Long ago, budgetary control and financial control are typically given considerable emphasis in most organizations, but nowadays quality control is currently receiving greater attention than before.
Many authorities have defined quality in different ways, but the American Society for Quality Control offers this standard definition:
“Quality is the totality of futures and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied need.”
In examining the issue of quality, and need for quality control we explore strategic implications of quality, the concept of total quality control, quality improvement teams benchmarking, and statistical aids to quality management.
Strategic Implications of Quality
It is imperative that an entrepreneur should understand the technicalities involved in quality control and quality management to enable him to compete adequately. Quality can be used in a strategic way to compete effectively.
There are eight dimensions of quality that are very important:
- Reliability: This addresses the probability of a product not working properly or breaking down altogether within a specific period. Since a significant period of usage is typically involved in assessing reliability, this quality dimension does not apply as readily to products and services that are used immediately.
- Performance: This involves a product’s primary operating characteristics. For an automobile, performance would include acceleration, braking, handling, and fuel usage. In service industries, such as fast-food restaurants airlines, or hotels, performance is suitable to mean prompt services.
- Features: These are supplements to the basic functioning characteristics of the product of service. Examples include complimentary newspaper for hotel guests, extra options on autofocus cameras, or stereotype decks in automobiles.
- Conformance: This refers to the degree to which a product’s design or operating characterizes conform to pre-established standards. Typically, products and services have developed some standards or specifications in mind.
- Durability: This is a measure of how much use a person sets from a product before it deteriorates or breaks down to such a point that replacement makes more sense than a continued repair.
- Perceived Quality: This refers to an individual’s subjective assessments of product or service quality perceptions that count with customers. Organizations usually find it difficult to compete on all dimensions simultaneously and must make trade-offs.
- Serviceability: This refers to the promptness, courtesy proficiency and ease of repair.
- Aesthetics: This refers to how a product looks feels, sounds, tastes, or smells – all subjective issues highly dependent on personal judgment and preference.
Total Quality Management (TQM)
To improve quality, a number of organizations are adopting a quality stance as Total Quality Management (TQM). The approach is aimed at achieving zero defects, a quality mentality in which the workforce strives to make a product or service confirm exactly to desired standards.
Therefore Total Quality management (TQM) can be defined as a quality control approach that emphasizes organizational commitment, integration of quality improvement efforts with organizational goals and inclusion of quality as a factor in performance appraisals.
14 Point of How to Improve Quality of Product and Service in Organization
- End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone.
- Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service.
- Institute training.
- Teach and institute leadership.
- Drive out fear. Create trust. Create a climate for innovation.
- Optimize toward the aims and purpose of the company the efforts of teams, groups, and staff areas.
- Eliminate exhortations for the workforce.
- (a) Eliminate numerical quotas for production. Instead, institute methods for improvement.
(b) Eliminate Management By Objective (MBO) instead, learn the capabilities of processes, and how to improve them.
- Create and publish to all employees a statement of the aims and purposes of the company or other organization. The management must demonstrate constantly its commitment to this statement.
- Learn the new philosophy, top management, and everybody.
- Understand the purpose of inspection for improvement of processes and reduction of cost.
- Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship.
- Take action to accomplish the transformation.
- Encourage education and self-improvement for everyone.
Quality efforts typically make use of quality improvement teams and benchmarking as well as statistical aids to quality management. These may be used independently, but benchmarking may be conducted by quality improvement teams.
Quality Improvement Teams are small groups of employees who work on solving specific problems related to quality and improvement. Quality improvement teams are proving to be lightly successfully at tracking down the causes of poor quality and productivity as well as making remedial action.
Benchmarking is the process of identifying the best practices, and approaches by comparing productivity in specific areas within one’s own company and with the production of other organizations both within and outside the industry. Benchmarking became a commonly used technique only recently as companies with major quality management efforts adopted the approach.
A mainstay of quality management in production environments is the use of statistical techniques that facilitate the tracing of quality difficulties.
There are two statistical approaches:
- Acceptance Sampling is a statistical technique that involves evaluating random samples from a group or “lot” of produced materials to determine whether the lot meets acceptable quality levels. An Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) is a predetermined standard against which the random samples are compared. If a certain number of the samples fall below the AQL, the entire lot will be rejected.
- Statistical Process Control is a statistical technique that uses periodic random samples taken during actual production to determine whether the acceptable quality level is being met or production should be stopped for remedial action. In contrast to acceptance sampling, statistical process control assesses quality during production so that problems can be resolved before materials are completed.
The only solution to developing countries’ poor quality products system is for her to endorse the Total Quality Management (TQM) system, which is the contemporary world phenomenon now. To tight their way to be heard and be seen, developing countries have no other option than to improve their products through the practice of Total Quality Management (TQM) system being guided through as discussed above.
Entrepreneurs should be aware that the only way to compete effectively with any imported quality product quickly is to increase the quality of their own products. This can be done by genuinely adopting Total Quality Management (TQM) concept.
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