In a world characterized by vigorous competition and ever changing ways of doing things, quality management is imperative for all organizations. This is because consumers gauge the products of different organizations based on their quality. This quality is not only relevant in terms of the final product but in all areas, starting from the origin of the product, the production process and distribution to the final consumer. Having good quality management systems enables organizations to offer quality products and services thereby enabling them to have an edge over their competitors.
Quality management focus not only on the quality of the product, but also on the processes and procedures used to achieve such quality. It includes quality assurance, quality improvement and quality control in a bid to achieve consistency in the production of high quality products. In order to capture the whole concept of quality management different people came up with different concepts among them total quality management which refers to the all inclusive, well planned and controlled approach to organizational management whose aim is to ensure quality production of goods and services through a continuous process that relies on feedback from relevant quarters in order to attain customer satisfaction. This is done by continuous improvement of an organizations techniques, processes and procedures (Sashkin & Kiser, 1993, pp. 39).
Different approaches and suggestions have been put forth as regards to how businesses can achieve quality management in order to have a lasting impact in the market. The most prominent of the approaches as put forth by different gurus in this field include the following:
William Edwards Deming
William Deming is widely accredited for his work in Japan and the United States which helped transform businesses in so far as product quality is concerned. He believed that the management was largely responsible for the quality of the organizations products and therefore placed great importance to management both at the individual and organization level. He came up with a statistical based approach to quality management which he presented in the form of fourteen points which were to be adopted by the management as a whole in order to provide the desired results (Rose, 2005, pp. 28-29). The points are as follows and are applicable to an organization of any size whether in the public or private sector:
Constancy of Purpose: In this point Deming sought to emphasize on the importance of continued improvement of organizational techniques, procedures and processes in order to impact on the long term performances of the organization and not just on the short term performances.
New Policy Adoption: Here he was advocating for the adoption of new philosophies by both the management and organizations workers as opposed to sticking with old ones which were less effective and inefficient.
In built Quality: This stresses the importance of producing quality products from the onset and avoiding reliance on mass inspection processes to act as a determinant of already finished products.
Constant Improvement: He advocated for constant improvement in planning, production and service provision in order to reduce variations in the quality of products and management.
Training: In order to ensure that the job is done as expected and produces the desired outcome, Deming emphasized the importance of training staff members on the job.
Leadership: Deming advised on the adoption of quality leadership styles as opposed to supervision as a way of getting people to do their job as required in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives.
Eliminating Organizational Barriers: This was meant to encourage healthy interaction between different departments within an organization since they are all interdependent in one way or another and therefore need to work together.
Elimination of Fear: Eliminating fear between the staff members of an organization is necessary as it facilitates working together between staff members in different management levels. For example it facilitates easy communication and flow of ideas between different staff members.
He also advocated for the removal of barriers that would rob workers off their pride and stand in the way of job satisfaction.
Self Improvement: He was of the opinion that an organization should allow room for self improvement among the staff members and allow them to acquire higher levels of Education.
Numerical Targets: Denim advocated for the elimination of numerical targets both for people in the lower staff levels as well as those in management as this encourages low quality production as people will be more interested in meeting set targets as opposed to maintaining product quality.
Slogans and catch phrases were not encouraged as they amounted to the harassment of workers yet it is the processes that the organization uses that determine the outcome and in effect the organization’s performance. Deming also encouraged the rewarding of organizations based on a variety of factors and not only on the basis of their prices. To top it all, the management and other organization workers were supposed to follow through with an all the processes in order to accomplish the organizational goals through continued quality improvement and productivity and more so top managers. For this to happen the organization needs to come up with a viable organizational structure that is flexible and accommodative to all the points.
Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa
Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa was another quality management guru who came up with ways in which a company would follow in order to achieve total quality management. His seven basic tools of management focused more on the human side of quality management with the emphasis being on the customers as opposed to the methods of production. He was of the opinion that his tools would be important to an organization as they would help it to analyze the problems that come up and come up with solutions and improvements thereby necessitating their knowledge. The tools include; The Pareto analysis, stratification, use of check sheets, scatter charts, cause and effect diagrams, histograms and process control charts. These would help in matters such as determining the major organizational problems, the cause of these problems, how data regarding the problems is generated, frequency of the problems, variation in the data concerning the problems, how the problem data are interrelated, which variations need to be controlled and how they can be controlled. Ishakawa’s most recognized work was the fishbone diagram he introduced to the factors that lead to certain events which is mainly used in product design and prevention of producing defective products.
Joseph M Juran
Juran came up with the quality trilogy concept of quality control, improvement and planning. He was of the opinion that quality management requires that the actions of the organization be properly planned out, improved on when need be and controlled (Department of Trade and Industry, 2010, pp. 2-3). The approach involves achieving control at a specific level of performance, then improving the organization’s performance using required tools and techniques such as the Pareto Analysis and after achieving the required level of performance; this level is subjected to control so that the already achieved level of performance is not allowed to deteriorate. Juran was of the opinion that customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product determines the quality of a product and thereby came up with ten steps that would ensure quality improvement. They include creating awareness on the need of quality improvement, setting goals for such improvement, organizing on how to achieve the goals, offering training, carrying out problem solving projects, reporting on the progress of the process, giving recognition where necessary, communicating the results to the relevant people, keeping scores of the improvements that have been achieved and maintaining the procedures to ensure that the achievements are retained.
Similarities and Differences between Deming, Juran and Ishakawa’s Approaches to Quality Management
All the approaches emphasize the importance of training and education for an organization’s workers as this paves way for production of quality products.
Ishakawa advocated for the increase in workers involvement in solving organizational problems as well as identifying areas that needed improvement. Deming did the same by advocating for the elimination of fear between staff members especially of different management levels so as to facilitate communication of information across different staff members (Rose, 2005, pp. 31)
The three gurus used diagrams representing cycles to be followed in order to achieve the required outcome. Deming used the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) diagram to represent the cycle, Ishakawa used the Fishbone diagram to show the causes of problems and how they can be prevented to achieve quality production while Juran used the quality trilogy.
Deming, Juran and Ishakawa focused on three areas that they believed would lead to quality products which are quality planning, control and improvement. They all believed that the three processes should take place simultaneously to allow for consistency.
Juran, Ishakawa and Deming recognized the importance of producing quality products to the organization and stated that it should involve processes and techniques that would not only concentrate on the production of quality products but also on the prevention of factors that would lead to the production of defective products. That is why they advocated for issues such as employee improvement and training and cohesiveness between organization staff members at all levels of management.
In terms of differences, while Juran and Ishakawa based their approaches on the human side of the organization with the aim of attaining customer satisfaction by involving all workers of an organization, Deming used statistical approaches mainly centered on the management of organizations as he believed it is the management which is responsible for the quality of an organization.
Deming also took abroad approach on quality improvement considering the process mainly on economic terms meaning that he gauged the outcome of his approach on economic gain. Juran and Ishakawa on the other hand approached the subject on a narrow basis paying attention to what they considered as relevant details.
Even though their goal was to achieve quality management on an organizational level, they came up with several ways in which to achieve this. Deming came up with fourteen factors he considered necessary, Juran came up with ten steps while Ishakawa came up with seven.
Advantages of the Three Quality Management Theories
The three theories are advantageous in that they advocate for the production of quality products which leads to customer satisfaction and better organizational performance. Organizations that apply these suggestions are meant to have a competitive advantage over other players in the industries in which they operate.
The theories provide organizations with total quality a solution meaning the whole organization stands to benefit from implementation of the suggested approaches and not just a specific part of the organization. This in turn results into a general improvement in the organization’s performance. If well implemented, all employees are made to feel as part of the organization and it encourages them to commit to quality production activities.
Disadvantages of the Three Quality Management Theories
Deming’s theory suggests that no numerical targets should be made for the employees of the organization. In most cases such targets are necessary in order for the organizations targets to be met. More often than not, organizations cannot function without numerical targets.
Monczka, Handfield, Guinipero, Patterson & Waters, it is difficult for organizations to achieve total quality management as the processes and procedures involved require major organizational restructuring (2010, pp. 298). None of the three Gurus have provided ways in which these challenges can be overcome or dealt with. They have sort of turned a blind eye to this fact by assuming that the approaches will definitely work.
Juran, Deming and Ishakawa insist that for their approaches to work they must be applied in totality which gives the idea that if none of the steps are followed, an organization will not succeed in attaining quality management. According to Deming, a misunderstanding or misapplication of his fourteen suggestions will not lead to the desired results and therefore profound knowledge and understanding is necessary. (Stupak & Leitner, 2001, pp. 576) Sometimes it is not possible to achieve that kind of knowledge or even if it is present, disagreements on the application of the suggestions by the management of an organization may hinder their successful application.
Total Quality Management in an Organization Setting
Coca Cola is a multinational beverage which has managed to earn itself a reputation across the globe due to production of quality products for its company. This recognition can be reflected in its performance as a whole. It is one of the companies that have successfully implemented total quality management in the production of its products as well as in running the organization. This has enabled it to continue producing acceptable products to its global customers in order to achieve customer satisfaction and continued growth in the company’s performance.
Coca-Cola implements TQM in all its operations starting from the production process to the packaging and distribution of its brand beverages to the final consumers (Coca Cola, 2010, para. 1). Implementation of TQM in the organization has enabled it to ensure consistency and reliability and thus meeting the requirements of the organization as well as those of its customers paving way to continued customer satisfaction. It has done this by complying with global requirements and standards and thus ensuring product safety and quality. As expected, Coca Cola is able to maintain a competitive advantage over a majority of its competitors in the soft drink industry. Its system is total quality management program is governed under the TCCMS (The Coca Cola Management System) program which ensures that all its operations are carried out as expected as far as production, packaging and distribution is concerned (Coca Cola, 2010, para. 2). As a result of the successful implementation of the requirements of the TQM, Coca Cola has been able to report a rise in the Company’s Global Product Company Index and Company’s Global Packaging Company Index to 94.5% and 90.4% respectively in 2007. This is reflected in the overall performance and profitability of the Company.
The world of business has grown and continues to grow by the day meaning that new techniques and procedures of doing things are coming up by the day. Companies seeking to remain competitive should adopt these techniques and procedures in a way that ensures continued total quality management. This ensures continued customer satisfaction and in effect produces positive results for the company due to improvement, efficiency and effectiveness as far as quality control, improvement and planning is concerned.
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Department of Trade and Industry. (2010). The Original Quality Gurus: From Quality to Excellence. Web.
Monczka, R. M., Handfield, R. B., Guinipero, L. C., Patterson, J. L., & Waters, D. (2010). Purchasing & Supply Chain Management. Hampshier: South Western Cengage Learning.
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