The Great Bake Cake Company


02 Nov 2017

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1.0 Introduction

Every company should emphasize the quality in producing their products or services. Quality can be one of important matters for every organization because customers will only choose the products or services that are good in quality. However, different people have different thinking in defining quality. Thus, organizations have to discover their customers’ perception of quality on their products.

Quality of certain products or services has to be up to the standard, but it is hard to achieve the target because there will always be variations and every people have different requests on the products or services and different thinking in defining quality. Therefore, organizations should plan a system to solve the problems or to prevent it. Implementation of TQM in an organization is very useful as it will help the organization to improve and getting better in certain industry.

The Great Bake Cake Company is a company that supplies cakes to supermarkets, specialized bakeries, restaurants and company canteens. They concern on the high quality and reasonable low price with good tastes of products. The Great Bake Cake Company is concern on their product quality and sales. This is good but they had implemented traditional method on the production process. Traditional approach is totally different with TQM. By using TQM, whole company is responsible on the quality they produced. The quality is based on the customers’ satisfaction and not based on what the company thought.

2.0 Issues

Quality of products is important as it represent the company’s image. Thus, quality should be controlled appropriately so that the company’s image can be improved. Customers’ tastes are ever-changing. Every company wishes to gain satisfactions from every customer. Thus, companies no matter in which industries are demanding to produce better quality of products and services. Once the companies are improving their quality simultaneously, the whole industry is also being affected. However, if there is only one company in certain industry remain their quality and do not want to make any improvement, the company may get complaints by customers and the worst case may be kicked out from the industry because they is not able to satisfy their customers.

According to The Great Bake Cake Company, they are operating routinely and reached their quality target, which they define the quality internally, without doing the surveys about definition of quality from customers’ own perception. In this, we can notice that the company is using their own traditional method in managing the company, which the method has been eliminated nowadays. The Great Bake Cake Company had almost been sued by a customer as that customer found a rusty nail in one of their cakes. This is a serious case for every company especially in food and beverage industry. Although The Great Bake Cake Company was not being sued, the company did not take the case into serious consideration whether to change the management style or find out some problems that may occur in the future. They do not even make any compensation to the specific customer due to their mistakes they had done.

Furthermore, The Great Bake Cake Company did not cautious on the ingredients they bought because of the national suppliers. The company merely trusts the suppliers just because they are the national suppliers. The negligence of the ingredients inspection could bring troubles to the company. The ingredients might contain any irrelevant elements such as the rusty nail in the flour and rope inside the sugar. Although the ingredients from the suppliers guaranteed high quality on their ingredients, the inspections should not be omitted. Likewise, a deep relationship with suppliers does not mean that the quality of the goods from suppliers is good.

Apart from that, The Great Bake Cake Company did not take further action based on the complaints from their customers regarding to the tastes. The similar rusty nail case happened again, and even worse than previous rusty nail case. There are some more complains about the foreign bodies and other serious faults found inside the product. Those foreign bodies and other serious faults such as ropes and bread mold, which might contain poison inside that, could cause a person to die.

Yes, The Great Bake Cake Company reacts on it, but by using inappropriate method. They hired more inspectors to carry a strict observation on those baking staffs. The company thought that the products will be improved by hire more inspectors to watch those baking staffs. These will lead to dissatisfaction and pressure to the workers during production process. When those workers are intolerable, they will attempt to quit from the company and look for another company. People will feels uncomfortable when they are being watched in every second. There will cause more mistakes as people feel nervous and scared.

Workers will feel fatigued easily because they have to pay fully attention on the production process to avoid any errors appear. Paying full attention without taking any rests will cause more errors than working under unrestrained environment. Workers can have enough rests and they will feel happier during production process. Therefore, workers will become more efficient and can produce better quality. Visual inspection on workers will not guarantee the quality of the products. It is costly and wasting time. Hiring over inspectors will have contrary result on production process. This leads to the increasing of quality control costs.

The managers of The Great Bake Cake Company had mentioned there are 20 mistakes into the cakes. However, the inspectors are unable to seek for all of the mistakes. This means that those inspectors are not up to the standard. The company did not go through the formal interview sessions during recruiting for this position. Although the company is could hired expected number of inspectors, but they did not test the candidates in more details about inspections.

In addition to these, The Great Bake Cake Company think that there will be no more improvement can be made once they have reach their standard level of quality products. They do not know anything about the TQM approach. The Great Bake Cake Company thinks that they had reached the highest quality level of products. However, there can always be defection on the products. It is vital for companies no matter in what kind of industries to always stay at the learning stage so that they can learn more from others. Even for a large company such as General Motors Company, they search for mistakes on the products continuously. This is because General Motors Company believes that no matter how good is their quality, there is some error that is waiting for them to figure out.

Last but not least, we can sense that The Great Bake Cake Company is quite concern on the sales rather than the quality of the products. A good quality product is the factor that will attract more customers, indirectly will boost up the sales. Thus, the company should concern more on quality rather than quantity.

3.0 Solutions

A good company will always seek for the best strategies or approaches for the company. The first and most important thing that The Great Bake Cake Company should do is to implement TQM approach rather than keep using traditional approach so that they can improve the business. Top management plays an important role in whole company because they are the one who make decisions on which strategies they will use. Top management has to always make predictions on what bad and good will happen to the company in future. Thus, they have to act carefully as the company’s life is depending on the decision they made. In order to obtain the best results, top management and lower level staffs should work together.

By implementing TQM approach, the top management has to find out those problems and solutions previously. As a Quality Expert, we have to carefully find out the solutions on the problems found by customers. Starting from rusty nail case, the company’s reputation has been spoilt because their sales are being affected. Even though the company was trusted by customers and might have some customers’ loyalty, but the company will face bankruptcy if there is no further actions to be taken or even ignoring the problems until the problems are getting bigger forcing the company to close down. Based on the rusty nail case, The Great Bake Cake Company has to apologize and make certain compensation to the customer because it was the company’s fault in being so careless. There might have a chance to increase the company’s reputation.

Appropriate solutions have to come out after determined the issues that company is facing. When using TQM approach, the main thing is to define quality based on their customers’ perceptions. Thus, surveys should be made to every customer in order to understand the types of customers and perceptions on how they define quality instead of define the quality based on their own perception. As a manufacturer, especially in food and beverage industry, the quality is very important as it will affect the reputation of the company. The Great Bake Cake Company should set the quality level according to the results obtained. For sure, the ingredients of the products should not bring any harm to the customers. Quality level decided by top management will be a guide for employees during production process. Thus, the range of quality standard will not be too different.

Top management can have a sudden inspect on the production process and observe the working environment. Top management should involve employees in some decision making process, or some upward communication such as complaints and suggestions can be made from employees so that top management can know what is happening at the lower level of the company. Based on the gathered information, top managers can make improvement on it. Working environment is important as it reflects the attitudes and mood of the workers. Upgrading working environment will indirectly affect the quality products due to the workers conditions.

According to Walter A. Shewhart, there will be variability exist in all manufacturing processes. The rusty nail case is the one of the variability that occurred in the Great Bake Cake Company in two years ago. Thus, to prevent the case from repeating, the top level managers can use some quality tools such as flowcharts and control charts to determine the variability during the process whether it is random or due to some assignable cause. The sample of quality flowchart and Cause-and-Effect Diagram can be found at figure 3.1 and figure 3.2 below.

In figure 3.1, it roughly shows the Flow Chart of production process that can be used in The Great Bake Cake Company. The Great Bake Cake Company can come out such production process as a guideline for workers to follow, so that the production process is followed in sequences. This chart is easy for workers to follow and understand. Thus, workers will understand the whole production process, and the problems can be easily found. By referring to flow chart, employees can slightly make assumption that the possible problems that will be happened during production process. Then, employees will try to avoid when reach the certain stage.

Figure 3.1 above shows the flow chart of production process.



Ingredients used Based on the figure 3.2 below, it shows the example of Cause-and-Effect diagram of The Great Bake Cake Company. Assume that there is a batch of low quality cake. By using Cause-and-Effect diagram, top management and lower level employees can have a brainstorming in finding out the possible factors that affect the quality of cake. After found out the possible factors, appropriate actions should be made to improve the quality of products.




Unusual taste of cakes

Low Quality


Old machines



Improper procedures

Scales error




Lack of training


Figure 3.2 above shows the Cause-and-Effect Diagram of defective items.

From opinions as a Quality Expert, the rusty nail case could be an assignable cause due to the insufficient training for workers. Workers should be trained in becoming more cautious during inspection processes. Various assumptions should be made. Workers should do their job in inspecting carefully even though the company has a deep relationship with the suppliers. Apart from that, machineries used might be one of the factors for the rusty nail case. The machines used to produce cakes may be too old or due to the negligence in repairing certain parts of the machines. According to Shewhart, the quality could be improved by eliminating the variability. Thus, any possible variability should be eliminated so that quality can be improved.

Involving top management in quality control could motivate other workers as they will not think that zero contribution from top management. W. Edwards Deming said that management is important for a company. Without management, whole production process should be stopped. When there are zero plans on production process, staffs will not understand what they should do. Staffs will need some guidelines so that they can refer to it during production process. To achieve better results, whole company should work together. It is necessary to have a good management and efficient staffs. Managers should responsible in managing the quality standards and concern more on workers as they are the main resource for the company. Evaluation and feedbacks on employees should be taken so that managers can take actions whether to provide training for specific workers. It is also the responsibilities for employees in contributing efforts to the company in order to obtain good results.

Wibs Bakery as a bakery supplier had improved their products by modifying the ingredients of the bread by adding some dried fruits inside so that the appearances will become more attractive, and is not just plain bread with the same tastes. Aside from that, Wibs Bakery has also owned an in-build laboratory, which allows them to check the quality of the ingredients and machineries they used. The Great Bake Cake Company also can use this method as a reference. Visual inspection on ingredients is not enough. They may buy a machine that can help in checking the quality of ingredients from suppliers.

Sometimes, the tastes are different than usual. This is because the quality of ingredients is different from usual. Quality drops when there are some unethical suppliers tends to cut costs by using lower grade materials to produce. Thus, the person in charged should concern on the ingredients and check to see whether the grade of ingredients is unusual. Changing of ingredients can taking as considerations because different brand will brings different results. This may need the research and development department to test whether there are better results by using different brand of ingredients.

Surveys on customers’ tastes must be made frequently to identify and analyze the customers’ preferences. Some new ideas can be invented such as new flavor of cakes and cartoon designed for the cakes will attract certain types of customers. Involving lower level staffs to provide ideas would be a good solution as some staffs might provide a good idea for top management. In addition to these, number of inspectors can be reduced. It is not necessary to hire so many inspectors to just focus on baking staffs as this may cause tiredness for both employees and inspectors. Inspectors have to pay fully attention on employees while employees have to put over efforts in the production process as they are being watched by so many inspectors. Overly inspection would lead to stress and employees will feel to leave their job.

Apart from that, surprise inspection on production process can be one of the methods for improvement. Top management can have a surprise inspection on the quality they produced. Employees will become more alert on the quality they produced as they know the top manager will have a surprise inspection on it. Furthermore, the equipments and machineries should be checked regularly and carefully to make sure there is no damage on machines to ensure production process will goes smoothly. Maintenance of tools and machineries is important especially for manufacturer as these are the main assets they use to produce their products. Once found out one of the machinery break down, it will affect the whole production process.

The Great Bake Cake Company can also give specific authority to certain employees in determine the quality problems and find a way to solve it, rather than pass the problems to following stages. According to the philosophy of TQM, there will be rewards for employees who able to find out the problems of defective products. For giving specific authority to certain employees in determining problems, relevant trainings should be given.

4.0 Conclusion

Definition of quality mostly depends on perceptions from customers themselves. Different customer will define the quality differently. It is a difficult job for companies to obtain satisfaction from customers because a company cannot customize each customer’s needs. It is impossible to customize each customer’s preferences.

Companies must always have the mentality of learning. Seek and accept the complaints from customers are not enough. Companies should find out problems and appropriate solutions. It is not easy to implement TQM in a company because whole company should work together to get better improvement.

When implementing TQM approach, the company should always remember that they have to improve their quality continuously. Operating business is originated from customers. Without demand from customers, it is impossible to do business. Thus, The Great Bake Cake should focus on customer instead of focusing on what they think because what the company thought mostly different from perceptions of customers. Apart from that, TQM approach requires employee empowerment. Employees should be given specific training based on quality measurement tools. Last but not least, TQM approach also stresses the importance of team approach, which means that the teamwork between lower level employees and upper level management.


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