In December 2007, Ricoh Europe PLC (RE), the Group's European regional headquarters, was presented with the EFQM Excellence Award 2007 by the EFQM, a European management quality certification organization, in recognition of its excellence in management quality.
This award was the fruit of the endeavors of all sales subsidiaries of the RE Group to improve and reform their management quality. As a key part of RE's CSR activities, we are seeking to involve employees in projects that use core skills developed within the business to benefit the wider community, particularly within education.
With this in mind the Business Excellence Group agreed to support Bradstow School, a school for autistic children in Kent, UK, which has been using EFQM Excellence Model as a self-assessment tool in a bid to apply for "Recognised for Excellence" later this year.
Knowing that we had a "pre-external assessment" process that we had been applying to our Sales Companies before they went forward for EFQM assessment, Bradstow School asked if they could go about doing a similar exercise. We saw this as an ideal opportunity both for them to learn more about assessing using the EFQM Model and to help build the team.
A team of five Ricoh assessors reviewed the school's submission document then replicated the EFQM assessment process during a three-day site visit. The team conducted 16 individual interviews and two focus groups and spent the final day consolidating the feedback report before presenting it to the school's management team.
Feedback from the management team was very positive and Ricoh's involvement helped the school increase emphasis on some strengths and work towards improvements that will not only help prepare for the "Recognised for Excellence" external assessment, but hopefully help secure future funding grants.
The Ricoh team was inspired by the level of commitment, empowerment and passion shown by all school staff and intends to continue to support Bradstow School on its journey towards excellence.