(File pix) Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (front row, fourth from left) with Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) director-general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain (fourth from right) and Malaysia Productivity and Innovation Class (MPIC) Certificate recipients during the Business Excellence CEO Forum 2017 in Kuala Lumpur recently. Pix by Aizuddin Saad
(File pix) Datuk Kwan Foh Kwai. Pix by Aizuddin Saad

KUALA LUMPUR: THE performance and sustainability of an organisation can be enhanced by using initiatives in the Malaysia Business Excellence Framework (MBEF).

Recently, the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) organised an insightful Business Excellence CEO Forum 2017 themed “A Strategy for Organisational Sustainability” at Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Hotel.

MPC is an agency under the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti).

The half-day forum was moderated by Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) chief executive officer Dr Yeoh Oon Tean, and featured three panelists from companies that won the Industry Excellence Award (AKI) awarded by Miti.

They comprised Sunway Construction Group Bhd non-independent non-executive director Datuk Kwan Foh Kwai, KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital executive director Mohd Taufik Ismail and Finisar Malaysia Sdn Bhd human resources director Dr Siva Sitrembalan.

There are seven criteria under MBEF — leadership, planning, information, customer, people, process and results at firm level.

Kwan said emphasis should be on building an organisation’s capability in service excellence to create value for customers. He said Sunway Construction believed in delivering on a timely and cost-effective manner, without compromising on quality and safety.

“As leadership is part of MBEF, values of humanity, integrity and excellence are also inculcated among employees.

“One of the company’s challenges is to ensure that it has adequate resources to deliver to customers.”

Kwan said human capital was integral in their operation, and the company made sure that it had the right talent, who were willing to stay through the challenges and deliver what was promised to the customers.

He said as a big construction company, Sunway Construction was a lean learning organisation.

“We make sure that our cost structure is lean. The lean practice is not on cost structure only, but also in a sense that we provide the fastest and most efficient delivery with less wastage,” he said.

“Wastage may also be in time besides material. It includes time to market services and time to get back to customers.”

Kwan said Sunway Construction was striving to become a learning organisation.

“Construction involves very complicated pieces of work. We transform everyone into knowledge workers by providing a conducive environment to learn,” he said, adding that information were readily available and shared online across the company.

Kwan said the company also utilised advanced tools and information and communications technology with the latest software. In 2010, it introduced virtual design and construction in its operations.

“Automation, which is part of Industry 4.0, leads to higher productivity and efficiency.

“It is a journey that needs to create knowledge in the organisation. Therefore, we invested in hardware and software, as well as train our engineers to use the software to produce desired results.”

Kwan said his company practised conveying information to customers in real time, which could be accessed online.

Meanwhile, Yeoh, the FMM chief executive officer and forum moderator, said implementing the Business Excellence Framework (BEF) meant having a lot of focus and closely-integrated system to ensure that all elements of the framework were supported.

The guiding principles of MBEF included process management and improvement, performance management, employee knowledge, customer satisfaction, strategic direction and driving innovation.

“All these are driven by leadership to harness and  align all elements of the organisation into the right direction. Leadership is the most important aspect of business excellence.”

He encouraged industry players to adopt business excellence as a benchmark in their organisations.

“It is not a contest but rather for organisations to improve their operations. The BEF interconnects all the elements.”

Yeoh said companies could have been loosely practising some of the elements, but by adopting BEF, the elements can be integrated and synergised to achieve higher productivity and, ultimately, better organisational performance.

He said MPC had done a great job as business excellence was fundamental to achieve a high-income nation status.

“When we look at high-income nations, they have high productivity. MPC has the resources and experts. Most importantly, it is willing to handhold any company that is willing to embark on the journey.”

During the event, Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan presented the certificate of Malaysia Productivity Innovation Class (MPIC) to representatives of 20 companies that achieved outstanding scores in BEF assessment.

Ong said BEFs and other models had been used in many countries to increase efficiency.

Some examples were the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model, Singapore Business Excellence Framework, Australian Business Excellence Framework and Baldrige Excellence Framework.

“Such frameworks assist organisations in meeting the needs of stakeholders and, at the same time, protect, sustain and enhance the environment, social and economic resources for the future.”

He said the quest for business excellence was part of an overall initiative by the government under the Malaysia Productivity Blueprint to raise Malaysia’s labour productivity level from RM78,218 last year to RM92,300 in 2020.

He said the AKI was not just a recognition to see which company could perform best, but it was also a channel to encourage and motivate industry players.

Last year, 215 companies nationwide participated in MBEF assessments for several awards, and another 175 were assessed this year under Miti’s Vendor Development (VDP) and Skim Peningkatan Produktiviti Enterprise (SPPE) programmes.

Ong said the improvement in productivity was crucial to enhance the competitiveness of Malaysia’s economy. In the Global Competitiveness Report 2017/18 released by World Economic Forum recently, Malaysia was ranked at 23rd place out of 137 competitors compared with 25th position out of 138 last year.

Present at the forum were MPC director-general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain and deputy director-general Ab Rahim Yusoff.