Partnerships & Resources

Click here to access the Business Results criterionClick here to access the Society Results criterionClick here to access the People Results criterionClick here to access the Customer Results criterionClick here to access the Processes, Products & Services criterionClick here to access the Partnerships & Resources criterionClick here to access the Strategy criterionClick here to access the People criterionClick here to access the Leadership criterion

This section provides some thoughts on how you might improve the performance of your organisation in the area of managing Partnerships and Resources.

The first part is a short explanation of the Criterion 4, what is a partnership, where to find partners and how to manage your organisation’s resources. At the bottom of this page, you will find the “Assessment sheet” to help you assessing how is your organisation performing in terms of Partnerships and Resources. Finally, you will discover what  your strengths are and the opportunities for improvement you have in this area.

What do we mean by Partnerships?

We define a partnership as “a working relationship between two or more parties creating added value for the customer”. Partnership may be formed with, amongst others, customers, society, key suppliers, educational bodies or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO).

Excellent organisations plan and manage external partnerships, suppliers and internal resources in order to support strategy and policies and the effective operation of processes. They ensure that they effectively manage their environmental and societal impact.

How do I decide who could be a good Partner and supplier for me?

Excellent organisations segment and differentiate partners and suppliers, in line with the organisation’s strategy, and adopt appropriate policies and processes for effectively managing them. They build a sustainable relationship with partners and suppliers based on mutual trust, respect and openness.

What about my current Suppliers? Where do they fit?

The concept of Partnerships goes beyond the traditional customer/supplier relationships but “normal” suppliers still have their place and role to play.

Indeed, a good place to start thinking about one’s Partnership strategy is with your Suppliers. Examine your supply chain, what does the Pareto (80/20) rule tell you? Which 20% of your suppliers provide you with 80% of your products, parts, components or software support? What might be the benefits of a more integrated relationship with some or all of this 20%?

There is no doubt that the trend in recent years has been to reduce the supplier base of the organisation. The relationship becomes closer with those that survive and, indeed, in many organisations there are examples of suppliers moving into a Partnership with one of its customers.

What are the benefits?

The purpose of entering into a Partnership is to provide the organisation with some added value that it cannot achieve in any other way for the same, or led, outlay in time, money and materials. Typical benefits can include one, some, or all of the following: Reduction in time to market, First to market with new technology and Reduction in costs.

The management of Finances to secure sustained success

Whatever the sources, an Excellent organisation will have systems in place that help it to both fund its ambitions and, just as importantly, manage its financial resources in support of its daily operations, including funding for improvement activity.

All organisations need to be clear on what their most important financial performance parameters are, Cash Flow and Turnover for instance. You may also be aware of other measures which are important for your organisation, given the nature of your business. Use of tools such as Risk Management, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), sensitivity analysis, Internal Rate of Return (IRR), cost benefit analysis, Economic Value Add (EVA) and Activity Based Costing (ABC) can all help an organisation to better manage its financial capabilities.

The concept of delegation of financial control is a common theme shared by Excellent organisations, as well as the development of financial control is linked with the individual’s performance appraisal.

There are different criteria to plan the future and decide whether a particular investment is the correct one. For example: an estimate of costs, capital expenditure, customer benefits and an estimate of deadlines. Excellent organisations deliver high levels of stakeholder confidence by ensuring financial risks are identified and appropriately managed.

One of the basic tenets of the EFQM Excellence Model is the concept of Assessment & Refinement. The Model is a dynamic framework, not a static one, and it demands that no matter how good you think you might be, there is always room for improvement.

The management of Buildings, Equipment and Material in a sustainable way

Apart from your people, you need to know what your key assets are, how to segment them and what percentage of your capital employed is given to fixed assets.

We can use different tools to help maximise assets, some are the following that tend to be used in a Manufacturing environment:

  • Just in Time (JIT): Is a methodology for increasing productivity, reducing throughput times, inventory and time to market.
  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM): It takes a preventative approach to maximising the potential output of your equipment by creating conditions for perfect production (zero losses, zero defects, zero accidents...).
  • The 5S Philosophy: focuses on effective work place organisation and standardised work procedures. 5S simplifies the work environment, reduces waste and non-value activity while improving quality efficiency and safety.

One of the biggest challenges facing organisations today is to identify how to get more out of the resources it uses than perhaps it currently achieves and, at the same time, recognising its responsibility to be a good corporate citizen, minimise the harm it currently causes to the environment and manage any adverse effects. A growing number of organisations are adopting the ISO 14000 standard to help them gain control in this area. This standard does not specify levels of environmental performance and is not meant for specific business activity. Instead, it offers a framework for an overall strategic approach to your policies, plans and actions. A second framework is the Eco-Management Audit Scheme (EMAS). The overall objective of this European Commission initiative is to promote continuous environmental performance improvement and provide relevant information to the public.

The management of Technology to support the delivery strategy

The organisations that aspire to Excellence recognise the importance of new technologies and use them to help keep ahead of the game. They involve their people and other relevant stakeholders in the development and deployment of new technologies to maximise the benefits generated. They use technology to support innovation and creativity.

The management of Information and Knowledge supports effective decision making. Excellent organisations have processes in place that help them to manage data, information and knowledge to best effect. They know what is important, why it is important and who needs to have access to it.

  • Data are the raw facts which of themselves do not offer insight.
  • Information is data with context and perspective.
  • Knowledge is itself split into two. Explicit knowledge is what can be transmitted through formal, systematic processes and tacit knowledge which is personal, context specific and not easy to articulate or formalise. It is based on experience, instinct and intuition.

The concept of the right people having the right information at the right time, in the right place and in the right formal extends beyond your people. It can equally apply to your Partners, your Suppliers and your Customers. An Excellent organisations uses data and information in the current performance and capabilities of processes to identify opportunities for, and generate, innovation.

Returning now to the concept of managing the knowledge an organisation possesses, the challenge is to manage both the tacit and explicit types of knowledge in an integrated and coherent manner that is linked to the overall plans for the future of the organisation. How might an organisation best manage its explicit knowledge and, equally, how might it facilitate and manage the transference of tacit knowledge to explicit to support the concept of organisational learning? The biggest enabler is the commitment of your people to move from a culture where “ knowledge is power”, where if I tell you what I know I lose my power base, to one of “if I tell you what I know I will be valued, recognised and rewarded.”

Click here to access the Partnerships & Resources Assessment Sheet.  This Assessment Sheet is in PDF format, you can fill it in as a form, save it or print it.

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