Mumbai: A two-day convention on excellence through improvement and innovation was held in the city on 7 – 8 August by Qimpro Consultants, pioneers of the quality movement in India.
The Qimpro Convention 2008 recognizes excellence in team performance that focuses on improvement.
Over the past couple of years, the convention has been expanded to include innovation as well, and what used to be a one day event has grown into a two-day convention, with a day each for improvement and innovation.
While Qimpro Consultants work towards accelerating organizational transformation through process improvements and cost reduction, the BestPrax Club facilitates excellence in organizational performance through benchmarking and innovation. This year, the convention saw participation from over 50 teams, marking the culmination of a seven-month long competitive process which began in January 2008.
In his keynote address to the participants on the first day of the convention, Navin Agarwal, deputy executive chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc said that the challenge of sustaining growth is evident from the churn in the list of the Fortune 500 companies over the past several decades.
Agarwal said that a number of companies that were part of the F500 list in the 1960s, are not to be seen there, while others such as Toyota have risen from being just another automotive OEM in the 1970s to become the largest OEM in 2007, with a market capitalization higher than that of the next three largest OEMs combined.
While companies like GE and Toyota have successfully created and driven programs such as Six Sigma, or TPS (Toyota Production System), in part on account of a culture of relentless pursuit of improvement in every element of the business system.
''There are three core elements that make such efforts enduring,'' says Agrawal. Firstly, a robust operating system to generate and implement improvement initiatives, followed by management infrastructure that includes appropriate supporting systems and processes to facilitate and encourage implementation of improvement initiatives. Third comes the creation of an entrepreneurial improvement culture and capability in the entire workforce, which is necessarily a pull-base system rather than a push-based one.
Selected by two, independent panel of judges, the winners of the improvement category were awarded the QualTech prize, while the innovation category saw the winners receive the BestPrax Compass.
Winners of the Improvement category (QualTech Prize)
- Reliance Industries Limited, Hazira
- Presenter: Jayesh N Desai, general manager for production at the polyester plant
- Case: To increase POY CP10 yield from 98.5 per cent to 99.2 per cent by April 2007
- L&T, Hazira
- Presenters: B Srinivasa Reddy, Manager, TQM Facilitation
- Case: Inspection cycle time reduction
- Godrej and Boyce, Mohali
- Presenter: Hitesh Kakkar, associate general manager
- Case: Improvement of first pass yield by 87 per cent
Winners of the Innovation category (BestPrax Compass)
- Kansai Nerolac
- Presenter: Shashank D Puro, chief manager, technical
- Case: 3 Wet Technology, an innovation application system for painting 4-wheelers in the automotive sector
- Rallis India
- Presenter: Nishant Pahuja, regional manager, marketing
- Case: Bhagidari Sabha – making dealers a partner in strategic planning
- Sona Group (Sona Koyo Steering Systems Limted)
- Presenter: Hari Nair, vice president of human resources
- Case: Attrition and talent management in today's organisations