Lexmark Budapest Competence Center was awarded Quality – Innovative Company of the Year 2015 Award in the non-SME category in Hungary

Talk about a true cross-functional project: this is an excellent example of it!

Managers and project leaders all across the office took the time and effort to share their best stories to eventually form a picture of a truly innovative and  high quality office.

I sat down with the originator of the idea, Péter Csucska and the project supervisor, Balázs Somogyi to pick their minds about this project.

Written by Bálint Tóth, EMEA Quality and Environmental Management System Expert.


Péter Csucska represented the company at the award ceremony on November 10th.

Bálint: What was the initial motivation to go for this award?

Péter: Lexmark’s SSC strategy. If we compare to relevant benchmarks and competitors, we do have great SSCs both in Cebu and in Budapest. Getting formal recognitions from reputable sources is something that helps us in several areas - some of them are obvious, and some are not. So why did we apply?

First, it is good for our employees to get an external  message that we are an innovative place to work, and feel proud about it. I can not forget about the impression it made on all of us back in 2013 to learn that we were selected as a second best office in Budapest. That was great.  We would like more of this.

Second, awards are good for attracting new talent. This year, we put more conscious focus on employer branding. It is nice to be an innovative and exciting place, but we need others to know about it. Getting awards and recognitions is an important element of our employer branding strategy.

Bálint: Tell me a little bit about the story that you felt was worthy of this award!

Péter: This is an easy one. We already had a great success story of the Budapest Competence Center that started 7 years - and two general managers - ago :) , and went on ever since. Lexmark created something unique, not an average SSC, but a Competence Center that is on the curring edge of the SSC industry. A lot of companies with SSCs are still just dreaming about having the variety and complexity of all the jobs we already got in house.  “More than a shared service center” was the tagline of our application. All we had to do was to apply, and to tell the story of why  we are so unique and innovative in the SSC world, supported by evidences from six functional areas..

Bálint: What was the approach when putting together the application material?

Balázs: We knew what our main message was going to be. We then listed all the projects completed in the last few years that improved our performance and exhibited innovation. We had quite many by the way! Finally we selected these initiatives and areas for the application because these fitted the best the award evaluation criteria:

  • EMEA TSC improvement
  • MPS operations (centralized for small / medium-sized business)
  • Customer setup (RAT) improvement
  • GSCO CMC support
  • EMEA Environmental Compliance Governance
  • IT Procurement improvement

Bálint: Is there any other area that you feel the Budapest Competence Center is particularly strong at?

Balázs: Yes, quality and innovation are not the only areas. I think our Environmental and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs are also outstanding. Our innovative products and services, especially the ones we also use in our own SSC, are another example.

And a little bit of insight into the competition itself:

The Quality Innovation of the Year Competition has been organised in Finland since 2007. Its purpose is to increase the amount and level of innovations. The competition started as a national competition of Finland but has since then been expanded to include Estonia (2010), Sweden (2011), Latvia (2012), Hungary (2013), the Czech Republic (2013), Kazakhstan (2014) and Israel (2014). Today the Quality Innovation of the Year Competition is truly an international event with many more countries looking to participate in the near future. The competition is arranged by Laatukeskus Excellence Finland, a national non-profit organisation dedicated to performance improvement.