- What is quality? Quality can be defined in a number of ways. Quality can be defined as a product adhering to the specifications that is set by the customer as per their requirement. To put it in simple words, Quality from a consumer’s perspective is meeting or exceeding the customer requirement and providing the customer with a superior value. It is a constantly changing criteria and changes with respect to products and customers as per the requirement. Also this quality is a criteria which is applied to across all products or services. As per the book “Quality Management for Organizational Excellence by David.L.Goetsch and Stanely.B.Davis”, Quality is a dynamic state associated with product, services, people, processes and environment that meets customer’s needs and expectations and help to produce superior. Quality means fitness for use or fitness for purpose (quoted in class).
- What is Total Quality Management (TQM)?
Total Quality Management is an approach by a company to improve the quality of its products and services continuously by utilizing all the available resources in an economical way. It is an ever improving process which urges the organization to find new ways to achieve better products or services. The importance here lies on how the company uses its entire arsenal to produce a product with a continuous improvement in quality of their products economically which also increases the customer satisfaction.
As per the book “Quality Management for Organizational Excellence by David.L.Goetsch and Stanely.B.Davis”, Total Quality is an approach to doing business that attempts to maximize an organization’s competitiveness through the continual improvement of the quality of its products, services, people, processes and environments.
Total Quality Management is an approach to business involvement led by the theme of quality. It involves the continual satisfaction of customer requirement at the lowest cost by harnessing the efforts of everybody in the company (as quoted in class).
- How can we achieve organizational excellence with quality?
TQM is an approach by a company to improve the quality of its products and services continuously by utilizing all the available resources in an economical way.
If the company is incorporating the process of TQM then the company has to improve the processes involved in obtaining the final product or service provided by the company. This makes the company to find new ways to improve the quality of their product which enhances the customer satisfaction and also improved ways to achieve the required quality. This means that the company utilizes their resources to the maximum extent. The employees are trained better to get the maximum from them, facilities at the company is improved and also the processes involved are the best industrial practices. All these contribute towards a better organization or in other words organizational excellence with quality.
- What is the Deming cycle? Deming is considered by many as the founder of the quality movement. He worked for Western Electric where he witnessed massive amount of waste which disturbed him and made him work on quality.The Deming cycle is based on the development of a product in an industry. It has five steps which has to be followed to attain high quality. They are: a. Plan: This is the most important step of the cycle. The entire cycle is based on planning of the product. In order to get the maximum customer satisfaction, a thorough research or survey on consumers in necessary. This survey makes sure the product developed is as per the requirement of the consumers. Then use this data to plan for the product bearing in mind the requirements of the consumers which is available in the form of a research or survey. b. Do: After planning comes the execution part. The product should be produced as planned. c. Check: Once the product is produced there should be a thorough investigation or checking of the product to ensure it is produced as per the plan. d. Act/ Market: Once the product is checked and if it adheres to the conditions as planned then market the product. Since, the product is based on the consumer survey, it captures the consumer market. Hence, marketing of the produced product is a vital step in this cycle. e. Analyze: Once the product is marketed, it is time to check the reaction of the potential consumers in the market in all aspects of the product like cost, design, durability, quality of the products and other aspects of the product.
- What are the most common errors when starting quality initiatives? There are several common errors when starting quality initiatives. Some of the most commonly found errors are: a. A company simply can’t choose which of the quality principles is to be followed. The company should do a proper study of which principle suits their company and then go for a particular quality principle. b. The top management company simply cannot pass an order to follow the quality principle instead there has to be a proper planning that has to me made to induct the quality methodology. c. The company should invest on skill building of the employees to achieve a high quality rather than training them for a short span of time. d. A company simply cannot achieve high quality by having a team for quality check but should ensure it is headed by a proper personnel. Proper leadership is very important in order to achieve high quality.
- Explain the cost of poor quality.
Consider a company which is spending a lot of money on rework of the products and scraps, which is caused due to poor quality of the products. Also due to poor quality there will be more wear and tear of the tools used for manufacturing of the product which causes additional cost for the company. The workforce instead of producing more products needs to spend time on reworking of the products. These are all the costs of a products which are of inferior quality. This is called cost of poor quality. If steps are taken to eliminate those errors then these costs can be saved.
- What are the quality characteristics of world class organizations?
As per the American Management Association (AMA) which conducted a global
survey to identify the characteristic of world class organizations. Some of those characteristics are directly linked to quality. Some of those attributes are customer service, quality control and assurance, innovation, team based approach, partnerships and alliances, and re engineering processes.
Customer have the best feedback when the product quality is the best, quality control and assurance has a direct effect on the quality of the product, innovation of new methods to produce products of higher quality is always beneficial to the company. Team based approach is always important to achieve good quality as you generally have a team for quality management and this quality management cannot be done by a one or two people and working as a team becomes all more important. Choosing the right partners or alliances is important as all the partners running the organization should be of same thinking and aim at producing high quality goods. Re engineering is done with an aim to eliminate any flaw in the working system of a company which again contributes towards high quality output.
So, the above stated attributes as stated by AMA are the characteristics followed by World Class organizations to either sustain a high quality output or improve the quality of their products or services.
- Responsibility and total quality.
Often in life we come across many situations where the blame is passed on from one person to another and no one is willing to take up the responsibility. But such a behavior is not acceptable in a total quality environment. In total quality environment each individual is responsible for their action and accountable for their performance.
This attribute helps to build ethics, trust and integrity which are vital for team building and team work and also forms the basis for total quality environment.
To put it straight a company should be ethically, economically and legally responsible while devising a strategy for the company.
Also International Organization for Standardization inducted the quality principles into ISO 9000 series and in 1996 ISO further included ISO14000 series which basically governs the standards for effective management systems showcasing the close relation between quality and responsibility.
- Discuss some models for ethical quality decisions.
The three best suited models for manager’s to take an ethical approach for decision making are: a. Best Ratio Approach: This method is basically based on the belief that people are basically good and behave ethically under normal circumstances. If at all any unethical decision is made by people, it will be under tough conditions which drives them towards the unethical behavior. So, managers should with all efforts should create an environment which promotes ethical behavior and have a best possible ratio of good choices to bad choices. When taking a hard decision is inevitable, manager should make a decision which will do most good for most people. This is also called situational ethics.
b.Black and White Approach: This is a straight forward approach where right is right and wrong is wrong, irrelevant of the conditions. The managers should make ethical decisions and execute them regardless of the conditions. This makes people abide by the ethical behavior. When a hard decision is to be made by the manager, it is to be done in fair and ethical way regardless of the outcome and also not for the short term benefit. This decision should also be impartial.
c.Full Potential Approach: The basic philosophy of this approach is that the people are responsible to realize their full potential within the limits of morality. The choices have to be made such that it doesn’t affect the rights of others which make the choice ethical. With this approach, the decisions should be based on how the decision affects the ability of those involved to achieve their full potential.
- What is the engineering manager’s role in quality ethics?
It is easy to make an ethical decision but the execution part is tough. It is not easy to execute an ethical decision in an organization easily. Hence, the role of mangers become vital while making ethical decisions. Some of the key roles for a manager are: it is their responsibility to maintain ethical behavior, they are responsible to help employees to make ethical choice and also they are responsible to make sure employees follow and maintain ethical behavior after the right choice is made.