Communicating More Effectively with Lean Emails

Transitioning from ISO/TS 16949: 2009 to IATF 16949: 2016 Quality Management System for the Automotive Industry

Transitioning from ISO/TS 16949: 2009 to IATF 16949: 2016 Quality Management System for the Automotive Industry
Just as the proverbial frog in Basho’s haiku made the water-sound, the arrival of ISO 9001:2015 created quite a splash and ripples are still being felt far and wide in many industries that subscribe to the International Standard. The publication of IATF 16949:2016 came a year after the release of the new version of ISO 9001 and as expected, the changes have been many, if not radical, for the automotive industry.

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Emotional Intelligence, the essential attribute to be a star performer at workplace!

Did you know that employees with an average IQ have a higher EQ compared to employees with high IQ scores? In truth, at the back of our minds, we have seen this trend before. We have had friends from school, college or university who were the top scorers; however they don’t seem to fare as well at the workplace. If you remember your friends who are charismatic, friendly and nice with average grades are some of those who are now doing very well in their career, and even have their own successful businesses. This shows that having a high IQ doesn’t mean you have a high EQ and vice versa.

Now before going further, you may be asking, what is the difference between EI and EQ?

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 Emotional Intelligence, the essential attribute to be a star performer at workplace!

The Strategy Game Plan

 The Strategy Game Plan
An extract from "Quality World" magazine, May Issue 2017 - "The Strategy Game Plan"
(written by our Technical Manager at Neville Clarke International, a CQI and IRCA approved Training Partner)

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How to turn chaos into an opportunity in your organisation?

The definition of chaos is a complete disorder, erratic behaviour and a state of utter confusion. Now this sounds quite scary. The thing about humans is that what we don’t know sometimes scares us. And that is perfectly a normal reaction that we all have. Now if I were to say, chaos IS LIFE. Would that make sense? The Earth is thought to have been formed by fiery and chaotic collisions of forces in the giant disc-shaped cloud of material. Weather itself is a chaotic system. Chaos is part of our life.

The question is that in that state of chaos, what do we do? How do we react?

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How to turn chaos into an opportunity in your organisation?

Business Continuity - The Art of Crisis Communication, lies on truth?

Business Continuity - The Art of Crisis Communication, lies on truth?
A crisis is an abnormal situation which threatens the operations, reputation and stakeholders of an organization and normally came along with adverse media attention. The instances of such situations can be ranging from legal exposure, natural disaster, fraud or espionage that could be endorsed to the organization. Likewise, the crisis can also be any situation where in the perception of media and general public, the organization did not respond to a situation in the suitable and appropriate method. About 2 weeks ago,

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Is Customer Service Dead Nowadays?

Having a cup of coffee is my morning ritual whenever I am back in the office. But what would you do if the coffee you paid for is just not how you like it?  The Espresso shot is too weak; there’s too much milk frothing in your café latte; it’s too hot or it’s only lukewarm? Then you started to hesitate whether to approach the barista to tell them about your drink, but fear to be treated like you are such an unreasonable customer… Having the thought of talking to the many baristas and their supervisors will only spoil your day. Then you just walk out of the café, looking at your cup of coffee miserably.

So where has all the good old customer service gone nowadays? What has gone wrong with the customer service we once knew?

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Is Customer Service Dead Nowadays?

The Peril of Leaders in Denial

The Peril of Leaders in Denial
Are you one of the leaders in denial?

Firstly, what is denial? According to Sigmund Freud described denial as a state of “knowing-but-not-knowing.” According to Harvard Business Review, the economist Paul Ormerod, on average, more than 10% of all companies in America disappear each year. Why?

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How serious you mean when you said “I’m feeling stressful.”?

We know what stress means; we experienced stress when deadline is near, we handle excessive stress when the traffic is terribly jam and we feel stress when financially tense especially month end. Oxford dictionaries described stress as the result of great emotional pressure from demanding situation (Oxford university press , 2016). Stress is just part of our living, everyone is stressed isn’t it normal?

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How serious you mean when you said “I’m feeling stressful.”?

ISO 13485:2016 is finally here!

ISO 13485:2016 is finally here!
The ISO 13485:2016 was published on 25th February 2016, after a long 13 years gap since the publication of the second edition.

ISO 13485:2016 surprises many, especially the implementers, where it does not adopt the very much anticipated High Level Structure (Annex SL) which already adopted by the ISO 9001:2015; but maintained with the 8 clauses structure with additional requirements incorporated to align with global regulatory requirements.

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Transitioning from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

The publication of the 2015 versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 was touted as pivotal in the history of these management systems due to the changes in content and structure. The adoption of the Annex SL framework and introduction of risk-based thinking, among other changes, led Management Representatives and management standard practitioners scrambling to understand the implications of the revisions to their own management systems.  As the dust begins to settle, certified organizations ask with bated breath, “What’s next?”.

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Transitioning from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

Six Sigma Explained

Six Sigma Explained
Six Sigma is a business management strategy as well as a disciplined and data-driven methodology for process improvement. It was initially developed by Motorola in 1986, as a set of practices designed to improve manufacturing processes and eliminate defects. Todays, it is widespread in many sectors of industry and processes, from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.

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Dreamy Millennial Generations Affecting Modern Workplace

As many may remember, during the 80s, when we compare it to the present time, there were a lot that was insufficient. Technology was insufficient. Jobs were insufficient. Money was insufficient. The thing that was always more than sufficient was problems. Most work was done through physical hard copies. During the 80s, this was a period of industrialization for the country. Finding for a graduate with a degree was many times harder to find than it is today.

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Dreamy Millennial Generations Affecting Modern Workplace

Changeover is a ‘race’ won or lost in the pits?

Changeover is a ‘race’ won or lost in the pits?
Imagine this: In Formula1 race, drivers have to make a pit stop for gas, new set of tires, and part service.  The driver sits and waits, counting each passing car, knowing that every lost second at the pit will diminish his chances at winning the race. Thus, the effectiveness of his pit crew is a crucial deciding factor of winning the race.

So, is the pit crew ready with the right tools and equipped with the standard procedure? Or they slowly go to the car, still discussing on task assignments, and rummaging a pile of tools to find the right ones they need?

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Let’s SURF to Solve a Problem

A problem is any difficult matter requiring a solution. At work, we encounter  problems when need to overcome any non-conformities to a requirement, face difficulties in understanding or accomplishing a task, unable to do things better and so on. While we feel bothered by the problems, it is not necessarily bad. A problem is an opportunity for improvement. However, this opportunity can only be realized by effective problem solving.

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 Let’s SURF to Solve a Problem

4 Major Barriers in Implementing Lean Thinking in Healthcare Organisations

4 Major Barriers in Implementing Lean Thinking in Healthcare Organisations
Healthcare providers are under tremendous pressure to enhance their competitiveness. The demand for healthcare services and provision is on the upward trend, but the same cannot be said of its’ financial health – as most providers are heading in the opposite direction.

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Business Continuity: Surprised, Powerless or Prepared

For most of us, we are just observers to the realities that life is fragile and businesses are vulnerable, no matter how perfect our systems are. For most of us, we ask, “What we could have done to have prevented these from happening?” However, in the end, we realise that we cannot do anything, and just expect that the worst might happen—simply POWERLESS.

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Business Continuity: Surprised, Powerless or Prepared

The Missing Piece In An Organisation; DiSC

The Missing Piece In An Organisation; DiSC
Look around. Have you noticed some people working around you feeling unhappy or unsatisfactory? Are they complaining more than they are producing? Why are there problematic colleagues?

In recent years, this situation is becoming more and more common. At times, it becomes severe to a point employees are forcefully coming to work and are under performing. Worst of all is that organizations are unable to obtain the optimum commitment of their employees.

There is a reason to it. What is more important is that there is a solution to it.

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Lean Thinking in Healthcare

Currently, extreme competitive healthcare environment has compelled healthcare administrators to do more with less—less associate requirements, less technology, less time, and less workspace and while in the meantime, the high level of service to patients, doctors, nurses, and coordinators cannot be compromised or sacrificed.

How is this possible? The answer - Lean Thinking!

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Lean Thinking in Healthcare

5 Common Mistakes and Useful Tips in Typical Application of Quality Control Tools

5 Common Mistakes and Useful Tips in Typical Application of Quality Control Tools
Throughout the years of experiences in Quality Control Tools training and application, we have seen many industry practitioners are able to apply the quality control tools for product/process improvement. However, industry practitioners nowadays have concerns on effectiveness of quality control tools application. The tools can easily be applied but how useful the analysis results for making right decision. We have quoted some common mistakes typically made in quality control tools application.

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The new ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 14001:2015

ISO 9001, the standard for quality management used by more than one million organisations, is now under review, with an updated version due to be published by end of 2015. The impact of the 2015 revision is expected to be major for parties involved in quality management i.e. the standard user, certification bodies, accreditation bodies and consultants.

Similar to ISO 9001, the ISO 14001 is currently also at the Draft International Stage (DIS) stage and it is being circulated for comments. The technical committee for this standard is ISO/TC207.

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The new ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 14001:2015

ISO 14971 (Medical devices – Application of Risk Management to Medical Devices) CHANGED?

ISO 14971 (Medical devices – Application of Risk Management to Medical Devices) CHANGED?
If you ask whether ISO 14971 standard requirements have changed, the answer would be YES and NO
 
In August 2012, EN ISO 14971:2012 has been released and superseded EN ISO 14971:2009 to support the Directives. The changes are described in Annex ZA, ZB and ZC, the core text of the standard remains unchanged. 

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Lean Energy : Achieve more (efficiency) with less (energy)

Energy is one of the critical resources for business to operate. Organisations need to analyse the overall energy efficiency issue from a macro perspective in order to sustain efficient energy usage. It is important to link isolated energy saving projects, align them with corporate goals and couple with proper costs benefits analysis.

Take an example if we are able to reduce energy consumption of a compressor to lower kW/h, do we really look into its total usage hours? There are hidden energy wastes from the operational flow where we can reduce its usage duration. This is where Lean Energy comes in.

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Lean Energy : Achieve more (efficiency) with less (energy)

Communication and Logical Levels of Change in Our Brain

Communication and Logical Levels of Change in Our Brain

One important part of developing communication skills is the art of convincing. If you are good at convincing others, half of your work is done. There is a saying that failure to convince is a failure to communicate effectively.

Convincing someone to believe you is all about convincing an individual or group to either accept a new belief or update his or their knowledge or beliefs about an existing idea. Not all people will accept your ideas from the first attempt but the good news is that there are tips that can increase your chance of convincing other people to believe you.
 
So, how this can be done?

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To Lean or not to Lean?

It was some years ago that I learnt about how Toyota adopted certain practices and principles which would eventually make it one of the most successful and profitable auto-makers in the world. Known as the Toyota Way or Toyota Production System, some of these practices were later repackaged and called “Lean”. I have been a firm believer of Lean ever since.
 
But then, what’s not to like about Lean? It aims to improve productivity, quality, on-time delivery, reduce cost and lead time through waste elimination. It sounds like the ideal and perfect solution for organisations today.
 
So why then, are organisations hesitant to go Lean? Many use the term “Lean” as a fashionable buzz word till the next in-thing comes along. Why is there no conviction that a Lean mind-set and work culture is necessary for the organisation’s future competitiveness and perhaps survival?

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 To Lean or not to Lean?

Responsible Sourcing of Minerals

 We have known civilians’ human rights are abused in the central part of Africa.   Unfortunately, armed conflict continued in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  The war crimes happening in the eastern of DRC have caused untold restlessness in other countries.  

 
The fighting is directly financed by the sales’ profit of DRC’s natural resources, such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold.  The mined minerals are extracted and passed through a variety of intermediaries before being indirectly or unknowingly purchased by multinational electronics companies.  Hence, one way of defeating such crimes is to strengthen the corporate social responsibility policies and implement in the supply chain.

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Eye Movements in Communication

You will be able to discover that by looking at someone’s eyes, you could tell HOW they think!
Eye-movement can allow us to study how people process visual information in real time as they are engaged in a specific task.   The eye-movement is also one way of categorising exactly what a person does inside their head as they think.  
 
Patterns of eye movements will enable us to know how the brain controls the eyes to select, extract, and use visual information in communication.  We are not so much interested in content and do not get involved in the content.
 
The next time, pay attention to the process of your interaction with others.  You will be able to have clue how they think. Try it out!

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Eye Movements in Communication

Simple 4 rules to solve daily life PROBLEM!

Simple 4 rules to solve daily life PROBLEM!

 In approaching a problem, all of us have choice! 

 
For the most of us, we are able to quickly solve them without much trouble at all. However, some take longer time and is not only creating a stressful situation but may have other negative impact.
 
We can choose to move towards a problem or away from problem, or combination of both or do nothing about it. Unfortunately, avoiding problems, not doing anything, usually causes the problems to come back and a small problem can become a big problem over time.
 

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Paradigm shift from Traditional Auditing

In this age and time, Management System internal auditors face greater challenges in their task.   They need to respond effectively to the demands of a rapidly changing and complex business environment, while helping organisations continue comply with growing regulatory mandates and conform to other requirements.  
This pressures internal auditors to indirectly change the way how audit should be organised and carried out. The auditing method will not just merely focus on conformity but value-adding that will contribute to sustained success of the organisations maturing systems.
 
So, shall the audit be assessed based on functional or process approach? At the point of conducting audits, shall the controls be the main audit concern than risks and other requirements? Must internal auditors be trained every time before audits?

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5S – A Simple & Proven Productivity Success

5S – A Simple & Proven Productivity Success

Let’s face it, with stiff market competition companies are struggling to make ends meet. Some companies beat the odds & emerged stronger, by looking into & understand their internal operational factors in order to decide its most effective way for productivity improvement. Now if your company ever faced with the symptoms below; 

  • Untidy and congested work areas
  • Excessive motions or time needed to find  tools, materials, parts, accessories & documents
  • Painstakingly searching for tools, parts, materials & documents
  • Complaint of tripping hazard
then look no further - 5S is the proven solution for theseis.

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Overview of Food Defence

Food defence is about implementing controls to reduce the possibility of food supplies from being contaminated intentionally using any means of chemical, biological, radiological or physical. The term “food” would include both foods and beverage. As the production and distribution of foods involve people, the use of equipment, vehicles, and building structures to occur, food defence would also include the protection of these. As such, protective measures relating to personnel, product, physical and electronic security are key focus of managing food defence. Hoax or malicious rumours, thefts, food fraud and work place violence all need to be considered for food defence management as well.

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Overview of Food Defence

Food Allergen Management

Allergens are materials that can cause an adverse reaction in certain people. These can be found in a variety of sources, such as dust mite excretion, pollen, pet dander, certain foods and others. The allergy is caused by the body immune system producing antibodies of immunoglobulin Ig E in reaction to such materials by certain individuals. These IgE antibodies then cause a release of powerful cellular chemicals resulting in symptoms of allergic reactions.

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Foreign Material Management

The 4 types of hazards leading to food borne illness would include biological, chemical, physical and radiological. The term hazard indicates a potential to cause harm.  Examples of physical hazard would include glass, sharp pieces of metal, bones, wood, hard plastic shards or ceramics or stones. These objects could cut or damage the mouth, throat, intestine and gums. Some of these items could also become choking hazard to young children and babies. Foreign material or body refer to physical hazards.


The term physical contaminant is more broad based and include those which cause harm and those that may not such as stored product insects, small pieces of food grade gaskets, food grade lubricant, pieces of clean plastic film packaging materials, metal fines and others. 

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Preparing and responding GLOBALLY

The growing magnitude of destruction due to natural calamities and manmade disasters (i.e. terror attacks) puts a question on emergency preparedness and response globally. While climate change and an unstable political environment can be the main culprit of the many casualties of natural disasters and terror attacks, the lack of emergency preparedness and slowness of responses can also be factors that spell a huge difference in saving lives. Emergency preparedness and response should go beyond the distribution of relief good to affected areas and victims. Ensuring a systematic and strategic drive to restore the necessary functions and order in the day to day operations also plays a critical role in the smooth implementation of emergency management. 

 
Situated at a place called the ring of fire, the Philippines is one of the many countries within the area that is frequently visited by natural calamities. Just recently, the historic province of Bohol was shaken by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake which had caused many historical churches to crumble to the ground. But earthquakes are not the only natural calamities the Philippines face. At an average of 26 typhoons per year, the chances of a Super Typhoon hitting the Philippines is something that’s not rare. 
 
Housing the financial and business centres of both local and international corporations, the National Capital Region (NCR) serves as the main artery of the Philippines economy. But the towering buildings, billboards and asphalted roads were no match when Typhoon Milenyo (International name Typhoon Xangsane) and Typhoon Ondoy (International name Typhoon Ketsana) slammed the country in 2006 and 2009 respectively. Peaking as a category 4 typhoon with maximum winds of 230 km/h, Milenyo ripped through Mega Manila causing a massive damage to infrastructures when it passed the country last 2006. Three years later, typhoon Ondoy set record breaking torrential rains which resulted to mass flooding in several cities in Metro Manila. And just a few weeks ago, “Super Typhoon” Yolanda (International name Haiyan) slammed the eastern seaboard of the Philippines with winds of more than 300 km/h. Typhoon Yolanda left a colossal damage in a significant number of regions, provinces, barangays, families and individuals. 
 
The Philippines is just one of the many countries who has experienced firsthand what it’s like to be in a state of panic and chaos after a disaster, and with the growing requirement for a structured approach to emergency preparedness and response, the global community had already taken steps by instituting their own emergency standards which were in response to global natural calamities and terror attacks. 

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Taking-off with BowTie

There are many different ways to do risk assessment. BS EN 31010:2010 provides numerous risk assessment techniques. The popular question will be “Which risk assessment technique is best suited for an organization?”.   Instead of immersing with all the techniques, perhaps it will be best to recognize that the purpose of risk assessment is to provide evidence-based information and capturing the essence of the risk and manage it.  The easy way to do risk management is through visual.

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Taking-off with BowTie

Planned Changes in ISO 14001:2015

ISO 14001 will be having a new look and expected to be published early 2015. What will be the changes in this new revision? Though there will be transition period for addressing new requirement and nothing to be done by those with ISO 14001:2004 certification at this moment until it is released, it will be wise to stay up to date on the changes that might take place.

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The Evolution of Management Systems

Quality Journey

In its very broad sense, “Quality” can be defined as anything that can meet customer requirements. However, with the turn of the century there was a shift on how most organisations view such concept. Recent events in history highlighted these changes, from World War two’s consistency in bullet manufacturing up to the spread of market competition, businesses have realised that going beyond the numbers means becoming more “Quality Centric”.

From Quality Assurance to Quality System to Quality Management System, Neville Clarke has been helping clients walk the Quality Journey through the thick and thin of ISO standards “revision” and “evolution”. This paradigm shift means that main focal point in strategic planning should be on the internal processes and people who would be involved during the undertaking. This “Quality Evolution” gave birth to Quality Management System (QMS) or better known as ISO 9000.
 
From the 20 elements of ISO 9001 back in the lated 80’s to early 90’s, it has evolved to be the PDCA model we know today and towards the   structure we will see onwards containing requirements for Leadership, Planning, Support, Operations, Performance Evaluation and Improvement,  ISO 9001 had evolved to become the baseline standard for companies summarizing the general intent for Management System Planning, Operation Planning and Control and towards Continual Improvement , Sustainability, and Excellence. 
 
However, such flexibility was put into test by some industries as internal processes needed more details to assure its objectives for its customers. Operational differentiation led to a second wave of “Quality Evolution”, this time centring on both quality and other aspects that a specific industry would require. This in turn gave birth to the new sets of ISO management systems that would answer the industry-specific needs and requirements.
 

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Singapore Standard - SS 577:2012 on Water Efficiency Management System

Singapore Standard - SS 577:2012 on Water Efficiency Management System
Water is a scarce and precious resource in Singapore. With the increasing population and growing demand for water, there is a need to manage this scarce resource efficiently for the generations to come. In pursuing an environmentally sustainable path to growth and development, Singapore has developed the world’s first standard to manage this precious resource – SS 577:2012 on Water Efficiency Management System.

This is the new standard to provide guidelines for implementing a robust Water Efficiency Management System (WEMS). This standard will provide public and private sector with management strategies to recognize water demands, increase water usage efficiency, reduce costs and improve water efficiency performance.

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Communication : Building Rapport to get Response

What is communication to you? Is it the art of interacting or a process of two-way communication? Is it about activities in exchanging  information, thoughts or messages? 


Have you had times thinking how our dynamic body communicate?

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Communication :  Building Rapport to get Response

Pull Production : The Factories of the Future

Pull Production : The Factories of the Future
A “pull” system works on matching the production rate to demand on the production system ie. what is needed in the next downstream process. This is an effective way to avoid overproduction. The approach is to match the rate of raw material uptake to the rate of consumption, balance up all the process throughput within the value stream to match the order delivery rate, and move the material through the production facility and out the door as fast as possible. The ultimate benefit is just-in-time manufacturing with just sufficient inventory, a short lead-time, flexibility to react to changing customer requirements and getting all this done at a reduced cost. And this is the answer to the high mix demand of today’s customers!

How does a production facility get to that point?

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The Increasing Role of Management Representatives in Business towards ISO 9001:2015

We have seen through several years transformations in ISO 9001 which substantiates the important role of Management Representatives (MRs)  from Managing Procedures to Managing Processes to Managing Results .  ISO 9001 has gone past the 25 years since its inception last 1987 and is here to stay. The concepts of customer, process, management review and continual improvement among others have been stable through many organisations and so is the application of the ISO 9001 standard. Everyone can associate with the requirements that guided organisations in managing the assurance for quality products and services all towards increasing assurance for customer satisfaction and the drive for continual improvement.

With its silver years of existence and 4 revisions, it has seen through the transformation of the role of management representatives in various organisations and is yet to see some further developments to address the emerging issues that we have today. Through the years, with the observed  revisions of related management system standards and the emerging revision for ISO 9001:2015, we are about to see further challenges for the  post of being the management representative, be it a QMR : Quality Management Representative or the increasing role of being the IMR: Integrated Management Representative. A growing question then arises in every practitioner for Management System.

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Management Of Change : To Grow And Survive

Management of Change (MoC) is a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organisations from a current state to a desired future state. Structured approach means process of planning, organising, coordinating and controlling the resources to ensure that the process changes are implemented according to approved plans and the overall objectives of introducing the changes are achieved with as little disruption as possible.

Why we need to change? Organisation has to change to survive its business in the future, to improve the profit, to grow up and to stay competitiveness. While individuals change to improve their skills, to improve career opportunities, to broaden experience, and to improve quality of life. Relates to this change, we deal either lead, follow or resist. Anyway, it’s really better becoming a leader than follower!

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ISO 19011:2011 - ONE for ALL

ISO 19011 has been first published in the year of 2002 to provide guidance on auditing management systems, as well as the guidance on the evaluation of competence of individuals involved in the audit process; however this Standard back then was only to cover mainly on auditing the Quality Management System (QMS) and the Environmental Management System (EMS) as the title of the Standard explains it well - “Guidelines for Quality and/or Environmental Management Systems audit”. However, after the year of 2002, a number of new management system standards have been introduced and trigger a need to consider a broader scope of management system auditing, as well as providing guidance that is more generic.

The second edition of ISO/IEC 17021 that was published in 2011 is also another catalyst that pushes for a consideration in upgrading the first edition of ISO 19011.  Moreover, I’m sure there are also questions / concerns from auditors in regards to which guidelines to be used if they are to conduct auditing on management systems besides the QMS and EMS.

As a result, the second edition of ISO 19011 – “Guidelines for auditing Management Systems has been published in 2011 to replace the first edition.

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Proactive And Reactive Problem Solving Process

It is a known fact that failures or negative events are not unexpected in business activities and some of them can have significant impact to the business in terms of profitability or reputation.

Examples of these are:
•    Major breakdowns of a transportation system
•    A problematic web-site launched by an airline
•    Incidents of fraudulent cash withdrawal from ATM

It is therefore imperative for business managers to be able to prevent these failures/events from occurring, or in an unfortunately event where it has occurred, to be able to find out the root causes that lead to the problem in order to prevent it from occurring again. There are 2 well-practiced techniques available to help business managers achieve this objective that is Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Root Cause Analysis (RCA).

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Planning to survive or planning to be better?

In between planning and execution, a lot of things can come in between. As such, the development and execution of strategic plans becomes critical in order for institutions to realise long term sustainability and organisational process maturity. A common pitfall in this endeavour is the concept of “piece meal serving”, Figure 1.1 illustrates how some organisations fail to look into other areas when developing their strategic plans. With this, it is important to note that a holistic management systems baseline complemented with continual improvement tools can be an essential ingredient during strategic planning when laying down a road map towards process excellence and maturity.

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Tripod Beta

Accident investigator experts have concurred that 80% of the accidents lies on the Human Factor.   The realm of human factors is complex and incorporates many disciplines such as psychology, physiology, sociology, biomechanics, systems science, and management science.  In simplifying human factors for incident investigation, James Reason’s “Swiss Cheese” model of human error has been specifically used to determine the failed or missing barriers, Figure 1.

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FSSC 22000 Certification Scheme

Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000) is the certification scheme for Food Safety Management Systems. Initially, it was based on ISO 22000, the global food safety management system standard and ISO/TS 22002-1 (formerly PAS 220), a standard developed to address prerequisite program requirements for food product and ingredient manufacturers. The scope of FSSC 22000 has been extended to include prerequisite program requirements for food safety in packaging through PAS 223 - Prerequisite programmes and design requirements for food safety in the manufacture and provision of food packaging. Now with the released of PAS 222 - Prerequisite programmes for food safety in the manufacture of food and feed for animals, the scope of FSSC 22000 will be extended further.

The FSSC 22000 certification scheme is supported by the European Food and Drink Association (CIAA) and the American Groceries Manufacturing Association (GMA).

FSSC 22000 is fully recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and Accreditation Bodies around the world.

The inclusion of ISO 22000 requirements in the FSSC 22000 makes it align with other generic management systems such as the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, this enables an organisation to build an integrated management system covering all aspects relevant for an organisation and its clients.

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Energy Conservation through ISO 50001:2011 EnMS Implementation

Energy Conservation through ISO 50001:2011 EnMS Implementation
Singapore recently enacted a new statute Energy Conservation Act 2012 to introduce mandatory energy management practices for large energy users in the industrial and transport sectors.

In order to meet the objectives of this Energy Conservation Act, it will be mandated that energy management practices and systems focus the companies’ attention on energy issues so as to ensure that energy is used prudently, spotting and rectifying faults that result in energy wastage, and overall help to achieve significant cost savings.

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Risk Management – The Role It Plays In Business Management

Every organisation is on their toes in their effort to achieve their business goals. In the uncertainty of the times, it is important to integrate Risk Management in the way we manage our businesses. We must realize that risk is the effect of uncertainties on our objectives and we need a structure for managing such risks..... if we must ensure the sustainability of achieving our goals.

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Risk Management – The Role It Plays In Business Management

The Essence of a Team Base Problem Solving

An organisation consists of a group of people and a set of processes running. Every now and then problems will surface within the organisation; be it a long running product or service non-conformance (producing sets of defects or rejects), process variations, customer complaints and so on. There are many problem solving tools & techniques exist in this world that the business can undertake; Six Sigma, Lean, Root Cause Analysis, 7 QC Tools, 8 Discipline Problem Solving Approach, just to name a few. Many of these techniques have been integrated to become an integral part of Quality Management System like ISO 9001.    

There are some commonalities exhibited in many of these problem solving techniques. Two of them are ‘problem identification’ and ‘formation of a team’ stage – which are essential to successfully address the problem(s). It doesn’t matter which stage comes first, as long as it undergoes both stage, it suffice.

 

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The Essence of Acceptance Sampling

Often, inspection is needed as one of the quality control technique in industry. While 100% inspection is the most straight forward and commonly used technique, it comes with a lot of undesirable impacts, such as high cost and time consuming that makes it impractical in most cases. Furthermore, it does not guarantee 100% compliance to the requirements. Therefore, it raises the needs for sampling plans that economically provide us with a reasonable amount of protection to ensure good quality.


Acceptance sampling uses statistical sampling that permits acceptance or rejection of a batch or lot of products based on a sample of units. It provides one rational means of verification that a lot conforms with the requirements of a predetermined standard. It is therefore regarded as an audit tool that stands between no inspection and 100% inspection.

A wide variety of acceptance sampling plans are available, that can be categorized by the type of data measured; attributes or variables. In acceptance sampling by attribute each item tested is classified as conforming or non-conforming. A sample is taken and if it contains too many non-conforming items the lot is rejected, otherwise it is accepted. On the other hand, acceptance sampling by variables is carried out by measuring a variable rather than classifying an item as conforming or non-confirming. Typically, the mean measurement from the samples will be compared with the acceptance criteria, for decision of lot acceptance or rejection. Acceptance sampling by variables is usually more complicated, but with the advantages of gaining more information and requires smaller sample size.

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Continual Improvement as a tool towards sustainability

Continual improvement tools can be applied in various industries depending on their respective organisational needs. These tools are not only geared towards providing breakthrough improvements in an organisational process and operation but also a sustainable “Greener”  growth. Tools on cost management can help organisations optimise their resources respectively while not compromising quality. Such efficiency in utilisation of resources can aid organisations in gaining competitive advantage; in line with this, cost management tools can be partnered with output management and problem solving techniques which would ensure long term business survival and sustainability.
 

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Lean Thinking to Enhance Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety

What is Lean Thinking in Healthcare?
Costs in providing healthcare in Singapore are rising too quickly and too many preventable errors occur in hospitals. We strongly believe Lean Thinking is our best shift in paradigm for improving quality and patient safety while truly reducing waste and excessive costs, thus increasing the value provided by healthcare systems. Today, a number of leading hospitals are demonstrating they can provide better value through proven and tested process improvement methods.

Some healthcare professionals often wonder how lean, a methodology associated primarily with the Toyota Production System and manufacturing industries, can apply in healthcare. Lean is not just a set of tools for eliminating waste and improving quality in a factory - it is a set of methods, principles, and philosophies that form a complete business management system. Lean can be applied in any setting where a service is provided, work is done, staff faces problems and issues, and people lead or manage others in a team setting, and this includes healthcare. Lean supports the purpose of any healthcare organisation - providing the best patient care and safety using the optimize amount of resources.

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Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

T is for Total Quality
Competition is stiff, and as manufacturing companies expand and diversify their operations, the need for overall quality in output and operations management becomes more evident. Quality for manufacturing companies may be defined as the combination of a well executed method to deliver results and a collective involvement of individuals/group geared towards the improvement of machine availability, performance and output. So the question now is how can quality and operational excellence be achieved in a very competitive playing field?

Quest for answers gave birth to what is now known as TOTAL PRODUCTIVE MAINTENANCE (TPM). Its pillar based approach does not only help organisations adhere to a “World-Class Operations Management” (WCOM) through efficient practices, but also help management realise total quality.
 

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New Standard - ISO 14971:2009?

For those in the medical device industry, keeping up-to-date with standards for both product and system is essential for ensuring product compliance.  Have you heard about ISO 14971:2009?  If you wonder whether this is a new standard for risk management, you are only partly right.

First things first, ISO 14971:2007 Medical devices – Application of risk management to medical devices is the current standard in the ISO library.  There is no ISO 14971:2009 but there is a correction done to the ISO 14971:2007 on 1 Oct 2007 in which figure 1 was corrected.  Figure 1 is a schematic representation of the risk management process, whereby the left side arrow going back to the risk analysis process are from “risk control” and “production and post-production information” instead of “risk control” and “evaluation of overall residual risk acceptability”.

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Pengoptimalan maksud & tujuan dengan presentasi yang efektif

Presentasi adalah suatu kegiatannya berbicara dan berkomunikasi di hadapan banyak hadirin. Berbeda dengan pidato yang lebih sering dibawakan dalam acara resmi dan acara politik, presentasi lebih sering dibawakan dalam acara bisnis.

Tujuan dari presentasi bermacam-macam, misalnya untuk membujuk, untuk memberi informasi, atau untuk meyakinkan seseorang untuk suatu pendapat.

Presentasi dalam dunia bisnis merupakan perihal yang sangat vital dalam mencapai tujuan maksud dari  informasi yang ingin disampaikan. Memberikan presentasi yang baik merupakan tantangan bagi si pembicara.

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Value Analysis for Lean Sigma and Innovation….

Value Analysis is one of the common denominator and  an integrator of Lean and Six Sigma and towards Design and Innovation…. Much has been said to identify the differences between Lean and Six Sigma where Lean focuses on Speed while Six Sigma focuses on Variation both attempting to influence the reduction of waste.


In the context of starting a lean or six sigma project, it all begins with the voice of the business (VOB), the voice of the customer (VOC)  or the voice of the process (VOP) depending on the level of your improvement initiative to either influence the business or quality or process control parameters.


Understanding the context of value leads us to detail such as a ratio of benefit to cost thereby influencing the ability to increase customer satisfaction thus revenue and the ability to reduce waste thus cost. Improving both benefit and cost is then a trigger to influence both productivity and efficiency leading ultimately to business value.

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The Importance of Workplace Health & Safety

What is bizSAFE?
The bizSAFE is a five-step programme to assist companies build up their workplace safety and health (WSH) capabilities in order to achieve improvements in safety and health standards at the workplace. This programme is initiated by the Workplace Safety and Health Council to guide companies through a journey to ensure companies reduce risks at source.

The bizSAFE programme begins from top management demonstrating their commitment towards WSH, to attain risk management capabilities and implementing a WSH Management System.

Embracing the programme will allow companies to gain recognition and benefits of having a comprehensive WSH system in place. 

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Gaining New Business Horizon by Adopting ISO/TS 16949:2009

The automotive industry Quality Management System (QMS) consists of ISO/TS 16949 standard and the related customer-specific requirements (CSR).

• The 3rd edition is the latest version and it was published on the 15th of June 2009.  It has been
   technically updated to align with ISO 9001:2008 Standard.  The previous revision was based on ISO
   9001:2000.

• Customer-Specific Requirement (CSR) is the additional requirement imposed by the OEM.  These
   requirements will form part of the audit criteria during the certification & internal audits.

ISO/TS 16949:2008 was developed by IATF (International Automotive Task Force) members and approved by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) for publication.  It is an industry specific Quality Management System (QMS) caters for automotive industries with the following objectives:
a)  Promote continue improvement
b) Emphasis defect prevention, and
c) Continual waste and variation reduction.

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Managing The Business, Its Change and Continuity

In business, risks abound at all angles at any given time. The risk of a customer dissatisfaction, the risks of penalties and closure arising to that of non compliance to prevailing rules and regulations, the risks of attritions, cyber-attacks, fraud, and repudiation, the reputational risk for any smear campaign that can be done against the company image and its personalities. 

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ISO 28000 Certification and Global Supply Chain Security Management

Successful organisations are facing increasing competitive pressures to develop new supply networks, often global and highly interdependent. Supply chain risk is high for these organisations management as they can’t afford to have any security stoppages or losses that would affect their customers.

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TWI : The Industry’s Secret Weapon

Training Within Industry (TWI) was widely used during World War 1 for shipbuilding and during World War 2 to enable the production of reliable quality military supplies in the United States. The TWI programme was introduced by the US government to assist manufacturers in transforming a workforce which had little or no industrial knowledge, skills and experience, to becoming the powerhouse behind the war effort. The principles of TWI were adopted by Japanese manufacturers in the post-WW2 era and within 20 years, the Japanese had surpassed well-established industrialised nations.

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Preventive Action – Where Can I find it for my organisations?

In many organisations, whenever there are issues raised by customer, prompt containment actions and corrective actions follows.  In typical operations, the issues are raised through different channels. Some are channeled as warranty claims, others as product returns, or most common through customer audits and complaints. Many successful organisations thrive on solving the customer-originated problems raised. Some are even proud of the fact that they could resolve most cases in record time. However, we need to realise that, this cycle of action after action is still very much reactive in nature. We are still being driven, instead of driving and in control!

Most modern management system standards such as ISO 9001:2008, and the other industry-specific derivatives for automotive (ISO/TS16949), medical devices (ISO13485), aerospace (AS9100) , telecommunications (TL9000), prescribe the application of preventive action as a mechanism for continual improvement. The questions we often get are – how to we do it? We do we start from?

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IWA-2 : QMS Guide for Education

International Workshop Agreement, IWA-2, is part of the quality management systems, a guide for the application of  ISO 9001:2008 specifically for educational organisations.. IWA-2 provides guidance to educational organizations in order to :
-    implement effective quality management system based on ISO 9001
-    conduct continuous improvement of education services

The introduction of IWA-2, is not intended for organisations go for conformity or certification, but to allow both internal and external parties, to assess the organisation’s ability to meet customer satisfaction, its regulatory and sustainable success.

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Thrive on Integration and Innovation

As ISO (International Organization for Standardization) always points out to practice continual improvement, emerging new standards are on queue.  Even if we are certified on several international standards, we will always have options to expand our perspectives in meeting not just customer, but also specific company requirements and operational activities as well.  As ISO 9004 have well pointed the path, here’s to the emerging drive for the sustainable organisational success (SOS). Hence, Just as there are standards for organisational quality ( ISO 9000 ), environment (ISO 14000), information technology service management ( ISO 20000),  information security ( ISO 27000),  here are emerging standards among others that may provide the answers to our operational concerns....

We provide you with the news and insights on the emerging standards, In this list are ISO 14064, ISO 21500,  ISO 28000, ISO 29001, ISO 30301, ISO 31000, and  ISO 50001, as  a short list of the new standards in the pipeline of our sustainability journey that were created, or being drafted, to make the implementation of our processes easier, more effective and efficient:

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Using TRIZ for Creative Problem Solving: An Illustration

1.    Introduction
To succeed and sustain a competitive advantage in a world where business gets tougher, organisations need to increase the rate of innovation. The theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) is an approach that can increase a person’s ability to generate creative solutions and help almost every organisation to develop innovative capabilities. This article shows how TRIZ Is applied to help generate creative solutions to tackle a sample problem.

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The Power of 5S

“5S? We have been implementing 5S for years!” - a common respond by most when asked if they have heard of 5S. An explanation of 5S often comes in the way of “Oh, we get our people to organise and tidy up their workplace every day – keeps the place clean, you know!” A good practise, nonetheless, a mere shadow of what a true 5S system is about.

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The Future of Management Systems

Evolving Quality Management System into a Framework of Operational Excellence

The ever changing global economy coupled with fierce competition and growing sophistication of customer needs warrants a sustained breakthrough performance in key areas of business. While the ISO family of Quality Management System provides the necessary ingredients leading to the success of an organisation, it doesn’t provide the means and the how’s to achieve the company’s vision for sustained breakthrough performance.

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Theory of Contraints

Theory of Contraints (TOC) is a philosophy attributed to the pioneering work of Dr. Eli Goldratt in 1986.  In the 1980s, while Asia was focusing on setting up factories and product quality improvements, the West embraced TOC which linked system improvements to the bottom line.

A key premise in this theory is that the rate of revenue generation is limited by at least 1 constraining process or bottleneck.  Hence, to increase overall throughput or revenue generation, we must treat the bottleneck.

What is a constraint or bottleneck?  It can be the market (eg not big enough), a policy constraint (eg must sell all products at all cost even those with thin or negligible profit margin), or an internal resource constraint (eg lack of competency, insufficient capacity).

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Release 5.0 Requirements ~ TL 9000 Quality Management System (QMS)

Release 5.0 of the TL 9000 Requirements Handbook will be effective from November 15, 2009. One year transition is allowed from November 15, 2009 to November 14, 2010, for which both Release 4.0 Requirements Handbook and Release 5.0 are valid. All audits conducted on or after November 15, 2010 would have to be to the Release 5.0 Requirements.

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Hawk’s Eyeview of Operational Excellence

Understanding the Linkage of Quality Best Practice Models and How to bring it towards Enterprise-wide Deployment

Being on today’s Wall Street where we are now the successors of time-tested quality models such as Six Sigma from Motorola and Lean from Toyota creates an irony of clarity and confusion; more like ebony and ivory, or yin and yang. The delight is manifested on the thought that holistic approaches are already available to respond to business’ strategic needs across varying concerns, local or cross-functional. However, the ebony side may not be disregarded.   Where there is variety of best practices to use comes the complexity of where to begin or what to choose. Is it a battle between Lean and Six Sigma? Is there a proper timing towards their deployment? How can they be linked towards other rising models such as TRIZ1 and DFSS2? Building EXCELLENCE should start somewhere.

Where do we take off?
Operations Excellence models should be realized as a subset and not a sole basis for organizational undertakings. It is not a magic wand. Hence, it is imperative to build inter-linkage of all these models in realizing the intended change to the bottom line. First and foremost would be to identify a company’s strategic objectives as evidenced by results of developed KPI’s3, KRA’s4, or objectives that are aligned with the Quality Policy. Straight and simple: KNOW WHERE YOU PLAN TO GO. If the intention is to seek for cost-control initiatives then it is best to eliminate Lean’s identified wastes or, if the plan is to pioneer the creation of innovative products then TRIZ should be pursued. Operations Excellence models should complement each other. However, these initiatives should not be confined on achieving monetary benefits alone. Following the concept of Balanced Scorecard from Kaplan and Norton, financial goals should be coupled with objectives that will drive them: Customer Concern, Internal Process Optimization and even, Human Relations. Simply put, Operations Excellence responds to ‘voices’ coming from the Customer, the Process and the People. Now, the basis for approving an initiative is not constrained on the estimated tangible benefit it can create, but rather, on the impact it can build in sustaining the business in continuum.

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Lean Sigma - The KEY to the High Performance & Successful Organisation

Lean Sigma is the KEY to the High Performance & Successful Organisation.  Businesses gauge success by a multitude of matrices – revenue, income, profit, customer satisfaction, market share, return on equity, return on assets, return on investments, and many more.  Ultimately, true success is attaining and sustaining BUSINESS RESULTS over time, with the fact that the customers’ and share holders’ expectations are ever increasing.

Due to the constraint of resources in every organisation, the challenge lies in determining the vital few results to focus on and the critical metrics that best monitor performance.  The Fortune 500 list serves as another metric of success.  Of the top 100 companies, 70 have been in the top 100 for five or more years.  Interestingly, 63% of these 70 companies acknowledge implementing Six Sigma to some degree.

“Lean Transformation” and “Six Sigma Breakthrough Improvement” are complementary in nature and, if effectively integrated, represent a long-term business improvement initiative that can produce unprecedented results.   While Lean focuses on eliminating non-value added steps and activities in a process, Six Sigma focuses on reducing variation from the remaining value-added steps.  Applying Lean ensure that we are working on the right thing with shorter lead time and applying Six Sigma ensures that we are doing the right things right, every time as we do them.   Lean defines and establishes the value flow as pulled by the customer, and Six Sigma makes the value flow more consistent.

These two methodologies interact and reinforce one another, such that percentage gains in Return on Investment Capital (ROIC%) are much faster if Lean and Six Sigma are implemented together.  Therefore, we can say that Lean Sigma is a business improvement strategy that maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed, and invested capital.

Lean Sigma implemented effectively via the Neville Clarke’s approach is a dynamic, synergistic force that will result in process improvement that will contribute significantly to the organization bottom-line.   Furthermore, the Lean Sigma business process improvement strategies bring a host of valuable tools to the workplace, which, if executed effectively with leadership support and commitment, can make a huge difference in the way companies work.

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Why Do Organisations Need to Implement Lean-Sigma?

Lean-Sigma has moved beyond a concept toward a mandatory methodology. Organisations who implemented Lean-Sigma have very high process capability, very few variations, customer oriented and free from waste throughout its supply chain.
 
History of Lean-Sigma concept goes a long way back to the QS-9000 era and later on ISO/TS 16949 (both are quality management system standards for automotive industry). This can be seen on the goal of ISO/TS 16949, namely:

To develop a fundamental Quality System that provides for:
 -  continual improvement
 -  emphasis on defect prevention
 -  reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain

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