Category: Uncategorized

What’s a Living Wage?

A question that comes up often when sourcing abroad is determining what the living wage is and how well suppliers stack up.

Article 23 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and for his family an existence worthy of human dignity.” And, it’s even noted that Plato and Aristotle discussed the concept as they both argued for “an income that considers needs, particularly those that ensure the communal good.”

How are Living Wages calculated?

“A living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs. This is not the same as subsistence which refers to a biological minimum. Needs are defined to include food, housing, and other essential needs such as clothing. The goal of a living wage is to allow a worker to afford a basic but decent standard of living. Due to the flexible nature of the term ‘needs’, there is not one universally accepted measure of what a living wage is and as such it varies by location and household type.”

Social Accountability International identifies the Living Wage calculation as follows:

To verify wages for suppliers, auditors check records over a period of time and conduct employee interviews. Applicable standards include SA8000, ISO 26000, various or organizational-specific such as WalMart or the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition.

Social Accountability International posts Living Wage Reports for various areas within China, Africa, Vietnam, etc.  View the SAI page here. 

Within the United States, MIT provides Living Wage estimates based on states here. 

To learn more about supplier social audits and view example example reports, visit Pro QC’s website. 

Connecting Stakeholder Theory and Social Responsibility

An article we recently contributed to ASQ’s Quality Management Forum (Winter 2017) connects Stakeholder Theory and Social Responsibility (SR).

“Edward Freeman described Stakeholder Theory as a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Looking outward to groups or individuals impacted by an organization’s activities, Stakeholder Theory encourages organizations to identify key entities affected and consider their interests and rights as they relate to that organization’s actions.  Considering the most common key stakeholders, the case for SR within an organization is made by demonstrating tangible benefits and value within each.”

The article discusses each of the primary five stakeholders identified above and includes some interesting supporting data.  Read the full article here. 

 

World Bank Projects Growth in India

Guest Blogger: Daniel Ben-Ezra, Country Manager (India) 

The World Bank has recently released encouraging figures with regards to India’s projected growth rate for the next two years, expecting 7.3% and 7.5% for 2018 and 2019 respectively. They have further stated the country has ‘enormous growth potential’ compared to the economies of other emerging markets. To put matters in perspective, the GDP of the other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) countries are projected to grow as follows in 2018:

Brazil: 3.0%

Russia: 1.7%

China: 6.4%

South Africa: 1.1%

Source: reuters.com

India’s projected growth is all the more impressive considering recent disruptive government policies with regards to the implementation of GST in July 2017, as well as demonitisation earlier in 2016. It is noticeable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign has resulted in more positive sentiment towards the country with regards to local manufacturing. Important to note that a large driving force behind production in India also involves circumvention of the country’s relatively high import tariffs – local manufacturing/assembly allows companies to tap India’s vast and increasing consumer market in a more competitive manner.

What’s more, India’s rise on the world stage is notable, as the country is playing an increasingly important role with regards to stability and international order. Illustrative of this is for example the India-Israel Business Innovation Forum, taking place next week. Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is joined by over 130 delegates from 90 different Israeli companies to discuss business & trade opportunities in Delhi & Mumbai with local government and business representatives.

The above is in line with our own experience on the ground, as Pro QC International has seen an increase of business in India of over 30% when comparing 2017 vs. 2016. We are proud to have supported many new clients with their supply chains South Asia in 2017 and expect this trend to continue for 2018.

For more information on our services across the region, kindly surf to www.proqc.in or contact directly on daniel_ben-ezra@proqc.com.

In Search of Quality: Understanding a Sexy Business (Book Review)

Is quality a sexy business?

We think so, and it turns out Ronald Kolb does as well.

In his book, In Search of Quality: Understanding a Sexy Business, Kolb makes a case for quality affecting everyone on the planet. And, we won’t disagree.

It might be that we’re biased in that the point of view here is similar to our own. Over the past 33+ years, Pro QC has experienced much of what Kolb describes. And, the perspective is refreshing and nostalgic at the same time. Kolb is sincere and passionate in his accounts.

The first part of the book takes you through the history from Kolb’s own experience with overseas sourcing. The second part focuses on challenges, from trade and transportation to NGOs and government.

The last page of this book contains a powerful message: “Maybe it will help develop a positive attitude towards quality, its people and its industries.” We think it does. This quick read is relevant for anyone in the industry and can be appreciated simply for its unique voice.

Quality is promising and sexy, indeed.

Recognizing Quality: World Quality Month 2017

World Quality Day is approaching and is recognized on November 9th this year.  Throughout November, the international community recognizes the importance of quality.

“The purpose of World Quality Month is to promote the use of quality tools in businesses and communities. Quality tools, such as flowcharts and checklists, reduce mistakes and help produce superior products. Quality principles could reduce headline-making errors, like food safety, toy recalls, and financial disruptions. World Quality Month calls on people who use quality tools to share their knowledge by submitting their stories to illustrate the value of quality principles.” (ASQ)

“The purpose of World Quality Day is to promote awareness of quality around the world and encourage development and prosperity” (CQI)

Did you know?

  • Japan has celebrated World Quality Month in November since 1960.
  • China originally recognized World Quality Month in September starting in 1978.
  • North America started raising awareness in 1988 and originally celebrated in October.
  • First promulgated by the United Nations in 1990, World Quality Day aims to raise international awareness of the important role quality plays in ensuring nations’ prosperity. Now it is celebrated annually on the second Thursday of November.

This year, we’re sharing a few suggestions for contributing to awareness and continuous improvement throughout the month and beyond.

Week 1 – Spread awareness.

  • If you work in quality, tell your friends, family and co-workers more about what you do and why you do it.  Ask them what they think quality is and open a discussion about its importance.
  • Host a special team meeting (celebration) at work and recognize World Quality Month. Talk about what the organization has done throughout the year to support quality and what future goals/objectives include.
  • If you are unable to host a special meeting for World Quality Month, add it to the agenda of a regularly scheduled meeting and encourage employees to submit quality improvement suggestions or learn more at links such as those provided at the end of this post.
  • Send out an organization-wide email reinforcing the importance of quality and including additional references such as those listed below and other training opportunities that may be available.

Week 2 – Look inward.

  • Brainstorm ideas for improving quality within the organization. Get everyone involved.  If you gave everyone an index card and asked them to write suggestions for improvement, imagine what the value of that information could turn into when you consider the potential cost savings and team support.
  • Perform an internal systems evaluation/audit to identify areas of improvement.  Evaluate and plan for corrective action.  Communicate support.

Week 3 – Use the tools.

  • Take the opportunity to incorporate a new quality tool into your regular mix.  You’ll likely see an ongoing issue in a new way.
  • Setup training for staff that may not usually use quality tools and show them how they can be incorporated into the the efficiency of their work and personal lives.
  • Purchase a copy of the Quality Toolbox for all managers.

Week 4 – Keep it going.

  • Quality isn’t something we should only recognize for one month during the year. Continuous improvement is, in fact, the core of what quality means.
  • Continue with regular training of all staff in various quality principles and keep everyone in the organization informed regarding quality initiatives and progress.
  • Setup a World Quality Month planning committee to organize events for next year.

How will you help spread awareness? Share your ideas and suggestions.