Programs » 

Centers of Excellence

In the context of the APO, a COE is defined as an institution with a world-class level of competency and leadership, exemplary performance, and best practices in a specific body of knowledge or focus area which contribute to productivity. It also has the drive to achieve and sustain the highest standards in the focus area.

Green
Productivity

Read More

Public Sector Productivity

Read More

IT for
Industry 4.0

Read More

Smart
Manufacturing

Read More

APO COE on Business Excellence

In recognition of the importance of strengthening the BE capabilities of APO member countries, the 51st GBM designated SPRING Singapore as the pilot COE on BE in 2009. It was originally to be supported by the APO for two years. The support was then extended to March 2013.

Key Objectives

The following were the key objectives of the COE on BE established at the outset:

  1. Facilitate learning and sharing of best practices and the adoption of BE frameworks among enterprises in APO member countries;
  2. Conduct research on BE and provide leadership in this area in the region;
  3. Develop resources and training materials to assist APO members in their BE and national QA programs;
  4. Build a database of experts and senior assessors from Singapore and overseas who could assist APO member countries with their BE-related programs; and
  5. Enhance the international visibility of BE efforts in APO member countries, including QA winners, throughout the APO region.

Accomplishments and Outcomes

  1. Facilitating best practice sharing: Four two-day BE Global Conferences were organized in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The conferences involved overseas and local experts and practitioners from BE award-winning companies. Over 2,000 delegates from 25 countries participated in the conferences. The COE also hosted study visits from Fiji, the ROK, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. A dedicated webpage linked to the APO website was created by the COE which provides easy access to BE publications, training materials, and frameworks. Each NPO designated BE administrators who have free access to case studies and benchmarking data on leading international BE models.
  2. Developing the competencies of BE assessors and consultants: Workshops for BE assessors, consultants, and practitioners were organized, and a total of 150 participants from 16 APO members were trained. Training manuals were developed from the inputs of the BE workshops and are now utilized in APO training courses on the subject. As a result of this intervention, there are now BE assessors and consultants in several APO members.
  3. Enhancing the capabilities of APO members in managing their BE initiatives: The COE has helped APO members develop and strengthen their BE initiatives. It has assigned experts mainly from Singapore to Bangladesh, Fiji, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand. It has assisted APO members such as Bangladesh and Pakistan in developing BE action plans.
  4. Undertaking research: Research on the Impact of BE/QAs on Enterprises was conducted by experts from the Center for Organizational Excellence Research, School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, New Zealand. The research assessed the impact of existing BE/QA frameworks on enterprises in the APO membership. The key research findings were presented at the APO Regional Meeting on BE/QA Systems held in Thailand. The COE took into consideration the key BE priorities identified through this research in the development of its work plans. One of the findings from the research was the need to increase BE awareness among SMEs. Thus, the COE organized a regional workshop and developed a self-help toolkit on BE for SMEs in print and e-book versions.
  5. Strengthening and sustaining the leadership of the COE on BE: To strengthen the capabilities of the COE and maintain its leadership, experts from the US Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and European Foundation for Quality Management were sent to Singapore to provide international dimensions to the Singapore Quality Award. Singapore was able to benchmark the performance of its enterprises and learn international best practices through the COE’s networks, platforms, and resources. In addition, Singapore’s BE initiative has become a recognized brand in the region.

COE Events and Activities

Best Practice Sharing
17–20 October 2011 Business Excellence Global Conference, Singapore
18 October 2011 BE CEO Roundtable, Singapore
9–10 November 2010 BE Global Conference
About 400 participants from 16 countries, including APO member countries, attended the conference. BE practitioners and experts from the USA, Europe, India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Singapore spoke at the conference.
8 November 2010 BE CEO Roundtable
Twenty business leaders from various countries attended the BE CEO Roundtable to share their experiences in steering their organizations through the global economic crisis. Mr. C.V. Jagadish, CEO, Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte. Ltd., chaired the discussion.
15–18 December 2009 Conference on Quality Award Winners and APO Regional Meeting on Quality Award Winners and BE Systems in Thailand
The COE facilitated the participation of Mr. C.V. Jagadish, CEO, Systems of Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte. Ltd., a Singapore Quality Award winner, as a speaker at the conference.
3–4 November 2009 BE Global Conference
About 500 participants from 22 countries, including APO member countries, attended the conference. Experts and BE program administrators from the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Thailand, India, New Zealand, Mexico, and Singapore spoke at the conference. There were also presentations by BE/quality award winners from Japan, India, Thailand, Denmark, Australia, Mongolia, the USA, and Singapore.
24–28 August 2009 Multicountry Observational Study Mission on Quality Awards in APO Member Countries to Japan
This study mission focused on management excellence for SMEs, and the COE provided a speaker from a Singapore SME Business Excellence Award winner, Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd., to shared best practices with participants.
Competencies of BE Stakeholders
17–21 October 2011 APO Workshop for BE Consultants, Singapore
19–20 May 2011 Workshop to Develop a BE Consultants’ Manual, Singapore
24–25 March 2011 Workshop to Develop a Self-help Toolkit on BE for SMEs, Singapore
2010 Development of a BE Assessors’ Training Manual
This manual comprises a trainer’s guide and a participant’s workbook.
8–12 November 2010 Regional Training Workshop for Senior BE Assessors
Eighteen participants from 11 APO member countries attended the workshop, which was aimed at enhancing their capabilities to train assessors in their own countries and at gathering their feedback on the Assessors’ Training Manual developed by the COE.
5–6 November 2009 Workshop for Senior BE Assessors
Eighteen participants from 10 APO member countries attended this workshop, where the core competencies of assessors were identified. The COE worked on the Assessors’ Training Manual as a follow-up to this workshop.

 

Capability Development of APO Members
11–16 July 2011 One Singaporean expert visited the NPO of Pakistan for Quality Award Assessor Development Training.
25–27 January 2011 Visit by a Study Team from the President’s Office, Mongolia, to Singapore, on BE.
2010 The COE sent experts to Thailand and Pakistan to advise on initiatives to develop or strengthen BE programs.
2010 Development of a database on BE experts was initiated. This database serves as a useful reference to help APO members identify suitable experts to assist them or organizations in their countries.
2009 The COE assigned an expert from 4–7 October to help the Development Academy of the Philippines develop an action plan to enhance the Philippine Quality Award program.
2009 The COE assigned an expert from 2–3 August to help the NPO of Bangladesh develop an action plan to introduce a quality award program.
Research
2009 APO Research Survey on BE Impact on Adopting Organizations
The COE provided inputs on the research methodology, broad areas for investigation, and survey questionnaire for this APO research conducted by Dr. Robin Mann, Director, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Massey University, New Zealand. The key research findings were presented at the APO Regional Meeting on BE/Quality Award Systems in Thailand in December. The COE took into consideration the key BE priorities identified through this research in the development of its 2010 and 2011 work plans.

 

Knowledge Transfer to the COE
19–25 July 2011 One US expert visited Singapore for enhancing the institutional capability of the APO’s designated COE, SPRING Singapore, in administering the Singapore Quality Award.
2010 Two experts from the USA and Europe were assigned to the COE in July to provide advice on the COE’s Assessors’ Training Manual and to share best practices in BE.
2009 Two experts from the USA and Europe were assigned to the COE in July to provide advice on the BE Award assessment process in Singapore and to help ensure that the assessment process advocated by the COE continues to be internationally aligned.

BE Reference Materials

BE Models in APO Members

Republic of China
ROC

The National Quality Award is the highest national honor conferred for quality. Its purpose is to to encourage all domestic corporations and organizations to carry out quality control and engage in more in research, popularization, and practice of quality control.

Fiji

The Fiji Business Excellence Awards (FBEAs) were launched in 1998, with the aim of encouraging organizations to implement quality and productivity measures in the workplace. The FBEA framework is based on the Australian Business Excellence framework and is comparable with other awards throughout the world.

Japan

The Japan Quality Award was established in 1995 by the Japan Productivity Center (formerly known as Japan Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development). It was modeled after the concept of self-assessment of organizational work and is structured in such a way that any organization, regardless of its business or size, can use it to assess performance.

Malaysia

The Industry Excellence Awards in Malaysia are aimed at promoting quality awareness among various organizations, promoting the adoption of quality values in organizations, encouraging healthy competition among organizations for continuous improvement of quality, and encouraging information sharing on successful performance strategies and the benefits derived from using these strategies.

Pakistan

The Prime Minister’s Quality Award was developed on the basis of globally recognized BE principles found in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards and other similar schemes. Its intent is to promote awareness of productivity and its impact on competitiveness, disseminate the requirements for excellence in quality, and share information on successful strategies and on benefits derived.

Philippines

The Philippine Quality Award is the highest level of national recognition for exemplary organizational performance. It aims to stimulate local companies and organizations to improve quality and productivity for the pride of recognition while obtaining a competitive edge and providing examples to others. It also promotes the sharing of information and benchmarking of best practices and results among organizations pursuing quality improvement.

Singapore

The BE model adopted in Singapore is based on universally accepted standards of the US Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, EFQM Excellence Award, and Australian Business Excellence Award. It helps organizations to strengthen their management systems and capabilities to enhance their competitiveness.

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka National Quality Award is conferred annually to recognize Sri Lankan organizations that excel in quality management and quality achievement. The criteria for this award are based on those used for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards.

Thailand

The Thailand Quality Award (TQA) is widely recognized as the most prestigious quality award in Thailand and the symbol of world-class performance excellence. It aims to improve organizations’ competitiveness through implementation of TQA criteria, stimulate organizational learning and sharing of best practices, and demonstrate the country’s commitment to pursuing world-class management and performance excellence.

Vietnam

The Vietnam Quality Award was established in 1996 by Decree of the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment (MOSTE) on 5 August 1995. The award criteria are modeled on the US Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards with modifications for the level of Vietnamese companies. The award offers applicants the opportunity to gain an understanding of quality management and quality assurance systems. Competing enterprises learn how to improve their applications of the principles of total quality management, best practices, and BE.

APO COE on Green Productivity

The 55th session of the APO GBM in Tokyo in May 2013 approved the establishment of the APO COE on GP in the ROC. Spearheaded by the China Productivity Cente in conjunction with several government ministries, the center supports the APO in promoting and implementing GP-related activities and publicizes valuable examples of GP in the Asia-Pacific region. COE on GP activities focus on four key themes covering the three major sectors of agriculture, industry, and services: 1) resource recycling; 2) green energy; 3) green factories; and 4) agro-innovation.


Key Objectives

The following were the key objectives of the COE on GP established initially:

  1. Intensify promotion of the GP approach, especially in the key strategic areas of agriculture, industry, and services, most relevant to the needs of APO members;
  2. Facilitate learning and sharing of best practices of the ROC leading to adoption in other APO members, especially in green energy, resource recycling, green factories, green buildings, green value chains, and eco-agricultural technologies;
  3. Enhance the competencies of GP assessors and consultants to create a critical mass of facilitators and practitioners of the GP approach in the region;
  4. Develop a database of GP experts and consultants and facilitate networking with various stakeholders; and
  5. Sustain the leadership of the COE and enhance the international visibility of the GP efforts of the APO and its APO members.

Accomplishments and Outcomes

  1. Identification of key GP needs: Research on the Assessment of GP Implementation and Needs of APO members was conducted to assess the extent and status of implementation and adoption of GP practices in APO members in the areas of agriculture, industry, and services; identify the priority needs of those sectors; and recommend actions for the sustainable promotion and adoption of GP. The research provided the following key recommendations: 1) publish GP training manuals, case studies, and promotional materials for APO members lacking such resources; 2) develop demonstration/pilot projects and model organizations; 3) create a network of GP knowledge and capacity; and 4) conduct training courses, workshops, and seminars to disseminate GP-related knowledge.
  2. Introduction of GP model projects: A Workshop on Development of Model Projects for Green Productivity was conducted to provide participants with relevant knowledge and skills in the areas of resource recycling, green energy, green factories, and eco-agriculture. The workshop brought together 120 high-level industry experts to discuss the GP technical and service needs of APO members. Documentation of the demonstration projects is available on the APO website.
  3. Development of a GP Excellence Award Framework: To heighten awareness among organizations, companies, and individuals of the need for continuous improvement and innovative approaches in promoting sustainability, an Expert Panel Meeting on the Development of the GP Excellence Award Framework was organized. Experts attending the meeting discussed and reviewed the proposed GP Excellence Award Framework for adoption. The final award framework scheme will be pilot tested in the ROC before being recommended for replication.
  4. Dissemination of technical capabilities: To support the initiatives of APO members in building their capacity and to create greater awareness of GP, experts in the four priority areas have been and will continue to be assigned to assist other APO members. The outcome of such bilateral projects between the COE and NPOs will be reported later, as all TES projects are still in progress.
  5. Establishment of the Green Productivity Advisory Committee (GPAC): The formal organization of the GPAC in the ROC is another important achievement. The GPAC consisting of a multitude of important public and private organizations was the second to be established within the APO membership and it will refine the strategic directions and operations in pursuing green industries, strengthening overall green competitiveness, and engaging local industries in regional sustainable development efforts.
  6. Promotion of eco-products in the Asia-Pacific region: The COE played an active role in the 9th Eco-products International Fair (EPIF). The event exhibited the cutting-edge, environmentally friendly eco-technologies, eco-products, and eco-services of about 207 exhibitors from all over the Asia-Pacific region and beyond and attracted some 17,483 visitors and over 600 media citations.
  7. Knowledge dissemination and networking promotion: Another contribution of the COE on GP is the organization of the International Conference on Achieving Sustainability to Empower Future Generations to discuss trends in eco-policies and eco-businesses in the Asia-Pacific and how green energy, green procurement, and green cities can enhance sustainable development. The conference output was the Taipei Outcome Document, also available on the APO website (Publications page), reflecting the commitment to making a positive contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  8. Improving the visibility of the COE and APO: The visibility and effectiveness of the COE on GP have been enhanced by the very high-profile projects it implemented in the ROC such as the 9th EPIF; International Conference on Achieving Sustainability to Empower Future Generations; and Third World Conference on Green Productivity, among others.

Visit COE on GP website for details.

GP Reference Materials

APO COE on Public-sector Productivity

The 57th session of the APO Governing Body Meeting in Bangkok in April 2015 approved the establishment of the APO COE on Public-sector Productivity (PSP) in the Philippines. Under the Development Academy of the Phippines (DAP), the center supports the APO in promoting and implementing PSP-related activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The COE on PSP has initiated projects to help member country governments improve their performance and productivity such as research, assessment of needs for future capacity-building initiatives, training of PSP practitioners so that they can lead capacity-building initiatives, introducing new knowledge, and continuing review of the APO PSP Framework. The COE was formally launched in November 2015 with the involvement of various stakeholders including those from the public sector. The launch highlighted the commitment of the Philippine government to supporting the APO COE on PSP under the auspices of the DAP.

Key Objectives

The COE on PSP has the following key objectives:

  1. Promote the PSP movement in Asia and the Pacific;
  2. Help address common critical issues in PSP performance facing APO members;
  3. Foster cutting-edge research, facilitate training and knowledge sharing, and support outreach to APO members in raising the productivity of public-sector organizations (PSOs) in the region; and
  4. Serve as a hub of innovation and productivity.

Accomplishments and Outcomes

  1. Exploring new frontiers to enhance PSP: A research mission on Recent Trends in Public-sector Productivity and Performance in Europe was organized from 27 September to 2 October 2015 to look into new approaches, frameworks, and strategies of best-practice organizations in the public sector in that region. The research mission, including one chief expert from Australia and one expert from the COE, published its key findings to provide insights and information on recent trends in PSP that APO members could learn from.
  2. Undertaking need assessment in APO members: To ensure that projects are demand driven, a workshop on Need Assessment of APO members in Improving Public-sector Productivity and Performance was held from 8 to 10 December 2015 with 11 participants from eight APO members. The workshop was designed to assess the needs of APO members to enhance PSP so that appropriate interventions could be made and resources provided to develop and implement suitable programs and projects by the APO.
  3. Capacity-building initiatives: In order to achieve one of the objectives of the COE and in line with the results of the need assessment conducted, an expert meeting for the Development of a Course Manual on Developing Productivity Specialists in Public-sector Productivity was organized from 2 to 4 August 2016, with five experts from APO members and one chief expert from Canada attending. The meeting reviewed the key competencies of productivity practitioners for the public sector and designed a syllabus for a training course to develop productivity specialists for PSOs.
  4. Developing a training manual for capacity building in the public sector: The COE has developed a training manual on Developing Productivity Specialists in Public-sector Productivity, which is a foundation course for its capacity-building initiatives for the sector in APO members. The manual will be pilot tested and proposed as a regular training activity of the APO through the COE.
  5. Measurement of productivity in the public sector: The COE introduced the concepts of and approaches to measuring PSP through a workshop on Measurement of Productivity in the Public Sector held from 9 to 13 November 2015, attended by 24 participants from 15 APO members. The workshop also discussed different indicators for measuring productivity in the public sector.
  6. Review of the APO PSP Framework: A workshop on Performance Management for the Public Sector was held from 26 to 30 September 2016 with the aim of reexamining APO initiatives on PSP, especially under the PSP Framework developed. Twenty-four participants from 13 APO members shared best practices and success stories in terms of government policies that support performance management in the public sector.
  7. Hosting of high-level study missions from Thailand and Mongolia: The COE hosted a mission from Thailand from 20 to 22 June and one from Mongolia from 19 to 21 September 2016 to study PSP and related programs implemented by the DAP. The mission was appreciated by the delegates as an opportunity to understand the initiatives of the Philippine government to improve productivity at all levels, from national government agencies to local government units.

  1. Visit COE on Public-sector Productivity website for details.
  2. YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/COEPSP

APO COE on IT for Industry 4.0

The 59th session of the APO GBM in Tehran in April 2017 approved the establishment the APO COE on IT for Industry 4.0 under the National Productivity Council (NPC). This COE aims at supporting industries in APO members to become more competitive and productive in the global digital economy.  The COE also identifies methods to bridge gaps that could hinder the adoption of Industry 4.0 tools and technology, contributing to overall productivity improvement.

Key Objectives

  1. Facilitate awareness, training, learning, and sharing of knowledge and best practices through customized training modules in the field of Industry 4.0, lean manufacturing, and continuous improvement;
  2. Identify and disseminate innovations and best practices in Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing among other NPOs;
  3. Provide international training-of-trainers courses for APO members;
  4. Develop training materials and modules to support its activities;
  5. Build a database of technical and domain experts to assist  APO members with their Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing programs;
  6. Develop a certification program for Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing based on IT through national courses;
  7. Undertake research in the field of Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing to develop IT app-based dissemination tools for greater scalability;
  8. Undertake meta-analysis and benchmarking research leading to sectoral action plans for productivity enhancement;
  9. Establish industry–academia linkages with institutions like IIT, Gandhinagar, to resolve productivity-related issues of SMEs specifically and the economy as a whole under the Industry 4.0 scenario through the use of IT; and
  10. Develop strategic engagements with leading international organizations/bodies to maximize the benefits of Industry 4.0 in the Asia-Pacific context for different sectors, including institutions like Fraunhofer and Bosch in Germany and others in APO members.

Accomplishments and Outcomes

  1. Identification of Digitization Strategies for SMEs for Industry 4.0 (2017): Research on Industry 4.0 Digitization Strategies for SMEs was initiated in December 2017 to support SMEs in APO members in moving toward digitization and staying competitive in global value chains as. The research aimed to assess the current status, readiness to adopt and initiatives related to Industry 4.0 of SMEs in selected APO members. The research findings pinpoint the critical needs of SMEs before they can embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution. Successful strategies for digitizing SMEs will be built on a multi-stakeholder approach that includes all actors in the digital innovation eco-system and integrates digitization strategies driven by the public sector with those driven by other stakeholders. It will also take into account the SMEs’ level of maturity both in terms of its lifecycle and of its expertise in digitization and Industry 4.0 advanced technologies.
  2. Capacity Building on Industry 4.0 for MSMEs (2018 and 2019): Two national training programs were conducted in 2018 in partnership with M/S Bosch India to equip Indian government officials with fundamental knowledge of Industry 4.0. Similarly, in March 2019, two awareness workshops on Industry 4.0 were organized to disseminate the concepts, benefits, case studies on Industry 4.0 to wider audience from private sectors, consultants, technical leaders in India.
  3. Analysis of Capacity Development Needs for Industry 4.0 (2018): The level of Industry 4.0 integration into national industrial policies was assessed. Gap analysis and critical needs for capacity development for embracing Industry 4.0 at national level to achieve inclusive, sustainable economic growth were pinpointed through the study.
  4. Advisory Committee on IT for Industry 4.0 (2019): An Advisory Committee (AC) comprising of 15 members representing government, associations, industries, international organization, academia and financial institutions in India is formed under the chairmanship of Director General of NPC. The AC is to advise the COE on its activities, enable I4.0 institutionalization for multiplier effect; create environment for funding I4.0 initiatives; guide on benchmark policy; and expand collaborative partnership of COE nationally and internationally
  5. Establishment of an Expert Database on IT for Industry 4.0 (2019): A directory of national experts on IT for Industry 4.0 was developed in 2018 and was being expanded internationally in 2019. Once completed, the database will offer APO members access to directories of individual experts and institutions on Industry 4.0 in different sectors.
  6. Development of Demonstration Companies on IT for Industry 4.0 (2019): To showcase the utilization of IT solutions for successful applications of Industry 4.0 technologies in processes to improve productivity, five demonstrations companies were selected and supported under the APO Center of Excellence (COE) on IT for Industry 4.0 umbrella. The activity will start in November 2019.
  7. Development of a Toolkit on Industry 4.0 for SMEs (2019): A toolkit guiding SMEs in identifying their own definitions of and approaches to Industry 4.0 and supporting them in adopting new, often disruptive business models is being developed. The toolkit covers the fundamentals of Industry 4.0, its implications, maturity index, and different tools and techniques in a single useful package.
  8. Sharing experience on New Technologies and Ways of Thinking (2019): An observational study mission for delegates from Singapore was facilitated by the COE. New technologies to enhance organizational productivity was showcased through the visits to various IT firms, start-up incubators.

APO COE on Smart Manufacturing

During its 61st session, the APO Governing Body unanimously endorsed the proposal of setting up a new COE on Smart Manufacturing (SM) in the China Productivity Center (CPC). The COE on SM provides leadership in facilitating industry upgrading among all APO members, identifying the best smart technology and automation adoption methods, and improving production efficiency.

Key Objectives

  1. Assisting APO members in upgrading their industries and seeking ways to introduce smart and automated equipment.
  2. Increasing international publicity through experience sharing by the experts.
  3. Connecting smart-manufacturing cities by introducing smart manufacturing and enhancing both productivity and additional value.

Visit COE on Smart Manufacturing website for details.

Translate »