ASQ recognizes companies for creative and innovative solutions that save money, improve quality

ASQ recognizes companies for creative and innovative solutions that save money, improve quality

UAE’s Dubai Aluminium and Argentina’s Tgestiona among International Team Excellence Award winners

For Immediate Release

MILWAUKEE, Wis., May 21, 2014 — United Arab Emirates’ Dubai Aluminium and Argentina’s Tgestiona were awarded gold-level status at ASQ’s International Team Excellence Awards for increasing quality and financial savings.

ASQ announced the gold-level winners — along with silver-level and bronze-level winners — at its World Conference on Quality and Improvement at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. In its 29th year, 38 teams from 14 countries competed for gold, silver and bronze status.

The ITEA process is the only one of its kind that recognizes organizations worldwide for successfully deploying quality processes. The ITEA criteria provide a framework to enable teams to efficiently contribute to overall organizational improvement efforts.

Since 1985, organizations like 3M, Alcoa, Boeing, Ford and more have showcased proven results with long-term implications, resulting in cost savings of millions of dollars.

Gold, silver and bronze awards are awarded to teams that achieve minimum scores in each awards level. Teams are judged during Quality Impact Sessions at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement, where teams demonstrate real-life applications and success of quality processes.

Dubai Aluminium’s Stub Repair Reduction Team used Lean Six Sigma and DMAIC methodology to reduce repair costs by reducing product damage from 6 percent to 3 percent, resulting in an annual savings of US$1.3 million.

“Winning ASQ ITEA Gold is an excellent achievement,” said Abdulla Kalban, managing director and CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC, of which Dubai Aluminium is an operating entity. “It not only highlights the spirit of innovation within our organization, but also reflects the value-add of strong teamwork.”

Tgestiona’s Matter of Time Team used Six Sigma to address the process for handling customer access to the company’s systems, which affects more than 20,000 users of 256 systems. The results included reducing the error rate from 10 percent to 0.05 percent, and reducing processing time from 26 days to less than three days.

“The team and I are all very excited about achieving the gold-level award,” said Maria Laura Festa, quality and process manager. “My team and I worked really hard to achieve this price and dedicated months (including personal time and weekends) to do a good job, both with the project that we implemented in our organization and also with the presentation in order to reflect our project as accurately as possible by following the ITEA criteria. We are glad this hard work was reflected in our live presentation based on the results achieved.”

Teams that reached silver- and bronze-level status included:


  • Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Team Blitz, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    • Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s team managed to reduce the payment cycle time by more than 50 percent and improve employee morale and increase personnel marketability from experiences gained throughout the project, which focused on improving the payment processing cycle at a branch office.


  • Genpact, Transforming Order to Cash Process, Johannesburg, South Africa
    • The team successfully carried out an order-to-cash process transformation project for a multinational beverage company by analyzing people, process and technology levers across the organizational cross-functions using Lean Six Sigma methodology, a robust change management framework and strong project management methods. The project improved weighted-days-to-collect from 59.9 days to 49.4 days, positively impacting cash flow by $19.6 million and recovering potential bad debt of $6.4 million.
  • Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Proactive Retention Team, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
    • This project addresses the progression of company-customer relationships and demystifies why customers let go of their precious investments and simply walk away. The project impacted each and every stakeholder of Maxlife. Generating revenue of more than US$77 million and additional renewal premium income of US$100 million, this is a fascinating story of combining the systematic data-based understanding of the customer’s world and translating that into business benefits.
  • Shanghai Johnson Controls Yanfeng Seating Mechanisms Co., Ltd., JCYM Continuous Improvement Team, Shanghai, China
    • This project focused on improving a flatness-testing system. The improvement provided the potential for a US$2.5 million cost reduction by optimizing the flatness-testing process and adjusting the fixture that guarantees accuracy of result.
  • Volkswagen Argentina — Córdoba Plant, Contact Zone, Córdoba, Argentina
    • This problem-solving project dealt with a transmission failure detected during road tests before the launch of a new VW light commercial vehicle. As a result of applying quality tools and methodologies, the failure was solved and the launch date was met, avoiding 100 million euros in potential corporate losses, 7 million euros in potential warranty claims and 3 million euros in machinery investment.

To aid organizations in achieving performance excellence, ASQ will be offering a training and coaching program designed around the ITEA criteria to assist organizations worldwide develop and sustain high performing teams. For more information on this unique training and coaching opportunity, please email Kevin Braley at

Since 1985, more than 1,050 teams from Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, India, United Arab Emirates, the United States and more have participated in this team recognition process.

The 2015 International Team Excellence Award Process Final Round will be held at ASQ’s 2015 World Conference on Quality and Improvement May 4–6, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee. Intent to submit forms for the 2014-15 award cycle are due July 1 and entry materials are due Sept. 9.

For information on how to participate in the 2014–2015 International Team Excellence Award process, visit or email

About ASQ

ASQ is a global community of people dedicated to quality who share the ideas and tools that make our world work better. With millions of individual and organizational members of the community in 150 countries, ASQ has the reputation and reach to bring together the diverse quality champions who are transforming the world’s corporations, organizations and communities to meet tomorrow’s critical challenges. ASQ is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., with national service centers in China, India, Mexico and a regional service center in the United Arab Emirates. Learn more about ASQ’s members, mission, technologies and training at


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