Under the Patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Launch of Quality and Excellence Best Practice Forum
Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, May Allah Protect him, SASO has launched the Quality and Excellence Best Practice Forum, at Kingdom Hall, Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh.
His Excellency, Secretary General of King Abdulaziz Quality Award, Dr. Sa'ad Al-Kasabi, Governor of SASO, confirmed during his opening speech that the forum aims to promote communication between various government and private sectors from all around the world, to exchange views and experiences and discuss the challenges facing quality and institutional excellence leaders. He also assured that this event provides an opportunity for those interested in quality to view international, regional and national experiences in different fields of work, to enrich knowledge and contribute to the improvement and development of performance upon returning to the work field. The forum, in which 32 speakers and specialists in quality participated, reviewed three keynote speeches on three international experiences for national quality awards: Japan Quality Award, U.S Quality Award and Australian Quality Award. The program highlighted more than 16 regional and international experiences from eight countries, covering nine different fields. In addition, the forum had three panel discussions devoted to discuss the impact of national quality awards on national economy, institutional performance and societies in general.
The first day of the forum reviewed several experiences for quality and excellence best practices, including the experience of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority as first government institution to adopt the initiative of "Happiness Meter" and as the winner of the award of Dubai Government Excellence Program in UAE. Eng. Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President for Strategy and Business Development, noted that the authority has achieved international competitive results in many performance indicators, such as reducing the proportion of losses in transmission and distribution of electricity to about 3.3% compared to a rate of 6-7% in Europe and the USA. Furthermore, the proportion of waste in water systems decreased to 8.2%, compared to 15% in North America. He also noted that the authority has achieved the world's best results in the rate of power outages per subscriber per year, which reached 3.87 minutes of outage per subscriber, compared to 15 minutes of outage registered at best power companies in the European Union. UAE, represented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa for the third year in a row, and ranked fourth internationally in terms of easy access to electricity, according to the results of Doing Business Report 2016, issued by World Bank.
Eng. Saeed Al-Ghamdi, CEO of Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya), reviewed Kemya's experience and the attraction of excellent Saudi competences to accomplish the main objectives of the company which are to support the economy of the country and achieve the Saudisation of workforce successfully. He illustrated that Kemya is considered one of the biggest industrial complexes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is a joint venture between SABIC and Exxon Mobil, aiming at transferring technology and localizing national industries. It is one of the companies that provide the best products and are operated by 100% Saudi staff. The company has earned many awards in the fields of safety, health, environment and quality due to its commitment to the highest professional standards and performance. It has been awarded King Abdulaziz Quality Award in its third round.
Mr. John Morison introduced the experience of Wakefield and District Housing Company in UK and its role in providing high-quality houses. To accomplish that, the company recruits technology to track beneficiaries' information and interact with them. In addition to providing high-quality houses, the company renovates and maintains houses. It also offers new additional life services besides building houses affordable for next generations.
Mr. Abdullah Al-Homimidi from Saudi Investment Bank pointed to the experience of the bank, the winner of King Abdulaziz Quality Award for the category of service institutions. He indicated that winning of the award confirms the bank's commitment to the highest quality standards. Moreover, Mr. Khalid Al-Qadheeb introduced the experience of Tarbiyah Al-Namouthajiyah Schools and reviewed its historical vision established 58 years ago. The school has earned a large number of excellence certificates and trophies in the field of education, student activities and social contribution. It acquired the excellence trophy in education for many years. It has continued to achieve the first category of the categories set by the Ministry of Education, lastly for the academic year 1437/1438 AH.
For his part, the CEO of Australian Organisational Excellence Foundation, Mr. Ravi Fernand, affirmed the important role of King Abdulaziz Quality Award in raising the level of quality. He indicated that Saudi economy should be adjusted, especially with the existence of a large sector as the oil sector. He considered King Abdulaziz Quality Award the leader of the trend towards adjustment. Further, he expressed that the Australian excellence award was first intended for private sector and is currently for government sectors, particularly local governance institutions, which stresses the interest of all institutions in quality and organizational excellence.
Mr. Fernand pointed out that the standards set for King Abdulaziz Quality Award are unique. He also confirmed that competing for quality awards simply means that the institution is on the correct path towards excellence, and can undertake necessary corrective measures.
The forum witnessed a panel discussion entitled, "Panel discussion, Vision 2030, and the Role of the Award in Enhancing the Quality of Services and Products", which was moderated by Dr. Khaled Al-Awwad, member of the Shura Council. The panel was attended by Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Mansour, Deputy Minister of Rural affairs; Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Muderis, Director General at the Ministry of Education in the Eastern Province; Dr. Imad Al-Jahdaly, Faculty Member at Umm Al-Qura University; and Eng. Saud al-Shammari, Head of the Saudi Society for quality (SSQ). Moreover, it discussed the relationship between the Kingdom's Vision 2030 with its National Transformation Program and the role King Abdulaziz Quality Award plays, the connection between the Vision and the Award, in addition to how the Award would result in a possible role to achieve this Vision.
Dr. Al-Muderis said the Vision of the Kingdom focuses on sustainable development, with the human element as its core, adding that King Abdul Aziz Award aims at achieving the Vision in all community and private sectors and that it is not limited to government sectors. King Abdul Aziz Award, in achieving excellence and quality, contributes to fulfilling the Kingdom Vision to reach sustainable quality and excellence, he continued.
Mr. Al-Mansour pointed out that among the goals of the municipal sector is finding happy life and preventive health, adding that the ministry drew a strategic plan focusing largely on quality, which was furnished to the Supreme Economic Council and approved. He continued, "The plan stated improving efficiency and performance and having quality as a goal for the ministry". At the same time, the ministry has prepared a lot of initiatives to raise quality. These initiatives do not mean that previous actions are not of a quality level, as the ministry received several quality awards including the areas of cities.
Dr. Al-Jahdaly stressed that the Vision mentioned flourished economy that includes quality in the various services, considering that health services in the Kingdom are well-developed and that the medical industry is the first in the field of quality and mastering institutional work in the health sector. He said, "We are trying to improve services to satisfy ourselves, before satisfying customers, since community members are the users of such services".
Eng. Al-Shammari noted that the link between the Kingdom plan and King Abdul Aziz Quality award is very strong. The Vision aims at finding life quality; in order to achieve this quality, all institutions that provide services and products of high quality are required to have institutional excellence in services. He also pointed out that the Award draws a road map to find a comprehensive and balanced approach to achieve excellence. If institutions apply the standards established by SASO, their performance will increase incredibly.