Organisations are under increasing pressure to be more productive, provide higher quality services and grow the bottom line whilst engaging and retaining their people.  The traditional approach of short term cost cutting is unlikely to achieve all of these objectives and is therefore unsustainable.  There has to be a better way – and there is.

Strategic Business Excellence

Numerous studies (US, European and Australian) have proven that organisations with high business excellence scores outperform those with low scores (based on financial and non-financial measures).

Strategic Business Excellence is a program that gives leaders a working knowledge of the principles that underpin business excellence frameworks and provide the opportunity to develop action plans that will close the business excellence gap in a sustainable way. It will enable you to translate business strategy into operational reality while balancing the demands of the business and customers. This program introduces business excellence principles and concepts in a way that is both practical and relevant to Senior Leaders.

A number of models are covered many of which have identified immediate opportunities through optimising the organisation design and resource approach. Coaching is available and encouraged.

We also provide strategy consulting such as logistics and operational strategy for a rapidly growing resources company, quality management strategy in financial services and various continuous improvement strategies.

"Anita provided support to me to establish an Operations Support function within the Queensland CSG Upstream sector. She sourced demand data, analysed it and provided infrastructure development and service provision recommendations. She was insightful with her recommendations and used innovative and contemporary methods to support her recommendations. She was further engaged to assist with implementation of recommendations. Without Anita's assistance, speed to establish the Operations Support function would not have been achieved. She was key to achieving success."

David Bailey, Operations Manager, Santos

Management capability

Most people are promoted to their first management position due to their strong technical skills and their ‘potential’. They may find themselves sent on leadership courses but how are they being taught to manage? Probably by trial and error. Leadership and management skills are complementary – we want both great managers and great leaders.

We have a customisable program, aligned to the business excellence framework and principles, which develops these skills and disciplines in a very practical way. The program has been accredited by Swinburne University of Technology and successful completion will lead to the award of a Diploma of Leadership and Management.

Managers develop operating rhythms, customer-facing metrics, a systems thinking mindset, strategic plans, demand and capacity management, waste reduction, flexible and engaged teams, genuine root cause analysis, process controls and much more.

Over approximately six months, your managers could, as an example:

  • Increase service levels without increasing cost
  • Reduce customer escalations eg by 30%
  • Focus on trends in metric therefore become less reactive to one-offs and reduced fire-fighting
  • Spend more time working 'on' the business and less time working 'in' the business
  • Reduce waste eg 50% rework reduction
  • Optimise resource skills to work type
  • Reduce labour costs through understanding peak loads.
  • Develop collaborative relationships with internal stakeholders to optimise enterprise results
  • Standardise processes which increases flexibility and service
  • Address root causes to resolve and prevent problems
  • Increase engagement and individual performance

"The facilitators were extremely knowledgeable and had spent many years in operations roles using the skills they teach within the course.  The opportunity to work on current challenges whilst using new tools and processes meant that I was able to provide positive impacts to my business unit as a direct result of completing the course. Efficiencies were gained whilst also improving staff engagement levels."

Charlotte Sheehan, Head of Client Service Centre, MLC

Continuous improvement & facilitation

Continuous improvement thinking is one of several business excellence principles. It is most effective when leaders have working knowledge of all business excellence principles therefore this program complements our other services.  Many organisations have embarked on a continuous improvement journey but had false starts – we will provide advice on the best way forward for you.  In some cases, this may mean delaying so that you address other gaps first thereby avoiding the false start.

Continuous improvement services offered include strategy, developing leadership and sponsorship capability, development of technical capability from partial to multi-day programs (depending on your needs), coaching, workshop facilitation, statistical analysis and project execution.

"I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the benefit of Anita’s knowledge and experience during my Green Belt project. She provided me with invaluable assistance and her expertise in the Measure & Analyse phase has been astounding. I don't think I would have made it through these stages without her help.  I have sometimes struggled with understanding statistical analysis and being able to put it back into the context of the overall goal, but somehow Anita can always make it make sense. She explains things in such a way that suddenly everything falls into place.

Anita has taken a lot of time to really understand my project and our processes in order to ensure that the direction she gives is directly related to our goal. She also played the role of an objective observer as I was working through summarising my analyse findings, always prompting me to keep questioning 'why' and challenging my thinking around doing things just because they've always been done that way."

Kym Mortimer, Quality Assurance Officer, NAB

/ Lean Six Sigma Methodology

Lean Six Sigma is a continuous process improvement methodology.   In essence, it is a data-driven approach to reduce process defects and variation to a level acceptable to the customer of the process.

There are a number of key principles applied when improving business processes using the Lean Six Sigma methodology.

Continuous Improvement facilitation examples include:

  • One day cross-functional workshop of 15 diverse stakeholders to agree on actions to reduce ‘wait time’ in construction projects. Implementation of the 15 agreed actions resulted in wait time reduced by 90% within three months.
  • One day cross-functional workshop of 10 participants to agree on actions to increase charter aircraft effective utilisation. Achieved 50% improvement in core metrics creating capacity, enabling schedule optimisation and significant cost reduction.

About us

Anita Cunningham

Anita Cunningham founded Quality Business Services in 2004. She is an experienced Lean Six Sigma practitioner and business leader. She has extensive Lean Six Sigma project and training experience gained over many years in industry including five years with General Electric (GE). This is further enhanced by her hands-on strategy consulting experience gained with a highly regarded international management consultancy firm. She has experience in numerous industry segments such as transport, telecommunications, oil & gas, manufacturing, financial services, mining.

Her qualifications include Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (MBB) certification from GE, Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Hons.), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Graduate AICD Company Directors Course (GAICD).

Joe Peile

Joe has been Practice Manager at Quality Business Services since 2004. He has extensive experience in the building and construction, logistics and transport industries. Joe provides the behind the scenes support to ensure our client’s needs are consistently met.

Quality Business Services utilise a team of skilled facilitators and consultants to deliver a great experience for our clients. All facilitators each have many years of management and business improvement experience.

The following client examples show our skill depth and breadth:

Top 100 Australian financial services company:
  • Business excellence senior executive workshops
  • Management capability, assessment and coaching
  • Continuous improvement capability and coaching
Top 100 telecommunications and technology company:
  • Continuous improvement capability
  • Management capability facilitation, assessment and coaching
Top 100 Australian resources company:
  • Strategy consulting
  • Continuous improvement facilitation
  • Project coaching