The road to excellence through the EFQM model

Each day there are more entities of different sectors that invest time and involve personal to improve management for business excellence

It is initially a matter of philosophy. The philosophy of business excellence. It is to work to achieve excellent results in relation to all the results that are essential for the Organization: customers, people and society. The process is the result of good leadership that directs and drives the strategy and policy between the people of the Organization, promotes partnerships, looks for resources and runs processes.

Excellence in business management is based on concepts such as orientation towards results and client, leadership and perseverance, involvement of people, social responsibility, etc. It is not improvised, but a result of the Organization through a contrasted and recognized model: the EFQM model.

EFQM Model

The EFQM model is understood as a structured management framework that provides organizations, both public and private, a global vision to promote and stimulate the improvement towards excellence. Excellent organisations are supposed to maintain higher levels of performance to meet the expectations of all its stakeholders. The use of the EFQM model of excellence enables organizations to understand the relationship between the organization and that obtained by means of a self-assessment system.


To obtain a EFQM seal is to elaborate a descriptive report of the Organization, its activities of management and its results, as well as undergo a process of self-evaluation. The Organization agrees to seal when, in the Spanish case, the Club for Excellence in Management validates the scoring of the assessment made by the certification body.



Centres working for excellence

Two entities of the health sector have achieved recently this road to excellence to get recognition. On the one hand, the Hospital Benito Menni C.A.S.M, centre belonging to the Congregación de Hermanas Hospitalarias del Sagrado Corazón, has earned the seal of European excellence 500. The hospital is part of a set of psychogeriatrics and general hospitals, mental health centres whose mission is based on prevention, cure and rehabilitation of patients with different types of needs.

The challenge that Hospital Benito Menni CASM raised was advancing in its commitment to excellence and thus obtain a recognition that supports its bid for good governance embodied in good results in healthcare quality. In collaboration with Comtec, last year the Center has launched a process of equipment revitalization to facilitate the generation of initiatives and leadership, which, together with the appropriate and technical support has made it possible to project the institutional recognition.

300+, 400+, 500+
300+, 400+ y 500+ seals

Hospital Universitario Sagrado Corazón is the entity which has recently achieved a recognition for excellence in management, taking 400+ seal. The Centre belongs to Quironsalut group and provides all the medical-surgical specialities, being the largest in Barcelona privately owned hospital. With the aim of being an excellent organization, the hospital has worked to maintain higher levels of performance and has promoted and stimulated the improvement towards excellence. The result has been a recognition that valuates a well done job.

Written by Sara Sandalinas Tura

Sara Sandalinas is in charge of Comtec’s internal and external communication. She holds a degree in Journalism from University Ramón Llull that has brought her to explore the myriad fields of her profession, working in media and press offices. Her responsibilities include handling media relations, producing written material, performing analyses and organising corporate presentations and events.

Occupational safety is part of the business strategy

During 2017 there were a total of 503,749 occupational accidents in Spain, of which 484 were fatal. This means that one person was killed in a work-related accident every 18 hours, according to data from the State Observatory on Working Conditions of the National Institute for Safety, Health and Welfare at Work.

In order to reduce these figures, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed the ISO 45001:2018 standard. On March 12, ISO 45001 was published, the first international standard that establishes the requirements to implement an Occupational Health and Safety Management System in any organization, regardless of its size or activity, with the aim of improving working conditions, eliminating or minimizing hazards and risks and reducing the number of occupational accidents and diseases.

The new ISO 45001 standard reinforces the integration of occupational health and safety into the overall business strategy of organizations and emphasizes the importance of context and risk management, not only limited to the negative effect but also to take advantage of the set of circumstances that can lead to improved performance (opportunities). In addition, the demonstration of compliance with legal and other requirements to which the organization subscribes is reinforced, as well as the development of indicators to demonstrate continuous improvement.

Among the main advances, it reinforces the role of senior management in the leadership of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System, as an important part of its business strategy.

Among other advantages, the implementation of ISO 45001 could enable companies to:

  • Decrease the number of accidents at work.
  • Increase productivity, which translates into economic benefits.
  • Reduce absenteeism and staff turnover.
  • Decrease adverse incidents in the workplace.
  • Reduce the cost of insurance premiums.
  • Promote a culture of preventive health and safety, involving employees to play an active role.
  • Facilitate compliance with legal obligations.
  • Improve the image and reputation of organizations.
  • Increase employee confidence

Likewise, ISO 45001 presents the common high-level structure with the most widely used management documents in the world, ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (Environment), so that organizations already certified in these standards will have an easier implementation.

ISO 45001 means the annulment of OHSAS 18001, currently the most widespread for occupational health and safety management. In fact, ISO 45001 meets most of its requirements and incorporates new ones, which translates into a number of improvements for businesses. Companies certified according to OHSAS 18001 have a period of three years, until March 12, 2021, to carry out the migration. The transition may be made during the regular renewal or follow-up auditor during a specific extraordinary audit for the purpose of making such a migration.

If you want to become certified and improve health and safety at work, we can help you.  


Cristina Gascón studied Environmental Science at university and went on to specialise in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 systems management. She is also a certified expert in occupational health and safety. Her main focus gradually shifted to quality and excellence, obtaining certification as an EFQM accredited assessor. Before joining Comtec, she worked as a quality systems auditor at Applus. Excellence in quality management, continuous improvement, the environment and occupational health and safety are her areas of expertise. She has headed up projects involving ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification, business process management, benchmarking and healthcare accreditation.

The 5S method

The 5S methodology is a Japanese improvement tool developed by Toyota in the 1960s, who popularized it – initially within the automobile sector – but has proven to be a methodology suitable for any company and sector with good results.

It was designed to increase productivity by improving working environments. This approach, focused on people and conditions in the workplace, is part of the essence of the TPS (Toyota Production System), the origin of the Lean methodology that incorporates this method.


The 5S are thus known by the name of their five stages, all of them with the letter S (in Japanese), Seiri (classify), Seiton (order), Seiso (clean), Seiketsu (standardize), Shitsuke (maintain).

SEIRI (classify): The objective of this stage is to identify the elements necessary to develop the activity in the workplace. It is necessary to separate the necessary elements from the unnecessary ones in order to eliminate them. During separation it is important to identify the frequency of use of the required elements as well as the correct quantity. Once the necessary elements identified by frequency are available, they must be classified to group those with similar frequencies of use. It should be noted that the initially separate elements as unnecessary may be necessary for another work center.
The results of this stage are observed with the decrease in stocks, obsolete stocks, a greater useful space and the improvement of productivity among other benefits.


SEITON (order): The objective of this stage is to design a new workspace with the classified elements. You must decide which location is the most appropriate for each thing so that each item has an assigned location, i. e. a place for each thing and that everything is in its place. In order to choose the location of each element, the classification by frequency of use carried out in the previous phase must be taken into account. This way, we will keep those elements with a greater frequency of use as close as possible to the workstation and we will move away from it as the frequency of use decreases.
Once the places have been assigned, it is necessary to organize and arrange all these elements in their space in such a way that they can be easily used. The identification of these spaces helps to keep the elements in place and reinforces the visual character of the methodology, for example by using labels, colours, etc.
At the end of this stage, productivity increases and an improvement in the working environment conditions can be observed, considerably reducing the visual’ stress’ of the worker.


SEISO (cleaning): the objective of this stage is to achieve a clean and safe working environment. A clean working environment facilitates visual inspection and the identification of possible deviations or incidents that previously could go unnoticed, helping to prevent them from entering the value chain causing quality problems. Not only must the cleaning of the work pieces and the environment be carried out, but also the sources of dirt must be identified in order to eliminate or minimise them. During cleaning, it is time to check the entire working environment by eliminating unnecessary elements and placing elements that have been left out of place, thus reinforcing the previous stages.
The improvement of conditions in the workplace and safety for the worker as well as the prevention of incidents in the value chain are the most relevant benefits of this stage.
SEIKETSU (standardization): the objective of this stage is to consolidate the results of the previous stages by incorporating these dynamics into the daily work. Updating of working procedures and instructions is necessary to incorporate the improvements defined in the previous stages. Standardizing the new work dynamics requires updating these procedures, as well as the creation of new documentation that includes the new situations and decisions taken. The new labour standards must be agreed with all the workers involved in order to consolidate the system and facilitate consolidation. Visual management at this stage is more relevant than in previous stages, because managers can identify improvement opportunities more easily.
This stage consolidates and reinforces the previous stages and is necessary in order not to return to the starting point.

SHITSUKE (discipline): the objective of this stage is to maintain the results of the previous stages by incorporating this system into the habits of all workers, creating a culture based on continuous improvement. To this end, the discipline and commitment of all employees is essential to ensure the success in maintaining these results over time. The human factor is key at this stage, which requires individual responsibility, the adoption of new habits, the monitoring of agreements, the participation of all people and constant support from management.
It is advisable to establish at this stage a simple and brief checklist that gives us the level of maintenance of the improvements adopted, not so much with the aim of obtaining a numerical result but so that the person responsible for your application can identify deviations that can be corrected at the same time.


The key to this methodology has been to have an order and sequence in activities that are usually carried out in any company to obtain a correct working environment but that can be carried out in a disorganized and/or incomplete way. The apparent simplicity of this methodology is also its greatest complexity, due to an over-confidence and relaxation once the first results have been obtained, so it is critical to ensure the final Shitsuke stage (discipline).

Lafotografica 016After years devoted to architecture, in 2011 José María López struck out on a new career path when he enrolled in the Master’s programme in Corporate Quality Management at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. There he found his true calling, so he gave up his personal endeavour at Arch and dove headlong into quality consultancy, first at The Flow Factory and later at Comtec. José María is also certified as an EFQM accredited assessor and an internal auditor of ISO 9001 quality management systems. His main area of specialisation is business process management.

Responsibility at work


We say “I have to go to work”, “I have to go to the five”, “I have to go get the children to school when you leave work,” “I have to finish a report”. Always “have to”. It is obligatory or we choose it? It is not so obvious as it seems. Language is never innocent. I am convinced that language creates reality, and whenever our mind and our mouths out one “have that” are laminated a few grams of our self-esteem.

idea-1026394_1920I’m amazed inside whenever I hear that someone at work tells me that “it has not been able” to finish a task for lack of time, or that it has gone very overwhelmed and “is it has not” look yet that report. I think: “what you did today at 5 in the morning?”. I gave that not you looked it you, directly, either you have descent looking at you it, but you do not show as a victim of the system saying that you could not, because in the end you just believing that you are a prisoner of circumstances, and it is not true.

Whenever we respond with a “is that…”, with a “can’t”, or a “have to”, we are making “small” mentally and physically. If we want to grow in self-esteem, responsibility, personal and professional freedom, let’s talk accordingly, because if not, we will not act accordingly.

decision-1013712_1920We are where we want to (always), and we do what we do in every moment, because we want it. The era of slavery already ended long ago. If you are now reading this blog is because you want to, and if not you are reading it, also. Let us excuses. There are two ways to approach any situation: as a victim or as responsible. Each choose and acts accordingly, and obtains the results consistent with its approach. The resentment to forgiveness. The complaint, to the claim. The “let”, to the “do so do it?”. The resignation, serene ambition. Action, reaction. The problem, to the challenge. Tolerance, acceptance (frankly it is told that the couple “to tolerate” that you “accept”). Fancy, to the request for feedback. Of passivity, to proactivity. From the outside, inside. Of the others, yourself. Follow the flock, to take the road less travelled… Victim, person in charge.

Stephen Covey says that in any circumstance of life in which we participate, we are surrounded by two concentric circles and we are in its central point: the circle of influence (CI) and the circle of concern (CP). That depends on me and what not. The circle of influence, which is the us closer and which initially are, includes any actions or decisions that matter to us and which depend exclusively on us: what will we do in the next minute, that we will say at the meeting this afternoon, as we face the visit in the morning to house the customer, etc. Sometimes it is a small circle, but it is never absent.

environment-1019748_1920The circle of concern includes all actions or decisions that also important to us but not dependent completely from us. CP is usually much larger and we placed many of our thoughts and desires our attention basic: customers buying decisions, the evolution of the market, the general economic situation, the opinion of our col•laboradors, etc. is what percentage of our daily thoughts in each of the circles? The responsibility is focusing solely on the possibilities that depend on one’s own: is to live mentally in the CI. The big secret is that, when one devotes its efforts at CI, this will expand how by magic, and increasingly is larger and can match the CP. It would be the same analogy as “address” or “pre – deal”. Depends on us, and never better. Train yourself to identify if every thought we have belongs to the circle of influence or the circle of concern.

question-mark-1026531_1920If things sometimes don’t go you well, either in the middle of a meeting, or in our relationship with co-workers or our superior and we are really committed to remedying this situation, it is not useful to worry about what they do or do not make the others: do it, even if it is a small step, which may seem insignificant or not very useful , but do it. After the first ten seconds, we apply the rule in the ten seconds following, and so on. We give the most of ourselves in the following immediate thing we do, without thinking about the apparent little effect that may have on the final outcome. This is said to be in the circle of influence. This is concentration. This is responsibility. Responsibility is the virtue of the virtues, the most powerful tool that we can use, the master key that opens all doors.

“Fate removes the cards, but we play them”                                                                                   Arthur Schopenhauer

Written by Jordi Besora

Jordi Besora is the team’s most veteran member after Pau Negre. After earning graduate degrees in Pharmacy and Food Science and Technology, he rounded out his education with an MBA in Food Industry Business Management from the University of Barcelona and a Master’s degree in Corporate Quality Management from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. He also works as a professional coach and is certified by the International Coach Federation. Jordi tackles every project with his characteristic passion and intensity, whether it involves ISO 9001, the EFQM Model, healthcare accreditation, business process management, OHSAS 18001, strategic plans or benchmarking.

ISO 9001:2015, all the news about the update

Més focalitzada en el context, el lideratge, la gestió de riscos i oportunitats i la gestió per processos

iso 9001-1Cada vegada són més les organitzacions que volen disposar de la capacitat de proporcionar productes i/o serveis per satisfer als seus clients, als requeriment de la legislació que se li aplica, als seus proveïdors i a la seva pròpia organització d’una manera eficient i coherent. És per això que cada vegada són més les entitats que s’adhereixen a uns estàndards o models de gestió de la qualitat.

Un dels estàndards que mostra els requeriments que ha de tenir un sistemes de gestió de la qualitat és la coneguda norma ISO 9001. Cada 4 anys es fa una revisió d’aquesta i aquest 15 de setembre de 2015 es va publicar l’última versió.

Diferencies estructurals dels requeriments entre les normes ISO 9001:2015 i ISO 9001:2008

La ISO 9001:2015 és molt similar a la seva predecessora de l’any 2008, però sí que es destaca com a una de les principals diferencies l’estructura i l’organització dels requeriments. A continuació us mostrem l’índex global d’ambdues versions de la norma:

Quadre comparatiu estructura ISO 9001 en jpg

Aquesta nova estructura, segons el nostre criteri, dóna a la norma una millor organització, a més de contribuir en l’alineació amb altres nomes ISO, facilitant així la implantació simultània de més d’una d’elles en una mateixa organització.

Principals canvis entre les versions 2015 i 2008 de la norma ISO 9001

L’actualització de la norma repercuteix, a banda de la nova distribució dels requeriments, tal i com es comentava en l’apartat anterior, en el contingut d’alguns d’aquests. A continuació us detallem els principals canvis:

  1. Context de l’organització: La nova versió emfatitza el fet de comprendre tots els factors interns i externs que poden afectar en el propòsit, objectius i sostenibilitat de l’organització. També recomana identificar quins agents poden generar un risc significatiu per la sostenibilitat de l’organització si les seves necessitats i expectatives no es compleixen. Aquests agents són anomenats, per la norma, parts interessades.Lideratge: Desapareix el requeriment d’haver de disposar d’un representant de la direcció i per tant totes les tasques i responsabilitats vinculades a aquesta figura repercuteixen, com a destinatari final, en l’alta direcció.
  2. Riscos i oportunitats: Apareix com a concepte nou la identificació, avaluació i tractament dels factors que impacten negativa o positivament en l’assoliment dels resultats previstos tant a nivell global de l’organització com per a cadascun dels processos.
  3. Gestió per processos: Aquest enfocament de la gestió basada en processos ja venia heretada de l’altra versió de la norma, però aquest cop es tracta amb més profunditat i això es veu reflectit en molts dels seus aspectes.
  4. Informació documentada: Disminueix el volum d’informació documentada, requerida per la norma, deixant en moltes ocasions en mans de la pròpia organització qui decideixi quina documentació considera oportuna per a la correcta eficàcia del seu sistema de gestió de la qualitat. Desapareix també el requisit de disposar del conegut “Manual de la qualitat”.
  5. Vocabulari: S’afegeixen nous conceptes i aquests són descrits a la ISO 9000:2015. Entre d’altres, desapareix la menció d’accions preventives i s’engloba tot com a accions correctives, encara que tinguin una caràcter d’anticipació. Apareix també el concepte de “servei”, en el mateix nivell que “producte”, com a un dels outputs d’una organització.
  6. Comunicació: La nova actualització de la norma requereix que l’organització determini quines seran les comunicacions pertinents al sistema de gestió de la qualitat, tant internes com externes i que defineixi què és el que es comunica, quan es fa, a qui, cóm i qui és l’encarregat de fer aquestes comunicacions.
  7. Planificació per assolir els objectius de la qualitat: Per arribar a complir amb els objectius de la qualitat establerts per l’organització, la nova versió de la ISO 9001 detalla com a requeriment que ha d’haver una planificació més detallada, determinant què es farà per assolir aquests objectius, quins recursos es requeriran, qui serà el responsable, quins seran els terminis i quins sistemes d’avaluació es duran a terme per mesurar els resultats.
  8. Gestió del coneixement: Apareix aquesta àrea nova que tracta del tractament i difusió dels coneixements de l’organització vinculats a la correcta operativa dels processos per assolir la conformitat dels productes i serveis que ofereixen.

Des de Comtec valorem molt positivament aquesta última actualització de la norma ja que pensem que s’adapta més a les organitzacions d’avui dia, aporta un aire fresc a l’esperit del cicle PDCA (Plan/Planificar-Do/Implantar-Check/Analitzar-Act/Actuar) i deixa més flexibilitat a l’organització perquè apliqui la norma segons el seu propi criteri.

Escrit per Míriam Márquez

Míriam Márquez Boada és consultora de Comtec Quality, s.a., diplomada en Enginyeria Tècnica Industrial per la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Màster Universitari en Enginyeria dels Recursos Naturals i auditora interna en sistemes de gestió de la qualitat ISO 9001. Disposa d’experiència en el camp de la consultoria dels sistemes de gestió de la qualitat i del medi ambient.

‘Lean Management’, key of business efficiency

El Lean és la eina clau per optimitzar recursos
El Lean és la eina clau per optimitzar recursos

El Lean Management és una filosofia de gestió, dotada de metodologia científica i unes eines concretes, que entén l’empresa com un conjunt que actua alhora, en la mateixa direcció i sentit, cap a un objectiu comú. Aquesta filosofia promou la creació de valor a través de l’eliminació d’activitats que no aportin valor afegit. Actualment, la seva implementació comporta més eficiència, més competitivitat i més sostenibilitat a mig termini, i amb una relació cost-efectivitat significativament favorable. Si bé és cert que el Lean aconsegueix resultats a curt termini, també cal tenir en compte que, per tal de fer una bona immersió, es necessita visió a mig-llarg termini.

La filosofia Lean busca comunicació efectiva i fer les coses fàcils: idees simples i un treball senzill que es pugui desenvolupar de manera fàcil. La principal diferència del Lean Management respecte altres sistemes de gestió de qualitat, recau en l’èmfasi que es fa en el respecte a les persones a través de la seva implicació i corresponsabilització, i en la manera com es posen en pràctica les seves eines.

Com apliquem la filosofia Lean?

El pensament i metodologia Lean és aplicable a diferents sectors, tan d’indústria com serveis, amb l’objectiu de potenciar l’eficiència i la competitivitat. Actualment, està demostrat que la seva aplicació té uns resultats molt positius, donat que aconsegueix que les empreses optimitzin recursos i millorin la seva gestió. El Lean Management ha guanyat especialment presència aplicat a organitzacions sociosanitàries, donat que contribueix a:

  • Augmentar la seguretat tant per a pacients com per a professionals.
  • Optimitzar el temps: reduir esperes i optimitzar les estades dels pacients sense afectar la qualitat del servei ofert.
  • Implicar als professionals en la resolució diària de problemes de manera eficient i proactiva.
  • Ser més àgils, adaptant-nos als constants canvis que ens envolten
  • Augmentar la capacitat de treball. Ser més eficients.

En som prescriptors

A Comtec tenim com a objectiu millorar la gestió de les empreses per potenciar els seus resultats. Això però, no esdevé una tasca fàcil sense haver aplicat les filosofies de ‘management’ que promovem de manera interna. Per aquest motiu, la filosofia Lean està present en el plantejament operatiu de Comtec, començant pel funcionament intern de la nostra pròpia empresa. I com ens ho apliquem internament això? A continuació relatem aspectes de la gestió interna i de negoci que hem i estem optimitzant amb un enfocament de millora i autoavaluació continua:

  • Sessions tècniques específiques de Lean : es tracta de trobar la manera d’aplicar el lean en el funcionament de la nostra empresa. Durant aquestes sessions, aprenem conceptes aplicables sobretot a la feina del consultor, que li pot servir per ser més rendible, augmentar la seva productivitat aprofitant més el temps, i en definitiva, poder oferir als clients el millor servei.
  • Lean als processos interns: hem creat diferents estàndards per processos aplicats a les propostes de treball que fem als nostres clients i per a la metodologia de treball ofertada de cadascuna de les línies de servei que oferim a Comtec.
  • Lean al lloc de treball: Recentment s’ha redissenyat l’oficina per què hi hagi flexibilitat en el lloc de treball. El que busquem és la polivalència dins d’un espai que habitem cada dia i que volem aprofitar al màxim. Per fer-ho, apliquem les 5S per tal de visualitzar tot el material, tenir-lo millor ordenat,més accessible, etc.
  • Lean al programa de gestió informàtic intern: ens hem centrat en fer una gestió més visual d’una eina que utilitzem diàriament i de la que depèn molt la bona organització de la nostra feina. Gràcies al Lean hem apostat per visualitzar tot en una mateixa pantalla, fer una gestió dels colors en semàfors indicadors d’estat, fer el volcatge de dades d’una pantalla a l’altre per evitar duplicitats, automatitzar certes dades per a que apareguin per defecte, etc.
  • Lean als processos d’avaluació ‘externs’ dels serveis ofertats, de cara als nostres clients; creem un Checklist estàndard per avaluar el grau de satisfacció dels nostres clients. Així establim els aspectes que avaluem, la vía a través de la qual fem arribar l’enquesta als nostres clients, etc.

Quin és el punt de partida de l’organització?

On es troba la teva empresa o entitat? T’interessa aplicar la metodologia? Segons quina sigui la teva necessitat, Comtec ofereix línies de servei, a diferents nivells, segons la profundització que es busqui, en la metodologia Lean. Des de començar a desenvolupar la gestió per processos amb un enfocament Lean, fer un anàlisi Lean de possibles projectes de millora a desenvolupar o problemes concrets a resoldre, o bé us agrada la filosofia i voldríeu fer una immersió en el camí Lean?

Escrit per Cristina Fontcuberta

Cristina Fontcuberta no és només especialista en lean, sinó que ella mateixa personifica el concepte lean. Des que va tornar de la seva estada com a consultora lean al Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center de Boston, combina la seva feina com a formadora a l’Institut Lean Management amb la seva activitat a Comtec. Els seus coneixements de l’àmbit sanitari i la seva experiència en gestió lean són una suma molt potent per al desenvolupament de projectes. També ha participat en diverses publicacions sobre aplicació dels principis lean al sector de la salut.