“It is not necessary to change, survival is not mandatory” Evaluate the key developments in Total quality management within the context of changing business requirements.
WE Deming was a quality guru of the 20th century. Deming was of the belief that if companies constantly measured and improved their processes, they would achieve higher quality and also higher productivity.
I believe from this quote Deming is implying that success is not always guaranteed and that companies which are successful today, may not be successful in the future. Over time the business environment will change. Changes in technology, consumer changes and increased competition will ultimately affect the way a company performs. “In todays global competitive marketplace the demands of customers are ever increasing as they require improved quality of products and services” B.G. Dale, A. van der Wiele and J.D. van Iwaarden, (2007).
Companies need to continuously improve all business activities, focusing on “customer satisfaction throughout the entire organisation” B.G. Dale, A. van der Wiele and J.D. van Iwaarden, (2007). This is the main way in which companies can confront competition and threats to their business. This is the reason why quality is monitored and continuously improved in organisations as a way to survive in the ever changing and competitive business environment. By doing this companies will gain a competitive edge.
There are many companies who used to be high up in the rankings and at the top of their game, and are now struggling to survive due to not monitoring their overall quality and processes correctly. Company’s like Kodak, Oasis Hong Kong airlines and Blockbuster are examples of this. Companies can not rely on their current success to keep them going and must continuously improve and adapt or their success will be lost or even worse, not survive at all.
Quality is now a familiar word known to most people, although peoples understanding of it can sometimes be different. In today’s business world there isn’t one definition of quality.
Quality management has evolved and developed many systems over the years in order to manage quality effectively, although this was not always the case. “By the mid and late 1990’s, quality disappeared as a major topic in the media and was less of a focus of top managements attention.” Yong & Wilkinson (2010).
Systems for improving and managing quality in business evolved rapidly from the early 00’s onwards. In working towards TQM there are stages which need to be identified ;
• Quality control
• Quality assurance
• Total quality management
Before the ideas of TQM were finally formalised, much work had to be done for centuries in order to reach the final stage.
In the manufacturing industry, “an operators work was inspected and a decision was made whether to accept or reject it” The Evolution of Quality (2012). As businesses became larger, so did the role of inspecting parts, products etc. and therefore full-time jobs were created for inpection.
After introducing the inspection functions, other problems started to arise, such as;
• Technical problems
• Lack of training
• Allowing defect goods to pass inspection in order to increase production levels
This further led to the introduction of a separate inspection department, with a departmental leader, who would report to the head of manufacturing or even MD of the company.
“In the 1920’s statistical theory began to be applied effectively to quality control and in 1924 Shewhart made the first sketch of a modern control chart. His work was later developed by Deming and the early work of Shewhart, Deming, Ddge and Romig constitutes much of what today comprises the theory of statistical process control (SPC). However, there was little use of these techniques in manufacturing companies until the late 1940’s....