8. Quality: The Business Organization Profile, Alignment, and Supplier Management
An Organizational Profile is a framework for understanding the internal and external factors that shape the operating environment of a business and affect the business decisions made. A Profile helps to understand future business success, needs, opportunities, and constraints or challenges that are placed on the management systems of a business.
A business or organization profile is kind of the big picture of the organization. What are their challenges? What [is] their description of the entire organization, its relationships with customers, with other organizations? Long-range plans, long-range directions of the business, is kind of the overall… organization profile.
It's a composite or big picture of an organization… If you can make it as a picture, you could look at it and see it, and that's kind of the profile. What is our organization like? Who are we? What are we? A description of the organization's relationships and its challenges, strategic or long-range directions. That's kind of the profile of the organization.
That is used to look at all the elements of those categories and leadership, and so forth, to decide where are our best processes? What processes need to be put in place? What are the most important processes? And that's used to help us go into the next level, down a deeper level to get into the processes and leadership, customer focus, and so forth, which we've mentioned earlier.
The term alignment refers to the consistency of processes and plans, information, resource directions, actions along those lines. That's typical, alignment refers to those, whereas integration refers to the harmonization of those actions that are taking place. So it's an alignment and integration [that] are directly related to the function of those processes.
The typical way to align… the business with the Baldrige framework is to look at simple things like how do we align with the results? When we do work, how do we align that? And how well are the plans integrated? The actions along that process, how well are they integrated one with the other?
Alignment refers to the consistency between our plans, our processes, our information, our resources, our decisions, our actions, results and analysis to support key organization-wide goals. That's what we call alignment, putting all of those things in alignment with one another.
Effective alignment requires a common understanding of the purposes and goals. It also requires the use of complementary measures and information for planning and tracking, analysis and improvement of three levels – the organization level, the key process level, and the work unit level. That's getting aligned, aligning those three areas. Very important for us.
There's another term, that's integration, and that refers to harmonization of those plans, processes, information, resource decisions, actions, results, and analysis to support a key organization-wide goals. That's how… organization-wide, not just within a process alone, but organization-wide. Effective integration goes beyond alignment and is achieved when the individual components of a performance management system operate as a fully interconnected unit.
The supplier management system… starts with how we decide on picking a supplier or finding a supplier. It's an approach to evaluate the supplier capabilities… what their stability is, are they going to be in business financially and otherwise, so that we can… utilize their skills through time?
Management… manage them is a continuation of the organization's processes and results. They're an element. Rather than hire a staff to do all of the IT, for example, we might choose to come up with a supplier that would do our IT work for us, or information technology work for us. And so it's important that we are very selective and get the quality of supplier, and get a supplier that has the skill and ability that we need to represent our organization.
Some of the key aspects or components [are] looking at the financial and resource stability of an organization, whether there are quality systems that they utilize, and how do they engage and have a productive workforce, what are their customer satisfactions and results? …What are their current customer's satisfaction results with all other clients? And how well are they driven to get good results from what they do? The customer needs, requirements, and expectations directly relate… because the supplier, we look upon them as an extension of our organization.