Co-winner of the Special Award for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Hip Shing Hong Group shows that successful implementation of total quality management (TQM) relies more on dedicated leadership and innovative business strategies than merely resources. As part of its customer-focused TQM programme, Hip Shing Hong's top management has taken initiative in identifying the needs of its clients. Through its frequent interaction with them, its leadership listens to their needs and tailors products and services to their expectations, says David Fong, managing director of Hip Shing Hong. It is vital for the company to listen to customers to create value-added products matching their needs, he adds. 'We stand in their shoes to understand how they feel and what they want. After we have gathered ideas about our customers, we innovate new products and services based on our understanding of their needs.' 'Office Plus', a one-stop-shop office solution for start-up tenants, is one of the innovations that has been developed through Hip Shing Hong's TQM initiative. It is also the result of canvassing ideas from customers. Under Office Plus, start-up companies can rent fully-furnished offices tailored to fulfil their specific requirements and needs. 'By providing these offices to entrepreneurs, we help them focus on their business development. We look after the set-up and furnishings to produce a pleasant working environment for them. It is a completely hassle-free solution. All units are ready for the start-up companies and are supported by concierge and customer service officers,' Fong adds. 'We have leveraged our relationship with the suppliers and contractors and deliver this value to the tenants.' Hip Shing Hong's two-pronged approach to innovation helps increase customer satisfaction and boost staff morale, Fong says. 'Employees are happier. The company is more creative and is willing to implement new policies and develop innovative solutions. As a result, the staff get positive feedback from the market.' Since the adoption of TQM, Hip Shing Hong has integrated a scientific method of benchmarking its performance against that of other companies. 'This is not commonly done among family-run businesses in Hong Kong. In today's information-loaded business environment and dynamic market, we need a matrix to measure our business objectively. Taking on TQM is to evaluate business in a systematic and timely fashion. It is a holistic approach to quality management,' Fong says. 'As a family-run business, the challenge in adopting TQM was to reach consensus among the top management and the shareholders. We also needed to synchronise all divisions in quality management. This balancing act could be tough at times,' Fong continues. Hip Shing Hong tackled the challenge by paying attention to the fine details in the processes and rallying all divisions around the common goals. 'Quality management is a continuous process. Once you start it, there is no stopping it,' Fong notes.