SDLG
- A Case Study

Scaling up for global success

Challenge

Shangdong Lingong Construction Machinery Co (SDLG) is one of the largest manufacturers of construction machinery in China.

Founded in 1972 and a member of the Volvo Group since 2007, the company prides itself on its ‘constant innovation’ and quality, its listening culture, customer service, and desire to implement ‘continuous improvement’ across the whole organisation.

But how can an organisation so big, and so diverse - with more than 3,000 employees and a turnover of more than $2 billion a year across 130 countries - consistently deliver against these objectives? And deliver against their global competition?

Solution

It turns out that the answer is ‘people’.

If the essence of great marketing is to create products that your target audience want to buy, then SDLG is great at marketing. And if the essence of great HR is to create an environment that the best prospective employees want to work, then SDLG are also great at recruitment.

But what underpins both of these aspects of SDLG’s performance is the way that it uses the EFQM model to listen to its key stakeholders, starting with SDLG’s customers and its staff.

In 2019 SDLG was awarded the EFQM seven-star People Award.

“We believe that creativity builds a new world,” says George Hao, Director of Quality Management department and Co-ordinator of Excellence Performance Implementation.”

“So we encourage our employees to constantly innovate. Every year we get more than 20,000 suggestions for improvement from our employees, which the management then assess and implement. We adopt people-oriented concepts and continuously invest in employee career development. We’re very proud of our employee-oriented culture.”

The EFQM model runs the whole organisation through training, career development, a focus on innovation, and clear leadership and management.

But it’s not just employees who contribute. Customers have a vital role to play too. SDLG’s culture of listening also encourages candid feedback via dealers and customers direct.

“Every year, we organise many ‘Customer visits’ so they can see what SDLG looks like and what our plants and products look like,” says George Hao. “So they have more confidence to choose SDLG products and services. We also visit customers in the market to listen to their feedback.”

Where SDLG leads, other organisations are set to follow.

After winning the People Award in 2019, SDLG helped to spread the word about EFQM in China. The company partnered with the CAQ (China Association for Quality) to host an excellence performance benchmark conference for the leaders of more than 30 organisations looking at how to benchmark good practice and strive for excellence.

“There are a lot of organisations in China which have the capability and the competence to apply for the award,” adds Mr Hao. “We are very pleased to help them.”

“There are a lot of organisations in China which have the capability and the competence to apply for the award. We are very pleased to help them.”

George Hao, Director of Quality Management department and Co-ordinator of Excellence Performance Implementation.