EFQM as the basis of digital transformation

The EFQM model is a quality management system. It was developed in 1988 by the European Foundation for Quality Management(EFQM).

Is EFQM the basis of digital transformation? Today, our world is like a global village where everyone is connected to everyone at all times. Disruptive technologies and digital platforms are changing not only our own requirements, but also established and successful business models. For organizations, this new situation offers much more opportunities, but also more risks. In order for excellent companies to continue to achieve outstanding results, a completely new mind set is needed, which also radically rethinks the role of executives. In order to use digital change as an opportunity, it is important to take the step from delegation to personal responsibility. This is the only way to establish a corporate culture that can flexibly adapt to the challenges that Industry 2.0 brings. But how can digital change succeed, what does the performance management of the future look like, and how can the EFQM model help to manage change sustainably?

EFQM as the basis of digital transformation

The classic EFQM model is a comprehensive management system that integrates all relevant stakeholders. This includes the company’s own employees as well as suppliers, partners and owners. At the heart of the model is the modeling of the demands and expectations that the company places on itself. The holistic approach creates a basis for the uniform evaluation of all activities and processes and the identification of potential for improvement. Excellent companies that follow EFQM regularly question their processes and are constantly looking for better and more effective solutions to existing problems. This approach offers advantages, especially in the context of digital transformation, when it comes to improving performance and key figures and developing the organization so that it can adapt flexibly and quickly to our modern society.

Excellence for greater competitiveness and sustainable success

Digital change is shaping our professional and private lives, with the demand for digital products increasing. Today, customers are increasingly buying not only products, but also services online. The focus is on the customer experience. Perfect service, across all contact points, is taken for granted by the customers. In order to meet the increasing demands, it is important to continuously adapt your own product range to customer requirements and to stand out from the competition with innovations and creative solutions. However, this can only be achieved if both the vision of the organisation and the corporate strategy are clearly aligned with the changed market conditions. The Excellence model creates a clear and uniform language and raises questions that will allow the company to develop on a permanent basis. Key questions related to EFQM are:

  • How can the necessary processes be implemented, adapted and monitored?
  • How can employees be made aware of the customer’s problems?
  • How is the organization different from its competitors?

Excellent companies not only answer the questions once, but also create structures in which these questions are regularly evaluated and adapted. Modern tools and platforms provide the necessary data base in this context and give managers enough opportunities to optimally adapt internal and external communication to the changed framework conditions.

Continuous adaptation and monitoring of processes

Industry 2.0 cannot be introduced into a company overnight. The constant upheavals that this development entails are rather part of every outstanding corporate culture. Excellent organizations are able to coordinate the changes harmoniously and continuously evaluate them and check their quality. Executives have a duty to adapt existing processes, establish new goals and create suitable framework conditions that implement the company’s vision and at the same time offer employees sufficient flexibility to develop freely. In order to comprehensively monitor processes and tasks, state-of-the-art technologies offer a variety of possibilities. For example, the performance of individual processes and campaigns can be evaluated at the touch of a button and in real time using central cloud platforms. Enriched with comprehensive reporting and tailor-made dashboards, it is thus possible to map the entire performance management within a single system. Excellent systems enable managers to design and continuously adapt both their dashboard and the displayed key figures according to their personal requirements and wishes. This leads not only to greater efficiency and a better data base, but also to greater transparency within the company. The involvement of the employees also leads to an employee-oriented style that opens the door to innovation and creativity.

Consistent alignment with customer needs

The demands of customers are changing rapidly. If you want to achieve outstanding results, you have to meet and anticipate the changed expectations. To achieve this, you need excellent employees who not only perform simple tasks, but are constantly working on new solutions and improvements. Excellent companies create unique customer experiences and involve customers in the development of products and services. This approach ensures that customer expectations are consistently exceeded, creating sustainable added value that creates competitive advantages. It is the responsibility of the management floors to motivate employees from all areas of the company to always achieve exceptional results. From product development, marketing to after-sales service, it is important to guarantee professional processing and create unique experiences that inspire customers and employees.

Innovation as a driver

Digital change is accelerating change. The pressure that this creates makes it necessary to quickly turn ideas and goals into reality and to establish new service concepts comprehensively, in all areas of the company. Big data, blockchain, IoT and artificial intelligence are the key technologies that make rapid implementation possible. In addition, innovative technologies help employees to focus on really important tasks and to communicate and collaborate across time zones. However, in order for this to work smoothly, it is the responsibility of management to develop a corporate strategy that forms the basis for managing change in a targeted manner.


The Excellence model creates the necessary conditions to respond innovatively and quickly to the challenges of digital transformation. Companies that succeed in integrating a holistic management philosophy in the company and that consistently orientate themselves towards the customer generate success factors that secure the future of the company in the long term.


[1] https://www.efqm.org/index.php/2018/07/17/efqm-and-digital-transformation/
[2] https://www.mi-bochum.de/blog/das-neue-efqm-modell-2020-ist-da/
[3] http://schieferdecker.com/mit-dem-efqm-modell-auf-dem-weg-zu-excellence/
[4] https://www.kmu-magazin.ch/strategie-management/erfolgsfaktoren-ganzheitlicher-unternehmensfuehrung-3
[5] https://www.ingenieur.de/karriere/arbeitsleben/fuehrung/tqm-total-quality-management-als-methode-der-unternehmensfuehrung/
[6] https://www.grin.com/document/310063

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.