Basic TQM concepts
In modern literature and practice, the following concepts of quality management are used:
- quality system ( Quality System ) ;
- a management system based on quality management ( Quality Driven Management System );
- universal quality management ( Total Quality Managemnt ) ;
- quality assurance ( Quality Assurance ) ;
- quality control ( Quality Control ) ;
- statistical quality control ( Statistical Quality Control ) ;
- quality assurance system ( Quality Assurance System ) ;
- product warranty ( Product Assurance ) ;
- the universal production management ( Total Manu facturing Management ) ;
- Advanced production experience ( Good Manufacturing Pratices ) ;
- a system for managing production conditions ( Environmental Managemtnt System ) ;
- system we are concerned about ( We Care ) ;
- the system of concern of responsible persons ( Responsible Sare ) ;
is a general quality management in the field of environmental protection ( Environmental TQM ) ;
- the general provision of production ( Total Manufacturing Assurance ) ;
- integrated process management ( Integrated Process Management ) ;
- management for quality improvement ( Management for Quality Improvement ) ;
- full (through, total) quality and performance management (Total Quality and Productivity Management ) ;
- Integrated Quality Management ( Integrated Management ) ;
is a system for implementing continuous improvements ( Continuos Improvement Implementation System ) ;
is the total quality conversion ( Total Quality Transformation ) ;
- management of the quality system ( Quality System Management ).
There are other concepts of quality management. Here are a small part of them, but important for understanding quality as a control object. These concepts reflect the essence of the various methods used in the methodology of TQM for solving various quality problems.
The concept of TQM is of great importance in the management of modern firms. It includes the following basic management elements (strategies):
• Focus on consumers (external and internal);
• orientation to the process;
• Continuous improvement and learning;
• Empowering employees and teamwork;
• fact-based management
• a large-scale leadership in which universal quality is seen as a strategic information asset.
Let's consider the contents of the indicated basic elements (strategies) of the TQM concept.
Increased attention to consumers (consumer focus)
The satisfaction of the consumer in the conditions of the market is the paramount task of any organization, regardless of its form of ownership and size. At the same time, for an organization working in the context of TQM, this does not mean satisfying the needs of only external consumers. Every employee of the organization has his own consumers, who are called internal customers. Their needs in accordance with the requirement of "doing a good job" must also be satisfied. To be able to satisfy external consumers (external quality), it is necessary to satisfy internal consumers (internal quality), not allowing a low level of internal quality.
Low level of internal quality implies various violations in the system, related to the following main reasons:
• reworking the project;
• Reproduction of products to compensate for the release of substandard products;
• the need to repair defective products or destroy them (although funds have already been spent on its production);
• Various delays in the process leading ultimately to a decline in productivity and an increase in the cost of the final product that satisfies the consumer (products with high external quality).
To avoid low internal quality and to provide high external quality, it is necessary to include in the process of external and internal consumer and consider the relationship "consumer-supplier" in the form of a continuous chain of the whole process. Every worker in any part of this process must know and understand the needs of not only the external but also the internal consumer.
The main requirement of TQM is to treat the consumer as a participant in the process of creating a high-quality product.
Ultimately, the consumer who determines the level of the quality of the goods becomes the consumer. Understanding the essence of the needs of consumers, both current and future, and maintaining a pace that allows us to keep up with changing markets requires effective strategies for identifying and clarifying the needs of consumers, measuring the level of their satisfaction with products manufactured by the organization, compared with the products of competitors.
In the course of strategic planning, the development of new products, process improvement and the training of personnel, the organization must take full account of consumer demands and the characteristics of consumer groups.
It is very important information about the degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with these requests, because its analysis leads to the right actions by which you can get satisfied customers who in turn reward the company with their loyalty, repeat transactions and positive recommendations and opinions that they express about the company when communicating with other people. In order for consumers to be adequately satisfied, they require, among other things, prompt and effective response actions and solutions when consumers have requests and desires, as well as the formation and maintenance of good relationships. Business can achieve success only by understanding the needs of consumers and satisfying them. In the perspective of universal quality, all strategic decisions that the company takes must be "consumer-oriented". In other words, the company must demonstrate constant increased attention to emerging consumer market requirements. To do this, it must be able to develop the necessary technologies and react quickly and flexibly to market consumer needs.
Companies focused on the consumer, measure factors that affect the degree of customer satisfaction. A company that works in close contact with its consumer knows what it wants, how it uses its products, and even predicts the emergence of requests that the consumer himself may not have explicitly expressed yet.
Such a company is constantly developing new techniques that allow it to receive feedback from consumers.
Consumer surveys and working with focus groups can help a company better understand the requirements and values of the people and organizations it serves. Some companies require their managers responsible for sales and marketing to meet periodically with representatives of key customers. Other companies invite customers and suppliers to participate in the development of new products and in internal meetings related to this work.
The external consumer can be represented by three main groups:
• End users of the company product (specific people);
• Intermediate customers (intermediaries between the company and the end user of the product), such as distributors or resellers, adding value to the product;
• large and medium-sized consumers (organizations and enterprises).
In this case, the market survey is conducted through contact with a large number (to obtain greater reliability of the average sample value of the survey results) strongly and srednzareznaznuvannyh consumers. For more complete information, it is advisable to pay attention to the survey of the following sectors of the market;
• large banks;
• medium banks;
• wholesale and retail trade;
• large industrial companies;
• Medium-sized industrial companies
• state and public leaders of the regions;
• service companies (advertising, transportation, insurance, etc.).
The discrepancies in the evaluation of quality between consumers and producers, lead to different estimates of production values in their understanding, caused by breaks in the chain manufacturer (supplier) - consumer and, first of all, inaccurate perception by the company management of the consumer's expectations. It should be noted that the expectations of a particular consumer are influenced by the range of his communication, his own needs and his life experience, as well as the media.
To exclude these gaps in the relationship with both external and domestic consumers, it is necessary to ensure that the organization's activities are focused on satisfying the needs and wishes of consumers. In practice, the needs and wishes of consumers are tracked through questionnaires and personal contact during the interview process.
Large firms practice questioning their regular and potential consumers at a frequency of once a year. In these questionnaires, as a rule, there are more than 70 questions. To correct their goals in long-term planning, producers send out more extensive questionnaires every three years to large consumers of the product.
The results of the survey of the degree of satisfaction of external consumers by the company level are the main component of the self-monitoring process conducted by the company in accordance with the TQM requirement. The company should improve its activity annually. Self-control allows it to determine the strategic direction of its activities in the struggle for the consumer. This work is performed by the company's top management, which once again underscores the importance of its involvement in the quality assurance process. The results of the external evaluation, compared with the internal achievements of the enterprise, allow you to adjust the current programs to improve the quality of products or services.
In accordance with the TQM concept, external customers of the company are not only users who buy company goods, but also people, families, local communities, state organizations, enterprises and, finally, society. Their satisfaction depends on the performance of the enterprise, which must meet the expectations of positive changes in the quality of the goods and the activities of the organization itself and (or) help to strengthen consumers' confidence in excluding, reducing to an acceptable level or compensating for undesirable effects on the part of the enterprise on them, their personal property, as well as on the natural environment.
A world-class company, as it follows from its definition, should be viewed as an exemplary corporate citizen. This requires a high level of business ethics, health protection and staff safety, attention to the environment and the dissemination of quality-related information to various groups (related to business and public life) with which the company interacts. In addition, the support provided by the company (within its reasonable resources) to national, sectoral, professional and social activities, and the exchange of unclosed quality-related information, demonstrate what potential benefits can be gained by a good "corporate citizen".
The approach based on universal quality management considers every person working in the enterprise as an internal customer or an external supplier or as an internal supplier or external consumer.
Internal consumers, and they are the recipients of the results of some work (for example, the next department in the production process or the order picker receiving instructions from the clerk registering incoming orders) are also important for guaranteed quality assurance, as well as external consumers buying product. The inability to satisfy the needs of domestic consumers will certainly have a negative impact on external consumers.
Thus, workers should, on the one hand, view themselves as consumers of the products of other workers, and on the other, as a supplier for someone else in their company. Employees who know how to treat themselves as consumers and suppliers alike understand how their work is related to the final product. After all, any supplier must understand the requirements of its customers and satisfy them with the most efficient and productive of all possible ways.
To internal consumers are all those who influence the final product of the company (excluding the external consumer), regardless of whether they are directly involved in its creation or not.
Domestic consumers can be divided into three main groups:
• internal users of the internal process;
• employees (employees) of the company;
• users of the company's business results.
All internal users, like external ones, have their expectations (hopes), and their satisfaction affects the results of the company's work. Therefore, each company operating in accordance with TQM, should periodically conduct specific surveys to identify these expectations and plan an improvement program to meet them.
Internal users of the internal product - are users of the company's internal services (for example, information systems, recruitment systems, education and retraining systems, maintenance and repair systems for machines and equipment, etc.). In this case, the employees of the subsidiary units of the company act as suppliers of the internal product.
The satisfaction of users of the internal product should be clarified through their regular interviewing by officials who are directly responsible for the progress and results of a specific internal supporting process. The procedure for managing this process should ensure that the results of such a survey continuously satisfy the wishes and needs of the user of the internal product. In other words, the procedure governing the relationship "manufacturer (supplier) - consumer" should provide a systematic analysis of the results of the interview, in which the supplier's ratings are compared with the perception of users and, if necessary, immediate adjustment is made.
Employees ( employees ) companies - is the most important category of internal users. Their sense of belonging to the company, self-affirmation, motivation, present satisfaction and hope for the future are the foundation of the company's success. The satisfaction of employees and the corresponding changes in the various processes of the company to which they are participants are clarified through a questionnaire. This questionnaire should cover all the essential aspects of the relationship between the company and the individual worker and allow the evaluation of relevant criteria and indicators (for example, motivation, sense of duty, salary, career, etc.).
The results of a survey of employees' opinions will be significant only if people understand that their answers will remain anonymous, will not bring individual benefits to the respondent, but, as a tool that provides information to the company, will improve the management of cadres.
Users of the company's business results are a special group. In a broad sense, this category of users unites those who benefit from the company's well-being: first of all, the owners of the company (shareholders), immediate employees (employees), then its suppliers, social environment, etc. Expert evaluation is carried out to measure the satisfaction of this group of consumers. The questions asked by them should be aimed at improving the quality of various activities of the company, for example:
• Increase the company's profits by increasing customer satisfaction, increasing market share, providing higher prices for the goods sold through additional services, etc.
• Adjustment of the cost of production in the direction of its increase, depending on the improvement in the quality of the process;
• adjustment of the cost of goods or services as a consequence of improving the efficiency of the process.
It should be emphasized that, by examining the opinions of this category of consumers, it is impossible to obtain meaningful results of their satisfaction, which will help the company unambiguously adjust the direction of its work improvement. This is due to a number of reasons.
First, the interest in increasing any benefits (including profits) is closely related to the impact of a large number of internal and external factors, an objective analysis of which is hardly possible in practice.
Secondly, people expecting benefits are counting on quick results, while most of the benefits obtained from improvement are manifested after a long time.
However, despite the difficulties, the focus on the consumer within the framework of the TQM strategy should be the main one in all spheres of the manufacturer's activity and its primary task.
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