There are many researches showing that total quality management is the predominant factor to remain business organizations’ sustainable competitiveness and generate the best result (e.g., Easton & Jarrell, 1998; Hendricks & Singhal, 1997; Lemak et al., 1997; Samson & Terziovski, 1999; Shetty, 1993). What is quality? How could a good total quality management dedicate to organization? Are they the same in any organizations? Understanding the importance of quality, many organizations have appointed a Quality Manager to manage quality operation as a whole. In order to study the contributions of TQM, take a medium-size manufacturing as an example, what should a quality manager do to improve the overall performance? In this article, playing a role of Quality Manager, I will propose my recommendations based on three main points: understand quality and improvement, understand the system and draw up a total quality management strategy. 1.
Understand quality and improvement.
There is no common definition of quality, thus there is no common requirement for quality standard. Each service or product has its own specific features, consequently customer will requires differently over those products or services to satisfy their needs. Building on that point, Juran said: quality is often used to signify ‘excellence’ of a product or service. It then is simply meeting the customer requirement. In other words, Feigenbaum suggested: ‘the total composite product and service characteristics of marketing, engineering, manufacture and maintenance through which the product and service in use will meet the expectation by the customer’. For quality improvement, Joseph Juran further pointed out: ‘Improvement means the organized creation of beneficial change, the attainment of unprecedented levels of performance’. Any organization wish to reach higher level of performance needs to set up a clear, strategic plan for the organization as a whole. 2.
Understand the organization
To a Quality Manager, one of the basic requirements is understand the organization objectives as well as its operation before giving any recommendations. What is the difference about quality requirements among service companies, manufacturing companies and the others? For a service institution, e.g. bank, hotels, travel agencies..., the key factors to be successful is service quality: how the front-line employees communicate with customers, how their requirements are solved, how quickly etc. But for a manufacturer, where most of operation process takes place in factories, the quality of products seems to be the forefront priority, so the production line should be focused in order to create an excellent product within an efficient process. Moreover, knowing the size of the company including the number of employees, the total income...should be helpful for Quality Manager in managing budget, communicating, training people and delivering the mission
Total quality management
Understand the objectives and the system is the basic element to have a good quality plan. Based on that, a strategy for total quality management will be drawn up and accepted universally. Juran emphasised: total quality management is an approach to improving the competiveness, effectiveness and flexibility of a whole organization. It is essentially a way of planning, organizing and understanding each activity, and depends on each individual at each level. For an organization to be truly effective, each part of it must work properly together towards the same goals, recognizing that each person and each activity affects and in turn is affected by others. TQM is also a way of ridding people lives of wasted effort by bringing everyone into the processes of improvement, so that results can be achieved in less time. The basic components for a strategic total quality plan includes: commitment of top management, cultural changes, improvement and systematic approach, measurement of quality and...
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