Hanwha Defense CEO Lee Sung-soo, left, holds the Level 8 certificate with Korea Productivity Center research chief Lee Jin-hwan at the firm’s office in Seoul on July 10. Hanwha Defense became the first company to get Level 8 at the 10-level rating system of the Korea Productivity Center. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Defense

Top defense manufacturer becomes first to achieve KPC Level 8

In the mid-2000s, the Korea Productivity Center (KPC) introduced the Productivity Management System (PMS) certification program to evaluate thousands of South Korean companies.

Over the past 15 years, a few companies like Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Rotem, and LG Micron managed to get Level 7, but no outfit could reach Level 8 on the 10-level rating system.

But the state-backed KPC said July 14 that a Seoul-based entity named Hanwha Defense reached Level 8 this year for the first time by attaining record-high 722.6 points.

We assess more than 2,000 companies to measure their management capacity and productivity in seven categories. No company has ever got higher than 700 points,” KPC senior researcher Cho Jung-yong said.

In many categories, Hanwha Defense is ahead of the pack, which means that its management system is outstanding. The firm is a front runner in the long race to the ultimate Level 10.”

Level 8 means that Hanwha Defense is agile enough to deal with the fast-changing business environments in a prompt and efficient manner, according to Cho.

Hanwha Defense got Level 8 in six of seven categories, including leadership, innovation, customers, human resources, process, and knowledge management, to reach Level 8 overall.

The high score is in tandem with Hanwha Defense’s performances this year _ the company saw its first-half sales jump five-fold from a year ago to approach 1.2 trillion won ($1 billion).

Hanwha Defense is the country’s leading defense manufacturer. The firm, which merged with Hanwha Land Systems early this year, is a 100-percent subsidiary of Hanwha Aerospace.

When contacted, the company said that it will put forth efforts to further streamline its management system.

Level 8 proves that how we have successfully carried out the merger procedures in a short period of time,” Hanwha Defense CEO Lee Sung-soo said. “We will try to share our experiences and know-how with other Hanwha units and our business partners.”