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Business excellence models have become essential for competitive organizations. They are focused on the improvement of organizational operations such as management, production, business processes, and all other aspects that can affect business results. As the name implies, the achievement of excellence is ingrained in those models. The use of business excellence models is one of the default strategies in Europe, the United States, and Asian countries.
Therefore, the understanding of these models and their impact on the business results is an important topic of study. This paper will provide an overview of existing business excellence models, as well as an example of a UAE organization Al Ain Distribution Company that benefited from its implementation.
Key Research Questions
There are two key research questions that this paper is designed to answer. The first is “what types of business excellence models are used by organizations today?” Over the decades, a variety of models were created and updated. This evolution is not universal, and some organizations may still use outdated models. The answer to this question will provide an overview of the most modern business excellence models that are currently being used.
The key second question is “what is the impact of the business excellence models?” Despite the popularity of such models, they are not beyond criticism. Business excellence models are thoroughly tested to find any issues with their design and implementation. Their impact needs to be examined, and their benefits and issues should be considered.
The paper aims to provide relevant and accurate information about business excellence models that should be used by organizations due to their positive impact. By answering the two key questions, the paper should be able to examine available information and provide some options and reasons behind the use of business excellence models.
Business excellence is achieved through continuous improvement of the business processes of the organization. Its goal is to improve business results and provide value to the stakeholders. Business excellence models are therefore strategies that allow for the development of business excellence within the organization. There are several core values and concepts that are associated with business excellence. Those values are often used in the development of models.
According to the literature review, the most popular excellence model is EFQM. It is most commonly used in European countries (Gómez-López, Serrano-Bedia & López-Fernández 2016). However, materials about its use in India, South America, and Asia were also found during the search (Gómez, Costa & Lorente 2011; Araújo & Sampaio 2014). The model is comprised of three parts. The first is the eight core values that are designed to create sustainable success. They are almost perfectly aligned with the core values of business excellence, with the addition of the focus on organizational capability and sustaining quality results (Dahlgaard et al. 2013).
The second part is a collection of nine criteria that are divided into two categories: enablers and results. The last part is called “RADAR logic,” and it is the continuous improvement cycle that is utilized by the EFQM model (Doeleman, Have & Ahaus 2014). The model is highly popular, but the results of its implementation vary from case to case (Gómez-López, López-Fernández & Serrano-Bedia 2017; Lo et al. 2013), depending on the country where it is implemented.
Singapore Quality Award framework is a popular business excellence model for Singaporean organizations. Unlike EFQM, it is based only on seven categories: leadership, planning, information, people, processes, customers, and results. However, the majority of its core values are very similar to EFQM. Its use is relatively limited, and the results suggest that it still has issues that require attention (Bhullar et al. 2014).
The Australian Business Excellence Framework is much more successful in its country of origin. It was originally based on the EFQM model and has similar components. However, its principles are slightly different. Its leadership is based on becoming an exemplary worker and providing clear directions to the team. The understanding of markets and customers is prioritized. The system has to be continuously improved.
However, other aspects such as flexibility, ethical behavior, and sustainable results are similar to the EFQM model (Domun & Talwar 2016). This framework is used for the Australian Business Excellence Awards, and despite its rare use it has shown to be effective in Australia.
The data for the paper was gathered through the search for relevant materials on the online search engine Google Scholar. The search was focused only on the newest materials that are not older than five years. Additional data on the organization was gathered through contact with its public representative and examination of its website.
As an example of a company that utilizes the EFQM business excellence model, the Al Ain Distribution Company was chosen. It is a public joint-stock company that provides water and electricity to the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi. They are responsible for the provision, maintenance, meter reading, and other management of water and electricity in the region. The company has achieved five significant awards, including the Shaik Khalifa Excellence Award, Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, ISO 9001, ISO 10002, ISO 14001, ISO 17025, and ISO 18001 combined standards (About AADC 2017).
The company actively utilizes the EFQM model of excellence, and it is reflected in its values. The reputation of the company and the delivery of returns on investments is its value for shareholders. The provision of high-quality water and electricity to its customers and the demonstration of professionalism in all services are representative of their value of customers. Commitment to people, to the staff, ethics, social responsibility, and overall excellence is also representative of the EFQM model (Mission, Vision & Values 2017). The success and good reputation of the company serve as evidence of the effectiveness of the EFQM business excellence model.
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Discussion and Conclusions
The results of the literature review and data analysis of a functioning company suggest that EFQM is the most common and usually effective model of business excellence. However, some evidence from the review suggested that it provides the most efficiency to industrial companies, such as the one presented in the analysis portion. Its focus on visionary leadership, organizational agility, and the positive experiences for clients may be the main values that enable its success. Currently, it is one of the most current and popular business excellence models, and unless new issues are discovered, its use should continue.
To sustain the business successes that the organization is experiencing, it requires continuous improvement on the part of the company. Otherwise, it may grow stagnant, and its successes will slowly erode with time. It is a common issue with companies that experience positive results for prolonged periods, but fail to improve continuously.
About AADC 2017. Web.
Araújo, M & Sampaio, P 2014, ‘The path to excellence of the Portuguese organisations recognised by the EFQM model’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 25, no. 5–6, pp. 427–438.
Bhullar, AS, Gan, CW, Ang, AJL, Ma, B, Lim, RYG & Toh, MH 2014, ‘Operational excellence frameworks – case studies and applicability to SMEs in Singapore’, in 2014 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, pp. 667–671.
Dahlgaard, JJ, Chen, C-K, Jang, J-Y, Banegas, LA & Dahlgaard-Park, SM 2013, ‘Business excellence models: limitations, reflections and further development’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 24, no. 5–6, pp. 519–538.
Doeleman, HJ, Have, S ten & Ahaus, CTB 2014, ‘Empirical evidence on applying the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model, a literature review’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 25, no. 5–6, pp. 439–460.
Domun, R & Talwar, B 2016, Evolving a business excellence model based on sustainable human capital resources for Mauritius: a qualitative approach, Social Science Research Network, Rochester, NY.
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Gómez-López, R, Serrano-Bedia, AM & López-Fernández, MC 2016, ‘Motivations for implementing TQM through the EFQM model in Spain: an empirical investigation’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 27, no. 11–12, pp. 1224–1245.
Lo, CKY, Wiengarten, F, Humphreys, P, Yeung, ACL & Cheng, TCE 2013, ‘The impact of contextual factors on the efficacy of ISO 9000 adoption’, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 229–235.
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