First major reason companies adopt Total Quality is because they use it as to offer best degree in customer satisfaction by doing continuous improvement on their products’ quality and the production processes involved. This reason also means that the Total Quality is a system which implemented to cut down defects in finished products with the aim of achieving zero defects products. This system needs suitable data on defective products, rework cost and cost of honouring warranty contracts. This information is important to help to reproduce the product in a way that makes it less proves to defect and can be use to develop the production process. This development of the production process is potentially helps to reduce set up time and decrease error.
Secondly, companies adopt Total Quality as to make their company more competitive with other companies and it is a wise method for the companies to set up a new culture which will enable the growth and longevity of the company. This is also means that Total Quality considered as strategic factors in achieving business success which is particularly required for competing successfully in today’s global market place. It also has become a slogan of the companies in striving for competitive advantages in markets characterize by liberalization, globalization and knowledgeable customers.
(b) There has several of cultural difference between traditional management organizations versus a Total Quality companies and these differences discuss as below:
Traditional management organization’s approach of its management is focused on the internal activities only. This is meaning that when the organization has done its best in producing products or services, they will directly assume their products and services were in good quality. However, in Total Quality, its focus is to the customer who is the final quality’s decider of the products and services. Fulfilling the customer’s need while delighting them was a finest goal.
Besides that, the difference between traditional management organization and Total Quality is about the assignment of responsibility of the quality to the management. Traditional management organization’s idea about bad quality products is referring to the workers who do not do their job correctly while Total quality takes the responsibility of the quality by directly goes to the middle management in the operational level. This middle management will be responsible to initiate the quality improvement activities as the way to achieve again the satisfaction from their customers.
Total quality is difference with traditional management organization when it comes for high amount of team building which is also one of the Total Quality’s features. This team building will give the necessary force to the implementation process and will boost the system forward with very less argument. Total Quality believes in quality assurance than checking.
Traditional management is obviously seem not able to think “out of box”. This results the organization lost their opportunities in the market and also potentially leads the organization out form its business field. Different story for Total Quality, the organization may think “out of box” and it leads the organizations to the opportunities in the market and results in business grow as well as gaining the profits.
Moreover, unlike in traditional management organization’s method, Total Quality makes decisions by depending on facts and figures. As a result causes of the problems are identified correctly and solutions for it are well planned.
Furthermore, traditional management is not willing to make any effort for the improvement. This will results a constant repetition of the same errors and it will effect cost and give frustration to the organization. In the other hand, Total Quality depends on cyclical thinking which is always continuous. Thus, the improvements will be small, constant and continuous in nature which also known as Kaizen. This method will have its on analysis which will remind the organization to never repeat same mistake again. It also been used in team building, brain storming and decision-making.
In terms of hiring the workers inside the organizations, traditional management only hires candidates that only have their influences and they would not hire the candidates that believe in any quality philosophy. While Total Quality style is more to hire candidates that have qualified background especially in quality and also those can bring and initiate new ideas for the organization. This method in hiring will results the increasing of competition in the market field and also brings out an outstanding leaders to the organization.
Traditional management applied a concept that promotions for new positions in the organizations is only refer to the seniority of the workers while Total Quality is applying different methods which promotions for new position is referring to the qualifications and best performance does by the workers of the organization.
Lastly, there have many other differences between Total Quality versus traditional management organization. Total Quality has essentially transformed the culture and the thoughts patterns of the organization.
(Q2) Companies implementing total quality are faced with many challenges and barriers. (a) Explain five critical factors for a successful TQ implementation. (b) Discuss the role and responsibilities of top management, and middles management to support the TQ implementation process. (c) Describe major barriers for TQ implementation in a typical Malaysian company.
(a) Five critical factors for a successful Total Quality implementation are discussed below:
i) Strategies and plan – Strategies and Plans are activities that commence the goals and needs for implementing Total Quality. The plans must make in method that can be implemented in practice and must focus on eliminating the main problem areas. The method to carry out the quality plans must also well develop before starting it. All international models such as Deming, Juran, and EQA model focused on this factor because of its importance. Quality planning includes:
â€¢ Establish strategic base on the concept of total quality management
â€¢ Establish strategic base on information relevant to total quality
â€¢ Identify the goals
â€¢ Identify the organization mission and vision
â€¢ Identify customers and their need
â€¢ Analyse of internal and external environment
â€¢ Control and improve of plans
â€¢ Communication strategies
ii) Education and Training – Education and training form an essential part of Total Quality. Education and training are one of the key elements of Total Quality where many people involved, so the success of the implementation depends directly on how well they implemented it. Many research results show that education and training are one of the most important elements in a successful implementation of total quality management. The research confirms what most organizations already realize, namely, that education and training are an integral and essential part of the Total Quality. Below are the education and training important elements which would lead to successful implementation of total quality management which identified by Anthony et al in 2002:
â€¢ Develop team work between employees.
â€¢ Provide training to managers, supervisors and employees related to quality
â€¢ Training in the “Total Quality concept”
â€¢ Employees receive training in specific skills (technical and vocational)
â€¢ Provide training in statistical improvement techniques.
â€¢ Availability of resources for employee training in the company
â€¢ Provide training in interactive skills such as communication skills, leadership skills and meeting skills.
â€¢ Provide training in problem identification and solving skills and quality improvement skills.
iii) Management Leadership – Top management leadership is one of the most important factors to implementing Total Quality. Leadership, considered as the most influential Total Quality element, effects in the other elements of the organization. The degree of visibility and support that management takes in implementing a total quality management is critical to the success of Total Quality implementation. To carry out Total Quality in the organization successfully, top management has to believe in it, be committed to it and to express the belief. A foundation of an effective total quality management effort is commitment.
iv) Continuous Improvement – Continuous improvement is one of the most important key elements in Total Quality which been is adopted to improve companies performance. Antony et al, 2002 and Pheng and Ke-Wei 1996 defined the following keys to achieve the continuous improvement in the organization:
â€¢ Benchmarking to improve a systems or subsystems and implement/monitor programs.
â€¢ working smoothly in team.
â€¢ Steady future change.
â€¢ Regular evaluation for the operating system.
â€¢ A quality of data used to evaluate supervisor and manager performance.
v) Resource Management – Resource management is a range of Total Quality strategies, processes, and activities designed to support corporate goals by integrating the needs of the customers, the organization, and the people working in the organization. This factor includes sub factors focuses on having and implementing a clear methodology to plan, develop, enhance, and review the resources needed to succeed.
vi) Communication – The communication process in organization’s level must improve to create a shared vision for the necessity of implementing the Total Quality principle and improving the management processes. The purpose of the communication is not to impose a rigid system from the top, but to prepare the environment for implementing the Total Quality with support and guidance. Antony et al, 2002 and Oakland and Aldridge, 1995 defined the factors that do good communication as follows:
â€¢ Good communications between employers and employees
â€¢ Quality techniques/tools to solve
â€¢ Effective top-down and bottom management
â€¢ Formal feedback
â€¢ Feedback on quality issues
(b) The top management is the ultimate source of authority and it manages goals and policies for the organization. It devotes more time on planning and coordinating functions as a whole while middle management are typically much more visible to the greater workforce rather than top management, but they spend most of their time developing and implementing strategic actions plans needed to achieve the organizational goals set by the top management.
The roles of top management and middle management to support the TQ implementation process are discussed as below:
i) Institutionalizing the TQ structure as established by stated goals and formal policies and rules.
ii) Providing leadership as demonstrated by top management’s explicit expectations and behaviour in everyday activities.
iii) Top management and middle management must not only give a lead to the rest of the company but also make sure that the necessary decisions and actions are taken.
The responsibilities of top management and middle management in the TQ implementation process include:
i) Initiate the agreement on goals and measures that flow throughout the organization.
ii) Provide the established resources in terms of people, machines, etc.
iii) Assign authority and set up a deadline to put resources into motion.
iv) Monitor the progress in achieving goals which is aim for improvement and not to allocate blame.
v) Measure improvement and give reward for both the achievement of goals and the ways it achieved.
(c) The major barriers for TQ implementation in a typical Malaysian company are discussed as below:
i) Decisions made by the management are always short term oriented.
ii) They belief about when there have problems occurred, it is something to avoid and hiding it, without realizing of the opportunity offer to improve and to gain knowledge of.
iii) They still belief that quality is expensive and a trade to cost and price.
iv)Lack of motivation to totally support Continuous Improvement philosophy.
v) Easily to adopt newest technology as because to compete with other companies without checking its reliability and the purpose using it.
vi) Lack of understanding in particular issues in the management due to members of the companies is not willing to give their full commitment to understand the issues.
vii) Lack sense of loyalty and unity and to companies.
viii) Attitude of the employees who’s hard to accept the changes or resisting to any changes.
x) Lack of knowledge and skills in the companies such as technically or literally.
xi) Lack of understanding on Total Quality concept.
xii) Lack of commitment from the companies’ workers.
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