The Prestigious Deming Prize : Organizations of Quality

  The Deming Prize was founded in 1951 by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) to commemorate Dr. W. Edward Deming, who introduced quality control to Japan where the concept was imparted and subsequential applications led to good-quality low-price products that could be exported to the rest of the world, and thereby, propelled Japan to become an economic superpower. It’s a global quality award that recognizes industrial companies across the world that have accomplished outstanding results by successfully implementing Total Quality Management (TQM), with staff participation throughout the organization in manners appropriate to the organization. Thus, Deming Prize awardees are recognized for excellent management principles and international standards, both domestically and worldwide.  Three award categories include:

  1. Deming Prize for Individuals  are granted to Japanese that are dedicated to the advancement of TQM and recognized for their outstanding contributions in the areas of education, research, or organizational applications. Awardees are often university professors and senior executives in the private sector.
  2. The Deming Application Prize is awarded to organizations either in or outside of Japan that yields outstanding results by appropriately applying TQM accordingly to organization type and business attributes. Such organization must manage its resources independently; implement a Total Quality Assurance System, while administering its finances and organizational development, objectively. The award became available to foreigners in 1984.
  3. Quality Control Award for Operation Business Units is awarded to organizations or divisions that are not independent in management, but however, realizes outstanding performance in operations where TQM is appropriately applied. The award became available to foreigners in 1987.
TQM and the Deming Prize is widely recognized, both inside and outside of Japan, for playing an extremely important role in Japan’s swift recovery amid post-WWII setbacks and becoming a global economic superpower within the short period of 30-40 years. The success stemmed from a majority of industrial organizations in Japan taking faith in the concept. Thereby, came endless dedication by academics and experts in the field to develop a TQM with cutting edge applicabilities, one which elevates organizational competitiveness. The Deming Prize is awarded to organizations that satisfy the criteria and meet three qualifications, as follow:
  1. Have challenging organizational objectives and strategies that are customer-oriented and under clear executive leadership. 
  2. Appropriate TQM applications tailored to meet specific business objectives and strategies with staff involvement throughout the organization.
  3. Outstanding performance where specific business objectives and strategies are met as a result of TQM application.
As a result of taking on the Deming Prize challenge, the company benefits from improved business processes that deliver streamlined services and excels beyond existing customer needs. This enables the ability to identify existing strengths weaknesses and areas of improvement that allows it to advance towards specific business goals. Finally, employees that function as a system optimizes efficiency as the process goes through analytical TQM principles that allow clear and accurate problem solving. The Deming Prize and TQM are, therefore, the catalyst of success for customer satisfaction, advanced product quality, services, human resources, and internal organizational administrative processes.
   Although organizational knowledge development and expansion is crucial, specifically Core or Intrinsic Technology knowledge, to sustainable growth, however, Speed is becoming ever more important. Maintaining balance in the pursuit of cutting edge knowledge, necessary for the organization to expand on existing know-how, is therefore just as important. Many companies apply different management tools such as Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecards, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management, or TPM, all of which are not in conflict and rather harmonious with TQM. 
     Deming Prize is awarded to organizations that achieve highly successful business results by appropriately adapting TQM to its own unique style. The assessment process is therefore characteristic to that of a thesis where criteria and methods of evaluation can be tailor-suited to each organization as appropriate. As such, Deming Prize contending companies must possess an unsurpassable understanding of itself and sell itself based on characteristics that distinct them from competing companies. A basic management mechanism is in place to handle routine administration at expandable levels, while executives must determine company directions, provide organizational leadership that pilot change to excellence, which in so doing entails the responsibility to be the center of intrinsic knowledge, support and drive practical operations, with all organization staff on board. Only then will the prospects of being awarded exist. Retaining a sustaining quality and continued development has to start by promoting a mindfulness throughout organization staff that recognizes the common quality and form a strong workplace culture, together.
However, what each company can expect beyond the award itself is a great performance as a result of improving on weaknesses in a relatively short period of time by the cooperation of all employees that lay a strong foundation for management to propel sustainable growth in to the future. 
Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics 
References   Academic Journal of TQM, TP and Safety & Environment by Quality                             Promotion Center Press Release; SCG Logistics Management Co., Ltd.
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