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The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) is organizing a five-day training-of-trainers course on Total Quality Management (TQM) for SMEs, 4–8 September 2017 in Mongolia. The objective is to develop trainers and practitioners in member countries who are able to guide SMEs in improving management capabilities and productivity through systematic, effective TQM implementation.
The course is being held in Ulaanbaatar, supported by the Mongolian Productivity Organization. Twenty-three participants from 15 member countries are attending, including SME owners, quality managers, and consultants and trainers in SME development agencies, NPOs, and similar institutions involved in productivity and quality improvement for SMEs.
The course was inaugurated by APO Alternate Director for Mongolia and Mongolia Research and Training Center Executive Director for Human Development Dr. Sharav Munkhtseren. He reported that during the 25-year transition to a democratic society, the country’s economy had grown by more than 20-fold, reaching per capita GDP of about USD4,000 and developing country status. He also pointed out that the government was taking multiple steps for the development of local industries, including SMEs.
“With over 40,000 SMEs active in Mongolia, accounting for more than 20% of GDP, we have been able to focus more on them and create successful practices,” he said, adding that it was still imperative for the Government of Mongolia to train as many trainers as possible who specialized in strengthening institutions and organizations through productivity and quality management efforts in SMEs.
Dr. Munkhtseren hoped that the participants would benefit from the multicountry APO training course by networking with others, encouraging them to: “Share knowledge and experience, increase your skills, and make a great contribution to the productivity and quality movement.”
SMEs are the backbone of all economies, including APO members. Representing an average of 95% of all businesses and providing more than 50% of employment, SMEs serve as the dominant driving force in accelerating economic growth. However, they face challenges while competing with larger firms, which have more financial muscle allowing quicker adaptations to changing technologies and quality management processes.
The APO course is aimed at creating a better understanding of the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on SME management and business performance while training participants in how to implement and integrate TQM with other quality initiatives and standards.
Field visits will supplement the classroom format of the course conducted by three APO-assigned international experts: Aggregator Japan Managing Director and Consultant Yukitoshi Tanno; Malaysia Productivity Corporation Deputy Director General Ab. Rahim Yusoff; and Cosmiqo International Pte. Ltd. Founder and Director Dr. Niak Wu Koh from Singapore.