The importance of quality and quality management

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In today's competitive world producing world class products. In order to survive in the competitive world market producing different product with best techniques, it is important for the firms to take extra mileage to the quality of product and service they provide. In the recent world consumer are aware of the products and service provided by the other firms. Also today there are government empahasis on the quality issues of the products. So firms give extra emphasis on quality and productivity. Total quality management is an attempt in this direction. In other words it is an effort to take the advantage of competitive market by focusing on the organisational operations which is important for the customers, by providing customers best product and services using new manufacturing techniques.

Definition of quality

"The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on it's ability to satisfy stated or implied needs"

"Quality is the extent to which products and services satisfy the requirement of internal and external customers"

So the Quality Management is the leadership, infrastructure and the resources that support employees as they meet the needs of those customers.

A quality product or service is one that satisfies the customer. Usually there are two types of products quality

1) Quality of design

Quality of design measure the functionality of a product or services. It is the decision of designer to include or exclude certain production features. The customer really measures quality through appearance, operation and reliability.

2) Quality of performance

Quality of performance measures how products and services match the intent of the design. This characteristic traditionally has been the focus of a quality management program. In this regard, quality refers to doing it right at first time.


There are 2 approaches to quality


Traditional approach to quality uses an acceptable quality level that permits a certain level of defects to a product produced and sold. The AQL is where level of defects are allowed to minimize the total quality cost. Traditional approach believes that the defects will payoff the failure cost and prevention and appraising costs. As prevention and appraisal cost increase, the internal and external cost are expected to decrease. As long the failure cost are greater than the corresponding increase in prevention and appraisal cost it is acceptable.


Modern approach is to "GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME". It believes in total quality control and view the optimal quality cost with Zero defects are produce. For firms operating in the advanced manufacturing environment quality is a critical dimension. Quality cost can be managed differently then implied by the traditional AQL model. Defects can be reduced below the AQL level and quality cost can be reduced simultaneously


Market shares of many firms have eroded because of the firms using high quality products have been able to sell mare than the products of lower price. In order to compete in the market, firms have placed quality prior to the price. Firms have placed emphasis on quality and productivity in order to

Produce saving such as reducing rework cost and

Improve product quality.

Cost of quality is the cost due to poor quality which exist in the product. Quality cost are the cost incurred by

investing in the prevention of non-conformance to requirement

appraising a product or service for conformance to requirement

Failing to meet requirement.

Cost of quality are classified into three categories

Prevention cost

Prevention costs are those cost incurred to prevent defects. Amount spent on the quality training program, research to determine the customer requirement and improve production equipment are the prevention cost.

Appraisal cost

Appraisal cost are the cost associated with measuring, evaluating and auditing product or services to assure conformance to quality standards and performance requirement. These cost includes the cost of inspection of product purchase in process or in final or service audits ie the costs associate with product's supplies and materials

Failure cost

Failure cost are cost resulting from products or services not fulfilling the requirements of the user's need. Failure costs can be either internal or external.

Internal costs are the cost occurring prior to delivery of products or furnishing the services. Example cost of scrape, rework, reinspection, retesting, material review and down grading.

External costs are the cost occurring after the delivery of product or during furnish services to the customer. Example processing customer complains, returns, warranty claims and product reclaim.

Total quality management

"total Quality Management is a global customer orientated management philosophy, which encompasses all actions, values and beliefs of an organisation which aims to continuously improves and maintain quality standards. It is a systematic approach to education, management and operation designed to focus and co-ordinate the efforts of all employees in an organisation."

TQM is supported by two key beliefs: that quality is what the customers say it is and that must be thoroughly integrated into the fabric of the organisation including its basic strategies, culture and management systems. It is an essential pursuit for total quality. It is zero defect approach. It emphasises the top level of quality where zero defective goods are produced. This approach opposes the traditional belief of acceptable quality level which accepts to produce and sell predetermined defective units. This approach allows some defects in order to minimize the total quality cost.

Studies indicate that cost of poor quality is 20%for the manufacturing and 30% service industries of the gross sale. Quality expert maintain that the optimal quality level should be about 2.5% of sales. The accounting dept is the major force in the firm that keep track of and report on quality


Making the product right first time is the main objective of total quality management. Successful implementation of TQM program will reduce cost than increasing it. It is obvious that better quality will increase productivity. This principal is based on the principle that when less time is spent on repairs and rework and more time is given on manufacturing will increase productivity.

When an organisation keep the accurate records of cost of quality tqm will demonstrate that effective total quality measure cost will payoff the cost of repair and rework. Elimination of high reject rate results in fewer repairs, rework or scraps resulting in reduction in cost. Comparing the cost of quality with tqm is necessary for the management who are cost conscious in both industry and government. Management will measure the success of tqm on the basis of cost data. Successful implementation of tqm can eliminate the following costs

Rework or repairs

Inspection of rework

Testing of rework

Warranty cost

Returned materials

Discounts adjustment and allowances

The cost of prevention in tqm is far lower than the above failure costs.


A systematic way to improve the product and services

A structured approach in identifying and solving problem

A long term method of quality control

A process support by management's action

A process that is supported by statistical quality control

A technique practice by everyone.


A focus on the customers:-

Any functional unit has customers whether they are external customer or internal units. tqm advocates that the managers and employee are so customer focus that they always try to meet or exceed customers expectations. The management must accept concept that quality gets customer orders and meet the customers needs and expectations which is the stretagic goal of tqm

Long term commitments:

Experience shows that significant gains come only after management makes long time commitment to improve quality. Customer focus must be constantly renewed to keep that goal foremost.

Top management support and direction:

The top management must be driving force behind tqm. Senior manager must show their personal support by using the quality improvement concept in their management style and providing financial and staff support.

Employee involvement

Full employee participation is the integral part of this process. Every employee must participate in achieving this goal. It involves managers, supervisors and employees in improving service delivery, solving systematic problems and correcting errors in the all the parts of production process.

Effective and Renewed Communications.

The power of internal communication is central to employee involvement. Regular communication must be made at all levels in order to adjust its way of involvement and reinforce the commitment to total quality management.

Reliance on standards and Measures

Standard and measures should reflect customers requirement and changes that needs to be introduced in the internal business of providing this requirement. This emphasis doing the right thing right the first time.

Commitment to Training

Training is very important for the success of total quality management. This should start for the top level management to all associated with this task. Areas required for concentration must be identified. Required trainings skills and courses need to be provided to the person involved in.

Modern approach to quality are associated with a number of GURUS. The modern approach to quality is reflected in the following quality gurus. The modern era of quality was herald by the following gurus.


W. Edwards Deming, also known as father of quality control in 1951. He was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer and consultant. He is well known for improving quality production in America though he was recognised for his work more in Japan. After World War II he travelled to Japan at the request of Japanese government to assist its industries in improving productivity and quality. He taught that by adopting appropriate principles of management, organization can increase quality and reduce cost at the same time. His basic premise was that high quality is equal to lower cost. If you get it right first time then there are minimum prevention, detection remaking cost. His philosophy is summarised in his 14 key principles.

Create a culture of constancy of purpose towards improving of product and services. ie replace short reaction with long term planning.

Adopt the new philosophy. ie the implication is that management should adopt the philosophy instead of expecting the workforce to do so.

Cease dependence on inspection - if variation is reduced there is no need of inspection of item for defects.

Reduced number of suppliers to a manageable quality. Award supply contracts on the basis of conformance than low cost. Also specify the quality expectation from them.

Set up programs for continuous improvement of costs, designs, processes, products, culture, etc

Institute continuous training programs to maximise the contribution of each employee. If employee are inadequately trained there will be no uniformity in the work process leading to variations.

Establish leadership. It means focus supervision on helping employees. Encouraging them to do a better job and take pribe in their work.

Eliminate fear from the work place by encouraging communication. Fear may prevent them acting to best for the organisation.

Break down barrier between departments by encouraging team work.

Eliminate slogans- Another central idea of TQM is it is not people who make the mistake it is the process they are involved in. Harassing the workforce without improving the process will have a reverse effect.

Eradicate management by targets. The numerical target may also lead to production and delivery of poor quality goods.

Remove barriers to pride of workmanship.

Institute education and self - improvement of training in new and appropriate technologies

Defining clearly the transformation is everyone's job.

Though some of the principles were challenged they remain vital for the concept of quality management.


PHILIP B. CROSBY contributed to the concept of quality in 1979. He is widely recognised for promoting the concept of Zero defects and for defining quality as conformance to requirement. He initiate the Zero Defect program at the Martine Company Orlando, Florida Plant. As quality control manager the perishing missile program, he was credited for 25% reduction of cost and 30% reduction in scrap cost. He stated that the management must include cost of quality as part of financial system.

Crosby defines quality as conformance to requirement. He stated that "what cost money are the unquality thing." Quality is free when organisation emphasis on prevention of mistakes than to detection. Mistakes are caused either because of lack of knowledge or lack of attention. The first can be identified and corrected while the second is the attitude which can be changed by the individual. To achieve this Crosby listed the 14 steps to quality improvement.

It must be made clear that management are committed to quality.

Quality improvement team of senior management must be formed.

Evaluate the process to measure quality to find out where the potential or current problem to quality lies.

Evaluate the cost of quality to explain as a tool for management.

Create awareness among employees the personal concerns for the quality.

Appropriate action must be taken to correct the problems identified in the process of quality.

Process of improvement must be monitored constantly and must make sure zero defect quality process is carried out.

Trained supervisors must actively carry out their part in quality improvement.

Hold the Zero defect day to reaffirm management commitment.

Individual must be encouraged to set improvement goals for themselves and for their groups.

Employee must be encouraged to put for the obstacle in their way to quality improvement.

Appreciate the performance of the employee for their participation.

Quality councils must be established to communicate at regular basis

The process of quality improvement must be reviewed so that it continues and do not stops.


ARMAND V. FEIGENBAUM proposed the theory of total quality control. He believed that high quality could be achieved only through organizational support. He also asserted that the quality must be priority and not afterthought. He emphasised on the administrative viewpoint and considered human issue as a basic issue to quality control. He stress that quality do not mean the best but best for the customer's use and selling price. Quality control represents a management tool with 4 steps.

Setting quality standards.

Appraising conformance to thsee standards

Acting when standards are exceeded

Planning for improvement in the standards

According to him quality must encompass all the phases of in manufacturing the product which includes design, manufacturing, quality check, sales, after sales services and customer satisfaction. He also put forward the way to control the above phases. Feigenbaum's idea of modern quality concept was more management based. He recommended that

Increase operator's efficiency to enhance overall quality.

Prospecting to increase quality awareness in the organisation.

Involving all the employee in the quality enhancement process.

He also believed that quality must not be regarded as cost reduction tool but must be taken as an administrative effort to provide channel for knowledge integration and communication and encourage employee to participate in quality initiative. His concept is reffered to as quality at source and mean that every worker manager and authorities are responsible for performing their work with perfect quality. In TQC quality is more important than production rate so the worker must be given authority to stop production where quality problem arises.


KAORU ISHIKAWA wanted to change the way people think about the work. He insisted that quality is not just improving product quality but also can go further. His notion of quality control called for continuous customer service. According to him quality improvement is a continuous process and can always go one step ahead.

The head of the fish is the outcome desired, or "effect". Contributing factors leading to this or "causes" are listed as boxes at the end of ribs.

Each rib can then be broken down further into the specific factors.

Once a diagram has been completed then it can be used to select areas to be tackled and their priority order, and how they can be managed. Generating a complete diagram aids the consideration of an overall development strategy.

With his cause and effect diagram also called fish bone diagram management were able to make significant and specific advancement to their quality improvement. With the help of his diagram the users can find out all possible cause of the result and find the root of process imperfection. By pinpointing the root problem this diagram provide improvement from the very base of the problem. His philosophy of total quality management can be summerised as follow

Product quality is improved and becomes uniform. Defects are reduced.

Reliability of goods is improved.

Cost is reduced.

Quantity of production is increased, and it becomes possible to make rational production schedules.

Wasteful work and rework are reduced.

Technique is established and improved.

Expenses for inspection and testing are reduced.

Contracts between vendor and vendee are rationalised.

The sales market is enlarged.

Better relationships are established between departments.

False data and reports are reduced.

Discussions are carried out more freely and democratically.

Meetings are operated more smoothly.

Repairs and installation of equipment and facilities are done more rationally.

Human relations are improved.


DR.JOSEPH M,JURAN developed the quality trilogy.- quality planning , quality control and quality improvement. Good quality management requires quality actions to be planned , improved and controlled. Juran believed that quality is dependent on the customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. His ten steps to quality are

Create awareness for the need improvement.

Goals must be set for improvement

Ways to reach the Goals

Facilitate training

Carry out project to solve problem

Progress must be reported

Efforts must be recognised.

Results must be communicated

Achieved results must be maintained

Maintain momentum

His concept of quality did not just concentrated on the end of customer but also on internal and external customers.