Thirst for excellence prompts overseas links

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 March, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 March, 1996, 12:00am

Hong Kong has witnessed a surge in the number of partnerships between local and overseas organisations leading to greater quality standards throughout the territory.

Flourishing partnerships, like the one between the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and Xerox, and HKPC's link with the Conference Board USA, together with the thirst for quality management practices, has prompted the Industry Department to organise Quality Month '96.

The department and 13 other organisations have prepared a comprehensive programme of quality functions throughout the territory during April, including seminars, workshops and training courses. Growing interest in the subject has resulted in an increasing number of local expert speakers for many of the functions.

'There is an enormous interest in quality matters in Hong Kong, maybe because of the success of the quality weeks of the past two years, and we decided it should last longer this year,' said Tony Rocha, head of the Industry Department's Quality Assurance Unit and chairman of the seminar's organising committee.

'Quality in Hong Kong is improving and moving now at an accelerated pace,' he said.

'Quality Month is an opportunity to galvanise all those who have an interest in quality and the aim is to create a focal point to get people together to discuss and learn about quality.

'It is an opportunity to meet people and to get the quality message across through networking and personal contact.' The theme of Quality Month '96 is 'Quality - for Excellence and Profitability' and its expansion highlights how Hong Kong's knowledge of quality has grown over the past two years.

Benchmarking, now widely used as a management tool to improve quality, was just being launched in Quality Promotion Week 1994.

ISO 9000 and Total Quality Management (TQM) were then well known but Business Process Re-engineering, another of today's common management tools, was not on the agenda.

Today, tertiary education institutions are also playing a leading role in promoting quality.

They are doing this not just in education - the subject of one seminar - but individually and through the Quality and Reliability Centre, a joint venture between three of Hong Kong's universities.