Journey to quality is clearly mapped out

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2007, 12:00am

The bank's success in management is evident in its business results, with improved financial performance and customer satisfaction

Raising the level of business excellence in a large corporation requires a quality management model that can help boost the standards and capabilities of all staff - from juniors to senior executives.

Fully aware of this, Citic Ka Wah Bank embarked on its quality journey in 2000 by bringing in the world-renowned Malcolm Baldrige management model.

The systematic model helped the bank develop a strategic road map and establish different systems that would nurture and instil a culture of quality excellence.

Quality excellence covers areas such as objective setting and alignment, service tracking, market research on services and products, customer relationship management and internal communications.

To increase staff awareness and participation in the management model, the bank then launched the Be Quick (Business Excellence & Quality in Citic Ka Wah) programme in 2003, a total quality management (TQM) model.

In this programme, a senior management team is appointed as 'criteria champions' to oversee the implementation of each criterion, while middle management are assigned as 'criteria specialists' to identify and implement the integrated practices and benchmark best performances.

'The results have been encouraging,' said Doreen Chan, president and chief executive officer of Citic Ka Wah Bank. 'We will keep up our momentum to offer excellent products and services to our customers.

'Our senior management team establishes a clear strategic road map and business directions to guide each business unit to define and drive its business priorities,' said Ms Chan.

'Alignment of staff objectives is integrated with a performance-based reward scheme to help staff work towards a common goal.'

Ms Chan said the bank valued customers' voices, and understood that every customer had his or her own wealth management needs.

'We collect customers' opinions through various channels so as to anticipate their unique needs. What differentiates the bank is our strong capability to provide tailor-made and value-added products and services to our customers from the private wealth management and corporate partnership perspectives.'

The bank's success in quality management is reflected in its business results, including improvements in financial performance and customer satisfaction, which could not have been achieved without the strong support and commitment of the senior management team and staff, she said.

Ms Chan said general banking products or services were no longer sufficient to attract customers.

'We must be proactive in anticipating our customers' needs and continue to provide the best, value-creating financial solutions to them,' she said. 'In tandem with the rapid development of our China business, we will further extend the scope of TQM to our branch network in the mainland and upgrade our service standards to an international level.'

Ms Chan said one of the most important elements of TQM was the people - particularly in the service industry.

'With the establishment of the common goal and performance measurement systems for our staff, our focus is on helping employees to pursue their personal development and on strengthening two-way communication.'

The bank will continue to promote TQM and instil a customer-centric business culture.

'We believe that our quality journey is never-ending, and the key to success in our TQM lies in the involvement and commitment of our staff.'

Ms Chan said the bank would not only continue to encourage staff participation in quality management initiatives, but would also support them to further embed the attitudes of quality service in their daily work and move towards the bank's vision - to be the region's best bank.

The bank's other ambition is to achieve the best international standards and capabilities by providing value-creating financial solutions to define and exceed both the wealth management and international business objectives of its Greater China and overseas customers.

Citic Ka Wah participated in the HKMA Quality Management awards to see how well it had implemented the Malcolm Baldrige management model, and to measure its performance against other well-managed companies.

The bank believes that winning the Quality Award reflects its achievement in quality management and is a recognition of its efforts in this area.

'This is an important milestone in our quality journey,' Ms Chan said. 'We will encourage our staff to pursue business excellence and continue their efforts to exceed our customers' expectations.'

She said participation in the process also demonstrated to the staff that quality management was a never-ending journey.

'We should always be forward-looking and respond quickly to the ever-changing market environment,' she said. 'The professional opinions from the judging panel have given us an objective understanding of the strengths and shortcomings of our existing management model so that we can make further improvements in order to prepare for our long-term development.'