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Table of Contents
- The process of implementing TQM
- The tools
Total quality management is a crucial tool in the process of improving the service environment in any organization. To achieve this, it is necessary to identify the potential improvement opportunities and systematically implement them in the ongoing improvements. This process gets resources from all stakeholders; hence, making it cheap, measurable, maintainable, and time conscious. According to Ozeki (1990), implementing an effective improvement strategy is fact based and change involves input and help from stakeholders. Notably, total quality management is an approach in business aimed at maximizing competitiveness of an entity. This involves improving the quality of the products, process, services, people, operating environment, and systems in the organization. The first step in the Total Quality Management is to realize that there is a problem which needs a solution and control. Secondly, when the process in the organization is the problem, then it does not matter how many employees you hire or train. The only solution to this problem is to correct the process and educate the employees on these new procedures. Increasing the number of employees in the organization will not help in solving the problem caused by the process. This process helps the organization to satisfy continually increasing customer expectations, needs, and requirements essentially through continuous business improvement. Mukherjee (2006) states that organizations use these tools in a coordinated strategy of teamwork and innovation to improve the business effectives.
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Implementation of the total quality management involves empowerment of employees through training, education, and increased communication. However, the implementation involves the use of experts who will set up quality procedures, standards, and work practices. This will help in changing the cultural organization in the entity despite the high initial investment required. It is necessary to understand that the returns from these investments are high in the end. This will ensure that the workers expectations are fulfilled, generating customer loyalty and satisfaction as well as good operating standards. In the end, there will be lower operating costs and hence an increase in the profit margin. Importantly, the management should put more emphasis on meeting the customers’ needs related to the sales and profit. Customer service is essential to accommodate the needs of customers. The team should make efforts as planned to improve quality expectations as defined by the customer. Essentially, quality is the conformance to specification and tolerance as determined by producer. It is critical that the management focus is directed towards realizing this because of its relevance. Outsourcing service from other firms can be helpful to the corporation since it will reduce complaints from customers.
Essentially, the survival of the organization entirely depends on sales and profit for it to be rated as a going concern. In addition, the management should empower the employees, who are critical resources to be developed. The employees are considerable input in the survival of any organization; they need to be motivated, compensated, and trained to increase their skills. Finally, the suppliers are business associates and need to be treated as such because of their value to the organization. According to Kanji (1995), the success of an organization depends on the invaluable technical expertise of the suppliers. These expertise and skills are vital in improving the end user experience, hence the success of the business entity. Organizations should understand that customers get satisfaction when they consistently receive product and services that meet their needs. The supervisor needs to ensure that customers are motivated to work and are provided with enough equipment.
The Process of Implementing TQM
The total quality management puts a lot of importance on the understanding process variation, the importance of measurement and diagnosis of the problems in the organization. In addition, it also places emphasis on the role of customers and employees’ involvement in pursuit of continuous improvement. The understanding of the Total Quality Management helps in benefiting all the participants in the organization. Total Quality Management includes customer satisfaction improvement, management commitment to excellence, timely provision of service, benchmarking of the track progress towards strategic goals, and product costs reduction while maintaining quality and availability.
The approach of the total quality should be based on strategic initiatives and satisfaction of customers’ needs, both internal and external. An organization is required to consider the development of plans intended to give sustainable competitive advantage. Therefore, the organization missions and vision statements are reflected in the organization’s activities. For instance, the organization visions need to provide the best in class or cost of goods sold. These visions and missions as well as the activities required to achieve the same have to be made known to the employees.
Joel E. Ross (1999) stipulates that obsession with quality by the management is crucial for the company’s success; hence, it should increase the capacity of research to develop new products and adopt the dynamic customer demands. I think that voice mail system will be critical in solving the complaints and questions of customers. Notably, there needs to be continuous improvement to perfect the answering machine, which will guide customers on how to raise their questions, hence saving time. It is critical that the organization develops a scientific approach to decision making and problems’ solving, hence increased production. The management needs effective objectives rolled out to the entire organization, which gives priority in getting quality and frequent production. Importantly, the strategic initiatives require effective communication, cascaded from the management. However, there should be employees’ involvement at all levels; hence, management should empower them to get involved.
Long-term commitment when implementing an effective Total Quality Management is critical to the organization to realize growth. However, implementation needs to be a long-term objective for the business entity. Importantly, the organization benefits will start to accrue in the short term despite it being a long term. The benefits of the Total Quality Management of the organization will increase exponentially as its system develops. Teamwork as well as unity of purpose are key initiatives which are important in realizing the benefits of the Total Quality Management (Ishikawa, 1985). Additionally, employees’ education and training is crucial since it will increase the quality of the workforce and motivational level.
The implementation of the Total quality management involves the use of the following tools and techniques. They include the fishbone charts, also known as Ishikawa diagrams. Kaoru Ishikawa invented this tool, and the name fishbone comes from its shape that resembles a bone of a fish. The function of the tool is to identify the causes of undesired effects for advancing achievement. Additionally, this tool is critical in identifying the factors that influence desirable results in the organization. Importantly, the identification of the factors needs to be made by an expert familiar with the process involved. The major factors in implementing the Total Quality Management need to be selected using the following “M’s”: Method, Manpower, Material, and Machinery. In addition, the following P’s can be useful: Policies, Procedures, People, and Plant. The identification of noteworthy factors preludes the statistical design of research. There should be a combination of system thinking where the cause and effect diagrams are used. These diagrams are the cause and effect and they are vital in developing an effective strategy for gaining feedback. These traditional cause and effect diagram illustrates source and outcome in a simple linear relationship in analyzing process dispersion.
The illustration above describes the main causes and sub causes, hence disclosing a symptom of problems in the organization. In order to identify and solve the problems, team brainstorming is essential. The team-brainstorming tool is essential in discovering the potential root basis of troubles. Therefore, the function of the tool has led it to be referred to as a cause- and-effect. Typically, the Fishbone diagram helps mainly in the problem resolving. The effect of the problem is placed in the fish head, while, on the other hand, the causes of the effect are laid out along the bones. They are then divided into different types along the branches. Moreover, the causes are further held alongside branches to help in arriving at the root cause of the problem. Brainstorming is essential for the quality improvement in the organization.
Hakes (1991) states that the steps involved in developing the fish bone diagram aimed at solving the problem in the organization include selecting the most appropriate Cause and Effect format. Secondly, there should be generated the causes that need to be used to build a Cause and Effect diagram. Importantly, Brainstorming needs to be done prior to preparing collected information before the meeting. In addition, one needs to check the sheet based on collected data before the meeting as well as establish a hierarchical relationship between the causes and effect. In the healthcare integrated delivery system (IDS), the management needs to identify customer requirements and the products. Additionally, the management should draw up the relationship matrix as well as deploy the expected quality, also known as competitive benchmarking. Technical importance ranking and analyzing of the correlations between various characteristics are also essential in developing a good Total Quality Management.
In my finding, the solution to the problem faced by the management can be found through the brainstorming. Brainstorming is placed in the possible causes, although it can be in a major cause category. Essentially, brainstorming of the entire list helps in maintaining the creative flow of ideas without being constrained. This can be limited to the major cause categories; essentially, this is where the ideas fit in each bone.
The above example of the application of the Fishbone diagram helps in identifying the root cause of the unorganized breaks, where an individual spends too much time on the phone with patients. The company needs a voice mail system so that staff can deal with the message and not the person. This will ensure that the patient gets straight to the point. The process will ensure that there is an improvement in the quality of products, process, services, people, operating environment, and systems in the organization. This process will help the organization to satisfy and continually increase customer expectations, needs, and requirements. According to Crosby (1989), this tool will be a useful means of diagnosing laziness and employing right people who fit the job description. Additionally, the fish bone diagram can be a useful tool in solving the information Technology issue in the organization. Total Quality Management is a move toward solving problems in an organization, which helps to improve their internal processes. This will in the end help increase customer satisfaction, and if properly implemented, can lead to decreased costs related to corrective or preventative maintenance. Additionally, this Total Quality Management helps in improving the overall performance as well as increasing happy and loyal customers.
Notably, the cause mapping method in the root cause analysis is founded and refined upon the thoughts and ideas from the fish bone diagram. The notion, ideas, illustration, and exercises concerned with the Cause Mapping technique help in improving the way employees analyze, document, correspond, and resolve problems. The reason for this study is to find the best solutions to prevent unorganized breaks’ incidents from occurring. Additionally, this investigation of the Cause Map helps reach this ideal by professionally laying out the impact to the integrated health organizations goals. As a result, the system of causes is supported with evidence as well as the best solutions are available to employees and management. Importantly, the fish bone diagrams are useful when analyzing and finding out the root cause of a complex problem and when there are several probable causes for a difficulty. Moreover, it can be useful when the problem is very complicated and management and the project team cannot locate the root cause. Finally, it can be employed if the traditional way of solving the problem, also known as the trial and error, is time consuming (Cover, 2005).
However, this tool can be useless when the problem is simple and already known as well as when the team size is limited for brainstorming. When there is a communication barrier with all the members of the organization the tool can be useless as well. Lastly, when time is of essence and is constrained, the tool cannot be useful since there may be a lack of sufficient headcounts necessary for brainstorming. This means that the teams of experts can solve the problem without much difficulty.
Another basic tool of the Total Quality management is the control charts, although it is the most complicated tool. The tool is based on a simple principle and is made by plotting in sequence the measured values and expectations of the organization. The Total Quality Management concept will help the organization in its ability to collect, analyze, and use data. This is a vital constituent of a thriving performance upgrading process in the health organization. The Total Quality Management is crucial in the Healthcare organizations, which help them not devote too much attention to data collection. Essentially, this is because they may only experience marginal achievement in their process enhancement. The goal of the Total Quality Management is to improve quality and create a solid platform where basic knowledge about the organization is stored. The databank will be critical in creating and providing useful information for the future products.
The third tool that helps in the Total Quality Management is the Pareto charts, developed by Alfred Pareto. He was an economist, and on realizing that only a few sections of the population control the nation wealth, he developed this model. The model can help in replacing the important few with the trivial many, hence solving defects in the organization.
Many organizations have staggered in a repetitive cycle of confusion and customer complaints. A typical example is a large healthcare integrated delivery system where management uses a centralized Call Center for their 3 million patients on the Eastern Seaboard. The management believes that their business is simply too large to manage the level of excellence. Thus, the first step in Total Quality Management is to realize that there is a problem which needs a solution and control. Secondly, when the process in the organization is the problem, then it does not matter how many employees you hire or train. The only solution to this problem is to correct the process and educate the employees on these new procedures. Increasing the number of employees in the organization will not help in solving the problem caused by the process.
Notably, the management needs to cure the problem in the organization and not only treat the symptoms. Patching over the underlying problem in the process cannot reach the potential. For instance, if the customers are complaining about being ignored, the problem can be poor equipments or an increased number of calls to the facility. The important thing to do is to find the source of the problem in order to correct it. In my finding, the solution to the problem faced by the management can be found through brainstorming. Brainstorming is taken to be a possible cause, although it can fit a major cause category. Essentially, brainstorming of the entire list helps in maintaining the creative flow of ideas without being constrained.
The management needs to understand that every employee is responsible for the overall excellence. All personnel in the facility, from managers to the supporting staff, must understand that they ought to ensure there is quality in the services they offer. They should ensure customer delight and satisfaction to the maximum. Notably, a good management system is efficient only when quantified with positive responses. The managers need to ascertain that the process of implementation has the desired results, which will ensure that future goals are fulfilled. They need to guarantee that they are working towards the same result. Notably, the Total Quality Management is a continuous process and not a onetime affair. The management needs to make sure that they are improving quality frequently in order to increase customer satisfaction as well as loyalty.
The Total Quality management is a long-term investment that is designed to finding a long-term prosperity of the organization. However, one should not forget that quality management is not really a quick fix. Total Quality Management is a move towards solving problems in an organization, which helps to improve its internal processes. This will in the end help in increasing customer satisfaction, and if properly implemented, it can lead to decreased costs related to curative or pre-emptive maintenance. Additionally, Total Quality Management helps in improving the overall performance as well as increasing satisfaction and loyalty of the customers. The customers complain on the services offered to them; this is not necessarily due to lack of personnel, rather it is because of poor equipments and processes. Therefore, I recommend that the management should purchase voice mail system so that staff can deal with the messages. This is important since the patients will be forced to be precise and to the point.
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