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Tata Power-DDL adopts Tata Steel's robust practice on Total Quality Management

Published on February 16, 2018

Total Quality Management (TQM) lays down a management approach for achieving long-term success through customer satisfaction. It can be summed up as a management process that uses data, strategy and efficient communications to integrate the approach towards maintaining quality discipline into the culture and activities of the organisation.

Given the changing business scenario and regulatory regime, Tata Power Delhi Distribution (Tata Power-DDL) decided to embark on a journey towards TQM to translate customer requirements into opportunities for business improvements. The TQM philosophy encompasses each stage of the business — from research and product development to engineering, business acquisition to implementation.

To advance its journey towards successful TQM, Tata Power-DDL initiated a Daily and Policy Management process to establish a system and culture of executing operations with consistent quality, efficient performance, regulatory compliance and achievement of customer excellence and organisational objectives. The inspiration for this practice was drawn from the success of Tata Steel in their TQM initiatives by utilising this practice.

As a result of its continuous endeavour, Tata Steel was awarded the Deming Application Prize in 2008 and went on to win the Deming Grand Prize in 2012 — the first instance of a non-Japanese steel making facility winning the prestigious award. The Deming Prize is the premier award for recognising organisations that employ successful TQM practices and initiatives. Tata Power-DDL aims to emulate Tata Steel’s success by winning the Deming Prize. It began its journey towards TQM excellence by adopting the best practice of Daily and Policy management in the second quarter of 2016-17.

The need
Tata Power-DDL has always taken pride in the fact that it is a customer-centric organisation and is constantly searching for avenues to maximise customer satisfaction. Hence, it was felt that to achieve customer excellence, integration of a TQM approach was required. To support its endeavour to adopt TQM, it needed a process that will improve results and help in achieving the organisation’s long-term and short-term plans. Also, a mechanism was needed for tracking of KPIs online so as to assist Tata Power-DDL in their journey towards TQM excellence.

Best practice adoption
The TQM team at Tata Power-DDL identified a robust support management system for TQM through its interactions with the TQM team at Tata Steel. This system termed as Daily and Policy Management, it was successfully implemented and integrated by Tata Steel in its TQM processes and was found suitable to complement the TQM process at Tata Power-DDL.

Tata Power-DDL began its journey of adoption and implementation of this process through a 2-day Learning Mission organised by TBExG in July’16 at Tata Steel, Jamshedpur. The CFT nominated by the CEO & MD attended this Learning Mission to enrich their knowledge with respect to the practice. This visit was organised by Tata Steel TQM officials, for broader exposure of the Daily and Policy Management process to the CFT members.

Tata Power-DDL also invited Tata Steel TQM officials to check the preparedness level of the organisation for the TQM journey.

Utilising the knowledge gathered from the Learning Mission and suggestions of Tata Steel TQM officials and top management, following stages were identified for implementation:

  • Determination of roles and objectives
  • MoU development
  • KPI Drill-Down
  • Online monitoring of KPIs and
  • MSC of Daily Management

After the internal brainstorming, the following plan was developed for the roll-out of the Daily and Policy Management process at Tata Power-DDL.

The implementation
Various awareness sessions were conducted for the top management, especially the functional heads to make them aware about the various benefits of Policy and Daily Management. As planned, by Oct’16, the roles of keys departments including Operations & Safety, Commercial, Supply Chain, Human Resources, Finance, Power Management, Business Development and Information Technology for achieving organisational objectives were laid down.

Key stakeholders
The key stakeholders involved in the implementation were:

  • Business Excellence Team
  • Daily Management CFT members from critical functions (Operations & Safety, Commercial, Supply Chain, Human
  • Resources, Finance, Power Management and Business Development)
  • SAP Competency Centre and Information Technology

A significant aspect of measuring the success of TQM initiatives is the tracking and monitoring of KPIs. KPIs were derived from Corp. BSC and Functional BSC as part of a Drill-Down exercise which was conducted at a granular level by the respective functions. Around 60 KPIs were identified as per the monitoring level for Phase 1 by Sep’16. The rest of the KPIs will be identified in phase 2, which is currently in progress.

A KPI e-tracker was designed and developed. As per the plan, POC had been done by the respective IT and SAP Competency Centre to check for the available systems and anticipated requirements.

It took around three-four months for finalising the platform for KPI e-Tracker. As most of the data resided in the SAP platform, it was decided by the top management to go for the Visual BI’s extensions (VBX).

Whereas Tata Steel adopted Fusion chart for development of the tracker, Tata Power-DDL used the SAP platform in which different SAP modules and non-SAP applications were integrated to avoid manual intervention. This ensured that the processes executed in Tata Steel were adapted for seamless alignment with the existing processes in Tata Power-DDL.

Success factors
The success of the implementation of the best practice can be attributed to the dedicated efforts of the CFT as also to the diligence of the SAP team in critical areas including finalisation of roles and objective matrix and the KPI e-tracker. Timely review and monitoring from the top management and respective heads also provided useful insights and helped in enriching the project.

The Deming award criteria looks for applications that run vertically, cutting across processes/items, rather than looking at processes horizontally the way TBEM criteria are applied. Deming looks at applying the basic principle of TQM – the Plan-Do-Check-Act method. Engaging the functions with this approach required persistent efforts and rigorous preparation.

Another challenge was finalisation of a suitable platform for KPI e-tracker which ensured that it catered to future requirements. There were also other challenges:

  • Migration from older version to Visual BI’s extension
  • Integration and data syncing from non-SAP applications to the selected platform
  • Quality of data as it influenced decision making
  • Data volume became an issue keeping in view future development of KPIs
  • Further possibilities of improvement in performance in view of upgrade in technology

People involved in the implementation and beneficiaries

Some key beneficiaries of the initiative are:
“Tata Power-DDL provides its services primarily to the residents of North and North West Delhi as per the tariff structure, and Delhi Electricity Supply Code & Performance Standard set by the regulator. Daily Management will play a vital role in achieving customer excellence. It will enable the effective management of day-to-day operations and in ensuring that they are stable. In addition, it will help in identifying areas of improvement consistently and continuously. Also, the strategic aspects of Policy Management will throw valuable insights on the balanced scorecard and the areas needed to bring positive change in the business.”

Ajit Maleyvar, HOD (Business Excellence) & CQH, Tata Power-DDL

Praveer Sinha (CEO & MD)
Ajay Kapoor (CFO & Chief – Legal & Regulatory)
Sudarshan Kumar Saini (Chief – Commercial & SIG)
Sunil Singh (Chief – Operations & Safety)
Sanjay Banga (Chief – PM, Contracts & BD)
Sushil Srivastava (Chief – HR & Admin.)
Satya Gupta (Head – IT)