The Slovenia Times

EOQ Congress 2017: Slovenia on the world map for quality


The largest international meeting on quality and excellence in Europe was held in Slovenia for the first time. The congress, which has been under the auspices of European Quality Organization (EOQ) since 1956, is organised by the national quality organisations and this year was co-organised by the Slovenian Association for Quality and Excellence. The President of the Organising Committee, Janez Benčina, emphasised that: "This year's congress puts Slovenia on the world map for quality," adding that quality in the business world needs investment as it enables quality of life for everyone and enables individuals, companies, organisations and also countries to be more internationally competitive.

The thread of the congress was the rapid change that is brought by the digital world. The best international practices to achieve greater efficiency in an economy and in the public sector were presented- the most noteworthy was the presentation from HE Maryam Al Hammadi, Assistant Director General for Government Performance, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Future of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who lectured on the National Strategy of the UAE.

The importance of quality and excellence in the light of digitisation and global trends was a topic discussed by the former president of the International Academy of Quality, Gregory H. Watson, who emphasised that the key challenge today is how to process large amounts of data, qualitatively, such that it will have a usable value and make sense. Tim Cole, a digitalisation expert, stated that in the future the key focus will be on the so-called connectivity of digital systems so that they will cooperate with one another and the information collected can be streamlined.

Under the auspices of the congress, the EU / SINO forum also took place. The participants from the business sector included a 40-member Chinese delegation, headed by Dong Mingzhu, the Chairperson and President of Gree Electric Appliances Inc. which has an annual turnover of USD 15bn. Dong Mingzhu stated that "Our slogan is 'Made in China, loved by the world', which means that our goal is to develop, produce and sell products based on innovation and top quality."

"While the Chinese are very committed to improving the quality that leads to consumer confidence, maybe the rest of the world is more focused on profits, which in the long run can be a big problem", warned Gregory H. Watson.

Three key awards were presented during the congress :

- the EOQ Quality Award for the successful upgrade of the e-Government portal was received by Tatjana Mizori Zupan from the Ministry of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia;

- the European Quality Leader award was received by Harald Eik, Glencore Nikkelverk AS from Norway and;

- the China Association for Quality (CAQ), at the conclusion of the EU / SINO Forum, presented a special award to Janez Benčina, President of the EOQ Congress Organising Committee.


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