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The aim of this report are to give analytical review about standards and standardization; compare and contrast two excellence model Malcolm Baldrige Excellence Model and Australian Business Excellence Model and explains how dose each model enhance the organization, also compare two different product marking (UL The Underwriters Laboratory marking and CE -Conformite Europeene- European Conformity) to determine the differences in objectives and scope and evaluation of product to get the marking.
Finally, this report investigated the relation between the product marking and achieving excellence model purpose.
Part One : Standards & Standardization
In today competitive market, Standardization became the backbone of many organization successes, also the survival of any business will depend on the quality level associated with the products and services offered to customers, so Standardization can be found in organization processes when organization require a consistent level of qualityÂ to be achieved . This part explains the importance of Standards and Standardization it terms of international trade, health and safety, and preserving customer right.
Standardization is "activity of establishing, with regard to actual or potential problems, provisions for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context". (Peter Hatto, 2010).
On the other hand, Standards represent a reference document explains technical know-how and repeatable way of doing business based on best practices and issued by recognized organization to increase the reliability and the effectiveness of output of the work.
Over the last 60 years there have been many international efforts to establish standards that will help the organizations to formalize their quality level of its operation, products and services. In my view, Standards can be classified by its:
Geographic implementation: for example
ISO standards issued by International Organization for Standardization standards.
IEC standards: issued by International Electrotechnical Commission.
CEN standards established by European Committee for Standardization, covered Europe country.
UAE.S 5009/2009 Standard & Specification for Oxo-biodegradation of Plastic bags and other disposable Plastic objects, applied in UAE and established by Emirates Authority for standardization and metrology.
Purpose: for example
European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) standards for information and communication systems.
ICSS: 2010-14: International customer service standard.
PAS-55: Optimal management of physical assets.
IFRS-International financial reporting standards.
There are many benefits of implementing standards for companies in any particular area of work, also the benefits affects customer and community at the same time. For example:
It is important for companies to:
Gain global market and improve it is competitive advantage.
Increase the buying power by increase the confidence between the buyer and supplier.
Assess their processes and increase the efficiency of the organization against the standards.
Increase potential of sale and use by increasing product compatibility with other products manufactured by other organizations.
Reduce time, effort and money they have to invest in research and development.
It is important for customer and community to:
Increase the level of health and safety.
Receive more environmentally sound products and services.
Preserving certain customer right, which protects them of product faulty and treated unfairly by a manufacturer.
Excellence becomes the objective for many organizations, also affixing product marking on products are very impotent for organizations to compete in the market. In this part, I will compare between two excellence models and two products marking.
Area One: Comparison between Malcolm Baldrige Excellence Model & Australian Business Excellence Model
Nations encourage organizations to increase their performance by implementing business excellence framework. Most of the excellence models are use the quality management principles, its aims to achieve and sustain superior performance by meeting all the stakeholders' needs.
Thus, many countries established quality award based on excellence model criteria to encourage organizations to respond to the highly competitive environment, customer expectations, enhance management system and use the criteria for self-assessment.
In this part, I will compare between Malcolm Baldrige Excellence Model and Australian Business Excellence Model. Below diagrams show the structure of each model.
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Origin and Purposes of the Models:
Malcolm Baldrige Award established since 1987 for USA companies to implement Total Quality Management and to enhance the competitiveness, quality and productivity of US organizations. The name came from Malcolm Baldrige who served as a US Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until its death in road accident in 1987. In recognition of his contributions for quality management, Congress named the award in his honour. While, Australian Business Excellence Framework established by 1988 to promote and recognize excellence in Australian organization in all forms and to establish environment of continuous improvement to sustain the business success.
Malcolm Baldrige Excellence Model established and administrated by National Institute of Standards and Technology, while Australian Business Excellence Framework originated by The Australian Quality Council but now administrated by SAI Global.
Core Concepts and Principles of the Models
Despite the similarity between Malcolm Baldrgie excellence Model and Australian Excellence Model, the core concepts of Malcolm Baldrgie focus more on valuing the partner and social responsibility, while Australian Excellence Model core principles focus more on the process and understanding process variability.
Comparison of the Criteria
Generally, both Models have seven categories/criteria, but Malcolm Baldrige has different sub-criteria for nonprofit organization, education and healthcare organizations.
On the one hand, Malcolm Baldrige criteria are leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; human resource focus; operation focus and business results. The model supported by measurement, analysis and knowledge management to establishing the basis for effective management of the organization and fact decision, knowledge are important for improving performance, the remaining categories falling under the umbrella of organizational profile which includes organization's environment, key working relationships and strategic challenges. The performance system in the model consists of 2 triad, leadership triad (Leadership, strategic planning and customer focus) shows the importance of leadership focus on strategy and customer and Results triad (workforce focus, operations focus and business results) shows how the organization's employees and processes accomplish the work and achieve the results.
On the other hand, Australian Business Excellence Model consist of leadership; Strategy and planning; Information and knowledge; people; customer and market focus; process management improvement and innovation; success and sustainability. Strategy in the model driven by leadership and customer focus, but Information and knowledge surround all the categories in model to support decision-making at all levels of the enterprise.
Although it is similar to the Malcolm Baldrige excellence model , the Australian excellence model has an increased emphasis on the significance of multicultural management. (Robert J. Vokurka, Gary L. Stading and Jason Brazeal, 2000, P46,48).
Evaluation dimension in Malcolm Baldrige consist of process evaluation based on ADEI (Approach, Deployment, Learning, Integration) and result evaluation based on LeTCI (Level, Trends, Comparisons, Integration). However, Australian Business Excellence Model the assessment using ADRI (Approach, Deployment, Results, Improvement) assessment methodology.
Both models have an assessment scoring up to 1000 points but the concentrations of the points are different. The diagram below show weight of concentration for each category in each model:
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(Vokurka, Gary and Brazeal, 2000)
From the above compression we can see that the similarities more that the differences in the models. Despite of the different structure for each model and different consecration for the categories, both models promote the performance excellence of the organization and encourage the continuous improvement.
Area Two: Comparison between CE marking & UL marking
Product marking given to certain product has passed performance test or meet certain qualification criteria based on stipulated regulation and specification. The most recognized products marking worldwide are CE and UL. In this part of the report I will compare between CE and UL mark in terms of their scope and objective and product evaluation process.
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CE and UL, as on the product.
History and Objectives of Marking
UL refers to The Underwriters Laboratory, it is independent and non-profit organization established in 1894 by William Henry Merrill, its mission is "working for a safer world". On the other hand, CE refers to (Conformite Europeene) European Conformity established in 1993 by European Commission.
CE used by companies in the European Economic Area or European Union to show that their products comply with certain requirements of health, safety and environment, while UL used by company to show that compliance to applicable North American standards established by Underwriters Laboratories.
Scope of Marking
CE Marking is mandatory for product manufactured or distributed in Europe Counties but not all product included. Only specific products categories determined by specific directives, there are different directives for 23 products group, below examples of products group and directives purposes (European Commission, 2012):
Appliances burning gaseous Flues: Ensuring a high level of safety for gas appliances and energy conservation.
Low voltage devices: Ensuring a high level of safety for users of electrical equipment.
Machinery: Minimizing the risk of accidents caused by the use of machinery.
Toys: Minimizing the risk of injuries to children playing with toys.
However, CE marking directives can be applied by harmonized standards explain the requirements for health, safety and environmental protection but these standards are not mandatory requested by European commission and not issued by European Commission itself.
In Contrast, UL marking also not mandatory and not recommended by any law but there are many state in USA request to test the products in recognized laboratory before distribution in the state. Since UL represent the most recognized laboratory therefore most company goes to UL to get there brand name and use it on the products.
Unlike CE, UL has their own safety standards they issue hundreds of safety standards, for example:
Standard for Flexible Metal Conduit.
Standard for Electrical Rigid Metal Conduit - Steel.
Standard for Metal Safety Cans.
Standard for Flexible Cords and Cables.
Standard for Fixture Wire.
The main difference between CE and UL is CE not a certificate shows that products are safety and protect environment, the manufacturer declares on his sole responsibility that the product conforms to relevant requirements to achieve CE marking and the necessary assessments have been completed for the product. Also, if products are not manufactured in European Countries then importer and distributer must ensure that the product complies with CE requirements.
Unlike CE, UL is certificate that shows that sample of product are tested by UL according to safety standards and requirements, also a periodic check has done to manufactures' facility to ensure that the manufacturer produce the product in compliance with certification requirements.
The first step in getting CE marking is applying directives by manufacture to the product, then if the manufacturer fully applied harmonized standards then the products are "presumption conformity", then based on the directive the manufacturer determines if assessment by Notified Body must be done to ensure the right directives are applied. In each European country there are many notified body, for example:
In UK: BM Trade Certification Limited.
In France: AEMC LAB.
In Germany: SECTOR CERT GMBH.
After that, manufacture issue Declaration of Conformity, then affixing CE marking to the product. The manufacturer must keep Technical Documentation/File to maintain evidence that the product complies with the requirements when requested by national authorities.
The most important difference that UL determine the required safety standards and requirements for the manufacturer to ensure their product complies with that standard, then UL conduct audit and investigate if the product actually comply with safety standards based on a sample of products. Also, manufacturer product, planet and equipments tested periodically by UL to ensure that the manufacturer continues produce in comply with the required safety standards.
Finally, form the above comparison we can conclude that customer confidence for UL marking is more than CE marking since the UL mark represent a safety marking that ensure the product continuously audited by UL organization.
Having a recognized marking in any product likes CE and UL that mean the manufacturer follow systematic steps to meet safety, health, environment requirements and maintain a standard level of specification. Basically, product marking support different excellence criteria starting form leadership criteria by showing commitment from manufacturer to provide the customer with safety product, then adopting strategy for that commitment which supported by manufacturing process to ensure standardized level of accepted product. Eventually, customer satisfaction will be increase due to high level of health and safety product, that will affect the final results for the manufacturer by maintain and improve their competitiveness in the market.