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Total Quality Management Essay Sample

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Total Quality Management Essay Sample

Abstract

Total Quality Management is one of the most important and exciting new fields of study in the science of business management. It has been initially conceived in the 50’s. It has not been really recognized for its real importance until much later in the 80’s, when it was widely applied by Japanese organizations to a huge success. Total Quality Management starts with identifying the idea that quality must be applied to the organization as a whole, rather than just the product. The aim of TQM is to achieve an effective, efficient production process that would result in a product or service that would meet the requirements of the customer, thereby achieving customer satisfaction. The importance of TQM is that it can be a competitive weapon. By ‘getting it right the first time’, an organization can save most of the time and resources previously consumed by activities aimed to prevent and fix quality disorders, and at the same time maintaining customer satisfaction and providing a good image for the organization associated with quality.

Introduction

Total Quality Management is a quest for ensuring and maintaining customer satisfaction by ‘fixing’ the process from within. It is a quest to ‘do the right thing the right way to begin with – and to keep it that way’.

By broadening the concept of ‘customer’ to more than merely the buyer of the product or the user of the service, we arrive at a new type of quality – Total Quality. Total Quality means quality in all transactions that occur during the business process. By identifying the process as a chain of suppliers and customers, one can recognize the effect of maintaining quality – in all transactions in the process – on the total quality of the output of that process. Once we recognize that quality can be a resource, we need to know how to manage it.

My objective in this research project is two-fold. Firstly, I will try to introduce the reader to the concepts of Total Quality Management. Secondly, by using a questionnaire that I prepared, I want to shed some light on the status of the common concept of quality management in local work environments and markets, and on the quality-related habits and opinions of local firms and their general management.

In the literature review part of this research project, I will start by introducing the reader to the ‘new’ concept of quality. After that, Total Quality Management is properly introduced, and the reader will be taken through a tour of the core concepts of total quality management. The reader and I will then proceed to spice up our current knowledge of processes and their management. After that I will present the reader with a conceptual view of the cost of quality. After all is said and done, and after you have been (hopefully) convinced of the virtue of total quality management, it is time to discuss how we can ‘sense’ quality. The reader will be guided through measuring quality and comparing it. Our final stop will be at some implementation details of total quality management, after which we will arrive at what some of you may be waiting for, that is, the end of the literature review :)…

We will proceed then to examine the results of the questionnaire, and analyze these results to extract useful information regarding quality management and control in our market, and to provide grounds for the observations and recommendations that will follow.

Part one:

Literature review

Chapter 1:

Understanding Quality

1.1 What is Quality?

Quality means doing things right, but the things which the operation needs to do right will vary according to the kind of operation. For example, in the hospital, quality could mean making sure that patents get the most appropriate treatment, that the treatment is carried out in a medically correct manner, it would also include such things as ensuring that the hospital is clean, and that the staff are well informed and friendly towards patients. For the manager of the supermarket, quality means that the goods it sells are in a good condition, the store is clean, the d�cor is attractive, and the staff are friendly and helpful.

It’s not surprising that all operations regard quality as a particularly important object. In some ways quality is the most visible part of what an operation does. Furthermore, it’s some thing that a customer finds relatively easy to judge about the operation. By asking is it right or wrong? Is it the way it’s supposed to be? There is some thing fundamental about quality. Because of this, it’s clearly a major influence on customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Quality then is simple meeting the customer requirements, and this has been expressed in many ways: ‘Fitness for purpose or use’, ‘Conformance to requirements’, and in many other ways. Good quality products mean high customer satisfaction and therefore the likelihood that the customer will return. Conversely, poor quality reduces the chances of a customer coming back for more.

Clearly, part of the acceptability of a product or service will depend on its ability to function satisfactorily over a period of time, and it is this aspect of performance that is given the name reliability. It is the ability of the product or service to continue to meet the customer requirements. It is important to realize that the ‘meeting the customer requirements’ definition of quality is not restrictive to the functional characteristics of products or services. Anyone with children knows that the quality of some of the products they purchase is more associated with satisfaction in ownership than some functional property.

1.2 Understanding quality chains

The ability to meet the customer requirements is vital, not only between two separate organizations, but within the same organization.

Throughout and beyond all organizations, whether they be manufacturing concerns, banks, retail stores, universities, hospitals or hotels, there is a series of quality chains of customer and suppliers that may be broken at any point by one person or one piece of equipment not meeting the requirements of the customer, internal or external. The interesting point is that this failure usually finds its way to the interface between the organization and its outside customers, and the people who operate at that interface usually experience the ramifications.

The concept of internal and external customers/suppliers forms the core of total quality.

Customers and suppliers are both inside (internal) and outside (external) to the organization. People in and outside organizations that provide input to the steps in a process are “suppliers” and those who use products or services are “customers”. Thus, employees in one phase of a work process are customers of the employees who produced the goods or services used by them in their work processes. Sales employees are customers of the marketing research employees, the marketing research employees are customers of statisticians and computer information systems employees who are assisting them and maintaining computing capacity for use in analyzing data. Employees within the organization receive work passed through their systems from other employees, the “internal” suppliers.

Therefore, each employee is a customer of preceding employees; and each has customers, the people who receive the results of his or her work. Likewise, the people outside the organization who sell materials, information or services to be used by employees are “external” suppliers. A company’s external customers purchase a product or service and contribute to profits. They must ultimately be satisfied if the business is to survive.

Failure to meet the requirements in any part of a quality chain has a way of multiplying, and failure in one part of the system creates problems elsewhere, leading to yet more failure, more problems and so on. The price of quality is the continual examination of the requirements and our ability to meet them. This alone will lead to a ‘continuing improvement’ philosophy.

The benefits of making sure the requirements are met at every stage, every time, are truly enormous in terms of increased competitiveness and market share, reduced costs, improved productivity, and delivery performance, and the elimination of waste.

1.3 Quality starts with marketing

The marketing function of an organization must take the lead in establishing the true requirements for the product or service. Having determined the need, marketing should define the market sector and demand, to determine such product or service features as grade, price, quality, timing, etc.

Marketing will also need to establish customer requirements by reviewing the market needs. Marketing is responsible for determining the key characteristics that determine the suitability of the product or service in the eyes of the customer.

Marketing must also establish systems for feedback of customer information and reaction, and these systems should be designed on a continuous monitoring basis.

Any information pertinent to the product or service should be collected and collated, interpreted, analyzed, and communicated, to improve the response to customer experience and expectations. These same principles must also be applied inside the organization if continuous improvement at every transformation process interface is to be achieved.

1.4 Quality in all functions

For an organization to be truly effective, each part of it must work properly together. Each part, each activity, each person in the organization affects and is in turn affected by others. Errors have a way of multiplying, and failure to meet the requirements in one part or area creates problems elsewhere, leading to yet more errors, yet more problems, and so on. The benefits of getting it right the first time everywhere are enormous.

Everyone experiences problems in working life. This causes people to spend a large part of their time on useless activities – correcting errors, looking for

things, finding out why things are late, checking suspect information, rectifying and reworking. The list is endless, and it is estimated that one third of our efforts are wasted in this way.

Quality, the way we have defined it as meeting the customer requirements, gives people in different functions of an organization a common language for improvement. It enables all the people, with different abilities and priorities, to communicate readily with one another, in pursuit of a common goal.

The commitment of all members of an organization is a requirement of ‘company-wide quality improvement’. Everyone must work together at every interface to achieve perfection. And that can only happen if the top management is really committed to quality improvement.

1.5 Managing processes

A process is the transformation of a set of inputs into the desired outputs. Under this definition, everything we do is essentially a process, and so is quality. Quality is a process that should be managed and controlled in order to do the job correctly and to continue doing it correctly.

1.6 The concept of total quality management (TQM)

Total quality management is an approach to the art of management that originated in Japanese industry in the 1950’s and has steadily become more popular since the early 1980’s.

Total quality is a description of culture, attitude and the organization of a company that aims to provide, and continue to provide, its customers with products and services that satisfy their needs. The culture requires quality in all aspects of the company’s operations, with processes being done right the first time and defects and waste eradicated from operations.

The TQM philosophy of management is customer oriented. All members of a total quality management organization strive to systematically manage the improvement of the organization through the on going participation of all employees in problem solving efforts across functional and hierarchical boundaries.

TQM is the control of all transformation processes of an organization to better satisfy customer needs in the most economical way. Total quality management is based on internal or self control, which is embedded in each unit of the work system. Pushing problem solving and decision making down in the organization allows people who do the work to both measure and take corrective action in order to deliver a product or service that meets the needs of their customers.

Total quality management is a method by which management and employees can become involve in the continuous improvement of the production of goods and services. It is a combination of quality and management tools aimed at increasing business and reducing losses due to wasteful practices.

The simple objective of total quality management is “do the right things, right the first time, every time”.

Chapter 2:

Core Concepts of Total Quality Management

There are four important core concepts of total quality management that should be well understood in order to better understand what total quality management is about, and these core concepts are: continuous improvement, customer orientation, defect prevention, and universal responsibility.

2.1 Continuous Improvement

Most people tend to think of their own work in terms of a task carried out in relative isolation from other work in the organization. The first step in quality improvement is for people to look at their work in terms of being part of a continuous process.

A process is simply a sequence of tasks which together produce a product or service. The best way to understand a process is to draw a flow chart showing all the steps. When you do this it is possible to visualize one’s own work in terms of being a step in a process. A whole set of new insights opens up. For instance, every workgroup has a supplier and a customer, People take the output from another work group, do work that adds value, and then pass it on to another work group.

Continuous improvement of all operations and activities is at the heart of TQM. Once it is recognized that customer satisfaction can only be obtained by providing a high-quality product, continuous improvement of the quality of the product is seen as the only way to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. As well as recognizing the link between product quality and customer satisfaction, TQM also recognizes that product quality is the result of process quality. As a result, there is a focus on continuous improvement of the company’s processes. This will lead to an improvement in process quality; in turn this will lead to an improvement in product quality, and to an increase in customer satisfaction.

Continuous Improvement is a term used to describe the fact that process improvement takes place in incremental steps. It never stops. However good things may be, they can always be better. Continuous Improvement is a relentless effort to add value for the customer.

The steps in the continuous improvement process are to:

– Select an improvement project with a specific goal

– Assign a team to improve it.

– Define the process using a flow chart.

– Define variability and problems in the process.

– Find the root causes of the problems.

– Recommend improvements.

– Implement the improvements.

– Measure the results.

– Proceed to a final implementation.

– Move on to the next problem.

The continuous improvement process should be driven from the top, but implemented from the bottom. The selection of improvement projects needs a sharp focus. The problem areas must be prioritized, critical processes selected for improvement, and improvement goals set for the project team. This is a top down process.

2.2 Customer Orientation

Understanding and meeting customer expectations is a challenging proposition and requires processes that support continuing progress toward the goal of meeting customer expectations the first time, every time.

Everyone has a customer. The external customer is the person who purchases the product or service. We also have to think of the internal customers. Internal customers are those who use what another group provides.

This has quite profound implications. It means that every work group has to think about providing value to the people who use their product. This involves finding out exactly what the user needs and wants, and ensuring that the process provides it. For instance, the internal customers of a supplier inspection group will want to receive timely reports on supplier performance, early warning of potential delivery delays and helpful assistance in resolving problems with suppliers. They will also want to be treated with courtesy.

TQM has a customer-first orientation. The customer, not internal activities and constraints, comes first. Customer satisfaction is seen as the company’s highest priority. The company believes it will only be successful if customers are satisfied. The TQM company is sensitive to customer requirements and responds rapidly to them. In the TQM context, `being sensitive to customer requirements’ goes beyond defect and error reduction, and merely meeting specifications or reducing customer complaints. The concept of requirements is expanded to take in not only product and service attributes that meet basic requirements, but also those that enhance and differentiate them for competitive advantage.

The starting point for quality improvement is to determine the customer needs. When the needs are fairly simple, this can be done merely by talking to them.

When one is dealing with an external customer and the product is very complex, the determination of the customer needs can be quite time consuming and requires a detailed analysis using different tools.

Determining customer needs accurately is an important aspect of quality control. Obviously, it is less costly to rectify a mistake in defining customer requirements before a product is produced than it is afterwards. So spending the time and effort to figure out the requirements correctly at the start is time well spent.

The philosophy that TQM is customer-oriented and its goal is to satisfy the customer seems straightforward. However, the expectations and needs of the customer may not be clearly expressed or well defined and may be difficult to measure. Measurement of attitudes as well as systems is required if the ultimate appreciation of quality lies with the customer’s subjective comparison as suggested by Deming and other experts.

We should distinguish between 3 basic classes of customer wants:

1. What customers say they want. Customer demands are frequently translated into specifications without exploring their meaning in regard to how the product or service will be used. Neglecting to explore how the customer intends to use the product or service can lead to poor or improper design.

2. The customer’s expected quality consists of expectations the customer does not verbalize because they assume them to be evident: such as the product must be safe. Extensive interviews may not even elicit these expectations. Yet, customers will be dissatisfied if the product or service does not meet these assumed expectations. Even so, if the expectations are built into the product, customers will hardly notice. These expectations are so pervasive that the customer takes them for granted.

3. Exciting quality consists of attributes of the product or service contributed by the supplier. The customer may not expect them as characteristics, but they recognize them as improvements and like them. For example, a car with an electrical system that shuts off the headlights when the ignition is turned off, even when the driver forgets, has such an attribute. A customer will appreciate that safeguard many times over and appreciate the manufacturer’s foresight while driving and owning the automobile.

To achieve customer satisfaction, the company has to respond rapidly to customer needs. This implies short product and service introduction cycles. These can be achieved with customer-driven and process-oriented product development because the resulting simplicity and efficiency greatly reduce the time involved. Simplicity is gained through concurrent product and process development. Efficiencies are realized from the elimination of non-value-adding effort such as re-design. The result is a dramatic improvement in the elapsed time from product concept to first shipment.

2.3 Defect prevention

Quality management is a philosophy that seeks to prevent defects in products or services rather than relying on inspection to sort out defects after they occur. Statistical process control, the Taguchi method for designing experiments, problem solving and System Failure Analysis are all techniques that seek to prevent defects from occurring.

Defect prevention saves money. Imagine a process for manufacturing a product. It begins with a specification. Drawings are produced, parts are made and assembled, and the product is delivered to the customer. The cost of rectifying a defect increases by at least a factor of ten as the product moves through each of these stages. Defect prevention is concerned with catching the errors as early in the game as possible or preventing them from occurring at all.

2.4 Universal Responsibilities

This concept deals with the fact that quality is not only the responsibility of the inspection department but is everyone’s responsibility. Quality should be totally pervasive. Every work group in the business should be concerned with seeking ways to improve the quality of their own product or service.

A successful TQM environment requires a committed and well-trained work force that participates fully in quality improvement activities. Such participation is reinforced by reward and recognition systems which emphasize the achievement of quality objectives. On-going education and training of all employees supports the drive for quality. Employees are encouraged to take more responsibility, communicate more effectively, act creatively, and innovate. As people behave the way they are measured and remunerated, TQM links remuneration to customer satisfaction metrics.

Through this, we will have employees who are better motivated and satisfied with their jobs. Your employees are the key to successful implementation of the TQM process because they know best the root cause of problems keep your organization from meeting customer expectations. Once they understand you are committed to this mindset, their supervisors have the tools and know-how to find and correct problems, and they are empowered to take a key role in improving their organization, you will have lots of happy campers!

2.4.1 Leadership & commitment

TQM is a way of life for a company. It has to be introduced and led by top management. This is a key point. Attempts to implement TQM often fail because top management doesn’t lead and get committed; instead it delegates and pays lip service. Commitment and personal involvement is required from top management in creating and deploying clear quality values and goals consistent with the objectives of the company, and in creating and deploying well defined systems, methods and performance measures for achieving those goals. These systems and methods guide all quality activities and encourage participation by all employees. The development and use of performance indicators is linked, directly or indirectly, to customer requirements and satisfaction, and to management and employee remuneration.

To be successful in promoting business efficiency and effectiveness, TQM must be truly organization-wide, and it must start at the top with the chief executive or equivalent. The most senior directors and management must all demonstrate that they are serious about quality. The middle management have a particularly important role to play since they must not only grasp the principles of TQM, they must go on to explain them to the people for whom they are responsible, and insure that their own commitment is communicated. Only then will TQM spread effectively throughout the organization. This level of management must also ensure that the efforts and achievements of their subordinates obtain the recognition, attention and reward that they deserve.

2.5 Techniques and Methodologies

There are a number of management approaches and techniques which have been developed to support these four core concepts. These are:

1. Statistics for process control.

Quality control is based on using statistical analysis to measure and predict the performance of processes. One must have a rudimentary understanding of statistics to appreciate the thinking that goes in to process control.

Statistics is a fairly intimidating branch of mathematics that deals with variability. It is quite complex and very few people have training in the subject. However some of the ideas that apply to process control can be explained easily enough without resorting to the mathematics.

Statistics deals with variability. It is used to predict and control the performance of a system based on measurements of the output from the system.

Although statistical process control is usually applied to production processes it can also be applied to non production processes. The key is to measure the critical variables in the process and then to monitor them for signs of impending problems. For instance, with a procurement process, a product design and development process, or a process to approve insurance policies it is possible to select a key variable such as cycle time or customer satisfaction, and to use it to track the health of the process.

Tracking is done using a process control chart. Samples are taken from the output and plotted on the chart. The chart shows how the output varies over time. What the chart tells you is whether the variability in output is due to normal variation or whether there are special causes present.

To improve the process one first attempts to eliminate the special causes, so that the variations are only due to the normal random factors.

Once the process is under control and the special causes have been eliminated, one can only make further improvements by improving the process.

The improvement goals will either be to reduce the variation or to reduce the absolute value of the factor being measured. Typically, for a production process the goal will be to tighten up on the tolerances so no defects are produced. For an administrative function or service process, the improvement goal will likely be to cut down the cycle time or to reduce the cost of the process.

2. Employee Involvement and Empowerment.

The success of the quality management approach is dependent on having well trained and motivated staff and ensuring that their efforts are focused towards improving the systems that produce the products. Staff must be involved and empowered.

Involvement means that management actively encourages involvement in running the operation and improving the processes. Empowerment is something more. It means that management recognizes that when staff are given training and provided with the right information, they are in the best position to control their own work processes. This being the case, they should be empowered to do it.

There are various techniques to solicit employee involvement. Suggestion schemes work well when they are well publicized and when worthwhile rewards are provided. The job design can be improved to be more satisfying. Continuous Improvement teams should include staff at the working level so that they become involved in the quality improvement effort.

Empowerment means delegating control to the working level. This needs to be done gradually, as people get used to the idea and as they acquire the skills. Training is needed to provide staff with the skills to control their production processes, and to investigate and solve problems.

3. Problem solving.

Quality management depends on people having good problem solving skills. It is through the continuous process of identifying problems, and solving and implementing solutions that the business is improved. Problem solving consists of identifying the root causes of a problem and implementing actions to correct the situation.

There is a simple four step approach to problem solving which can be applied to many situations:

1. The first step is to define the problem

2. The next step is to seek the root causes of the problem. There is a tendency to jump to the first cause that comes to mind. This is hazardous as it can focus on the wrong cause or simply correct a symptom. In many situations the root cause can be found by brainstorming. More complex problems require more sophisticated techniques, such as cause/effect diagrams or system failure analysis.

3. Once the likely causes of the problem have been found one should identify a variety of potential solutions and select the best to implement.

There is a ranking order for selecting solutions:

* The best solutions is one that eliminates the problem altogether, making the system foolproof.

* In some cases the problem cannot be eliminated so one may relax the requirements.

* When these solutions are not feasible the problem may be resolved by training personnel to control the circumstances that contribute to the problem.

* A least preferred solution is to resort to inspection and testing to sort good products from bad

* The worst solution is to use cautions or warnings of possible hazards.

4. The final step in the problem solving sequence is to evaluate the effectiveness of the solution. This is done after it has been implemented to ensure that the solution really does work. It is also a learning experience for the organization so that people can learn from the successes and pitfalls experienced by others.

4. System Failure Analysis.

The system failure analysis is a sophisticated approach to finding the root cause of failures in complex systems. A system may be a production system that is malfunctioning or it may be a product that has failed in service.

The analysis begins by identifying the failure symptoms.

The next step is to evaluate the failure causes by using a fault tree analysis technique. This is simply a method of systematically determining all the potential causes of the failure and depicting them graphically. When the fault tree has been compiled it is possible to see how the possible causes relate to each other and how they can contribute to the failure.

The next step is to study each possible failure mode to investigate the likelihood that it may have contributed to the problem. This is done by compiling a failure mode assessment and assignment matrix. Team members are then assigned to investigate each potential cause more closely.

The beauty of the failure mode analysis is that it offers a systematic method of determining all the possible modes of failure and investigating them to determine the most likely causes.

5. Teams.

Teams are to be used for problem solving. Teams have a number of advantages over individuals. A properly constituted team has a much richer mix of skills to bring to bear on a problem. Most work processes cut across functional boundaries, so a cooperative effort is required to solve process problems.

Management needs to have a structured approach to problem solving. It is important to encourage everyone to suggest areas for improvement, especially at the working level where staff are in a good position to see the problems and the improvement opportunities.

The improvement effort must focus on improving the most critical problems. Without control and direction it is possible to have dozens of teams, some studying the same problem and some working on problems that are not important.

There must be a high level Steering Team that approves improvement projects, tracks their progress, monitors the results and verifies the benefits. Project team leaders should report to the Steering Team right up to the time of implementation and after an evaluation of the results has been made.

6. Quality Function Deployment.

Process improvement begins by defining what it is that the customer wants and needs. In many cases this can be done by talking to the customer or doing a survey.

In many cases the product is very complex and some of the customer ‘wants’ conflict. For instance on a car, the customer wants a door that does not leak. This may conflict for the ‘want’ that the door should be easy to open.

Quality Function Deployment provides a systematic method for unearthing the customers’ needs and expectations, making trade-offs when these needs are in conflict, and ensuring that the needs are effectively incorporated into the final product.

When used effectively, this method enables a business to bring a new product to market faster. The product will be more likely to hit the requirements of the target market, making it easier to build market share and stay ahead of the competition.

Quality Function Deployment is a multi-disciplinary tool that requires marketing, design, production and sales to work together to ensure that the needs of the customer are deployed into the product design.

The analysis uses a graphic method to portray the information in the form of a matrix. The resulting matrix has a shape that looks like a house with a peaked roof. For this reason it is sometimes called the ‘house of quality’.

While it provides a method for showing where trade offs must be made, it does not take away the need for exercising technical and commercial judgment to make the trade offs.

7. Taguchi Analysis.

The Japanese themselves developed the quality concepts and made significant contributions to the state of the art. The most important contributor was Dr. Genichi Taguchi. He headed Japan’s communications research and development activities and was responsible for upgrading the country’s telecommunications facilities.

Taguchi developed a blend of engineering and statistical methodologies which emerged as a quality engineering philosophy. He recognized the need for an experimental approach that could extract the maximum amount of information from the minimum number of tests.

One of the precepts of quality management is that decisions should be based on facts rather than on gut feeling. This applies especially to failure investigations. When a team is trying to find the root cause of a failure it is sometimes necessary to perform tests to determine which factors contribute to the failure.

Most people are familiar with the scientific method of performing experiments. When the investigation involves several variables, it is the practice to change only one variable at a time and to keep all the other variables constant. If more than one variable is changed one would not know which of the variables is responsible for the change in outcome.

One of the problems with this approach is that if the problem is affected by several variables it is necessary to perform a huge number of tests to determine which variable is the most critical and to find the optimum conditions. There is a need for an experimental approach that minimizes the number of tests and provides statistical information on the effect of normal variation on the outcome. Taguchi’s method allows fewer tests to be made and also gives information about the relative importance of each variable. This is very helpful information because it allows one to produce a robust design.

8. Inventory management.

In the conventional approach towards inventory management the inventory levels are maintained by considering the delivery times of suppliers, the projected quantities and safety stocks to cover variations in demand, and reject rates. The Economic Ordering Quantity is the term used to describe the ideal amount and frequency of inventory ordering.

Inventories carry huge costs. The warehouse to store the inventory costs money, inventory costs money, stocks of partly finished goods along the production line costs money, and the amount of money to pay for these is increased by way of interest charges.

Inventory costs are considered a necessary evil to provide a cushion against unforeseen demands.

The Japanese adopted a different approach. They tackled the inventory issue head on by getting at the underlying causes which require high levels of inventory to be maintained. Their concept of Just-in-Time inventory management is based on supplying inventory on demand.

They do this in two ways, by working closely with their suppliers to develop responsive methods of supply and by improving their internal process. The two critical factors that need to be improved for Just-in-Time inventory control to work are set up time and defect rates.

When one can change the set up on machines quickly it is possible to manufacture precise quantities on demand. In the case of Toyota, for instance they were able to reduce the set up time for body panel presses from several days down to several minutes.

Defect rates are important too. If the products have no defects one can manufacture the exact quantities with no need for a cushion.

9. Value Improvement.

Value improvement differs from cost reduction. Cost reduction usually results in cheapening the product. Value improvement is aimed at cutting costs while at the same time continuing to surpass customer expectations. It requires that one analyze the cost structure of the product, relate this to the customer requirements, and eliminate or reduce those costs that are unnecessary.

There are two approaches to value improvement. The first is a simple one which is aimed at eliminating all the costs which are obviously unnecessary. The second is to make a systematic analysis of the entire cost structure with the objective of identifying and reducing those cost drivers that are not necessary.

The first step is to go after the easy and the obvious. Quite frequently the cost elements are easy to spot if one makes the effort to get the employees involved.

Employee suggestion schemes are a useful source of ideas. For suggestion schemes to work effectively they need to be well publicized and it must be easy to put the suggestions in. There should be generous financial incentives provided for those suggestions that are accepted. Cost saving ideas can also be developed by organizing brainstorming sessions. Another way is to systematically interview employees and ask them to suggest ideas for value improvement.

The second way is to make a systematic onslaught on costs. This is more difficult, but it must be done, it is necessary to identify the cost structure of the product. Costs can be analyzed on a component by component basis, or one can analyze the organizational contribution to the cost structure. If the information is presented in the form of a pie chart it is easy to see where the main costs occur.

When the cost structure has been identified, the next step is to analyze the high cost items, and to use a Quality Functional Deployment analysis to balance costs against customer requirements and whittle away at needless costs.

Costs can be cut and quality enhanced by setting up Continuous Improvement teams to improve the internal manufacturing processes. One should also work with suppliers to reduce the costs of purchased items. These frequently make up a large proportion of the total costs.

10. Supplier Teaming.

For many products the purchased items make up a large portion of their cost structure. It follows that suppliers must be brought into the quality improvement effort.

Communications are important. Explaining that one expects all the requirements to be met is a good start. Make sure that the supplier does not get sloppy and use the receiving inspection function in lieu of their own inspection. When problems arise with quality or delivery call the supplier to let them know the problem. Suppliers should be involved in quality improvement teams and in many cases they should be consulted during the development of a new product. Frequently suppliers can offer valuable insights into the product development stage, suggest what will and what will not work. They can bring the benefit of their experience with other customers.

When making purchase decisions one should focus on the overall cost of the product being purchased not on the initial price. The total cost of doing business includes the cost of handling defects, the cost of late deliveries and the cost of changing from one supplier to another. Low cost is not the same as low price.

One should cut down on the number of suppliers and adopt a policy of dealing with fewer, better suppliers. By only dealing with the best suppliers it is possible to build a beneficial relationship which should lead to working together to improve the quality and delivery of incoming products.

The long term objective should be to develop a relationship with a supplier based on trust. It should lead to co-operation on quality improvement projects which drives down costs and improves quality and delivery.

Chapter 3:

Control Processes

3.1 What is a process?

A Process is the transformation of a set of inputs, which can include actions, methods and operations, into outputs that satisfy customer needs and expectations, in the form of products, information, services, or – generally -results. Everything we do is a process, so in each area or function of an organization there will be many processes taking place.

The output from a process is what is transferred to somewhere or to someone, which is the customer.

To produce an output that meets the requirements of the customer, it is necessary to define, monitor and control the inputs to the process, which in turn may be supplied as outputs from an earlier process. At every supplier-customer interface then there resides a transformation process, and every single task throughout an organization must be viewed as a process in this way.

3.2 Quality Control

After assuming that our process is capable of meeting the requirements, we need to make sure that we continue to do the job correctly, which brings a requirement to monitor the process and the elements that control it.

The ISO definition states that quality control is the operational techniques and activities that are used to fulfill requirements for quality. This definition could imply that any activity whether serving the improvement, control, management or assurance of quality could be a quality control activity. What the definition fails to tell us is that controls regulate performance. They prevent change and when applied to quality regulate quality performance and prevent undesirable changes in the quality standards.

Quality control is a process for maintaining standards and not for creating them. Standards are maintained through a process of selection, measurement and correction of work, so that only those products or services which emerge from the process meet the standards. In simple terms quality control prevents undesirable changes being present in the quality of the product or service being supplied.

Quality control can be applied to particular products, to processes which produce the products or to the output of the whole organization by measuring the overall quality performance of the organization.

The control of quality clearly can only take place at the point of operation or production. The act of inspection is not quality control. When the answer to ‘Have we done the job correctly?’ is given indirectly by answering the questions of capability and control, then we have assured quality, and the activity of checking becomes one of quality assurance – making sure that the product or service represents the output from an effective system to ensure capability and control. It is frequently found that organizational barriers between departmental empires encourage the development of testing and checking of services or products in a vacuum, without interaction with other departments.

Quality control then is essentially the activities and techniques employed to achieve and maintain the quality of a product, process, or service. It includes a monitoring activity, but is also concerned with finding and eliminating causes of quality problems so that the requirements of the customers are continually met.

Quality assurance is broadly the prevention of quality problems through planned and systematic activities. These will include the establishment of a good quality management system and the assessment of its adequacy, the audit of the operation of the system, and the review of the system itself.

Chapter 4:

Cost of Quality

4.1 Quality Cost

Manufacturing a quality product, providing a quality service, or doing a quality job – one with high degree of customer satisfaction – is not enough. The cost of achieving these goals must be carefully managed, so that the long term effect of quality costs on the business or organization is desirable one.

These costs are a true measure of quality effort. A competitive product or service based on a balance between quality and cost factors is the principal goal of responsible management. This objective is best accomplished with the aid of competent analysis of the costs of quality.

The analysis of quality related costs is a significant management tool that provides:

– A method of assessing the effectiveness of the management of quality.

– A means of determining problem areas, opportunities, savings, and action priorities.

The costs of quality are no different from any other costs. Like the costs of maintenance, design, sales, production/operations, and other activities, they can be budgeted, measured and analyzed.

The necessary activities will incur costs that may be separated into prevention costs, appraisal costs, and failure costs, the so-called P-A-F model first presented by Feigenbaum. Failure costs can be further split into those resulting from internal and external failure.

4.2 Prevention Costs:

These are associated with the design, implementation and maintenance of the total quality management system. Prevention costs are planned and are incurred before actual operation. Prevention includes:

? Product or service requirements:

The determination of requirements and the setting of corresponding specifications (which also take accounts of process capability) for incoming materials, processes, intermediates, finished products and services.

? Quality planning:

The creating of quality, reliability, and operational, production, supervision, process control, inspection and other special plans.

?Quality assurance:

The creation and maintenance of the quality system.

?Inspection equipment:

The design, development and/or purchase of equipment for use in inspection work.

?Training:

The development, preparation and maintenance of training programmes for operators, supervisors, staff, and managers both to achieve and maintain capability.

?Miscellaneous:

Clerical, travel, supply, shipping, communications and other general office management activities associated with quality.

Resources devoted to prevention give rise to the ‘costs of doing it right the first time’.

4.3 Appraisal Costs:

These costs are associated with the supplier’s and customer’s evaluation of purchased materials, processes, intermediates, products and services to assure conformance with the specified requirements. Appraisal includes:

? Verification:

Checking of incoming material, process set-up, running processes, intermediates and final products, services, including product or service performance appraisal against agreed specifications.

? Quality audits:

To check that the quality system is functioning satisfactorily.

? Inspection equipment:

The calibration and maintenance of equipment used in all inspection activities.

?Vendor rating:

The assessment and approval of all suppliers, of both products and services.

Appraisal activities result in the ‘costs of checking it right’.

4.4 Failure Costs

Failure costs can be split into those resulting from internal and external failure.

Internal failure costs:

These costs occur when the results of work fail to reach designed quality standards and are detected before transfer to the customer takes place.

Internal failure includes the following:

? Waste:

The activities associated with doing unnecessary work or holding stocks as a result of errors, poor organization or poor communications, the wrong materials, etc.

? Scrap:

Defective product, material or stationary that cannot be repaired, used or sold.

?Rework or rectification:

The correction of defective material or errors to meet the requirements.

? Re-inspection:

The re-examination of products or work that have been rectified.

? Downgrading:

A product that is usable but does not meet specifications may be downgraded and sold as ‘second quality’ at a low price.

?Failure Analysis:

The activity required to establish the causes of internal product or service failure.

External Failure costs:

These costs occur when products or services fail to reach design quality standards but are not detected until after transfer to the consumer.

External failure include:

? Repair and servicing:

Either of returned products or those in the field.

? Warranty claims:

Failed products that are replaced or services re-performed under some form of guarantee.

? Complaints:

All work and costs associated with handling and servicing of customers’ complaints.

? Returns:

The handling and investigation of rejected or recalled products or materials, including transport costs.

? Liability:

The result of product or service liability litigation and other claims, which may include a change of contract.

? Loss of goodwill:

The impact on reputation and image, which have a great influence on the future prospects for sales.

External and internal failures produce the ‘costs of getting it wrong’.

Order re-entry, retyping, unnecessary travel and telephone calls, conflict, are just a few examples of the wastage or failure costs often excluded. Every organization must aware of the costs of getting it wrong and management needs to obtain some idea on how much failure is costing each year.

Clearly, this classification of cost elements may be used to interrogate any internal transformation process. Using the internal customer requirements concept as the standard for failure, these cost assessments can be made wherever information, data, materials, service or artifacts are transferred from one person or one department to another.

Chapter 5:

Measuring Quality

5.1 Why measure quality?

It has been said often that it is not possible to manage what cannot be measured. Whether this is strictly true or not, there are clear arguments for measuring. In a quality-driven, never ending improvement environment, the following are some of the main reasons why measurement is needed and why it plays a key role in quality and productivity improvement:

* To ensure customer requirements have been met.

* To be able to set sensible objectives and comply with them.

* To provide standards for establishing comparisons.

* To provide visibility and provide a ‘score-board’ for people to monitor their own performance levels.

* To highlight quality problems and determine which areas require priority attention.

* To give an indication of the costs of poor quality.

* To justify the use of resources.

* To provide feedback for driving the improvement effort.

It is also important to know the impact of TQM on improvements in business performance, on sustaining current performance, and perhaps in reducing any decline in performance.

5.2 What to measure

In the business of process improvement, process understanding, definition, measurement and management are tied together. In order to assess and evaluate performance accurately, appropriate measurement must be designed, developed and maintained by people who own the processes concerned.

They may find it necessary to measure effectiveness, efficiency, quality, impact, and productivity. In these areas there are many types of measurement, including direct output or input figures, the cost of poor quality, economic data, comments and complaints from customers, information from customer or employee surveys, etc.

No one can provide a generic list of what should be measured but, once it has been decided what measures are appropriate, they may be converted into indicators. These include ratios, scales, rankings and financial and time-based indicators.

Whichever measures and indicators are used by the process owners, they must reflect the true performance of the process in customer/supplier terms, and emphasize continuous improvement. Time-related measures and indicators have great value.

5.3 How to measure

Measurements, as any other management system, requires the stages of design, analysis, development, evaluation, implementation and review. The system must be designed to measure progress, otherwise it will not engage the improvement cycle.

Progress is important in five main areas: effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, quality and impact.

Effectiveness:

Effectiveness may be defined as the percentage actual output over the expected output:

Actual Output

Effectiveness = ———————- X 100 per cent

Expected Output

Effectiveness looks at the output side of the process and is about the implementation of the objectives – doing what you said you would do. Effectiveness measures should reflect whether the organization, group or process owners are achieving the desired results, accomplishing the right things.

Measures of this may include:

* Quality

* Quantity

* Timeliness

* Cost/price

Efficiency:

Efficiency is concerned with the percentage resources actually used over the resources that were planned to be used:

Resources actually used

Efficiency =  X 100 per cent

Resources planned to be used

Clearly, this is a process input issue and measures performance of the process system management. It is, of course, possible to use resources ‘efficiently’ while being ineffective, so performance efficiency improvement must be related to certain output objectives.

All process inputs may be subjected to efficiency measurement, so we may use labour efficiency, equipment efficiency (or utilization), material efficiency, information efficiency, etc. Inventory data and throughput times are often used in efficiency and productivity ratios.

Productivity:

Productivity measures should be designed to relate the process outputs to its inputs:

Outputs

Productivity = ————-

Inputs

And this may be quoted as expected or actual productivity:

Expected output

Expected productivity = —-

Resources expected to be consumed

Actual Output

Actual productivity = ————————————-

Resources actually consumed

Productivity measures may be developed for each input or a combination of inputs.

Quality:

The non-quality-related measures include the simple counts of defect or error rates, percentage outside specification, deliveries not in time, or more generally as the costs of poor quality. When the positive costs of prevention of poor quality are included, these provide a balanced measure of the costs of quality.

The quality measures should also indicate positively whether we are doing a good job in terms of customer satisfaction, implementing the objectives, and whether the designs, systems and solutions to problems are meeting the requirements. These really are voice-of-the-customer measures.

Impact:

Impact measures should lead to key performance indicators for the business or organization, including monitoring improvement over time. Value-added management (VAM) requires the identification and elimination of all non-value adding wastes, including time. Value added is simply the volume of sales (or other measure of ‘turnover’) minus the total input costs, and provides a good direct measure of the impact of the improvement process on the performance of the business. A related ratio, percentage return on value added (ROVA):

Net profits before tax

ROVA = ————————– X 100 per cent

Value added

5.4 Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the comparison of the processes and systems of a given business function across companies. It can be applied to any area of an organization. It is a way for managers and employees to compare their functional performance to that of other companies, particularly those that excel, and identifying why they may differ. Benchmarking can be defined as:

Measuring your performance against that of best-in-class companies, analyzing how (methods) the best achieve their performance level, and using the information as the basis for evaluating your own targets, strategy, and applications.

The concept is based on the ancient Japanese quotation “If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles”.

Benchmarking is the continuous process of measuring products, services and processes against those of industry leaders or the toughest competition. This results in a search for best practices, those that will lead to superior performance, through measuring performance, continuously implementing change, and emulating the best.

There are four basic types of benchmarking:

– Internal: A comparison of internal operations

– Competitive: Specific competitor to competitor comparisons for a product or a function of interest

– Functional: Comparisons to similar functions within the same broad industry or industry leaders.

– Generic: Comparisons of business processes or functions that are very similar, regardless of the industry.

Benchmarking is very important in the administrative areas, since it continuously measures services and practices against the equivalent operation in the toughest direct competitors or organizations renowned as leaders in the areas, even if they are in the same organization.

Technologies and conditions vary between different industries and markets, but the basic concepts of measurement and benchmarking are of general validity. The objective should be to produce products and services that conform to the requirements of the customer in a never ending improvement environment. The way to accomplish this is to use the continuous improvement cycle in all the operating departments – nobody should be exempt.

Measurement and benchmarking are not separate sciences or unique theories of quality management, but rather strategic approaches to getting the best out of people, processes, products, plant and programmes.

Chapter 6:

Implementation Of Total Quality Management

6.1 The Eight Elements of TQM

To be successful implementing TQM, an organization must concentrate on the eight key elements:

1. Ethics

2. Integrity

3. Trust

4. Training

5. Teamwork

6. Leadership

7. Recognition

8. Communication

TQM has been coined to describe a philosophy that makes quality the driving force behind leadership, design, planning, and improvement initiatives. For this, TQM requires the help of those eight key elements. These elements can be divided into four groups according to their function. The groups are:

A. Foundation – It includes: Ethics, Integrity and Trust.

B. Building Bricks – It includes: Training, Teamwork and Leadership.

C. Binding Mortar – It includes: Communication.

D. Roof – It includes: Recognition.

A. Foundation

TQM is built on a foundation of ethics, integrity and trust. It fosters openness, fairness and sincerity and allows involvement by everyone. This is the key to unlocking the ultimate potential of TQM. These three elements move together, however, each element offers something different to the TQM concept.

1. Ethics – Ethics is the discipline concerned with good and bad in any situation. It is a two-faceted subject represented by organizational and individual ethics. Organizational ethics establish a business code of ethics that outlines guidelines that all employees are to adhere to in the performance of their work. Individual ethics include personal rights or wrongs.

2. Integrity – Integrity implies honesty, morals, values, fairness, and adherence to the facts and sincerity. The characteristic is what customers (internal or external) expect and deserve to receive. People see the opposite of integrity as duplicity. TQM will not work in an atmosphere of duplicity.

3. Trust – Trust is a by-product of integrity and ethical conduct. Without trust, the framework of TQM cannot be built. Trust fosters full participation of all members. It allows empowerment that encourages pride ownership and it encourages commitment. It allows decision making at appropriate levels in the organization, fosters individual risk-taking for continuous improvement and helps to ensure that measurements focus on improvement of process and are not used to contend people. Trust is essential to ensure customer satisfaction. So, trust builds the cooperative environment essential for TQM.

B. Bricks

Basing on the strong foundation of trust, ethics and integrity, bricks are placed to reach the roof of recognition. It includes:

4. Training – Training is very important for employees to be highly productive. Supervisors are solely responsible for implementing TQM within their departments, and teaching their employees the philosophies of TQM. Training that employees require are interpersonal skills, the ability to function within teams, problem solving, decision making, job management performance analysis and improvement, business economics and technical skills. During the creation and formation of TQM, employees are trained so that they can become effective employees for the company.

5. Teamwork – To become successful in business, teamwork is also a key element of TQM. With the use of teams, the business will receive quicker and better solutions to problems. Teams also provide more permanent improvements in processes and operations. In teams, people feel more comfortable bringing up problems that may occur, and can get help from other workers to find a solution and put into place.

6. Leadership – It is possibly the most important element in TQM. It appears everywhere in organization. Leadership in TQM requires the manager to provide an inspiring vision, make strategic directions that are understood by all and to instill values that guide subordinates. For TQM to be successful in the business, the supervisor must be committed in leading his employees. A supervisor must understand TQM, believe in it and then demonstrate their belief and commitment through their daily practices of TQM. The supervisor makes sure that strategies, philosophies, values and goals are transmitted down through out the organization to provide focus, clarity and direction. A key point is that TQM has to be introduced and led by top management. Commitment and personal involvement is required from top management in creating and deploying clear quality values and goals consistent with the objectives of the company and in creating and deploying well defined systems, methods and performance measures for achieving those goals.

C. Binding Mortar

7. Communication – It binds everything together. Starting from foundation to roof of the TQM house, everything is bound by strong mortar of communication. It acts as a vital link between all elements of TQM. Communication means a common understanding of ideas between the sender and the receiver. The success of TQM demands communication with and among all the organization members, suppliers and customers. Supervisors must keep open airways where employees can send and receive information about the TQM process. Communication coupled with the sharing of correct information is vital. For communication to be credible the message must be clear and receiver must interpret in the way the sender intended.

D. Roof

8. Recognition – Recognition is the last and final element in the entire system. It should be provided for both suggestions and achievements for teams as well as individuals. Employees strive to receive recognition for themselves and their teams. Detecting and recognizing contributors is the most important job of a supervisor. As people are recognized, there can be huge changes in self-esteem, productivity, quality and the amount of effort exhorted to the task at hand. Recognition comes in its best form when it is immediately following an action that an employee has performed. Recognition comes in different ways, places and time such as:

* Ways – It can be by way of personal letter from top management. Also by award banquets, plaques, trophies etc.

* Places – Good performers can be recognized in front of departments, on performance boards and also in front of top management.

* Time – Recognition can given at any time like in staff meeting, annual award banquets, etc.

Part two:

Field Study

Chapter one:

Methodology

A)

Participants were subdivided into 3 groups on the basis of output. We have a Services group, a Products group, and a Services and Products group.

B) The questionnaire was handed to the top-manager of each of the 35 participating company. The goal was to gather information about management awareness of quality and the readiness and responsiveness we can expect of those management bodies to the application of Total Quality Management.

C) The questionnaire forms returned by the participants were computer analyzed and recommendations were based on that analysis.

Chapter two:

Data analysis

1-

How do you classify organization in terms of output?

2. Do you think that Quality is a process that should be managed?

3. “We should produce the quality that meets the customers needs and wants”.

4. Do you focus on the needs and wants of customer at every stage of production?

5. Do you think that every employee in your organization is responsible for Quality?

6. Do you work on updating the knowledge of all your organization’s employees?

7. Do you think that training is important to increase the productivity of employees?

8. “Improving the quality of a product or service is a continuing process. It should never stop”.

9. “Every work group in the business should be concerned with seeking ways to improve the quality of there own product or service”.

10. Do you encourage teamwork in your business?

11. “Each task in the production process should not be done in complete isolation from the other”.,

12. “The supervisor must be committed in leading his employees”.

13. Do you work on preventing problems, rather than waiting for them to appear?

14. “It saves time and effort to figure out the customer requirements before a product is produced”.

15. “We should work on preventing defects in products or services rather than relying on inspection department to sort out defectives after they occur”

16. Do you use statistical methods in measuring quality?

17. Do you take into consideration the feedback that you get from customers?

18. There is good communication between employees and managers in this organization.

19. “Benchmarking is a way for managers and employees to compare their performance to that of other successful companies”. Do you use this method in measuring your quality?

20. “Failure costs are costs associated with scrap, repair, rework, and warranty actions”. These costs account for _____________ of the quality cost.

21. ” Appraisal costs are associated with inspection and testing activities to sort out good products from the bad ones “, these costs account for ___________ of the quality cost:

22. “Prevention costs are associated with actions we take prevents defects from occurring in any product or service “. These costs account for ______ of the quality cost.

23 a . Did u hear about the total quality management?

23 b. If your answer is yes, please tell us your opinion about this field of management.

Chapter three:

Findings

Out of the total number of questionnaire forms returned, 40% were product producing firms, 30% were service producing firms, and the remaining 30% produced both products and services.

It was apparent through responses to the questionnaire that the idea of quality management is not widely spread. On the other hand, we find high awareness of quality itself as an attractive feature of a product or a service. There was a total agreement on the importance of improving quality in order to grow up as a firm. Almost all responses supported taking quality more seriously – not just a side-effect, but more of a process in its own right. Responses supportive of the idea of the management of quality, and they all agreed on such issues as focusing on customer needs, the importance of employee training, importance of teamwork, commitment to leadership and open communication throughout a firm.

As we might expect, with no clear framework for quality management, some firms might take measures which we, after having studied Total Quality Management, might classify as negative measures. On the issue of employee involvement with improving quality, 25% of responses were in disagreement. This shows that these firms still rely on management and management personnel to manage and improve quality, which, while not bad itself, is not an optimal solution.

Another interesting fact to note is that 35% of the sample stated that they sometimes wait for problems to appear rather than prevent them from appearing. The reason might become clearer with the next fact; 20% of the sample consider that it is the inspection department’s sole responsibility to sort out defects after they occur. The idea behind this phenomenon is that working on preventing problems costs valuable time.

Treating quality as a competitive edge that must be improved and maintained is the cornerstone of quality management. To that end, it is expected that firms in competition would use methods to rate their performance in the field of quality. In our sample, we should be surprised to see that 45% of responses denied the use of statistical methods in rating their quality output. Furthermore, 15% reported using statistical methods on occasion. That sums up to 60% of the sample! It is an interesting observation considering that our market is highly competitive especially with the outside competition from Israeli companies. In clear contradiction, responses to the query regarding the use of benchmarking showed that 5% of the sample do not use any benchmarking, another 5% gave no answer, 35% stated that they sometimes use it, while a percentage of 55% confirmed using benchmarking to evaluate their performance! A percentage almost equal to the percentage of responses that do not always use statistical methods.

As to customer feedback, it was a somewhat lower that what should be expected percentage of 60% that confirmed receiving and paying attention to feedback, while the remaining 40% stated that they take feedback in consideration ‘only sometimes’.

Finally, regarding the query about knowledge of the concepts of Total Quality Management, only 30% denied knowledge, while 70% recognized the concept. Of those 70%, only 35% supplied the requested opinion on Total Quality Management, while the remaining 65% chose silence.

Conclusion

Customer satisfaction is one of the main goals of any organization. Total quality management helps us ensure the customer is satisfied, and is kept satisfied, thereby securing a good market share for the organization and providing an advantage over competitors. Although, theoretically, using total quality management methods might, in some rare cases, make only a small difference in rewards (or revenues), through my research, I have yet to see it actually make a negative impact. The fact is that Total Quality Management will improve any organization. The degree of improvement however varies, and while most organizations should benefit greatly from applying it, some may be too small, too simple or already highly efficient, that the improvement in revenue might be small. It is worthwhile to apply it even then, since any improvement, big or small, is a good thing and a step in the right direction.

While the basics of Total Quality Management are intuitive and are usually subconsciously realized, the organization of these basics into the form of a management ideology is not widespread, and is a bit difficult without a well-known and well-realized framework. This is the problem that faces this discipline in Palestine. While we can clearly note the effort to increase quality and the dedication to satisfy customers, it rarely happens within a big framework such as Total Quality Management. The basics are there, but more awareness is needed to glue them together into a useful framework or discipline such as Total Quality Management.

Recommendations

It is difficult not to recommend the application of Total Quality Management in any organization. As I hopefully demonstrated, through this document and its conclusion, the benefits outweigh the devotion needed to implement and maintain it.

This discipline is not easy to follow and implement. However the requirements of Total Quality Management are for the most part individual-related. It needs commitment, devotion and determination, starting from the top levels of the organization, going through all the way to the bottom.

I also recommend the education and training of the individuals of the organization in the ways of communication and teamwork, since they belong to the core of the management of total quality. Even if total quality management is not sought after by an organization (though it should) this field of education will benefit any organization.

Total Quality Management can be of particular value to our own organizations. Our economy is faced by many obstacles and is still in its infancy stage. The application of Total Quality Management now should help build up our economic culture towards the right direction. It is good to learn from our mistakes, but it is even better to learn from others’ as well. Total Quality Management proved itself in theory and in practice, and since our organizations need all the competitive edge they can get, it is recommended that this discipline is understood and applied. The first step towards this should be to organize workshops to introduce the concepts of Total Quality Management to our market. Once the benefits of it are made realized, I expect the market to shift swiftly in the direction of a better management.

It is also worth it to keep up to date with this -and any related- field of study, since new, better methods and techniques are always devised. Making something function better is good, making it function even better is VERY good.

References

* Dave Needham & Rob Dransheld, Advanced Business, Heinemann Educational Publishers, 2000.

* J. MacDonald, TQM: Does it always work? Stanley-Thornes, 1994.

* John S. Oakland, Total Organizational Excellence, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.

* John S. Oakland, Total Quality Management, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2nd Edition, 1993.

* John S. Oakland, TQM: Text with Cases, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000.

* John Stone, Increasing Effectiveness: A Guide to Quality Management, The Falmer Press, 1997.

* Nigel Slack, Stuart Chambers & Robert Johnston, Operations Management, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education, 2001.

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