Chapter One: Description of the problem:
All companies need effective employees in order to complete the necessary daily tasks and attain a profit. Many employers do not receive the peak level of performance from their workers due to the fact that the employees do not feel they are having an effect on the quality of service they are offering, or cannot see any tangible outcome from their efforts.
This chapter describes several different aspects of the project, including the purpose of this project, the setting of the problem, and the history and background of the problem. The scope of the project is the challenge of measuring performance and total quality within an accounting function.
Section 1 - Statement of the Purpose
The purpose of this project was to identify and recommend methods to effectively measure performance and total quality within an accounting setting. Total quality principles have effectively been implemented in other areas, however the accounting section has been overlooked. By implementing this type of program, new ideas will be encouraged and enable future changes to be accepted easily.
Section 2 - The setting of the problem
The accounting office is located in Holland, Ohio. This facility controls all the financial related tasks within the Northwest Ohio district. The department involved are the General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Billing, C.O.D., and Information Services. This facility is located approximately three miles away form the main United Parcel Service hub location in Maumee. The accounting function employs approximately 150 to 160 non-union employees and runs continuously, 24 hours a day, six days a week.
The accounting department is highly structured and mechanistic. All employees report to a supervisor, who reports to a manager. There are three managers within this office. They consist of a Office Manager, an Accounting Manager, and a Information Services Manager. These three managers in turn report to the Controller, who is only responsible to the District Manager and the regional personnel. There is a high level of standardization in the day to day activities with this group. The jobs that are completed do however, require the employees to be specialized in certain areas. All rules and procedures are formalized, and the power and decision making process is centralized with the management team. The low level members participate very little in the decision making process within this group. Since the Accounting office is located away from the main UPS building, the information network is limited. Most employees within the accounting function are college graduates.
The mission of the Accounting function is to quickly and accurately report the state of the business to the management personnel, so that they may follow up with the shareholders to make the necessary business decisions.
Section 3 - History of the problem
Discontent and low morale can be seen within the employees in the accounting function. A recent trend in absenteeism can be seen. Employees are lacking a sense of accomplishment, and appear to be just "going through the motions". Some of this can be expected, due to the fact that many of these people have been in the same position for seven years now, and may be becoming restless, however the productivity and quality of work being done has directly been affected.
Section 4 - Scope of the problem
Principles of using TQM can be used and applied to every aspect of a corporation. For this thesis, the scope of the problem will only incorporate the activity within the accounting function. I will evaluate different performance measures and TQM principles for relativity to the current situation. I will also look at case studies within other transportation companies to analyze different types of applications. Finally, I will look at...