Any company signing up to SC21 can achieve improvement whether they implement the programme as a self-starter or as a key customer sponsored signatory.

The SC21 process has four elements:

  1. Sustainable improvement (through the use of the diagnostics and the implementation of a CSIP),
  2. Alignment to the SC21 performance metrics
  3. improvement framework implementation and finally by following
  4. the formal recognition process for gaining industry award.

1.      Sustainable Improvement

To eliminate duplication SC21 companies have agreed that they will use SC21 as their core improvement programme, a programme that is relevant to all customers and suppliers in the UK supply chain.

Joint customer/supplier plans will need to have a clear linkage with quality and delivery metrics.

The improvement journey must be driven by senior management to ensure the improvement plans are regularly reviewed and that the necessary resources are available to undertake the defined tasks as they are identified.

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2.      Performance Metrics

SC21 companies have agreed to implement consistent quality and delivery measures to meet customer needs in a highly competitive global market. In addition, SC21 companies have set a benchmark target to achieve zero defects and 100 per cent on-time delivery. Each SC21 company should use the following performance indicators for quality and delivery:

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3.      Improvement Frameworks

Three improvement frameworks have been agreed by SC21 companies to form the basis of a standard approach to supply chain development, these are:

  • Determining excellence: (derived from EFQM’s model of excellence)
  • Manufacturing excellence
  • Relationship excellence

All of the SC21 approved diagnostic models will be delivered through joint or self-assessment approaches. The output from the diagnostic activity should be used to input into the continuous sustainable improvement plan.

As well as identifying opportunities for improvement, all three of the models can also be used for benchmarking organisations, both against each other and the SC21 national averages.

3.1       Determining excellence (DetEx)

Determining excellence is the recommended SC21 approach for small to medium companies. Larger companies would be expected to use the EFQM model. The determining excellence model’s main aim is to achieve sustainable excellence in any organisation.

The model is used to review and diagnose how an organisation performs against what is considered as best practice in order to deliver an excellent organisational culture. The model and it’s structure also serve as a useful common language for top management.

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3.2       Manufacturing excellence (ManEx)

Manufacturing excellence approach (a framework for lean operations) has been developed from ‘lean manufacturing’ / ‘just in time’ philosophies. The approach is equally applicable to large or small organisations in both high and low volume manufacturing environments. The approach should also be complementary to other Lean approaches being deployed within Industry.

manufacturing excellence

3.3 Relationship excellence

The Relationship Excellence (RelEx) diagnostic is used to understand how the organisations senior management team are enabling collaborative working and deriving business results across the boundaries of the company to include its customers and suppliers. Relationship Excellence (RelEx) has been designed to allow organisations to use it;

  • As a joint tool with the customer
  • As a self-assessment methodology
  • Used with ‘clusters’ within the supply chain
  • Used by a third party

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4.      Industry Recognition

SC21 companies have signed up to a formal recognition process which reflects the contribution and commitment of their supply chain. Organisations achieving and maintaining agreed criteria in terms of delivery, quality, continuous sustainable improvement plan (CSIP) and the associated improvement frameworks (business, manufacturing and relationship excellence) will receive recognition in the form of a bronze, silver or gold award as set out in the table below:

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