QUALITY SYSTEM MANAGEMENT

A quality management system is an assurance of planned activities regarding the quality (Gitlow et al. 2005). It is a management system which organises elements towards a goal as according to Cunat and Craig (2003). The components of quality management system include roles and responsibilities, organisational structure, processes, procedures and resources. All of these together helps in the implementation of the quality management system (Siazarbitoria, 2006). Much of the importance among these components is given to the procedures and processes. The main intention of a quality management system is continuous improvement from bottom to top in all procedures and processes of organisation (Pisker & Dolinsek, 2006). This therefore indicates that quality management system is spread over the whole organisation and it does not deal with a specific component or function (Yong & Wilinson, 2001). There are many benefits of a good quality management system which have been explained by Beer (2003). These benefits are shown in the following table

No

Benefit

No

Benefit

1

Reduced costs

7

Improved visibility

2

Greater efficiency

8

Fewer disputes

3

Less unplanned work

9

Problems show up earlier

4

Better performance

10

Reduced risks

5

Improved customer confidence

11

Better control over products

6

Better quality

12

Portable ad reusable products

 

Table 1: Benefits of Quality management system implementation (Beer, 2003)

One of the significant issues encountered to the organisations in the current era is quality management system implementation (Anderson et al. 1994) because of the concern which consumers show towards quality. It is equally important for any type of industry, whether it is construction industry, consumer goods or any other type of sector.

The current assignment deals with identification of the theoretical knowledge present on quality management system. There are two main components of this assignment. One is related to quality management system philosophy and the second deals with presentation and analysis of quality improvement tools. There are a few recommendations given at the end of the assignment so as to postulate out student ability and understanding to the topic of the assignment.

1.The Philosophical background behind Quality Management System

The philosophy which is hiding behind the conceptualization of quality management system is “Totality in Quality”. Quality is the concept which is included right from the bottom, which means that from procurement to the end product and finally to the consumer as according to Punnakitikashem et al., (2010). In businesses the addition of quality is one of the crucial aspects (Pepper & Spedding, 2010). In this section of the assignment, the philosophy of quality management system is described from the perspective of the three fathers of quality management system namely Dr. Edward Deming, Joseph Juran and Philip B. Crosby. These are explained in the following sub – headings.

1.1.Philosophies

1.1.1.Dr. Edward Deming Philosophy

The contribution of Deming cannot be ignored. It was Deming, whose work has helped Japan to regain its economic growth after World War II. In the manufacturing sector, Deming institutionalised quality and in production as well he is famous for his contribution. The philosophy which Deming proposed regarding quality was that its application helps in the increment in production and this helps in gaining competitive advantage as mentioned in research work of Sarkis (2001). Deming compared cost of quality production and defected production and found out that more cost is incurred on production which is not incorporating quality. This ultimately results in loss of market share (Nofal et al. 2002).

 

 

1.1.2.Joseph Juran Philosophy

Juran in comparison to Deming, focussed more on managerial aspects and he broadened the horizons of quality management philosophy. He focused on quality control. According to Yamashina (2000), before the industrial revolution, industries were focussing only on simple management process which is from planning to execution. It was identified that quality trickle from top to bottom of an organisation (Kruger, 2001). According to Juran the philosophy of quality is based on manifold meanings. The first meaning signifies product satisfaction which is obtained by meeting the needs of customers. The second meaning signifies freedom from deficiencies. The main points of Juran were

  • Practical explanations of quality is perhaps impossible.
  • The association of quality with the requirements of customers, and fitness proposes conform to product specification (Juran, 1988)

1.1.3.Philip B. Crosby Philosophy

Zero Defects were coined in by Crosby. According to this concept, it was argued that any task which is performed by the organisation should be completed in one go without any defects (Crosby, 1979). It was believed by Crosby that quality is free. It was illustrated by Crosby, that it is believed quality is a luxury which in contrast, is loosely encompassing to the conformance to the requirements (Crosby, 1979).

The phislophy of Crosby is more inclined towards cost reduction by incorporating quality and stressing upon the fact that high as well low end products can have quality as mentioned in Dean and Bowen (1994). There are five central principles presented by Crosby are mentioned in Juran and Godfrey (1999), which are

  • Quality deals with conformance to the requirements rather goodness
  • Prevention, causes quality rather appraisal
  • Zero defects is performance standard rather close enough
  • It is not the indexes that measure conformance, but non – conformance is important
  • The concept of quality problem does not exist

Crosby negated the idea of Deming and Juran which deals with problem solving and statistical process control. Crosby stresses motivation and planning and does not dwell on statistical process control and the problem-solving techniques of Deming and Juran (Rao et al., 1999).

1.2.Conclusion Of Philosophy behind Quality Management System

There exist many explanations on the quality management system philosophy. However, it is very practical to describe quality from the perspective of Deming, Crosby and Juran. The claims made on prescriptions, definitions, conclusion and recommendations by these scholars work correspondingly well for delivering services and producing products. According to the analysis provided in the above discussion, there are two levels identified in the philosophy of quality management system (Hoyer & Hoyer, 2001, p. 54) which is

  • Level One: By delivering services and producing products whose determinant characteristics comply with the decided set of stipulations.
  • Level Two: Products as well as services satisfying expectations of consumers for their consumption or use.

In a nutshell, level one is a depiction of quality conformance with the specification, whereas level two deals with satisfaction of customers. It cannot be said that one philosophy by one scholar has contributed towards one aspect of the concept of quality while other has contributed towards the other. These works have contributed in totality.

2.Different Types of Quality Improvement Tools

The quality of an organization can be improved with the help of some quality management system tools. Tools are used because quality is an important aspect of product development and in the production, totality of quality holds a paramount position. Not only in production is it important, but also its addition to every step of the product development is crucial. The tools are used to bring improvement in quality and these tools chalk down the steps and then work at minute levels. In this heading the tools are discussed in detail so that a brief introduction to all these tools can be made. The tools for the improvement in the quality are mentioned in the following sub – headings.

2.1.Quality Improvement Tools

2.1.1.Plan – Do – Check – Act (PDCA)

There are various names with which Plan – Do – Check – Act (PDCA) is being referred in the literature such as Shewhart Cycle, Deming Cycle, the wheel of continuous improvement and Plan – Do – Study – Act (PDSA) as according to Marksberry et al (2011). This cycle is used when the company is registered with the ISO 9001 standards and it helps in integration of quality management system as being reported in study of (Birnbaum & Buren, 2010). The cycle is shown as below

Deming/PDCA Cycle

Figure 1: Plan – Do – Check – Act (PDCA) (Retrieved from: Deming, 1986)

In the above – mentioned figure four phases are shown. In the Plan phase, the problem is identified, evaluated, scheduled and mapped. In Do phase, implementation of all the work developed in planning phase takes place. At first small implementation takes place and on success the whole implementation is taken on the board. In Check phase, the inspection of the whole process is conducted. In the last phase which is Act, the whole process is completed for the next cycle or wheel (Deming, 1986).

2.1.2.Histogram / Pie Charts

Histograms or Pie charts are statistical representation graphs that identified the critical steps in the quality management system. It is a frequency distribution graph. The advantage of these types of charts is that they help in identifying the critical performance points with which in future effortless quality performance can be performed as according to Wai et al., (2011). The Histogram is used as a quality improvement tool because of following reasons as mentioned on Hubpages (2015).

  • It displays data in a graphical manner
  • The frequency of the data values is shown
  • The shape of data, centre value and variation can be revealed.
  • The distribution of data is unveiled.
  • The prediction of process performance for future can be enabled.
  • The changes in the processes can also be highlighted.

2.1.3.Statistical Process Control Charts (SPC)

This is a controlling system through which changes in the system are inducted throughout the chain process. The changes are not haphazard rather they are inducted in an even manner without any destruction in the chain process. In order to use this as a quality improvement tool, there are certain rules and limits under which the process acts in an even manner as being found out by Wee and Wu (2009).

 

Figure 2: Control Chart (Crosby, 2001)

It is applied in the manufacturing lines. The two main aspects of this system are monitoring and controlling and it operates in full potential (Salacinski, 2015). This is a continuous improvement tool through which waste is eliminated (Bergman, 2009).

2.1.4.Tally Charts

Tally Charts are used for convenience as they are easy to remember and to understand as well. Data storage and data recording is done through this type of quality improvement tool. Tally charts is one of the uncommon types of quality improvement tools which is not being used profoundly in quality management system as according to (Loegstrup, 2009). However, data storage and recording is a plus point.

2.1.5.Brain Storming / Mind Mapping / Fishbone Diagram

Brain storming is a technique in which a group is invited and then it thinks on a perspective. This is usually used when there is a need to generate a creative idea (Alic & Rusjan, 2011). Brainstorming is viewed by the quality improvement experts in a manner wherein the method leads in the identifications of reasons for the process or product defect. In this method, lean six sigma teams conduct a meeting and use different structural tools (such as cause and effect diagrams, mind mapping, Fishbone diagrams and Ishikawa) and then use pen and paper techniques to reach on a conclusion (Barry, Undated). The types are explained in the following points

  • Mind Mapping: A group together thinks on a certain perspective reaching on a conclusion (Gruber, 2010).
  • Fishbone Diagram: A cause and effect diagram in which the head of fish is cause, whereas skeleton of fish describes the effects of that problem (Wai et al 2011).

2.1.6.Pareto Charts

The Pareto Charts are similar to histogram, but it is based upon a rule which is known as 80:20 rule (Wee and Wu, 2009). Through this technique the marginal profits are obtained as according to Wee and Wu (2009). The diagram is shown as below

Figure 3: Pareto Chart (Croby, 2001)

In the above – mentioned diagram, the defects are identified on the importance basis. The more important the defect, it will be placed in A, then in B and vice versa. The main theme of this technique is that the critical defects are only identified (Crosby, 2001).

2.1.7.Process Mapping

According to Wai et al., (2011), process mapping is a technique in which prioritised problems are first given importance. The issues which are very basic are not taken into account through this technique. This technique is used in manufacturing firms.

2.2.Conclusion of Quality Improvement Tools

According to the analysis of the quality improvement tools, it has been observed that all of the tools hold different qualities and aspects. It is also observed from the tools that quality management not only deals with the methods and standards with which improvement can be brought but quality management systems is a technical process as when once quality is approved, then company or organisation cannot back off. The tools are the combination of statistical methods as well as team or grouping techniques. It has been observed in the above – mentioned discussion that quality is a continuous process and with team it can be developed as a strong component of an organisation. Some tool such as PDCA, histogram and pareto charts identify problems while some, such as brain storming and mind mapping manually identify and sort out the issues of quality. In addition to this, all the tools mentioned were initially developed for the manufacturing companies. Large companies such as Ford Motors, Toyota etc used these tools. However, other industries are heavily using these techniques.

3.Recommendation

The analysis of the assessment has identified some recommendations which are very important for the companies for the implementation of quality management system. These are mentioned in the following points:

  • Top management Support and Leadership: Successful quality management system application in an organisation requires support from top management and leadership. Commitment from management is needed so that staff can be empowered, can be driven continuously and be actively involved in the quality improvement.
  • Involvement of stakeholder: Stakeholders should be involved with the quality improvement tools when company is adapting a quality standard.
  • Safety and Improvement culture: The organisation management should strive to instigate a culture of improvement. Infrastructure should have support for quality, meaning thereby that there should be human capital and resources which can successfully implement quality.
  • Standards Adoption: When the company is deciding with adoption of standard, it is important that a company has the support of the employees. Communication with the staff is very important to know whether employees are willing to work under new conditions and procedures or not.

4.Conclusion

The contents of the assessment basically aimed to make student build and apply knowledge learned in the module  regarding quality standards because in the current era there is cut throat competition between organisations. Through the application of these standards and tools, the companies can gain loyalty of consumers. The assignment was divided mainly in two sections in which the main philosophy and tools were discussed in detail/ The recommendations are also postulated out in the end. The analysis of this assignment shows that, in order to apply quality management system, organisation need to work, manage and operate as a system of integrated actions and techniques. Everyone from top to bottom must be involved in this process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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