In December 2014, Afnic obtained “Recognized for Excellence (R4E)” certification at 4 star-level for its quality approach from the European Foundation for Quality Management.
The award ceremony was held on June 12, 2015 during the Afnic General Assembly.
The certification is a testament to the level of Afnic’s investment in its quality initiative since 2008, as part of its commitment as the registry for the .fr TLD and the launch of its multi-registry strategy. The objective of the association was to structure and scale up its processes.
The organization’s processes were all clarified and defined during an initial improvement phase in 2009. Management of the improvement was implemented in 2010 with operational excellence being chosen as one of Afnic’s strategic priorities.
In 2012, Afnic opted for the EFQM model in order to support the intensity of change management within the Association. EFQM self-assessments were carried out in May 2012 and in December 2013 and then used to drive the continuous improvement process. An internal training program dedicated to operational excellence was also initiated in 2012. Afnic then submitted its application for “EFQM Recognized for Excellence (R4E)” certification in 2014. This level allows the organisation to use a structured approach to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
The third-party recognition provides all interested stakeholders with tangible evidence of Afnic’s efforts to improve and the quality of its practices.
And in practice?
Excerpt from the interview with Mathieu Weill, CEO of Afnic, by Afnor Group:
- What are the main areas of progress that the approach has helped you to achieve?
MW: In terms of structural issues, it helped us deploy a genuine culture of solving problems, rather than jumping straight to the solution as is often the case in organizations such as ours, where staff members have a highly technical background. With regard to business issues, the main focus for our work was to improve customer satisfaction. With the resellers of our domain names today we have reached a satisfaction rating of 99%.
Finally, in terms of technical issues, the availability and performance of our infrastructure for registering domain names rose from 90% three years ago to 99.5% for the past year.
- Does the EFQM® model help you see your work in another way?
MW: Without a doubt. Our organization has become more mature, particularly in the support functions of the procurement, HR or Finance type. For example, we have undertaken to improve the internal communication for our administrative and financial activities so that everyone can appreciate the qualities of our work, and use them to find an answer to their expectations.
The EFQM model, distributed by Afnor
The purpose of the European organization EFQM is to provide European businesses with a common reference tool, the EFQM model, to help them move towards excellence in their practices.
The European Foundation for Quality Management or EFQM® is a European foundation based in Brussels.
It was founded in 1988 by 14 European companies, with the support of the European Commission. The companies are Bosch, BT, Bull, Ciba-Geigy, Dassault, Electrolux, Fiat, KLM, Nestlé, Olivetti, Philips, Renault, Sulzer and Volkswagen.
EFQM, with Afnor –the French standardization organization- as its official representative in France, provides a framework for:
- evaluating performance, identifying strengths and areas for improvement;
- integrating existing tools, procedures and processes, and aligning them to eliminate duplicates;
- developing a way of thinking that encourages analysis and stimulates continuous improvement;
- identifying which actions are genuine “drivers” of results, which areas need more attention, and which approaches need to be abandoned.
Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.
In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.
Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.