Comparing Total Quality Management and Business Process Re-Engineering

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This essay is discussing about two method of improving an organization; Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR). In order to differentiate the differences of these two methods, this essay will discuss about the elements and the approaches of these two methods. In addition, this article includes about the aim of these approaches of increasing the organization efficiencies, and TQM and BPR are different in terms of concept and the way of implementation in an organization. This essay is giving an idea to see TQM is appropriate than BPR in terms of customer service and quality of a product/service.

TQM are based on customer focus and realization that if the customer is not satisfied, they will find another way to buy the similar goods (Bank 1992; Sohal et al. 1997). TQM is used by an organization is to aim to sustain or outperform customer expectation in order to earn a reputation of being a high quality product producer (Goestch & Davis 1995), However, quality is variable and it must be based on customer definition. Therefore, it must have a system that explores customer's perception and expectations of a product or service, indicating this is a crucial element of for achieving outstanding TQM programme. Nasierowski (1997) emphasis that TQM is about research data and it is the base of an action that will be enforce in the future businesses. Thus, TQM is necessary to identify the customers and determine their needs and wants. This could be done when the organization met the expectation of customer (Bank 1992); giving a strong impression on providing high quality products and services. TQM is also seen as a continuous program that continues to strive towards zero defects to meet 100% of customer satisfaction. In addition, it is also stated by Zairi and Sinclair (1995) that the integration of re-engineering with TQM philosophy is a continuous improvement and can be highly effective. In addition, customer can be containing personal customer or industrial customers i.e. distributors, suppliers or distributors. According to Shoal et al. (1997), says that when the organization structure is bigger, the organization also recognizing both internal and external customers.

There are three elements that if the organization wants to achieve the aim of a high quality product or service; time factor when delivering a product, cost efficiency of the product and quality that customer perceived (Field & Swift 1992). When there is a minimal usage of designing a product, the element of high quality it is not competitive in the marketplace, thus, the cost and the price will affect the products tremendously. This problem is concerned because TQM it is all about reducing cost by minimize the defects rework, scrap, late deliveries and surplus items, etc (Bank 1992). It is believed that zero defect precuts is the most possible time efficient, therefore, this will emphasis on prevention rather than inspection (Field & Swift 1992).

On the other hand, the structure of an organization and culture are important. These elements are considered when implication of TQM is occurred. TQM method of approach sees an organization as interactive networks that consist of communication and control (Flood 1993). But, communication is tough when the organization is big and communication will not be efficient when there is many of a big contrast of position, e.g., a toilet cleaner and Chief Executive Officer, they could not communicate well because of there is no similarities in job position and also the workplace . Therefore, the changes in culture may also be one of the factor that to ensure that all departments are proceeding in the same direction.

TQM is not only concerning about the commitment from the management, it also needs the commitment from the employee. If employee is not supportive to the approach, the road to success is hard to achieve. From the management, the leadership and ability of conveying the benefits of TQM are important (Goestsch & Davis 1995). Manager and employee resist TQM can be a stopper to the cultivation and usage of the quality practices (Sohal et al. 1997). TQM is also customer focused but in the meantime, it also requires all employees and teamwork (Moosbruker & Loftin 1998). TQM culture would facilitate the development of human resource but, the development would focused more on customer service skills, technical skills and other skills that are concerning about improvement of service quality.

TQM is about continuous improvement of products, services and processes through the commitment that is given by the people at the workplace (Nasierowski 1997). TQM approach view organization as interactive communication. Therefore, communication should be vertical as well as horizontal because this process included member of the organization and the internal customer. Thus, the organization communicates with suppliers and consumers to make sure that the quality that they aimed is met (Flood 1993).

There is steps of implementing TQM; defining products, establishing project teams, creating a mission, identifying the customers, determine customer requirements, develop specification of products, determine the team process, identifying the cost of the output, evaluate the output and measure the satisfaction of the customer (Bank 1992).

Double loop learning allows the organization to go outside the boundaries and penetrate a new market. It is much more concerned with challenge of the current procedures, policies and standard. Double loop recognizes that the way things are done may not e the best way and that alternative ays may exist (Robbins 1998). Therefore, this learning is the fundamental to the successful implementation o TQM as they are primarily concerned with the big scale change and process.

BPR are not adequate because the criticism that in a review stated the implementation of new technology is focused, rather than the improvement of the organization process. Information technology is just a solution to problems that a business faced and, promoting the existence of the issues just to improve the sales on their own products and services (Thomas 1994). BPR has been criticized as a business will do BPR only when the organization wants to downsize and reducing the cost, with little considerations for quality or long term business goals (Mumford & Hendricks 1996).

BPR starts with a vision or idea. Therefore, they can be sourced from these three method; benchmarking, which they can copy the ideas from another competitors, buy solutions from the Information Technology companies or they can be their own ideas (Thomas 1994). Benchmarking does not allow of gaining competitive advantage, buying an idea or solutions is expensive, which in result, buying a solution sometimes do not relate the products or services that the company sold. While the original ideas seem to be the only way to develop unique and relevant solution but, these methods are bind by the existing frameworks, thus, it is higher in chances of being accepted. Therefore, there is a criticism about this method stating it is mutually related to its root and when it is associated, it will fall down to a great number of downsizing (Thomas 1994).

BPR is just an approach that is concerned about the process of rethinking the current system or processes, which it always comes out a new idea, but not sustaining the current system or products, which could lead to a low quality product or services. BPR also have to come to a stage where when the competitors pressurize the organization, they have to cut the cost and may have to downsize as an option. In addition, BPR does not have a particular set of procedures for managers to follow (Mumford & Hendricks 1996). BPR are much more to concern about radical change in work process, which requires a culture change and often it mean to change in the organizational structure. BPR is widely focused on quality and defines improvements more broadly.

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