Quality Management System

The incorporation of quality management system is of crucial requirement for the organisations based on the fact that success of organisations depends on establishment of high quality standards with an aim of satisfying needs of customers. In order to fulfill the aim of current study, the discussion has been carried out in various sections and importance has been offered to discussion of theoretical perspective of quality management and its development over time. The three aspects of quality management which dates back in the era of Juran are being mentioned. Along with this, the two significant requirements of quality management system are being provided including requirements of customers and organisation. In addition to it, the sustainability theory, and quality management are being detailed. Finally, the tools of quality management are provided in the report including; ISO 9000, MBNQA and ISO 14001.

1.Quality Management Systems

The contemporary organisations need to adopt quality standards with an aim of complying with requirements of uncertain, unstable and ambiguous environmental conditions. The main motivation behind adoption of high quality management practices lies in the fact that organisations are facing enormous pressure from stake holders to follow practices which can offer high quality products and can protect environment alongside (Gotzamani and Tsiotras, 2001). The products of high quality, high safety and friendly towards environment can be produced by implementing quality management systems and there are certain regulations which are needed to be applied for quality control (Evans and Lindsay, 2002). The quality management system serves as a controlling tool for ensuring and improving quality of products and processes of the organisation. The corner stone of quality management system is working for mutual benefits of customers and organisation. In the light of views of researchers, the quality management system is based on set of inter linked activities which are being designed for constantly improving the efficiency of organisation’s performance (Goetsch and Davis, 2014).

2.1 Pioneers’ Ideas of quality

The basis of quality lie back in the era of industrial revolution, when it was ensured that employees put their best efforts for production of high quality products. Later, the concept of statistical methods for improvement of quality has emerged and Deming prize of quality has been introduced which focused mainly on management of quality (Larson and Pierce, 1994). Followed by this, the publication of Juran’s Quality Control Handbook dates back in 1951 in which trilogy was developed encompassing three managerial processes naming; quality planning, quality control and quality improvement (Juran and De Feo, 1999)). The focus of these factors was on ensuring the effective evaluation of quality which can be considered as key factor behind quality management systems. The Juran has defined quality as free from deficiencies and in terms of costs the high quality products costs more than low quality. Along with this, in his views, the quality is focusing on enhancing the satisfaction of customers. The Juran’s trilogy view of quality can be seen in table 1 below.

Figure 1. Juran’s trilogy diagram

Source: Juran and De Feo (1999)

The quality planning consists of series of functions, tools and techniques that can help in minimisation of quality gaps in processes and products offered by an organisation. According to view of Juran, the quality planning is comprised of number of steps including; establishment of project, identification of customers, identification of customer’s needs, development of products and processes and establishment of controls. It is notable that quality planning is extended on the basis of needs of customers and therefore, the satisfaction of customers is core requirement of quality management systems. The quality improvement can be carried out by relying on quality control processes which are aimed at evaluation of actual performance, compare actual performance with goals of organisation and then take corrective actions to improve quality. All of the aspects presented by trilogy approach of Juran are highly inter connected and they function in cyclic manner.

Along with Juran’s view of quality the ideas of Crosby hold significant importance. The Crosby has gained the concept of quality from working in assembly line and referred quality as free of errors (Castka, Bamber, Bamber and Sharp, 2004). His focus remained more specifically on establishing the cost of poor quality and he presented his views in “quality is free” in 1979. He maintained that employees needed to be offered the working environment that can foster them to work under phenomenon of zero defects. The view of Crosby have set the grounds of quality in contemporary organisations and serve as theoretical basis for quality management systems.  

2.2 Benefits of Quality Management Systems

The benefits of quality management systems are mainly hovering around customers and organisation. The requirements of customers hold significant importance as they are the primary stake holder of the business and their dissatisfaction can cause failure to the organisation. The requirements of customer pertain to satisfaction of their needs by offering them solutions of their problems in the way which is preferable by them (Gotzamani and Tsiotras, 2001). Whereas, the requirements of organisation mainly pertain to adoption of practices which may help the organisation in utilisation of resources for strengthening the organisation both internally and externally (Heras?Saizarbitoria and Boiral, 2013). Therefore, to fulfill the necessities of customers and organisation the substantial amount of support is required from system activities covering the operations from suppliers to ultimate customers. The quality management system aims at offering consistency in terms of tools, methods and techniques that can help in interaction of organisational activities ranging from needs to satisfaction of customers. Thus it can be maintained that benefits of quality management system are targeting the overall organization by achieving satisfaction of stakeholders.

2.3 Theoretical Aspects of Quality Management Systems

In order to promote sustainability of organisations at global level, the following range of quality management systems has been introduced. These theoretical concepts are ranging from global sustainability theory, organizational sustainability theory and quality management (Guler, Guillén and Macpherson, 2002). Among quality management systems , the significant importance is being offered to global sustainability which is signifying the notion that needs of current generation should be satisfied without scarifying the ability of next generations to meet their needs (Kartha, 2004). Therefore, the concept of triple bottom line has been considered as an important approach by the scholars of global sustainability who offer that organisations need to consider environmental concerns into account while performing economic and social activities (José Tarí, 2005). In this view, the quality management systems hover around protecting the social and environmental aspects while carrying out operations of organization.

Along with global sustainability, the organisational sustainability is also of significant important which focuses on long run existence of the organisation. According to researchers the aim of organization to sustain can be fulfilled only when they develop concern for society and environment along with their aims of profitability (Koc, 2007). More specifically, it can be argued that sustainability of organisation depends on satisfaction of stakeholders of organisation (Heras?Saizarbitoria and Boiral, 2013). Followed by this, the quality management has gone through evolutionary stages which pertains to; quality inspection, quality control, quality assurance and total quality management. The initial stages of quality management were focusing more on overcoming the problems by inspecting them against the requirements of customers. However, the later stages of quality management have adopted more proactive approach and the focus was maintained to prevention of defects in a proactive manner. It has been maintained by (Larson and Pierce, 1994) that there are two school of thoughts which could help in description of quality management. Firstly, the deterministic school of thought provides that there should be higher level of conformity among products and processes for needs of customers. Secondly, the continuous improvement school of thought lays emphasis on continuous learning of knowledge with an aim of improving processes to ensure that higher standards of quality are met (Lech et al., 2001). Further the quality improvement includes ISO 9001 which is mainly considered as standard of showing compliance with international quality levels. Along with this, the PDSA cycle provides by Deming also focuses on continuous improvement of quality which offers an organised way of improving quality by following four steps including; plan, do, study and act (Lee, 1998; Arumugam, Ooi and Fong, 2008). In the first step of this cycle, the focus in maintained on planning for improvement in quality of products and processes which is being performed in the second step. The third step focuses on analysis of the results after execution of plan and finally the decision is being made to adopt further changes (McHugh, Carruthers and Edmunds, 1997). The steps are followed in cyclic manner and they are aimed at ensuring continuous improvement in quality.

2.Tools of Quality Management System

3.1 IS0 9000

International organisation for standardisation is the world federation of maintaining higher levels of quality that is comprised of national standard bodies. The ISO 9000 is the most organised quality management system which has been maintained by ISO. The first ISO 9000 was published in 1987 which was based on BS 5750 that comes under the series of BSI (British Standard Institutions) (McTeer and Dale, 1994). The significant factor behind adoption of ISO 9000 lies in the fact that major international buyers has required their suppliers to hold certification of ISO 9001 and along with this it has also been asserted by scholars that it offers financial benefits to its holders as well. There are eight principles of quality on which the ISO 9000 is based. These principles encompass the following; customer focus, leadership, participation of individuals, process method, system method to management, constant improvement, realistic style to decision making and equally beneficial supplier association (Pun, Chin and Lau, 1999). It can be seen that ISO 9000 is inclusive for diverse areas of organisation and it is targeting all of operational areas and processes of organization (Quazi, Hong and Meng, 2002). Therefore, the organisations complying with standards of ISO 9000 can develop the potential to handle global competition.

Although the commonly used name is ISO 9000, however, the certification is accredited to ISO 9001:2015. Before assigning certification to any organisation it is extensively audited for its sites, products, services, processes, methods and functions (Rao Tummala and Tang, 1996; Guler, Guillén and Macpherson, 2002). The effectiveness of ISO 900 can be assessed based on the notion that it encourages senior management to evaluate, control and improve quality. Along with this, the ISO can be effective for the organisation when it has greater level of compliance with existing policies and practices of the organisation (Rondinelli and Vastag, 2000). Likewise, the organization who exert effort to combine all areas of their key stake holders such as customers, suppliers and organisation, are in better position to attain significant advantages of ISO 9000 I terms of customer satisfaction.

Followed by this, it has been provided by the researchers that organization which can qualify for ISO 9000 must have incorporated quality management system into its people, facilities, training, services and equipment (Schlickman, 2003). The ISO 9000 serves as a management tool that offers discretion to organisation to continuously improve its operations and processes. It is a tool of continually monitoring quality and then taking corrective actions for maintaining high standards of quality within organization (Sitki and Aslan, 2012; Sun, 2000). Along with this, it has witnessed that ISO is not beneficial only for quality management system yet is also applicable for general management system. Due to these enormous benefits of ISO 9000, it has been adopted by 951,000 organisations in 175 countries across the world.

The below mentioned figure 2 is indicating the process based quality management system which has been described in the ISO 9000 family. It can be seen that input offered by customers and other interested parties hold significant importance in whole quality management process (Yahya and Goh, 2001; Zeng, Shi and Lou, 2007). Further, it is important to note that continual quality improvement process is specifically targeting four factors including, management responsibility, resource management, product insight and measurement, investigation and improvement (Terlaak and King, 2006). Finally, the outcome of whole quality management process is also aimed at satisfaction of customers and interested parties which is reflecting that core of ISO 9000 quality management system is hovering around satisfaction of customers (Sun, 2000). Therefore, it can be argued that ISO 9000 is effective for offering huge benefit in terms of satisfaction of stake holders and it can in turn enhance the productivity of organisation.

Figure 2. Continuous quality improvement based on ISO 9000

Source: Sun (2000)

3.2 Criteria of MBNQA

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) is an important quality award which is being presented by US Government to the organisations of US stating the criteria of quality and assurance (Castka et al., 2004; McHugh, Carruthers and Edmunds, 1997). Mainly, there are seven aspects which encompass Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence including; leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, human resource focus, process management and organizational performance results (Arumugam, Ooi and Fong, 2008; Askey and Dale, 1994). An organisation that satisfies all of seven criteria can qualify for the MBNQA and is considered as effective organisation for maintaining quality. Therefore, the MBNQA also serves as quality management tool and

3.3 ISO 14001

An important criteria for quality management practices is ISO 14001, which is an international standard of improving environmental performance and quality of organisation (Zeng, Shi and Lou, 2007). The ISO 14001 is closer to ISO 9000 in terms of quality management system and it is mainly aimed at improving environmental practices of organisation. The ISO 14001 is including following key elements; establishment of an effective environmental policy, identification of core environmental aspects and planning activities accordingly, implementation of environment management system and operations, procedures of checking and taking correcting actions and Periodically reviewing the performance of environment management system (Heras?Saizarbitoria and Boiral, 2013). The ISO 14001 is an integrated process which helps the organisations to systematically control the level of environment practices and to become an environmentally responsible company which is highly preferred by contemporary customers.

3.Conclusion and Recommendations

To conclude, the current study has highlighted number of aspects of quality management system in the light of theoretical perspectives and offered that quality assurance is crucial for performance of organisation. Along with this, three important tools of quality management have been incorporated in the current study including; ISO 9000, ISO 14001 and MBNQA. Among these the ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 hold significant important and certified organisations are considered as environmentally responsible. Likewise, the MBNQA certification represents high standard of quality among organisations. It is highly recommended that organisations should consider quality as the core concern of their business and they should seek to look at the requirements of their key stake holders. The ISO certification needed to be seek for becoming environmentally responsible organisation and to enhance satisfaction level of their customers. Along with this, in addition to the efforts for responding to customer’s needs regarding quality, the proactive approach towards maintenance of quality is needed to be followed by the contemporary organisations with an aim of competing in highly unstable environment.




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