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Accelerating digital applications through SUGOD

Source:Food Bev Asia

Date Published:3/5/2019 11:03:35 AM

In his article, ENGR. CESAR M. DUMAYAG* writes about his company’s journey toward excellence via SUGOD, a culture-based approach that provides a roadmap and framework for total quality.

People360 Consulting Corporation is a leading safety integrator in the Philippines providing end to end solutions for professional services on occupational safety, health, and environment. Our journey to a Culture of Excellence takes us to the implementation of a Filipino Value driven TQM approach called “SUGOD” where continual improvements were initiated and accelerated through digital applications.

Challenges of a start-up company

Being a safety service provider, quality of work is the prime consideration of our organisation because “One Life Lost from a preventable accident is One Life too many”.  There should be no short cuts, no compromise and safety standards should be followed.

These are the values that drives People360 to strive for excellence.  Moreover, as the business environment evolved and awareness grew on the importance of quality of work, more and more businesses are now looking for and demanding quality products and services from their providers.  However, small organisations have difficulties in implementing a Quality Management System, namely:

1.      Lack of technical expertise to develop, document and implement the QMS

2.      Personnel are busy coping with increasing demand

3.      A shift in paradigm is urgently needed

After three years of developing and implementing our Quality Management System, we were finally certified for ISO 9001 in 2015.

Benefits derived from ISO 9001

Since ISO standard is an Internationally acknowledged standard and practiced around the globe, the certification brought us significant benefits:

1.      Enhanced corporate image.  Many large organisations and even the government sectors are looking for service providers that are ISO 9001 certified.  This is one reason why we are now getting new accounts from large organisations.  Marketing is getting more mileage from our certification.

2.      Manage our growth.  The established process allows us to expand our capacity and capability to forecast future demands and act on them while consistently delivering quality services.

3.      Deliver on our Unique Selling Proposition.  Since Key Performances are measured and monitored, we are able to meet and even exceed customer expectations, resulting in increase in customer satisfaction and fewer customer complaints.

Challenges in building a culture of excellence

However, having an ISO certification does not guarantee that products and services will be error-free all the time. Many opportunities for improvement will still exist.  The challenge now is how to build a culture where each and every employee of the organisation will look at continually improving our processes and ultimately resulting in better products and services and customer satisfaction.

From a mindset where compliance to ISO Standards is the norm, we have to shift to building a Culture of Excellence within the organisation where everyone is involved. Culture building takes time and requires a roadmap for effective implementation. People360 embraced SUGOD as a management approach to Total Quality.  Developed by Dr Miflora Gatchalian and Dr Jose Gatchalian, renowned quality gurus in the country, SUGOD has been implemented in organisations with much success.


SUGOD is a Filipino word that means “to move on together”.  A culture-based approach providing a roadmap and framework for total quality, SUGOD is an acronym for:

S  – Survey Baseline measurement of current quality management system, practices, employee satisfaction, engagement and level of customer satisfaction.

U - Unite Strategic planning for unity in Vision, Mission and Goals.   

G - Grow Capability Building in skills, knowledge and attitude for better enhancement of total competence.

O Operationalise Put into action plans and programs towards a sustainable quality improvement.  Team approach towards quality is achieved through a Workplace Cooperation Steering Committee and Task-Based Groups.

DDevelop Review performance and progress and revise plans going to the next cycle of SUGOD.

Pre-requisites for SUGOD intervention

1.      Full support and leadership by top management

Adopting a Total Quality approach requires top management’s commitment and support in terms of resources and leadership in communicating and consistently applying its principles.  All efforts will fail to meet expectations without Top Management support.

2.      Understanding that SUGOD is both a framework and roadmap for total quality.

SUGOD provides a blueprint for successful implementation of total quality.  The framework is consistent with Deming’s PDCA Cycle approach and the Baldridge Framework for Excellence.

3.      Acceptance that activities towards total quality is sustained through continual improvement

The key to developing a culture is in the continual improvements that individuals and teams strive to work on a daily basis that forms habits and ultimately becomes a corporate culture of excellence.

4.      Transparency of top management in measurement of growth indicators.

SUGOD guiding principles:

1.      Measurement

“What gets measured, gets managed”. Measurements are critical to the success of “SUGOD” in quantifying situations and events and providing a benchmark by which to measure progress.  Facts and data that are reliable, accurate and timely are good basis for decision making.

2.      Strategic approach to quality

 A critical part of the management of quality is the strategic approach to achieving the organisation’s vision, mission and goals. Achieving long-term success in an environment of increasing competition is a key strategic issue that is addressed in overall strategic and action planning.

3.      Capability building

Organisations must invest in people to ensure they have the critical competencies needed to deliver quality service and to do what is necessary to succeed in the future. Capability building will include skills in understanding of processes and problem-solving methods.

4.      Total employee involvement

This refers to participation of all employees in working toward common goals and objectives. 

5.      Team approach for continual improvement

Cross functional teams are key in problem solving and continual improvement of processes to become more competitive and more effective in meeting organisational goals.

6.      Open communication

Communication plays a large part in motivating employees at all levels through understanding of organisational strategies, goals and objectives and their role in meeting them.  Open communication makes it easier for management to perceive the real issues and problems.

7.      Quality a way of life

Promoting a culture of excellence requires development of practices and habits that lead to excellent performance of each individual.  Promoting “Quality as a Way of Life” at work and at home helps in the development of habit and culture.

Digital applications

SUGOD drives the organisation to strive for continual improvement. We adopted a strategy that leverages on Information Technology for improvement of our processes. However, digital transformation poses some challenges for SMEs like us:

·        Limited IT capability

·        Limited resources to support IT initiatives

Fortunately, the IT landscape is changing so rapidly that things are faster, readily available, easy to deploy and are relatively affordable or even free.

Three major developments in information technology significantly impacting deployment of IT solutions are:

1.      The Internet Provides an avenue for the exchange of information globally.  We now have a platform to broadcast our products and services, exchange messages and emails and makes unlimited applications available across the web.

2.      Cloud Computing The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.  Allows us to store data and use applications over the internet.

3.      Collaborative applications

A software application that allows interaction among multiple users over the internet. Files can be created, edited and outputs can be viewed and shared to multiple users in real-time.

These IT developments allow SMEs like us to use available IT applications and resources that are low cost or even free on a limited scale.  Some of the digital applications we deployed using basic software solutions, applications and platforms are as follows:

Monitoring and Measurement (Google Spreadsheet)

Management Dashboard

Manpower Monitoring

Sales Monitoring          

Process Improvement and Service Delivery (Google Spreadsheet)

Project Monitoring

Process Improvement (MS Excel with Macro)

KPI Monitoring


FaceBook / Websites

Email blast (Mailchimp) / Text blast (One-way SMS)

After Sales

Equiportal360 (Outsourced System)


Online Survey (SurveyMonkey)

Online Exam for HR (   

Document Management System:

Digitising our Documents (From Paper to Paperless)

Local Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Device and Google Drive



After a year of implementing SUGOD and more than two years of continued certification to ISO 9001, we have derived the following measurable benefits:

Better management of the organization by facts Measures and data are readily available thus making informed decision timely and not just based on intuition or “gut feel”.  These lead to better results and success.

Better employee engagement and teamwork Employee engagement based on our climate surveys have significantly improved.  Employees are contributing their utmost to the success of the organisation and working towards meeting and even exceeding customer requirements. 

Increased customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty We believe in the saying that “Happy Employees lead to Happy Customers”.  We invest in our people development and engagement and this has resulted in increase in our employee and customer satisfaction.  In a study conducted by James Evans and Eric Jack published in the Quality Management Journal in 2003, it supported the hypothesis that: “Employee satisfaction has a significant impact on service quality which is correlated significantly with customer satisfaction.” 

Revenue growth Improvement on our work-system not only enhanced service quality but also impacted on improving our financial performance.  Since 2015, we have been experiencing an average sales growth of 40%, exceeding our annual target of 30%.

Future initiatives

Integration of Management System Certification

After ISO 9001, the organisation is now integrating other management systems particularly on Environment and Occupational Health and Safety which are part of our core business.  This year we are embarking on having our management systems certified to ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001.

Philippine Quality Challenge (PQC)

A national award programme of the Department of Trade and Industry recognises organisations with outstanding quality management and overall organisational performance in the SME sector.  It is the Philippines’  modified  version of the  Philippine  Quality  Award (PQA)  patterned  after  Malcom Baldridge National Quality Awards for Excellence.


*ENGR. CESAR M. DUMAYAG is president & CEO of People360 Consulting Corp. Philippines.

His report was presented during the Philippine Society for Quality (PSQ) hosted 23rd Asia Pacific Quality Conference, 22-25 October 2017 Okada Manila, Philippines.


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