Quality Management: Session Long Project

Quality Management
Quality Management

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Quality Management

Session Long Project

Using the fictitious company from the previous SLPs, continue to develop the company profile and operating information. This is a very open-ended SLP, and it will give you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and use creativity in providing the solution to the challenges.

Identify how your company uses quality management.

Categorize the quality problems in your company, and identify different areas for quality measurement and management.

What types of quality tools and techniques are the best to be employed, process control, quality tools, employee involvement?

Consider quality management programs such as TQM, Six Sigma, ISO9000, etc.

How might these be employed, and which of these do you think are best for your company?

• First discuss a recap of your company and provide any additional information about it that will be necessary and/or an interesting background to a discussion of quality and quality management.

• Identify at least three areas of types of quality focus (e.g., product quality, etc.). Discuss these areas and explain why quality is important.

• What are some quality tools and techniques that can be used to chart, diagnose, and improve quality in these three areas?

• Discuss the types of quality programs and recommend what you think is the best program or programs for your company to use and explain why.

Quality Management (TQM) is the organization-wide management of quality that includes facilities, equipment, labor, suppliers, customers, policies, and procedures. TQM promotes the view that quality improvement never ends, quality provides a strategic advantage to the organization, and zero defects is the quality goal that will minimize total quality costs. While this special topic on TQM is not a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of TQM, several key concepts will be discussed.An important basis for justifying TQM practice is understanding its impact on total quality costs.

TQM is rooted in the belief that preventing defects is cheaper than dealing with the costs of quality failures. In other words, total quality costs are minimized when managers strive to reach zero defects in the organization. The four major types of quality costs are prevention, appraisal, internal failure, and external failure.

Prevention costs are the costs created from the effort to reduce poor quality. Examples are designing the products so that they will be durable, training employees so they do a good job, certifying suppliers to ensure that suppliers provide quality in products and services, conducting preventive maintenance on equipment, and documenting quality procedures and improvements.

In a traditional organization that does not practice TQM, prevention costs typically comprise the smallest percentage of total quality costs.A good example of good product design occurs in all Honda products. Honda produces a wide variety of items, including automobiles, ATVs, engines, generators, motorcycles, outboard motors, snow blowers, lawn and garden equipment, etc. To say the least, Honda engines last a long time. For example, Honda Accords typically run for well over 200,000 miles.

Employee training is also a very important prevention cost. For instance, employees in a vegetable/fruit packaging warehouse need to know what a bad vegetable/fruit looks like, since customers will not want to find spoiled produce in the store. Lifeguards at a swimming pool must know proper procedures for keeping swimmers safe. In many circumstances in both manufacturing and service businesses, the training of employees can make an enormous difference in preventing defects.

Supplier selection and certification are critical prevention activities. A product or service is only as good as the suppliers who partner with an organization to provide the raw materials, parts and components, and supporting services that make up the final products and services that the end customers receive. For example, a home furnishings store might use an outside subcontractor to install carpeting, but if the subcontractor fails to show up on time, tracks mud into the customer’s home, or behaves in a rude manner, the store’s reputation will suffer. Similarly, a car manufacturer who purchases defective tires from a supplier risks incurring high costs of recalls and lawsuits when the defects are discovered.

Preventive maintenance is necessary for preventing equipment breakdowns. Many manufacturing companies use sophisticated software to track machine usage, and determine optimal schedules for regular machine maintenance, overhauls, and replacement.

Documenting quality is a necessary prevention cost because it helps the organization track quality performance, identify quality problems, collect data, and specify procedures that contribute to the pursuit of zero defects. Documentation is important to communicating good quality practice to all employees and suppliers.

Appraisal costs are a second major type of quality cost. Appraisal costs include the inspection and testing of raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods. In addition, quality audits, sampling, and statistical process control also fall under the umbrella of appraisal costs.Inspection and testing of raw materials is very important, since substandard raw materials lead to substandard products. Raw materials used for a bridge determine the strength of the bridge. For example, soft steel will erode away faster than hardened steel. Moreover, the concrete bridge decking needs to be solid, as concrete with air pockets will erode and crumble faster, creating an unsafe bridge.

Finished goods and work-in-process inventory also need inspecting and testing. For example, worker error is quite common in the home construction industry, and this is why inspections occur frequently on newly constructed homes during and after the construction process is complete. Building inspectors ensure that the house has the proper framing, electrical, plumbing, heating, and so forth.

Quality audits and sampling are also important appraisal costs. Quality audits are checks of quality procedures to ensure that employees and suppliers are following proper quality practices. With sampling, a company can ensure with confidence that a batch of products is fit for use. For example, a wooden baseball bat manufacturer may test 10 out of every 100 bats to check that they meet strength standards. One weak bat can signal that quality problems are present.

Statistical process control (SPC) is the final type of appraisal cost. SPC tracks on-going processes in manufacturing or service environments to make sure that they are producing the desired performance. For example, a restaurant might statistically track customer survey results to make sure that customer satisfaction is maintained over time. In manufacturing windshields for automobiles, SPC might be used to track the number of microscopic air bubbles in the glass to make sure the process is performing to standard.

Internal failure costs are the third category of quality costs. This cost occurs when quality defects are discovered before they reach the customer. Examples of internal failure costs include scrapping a product, reworking the product, and lost productivity due to machine breakdowns or labor errors. Internal failure costs are typically more expensive than both prevention and appraisal costs because a great deal of material and labor often has been invested prior to the discovery of the defect. If a book publisher prints 10,000 books, then discovers that one of the chapters is missing from every copy, the cost of reworking or scrapping the books represents a major loss to the company. It would have been much cheaper to have procedures in place to prevent such a mistake from happening in the first place.

In the case of internal failure cost due to machine failures, FedEx and other courier services cannot keep up with demand when a conveyor belt breaks down in the package distribution center. Major delays and costs occur when such incidents occur. Other examples include a road construction company having a road grader break down, a tool and die shop having a CNC machine break down, and a farmer having a combine break down during harvest time.

External failure costs are the fourth major cost of quality. External failure costs occurs when the defect is discovered after it has reached the customer. This is the most expensive category of quality costs. Examples include product returns, repairs, warranty claims, lost reputation, and lost business. One spectacular example of external failure cost was when the Hubbell telescope was launched into space with mirrors that were ground improperly. When the telescope was turned on, instead of a magnificent view of stars, planets, and galaxies, the scientists could see only blurred images. The price of correcting the problem was over USD 1 billion.

External failure costs also occur when the wrong meal is delivered to a restaurant customer, when a computer breaks down shortly after it was purchased, when the wrong kidney is removed from a patient, and when a poorly designed automobile causes the death of drivers and passengers. Because of the enormous costs of internal and external failures, all companies should strive for zero defects. Successful TQM practice dictates that pursuing zero defects will result in the minimization of total quality costs by spending more on prevention and appraisal activities in order to reduce the much higher costs of internal and external failure.


Required Reading

Optional Reading

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Quality Management

The management of quality in an organization is becoming increasingly important. In order to assess this importance, this project determines an organization whose quality management, control, planning, and analysis will be assessed. This paper looks into the areas of quality focus, various tools and techniques used, and a number of program recommendations for the chosen organization.

Recap of the chosen company

The choice company is Better Medical Hospital, a health care facility with a bed capacity of 200 and approximately 2500 employees. The firm offers a number of services to local, state, and out of state patients. These include diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, medication, and end of life care services. The organization’s key operational processes are diagnosis, medication, documentation, and patient flow processes. The use of various approaches in the field of quality management could help to improve the operational processes within the organization. This would help in the increase of efficiency and productivity for Better Medical Hospital.

Areas and types of quality focus

A focus on quality by a company is important, as it is one of the key cornerstones of a business. The main importance of quality is the loyalty it creates in the fan base of the business (Loureiro & González, 2008). There exists a number of areas and types of quality where an organization should focus. Bearing in mind the chosen firm, some of these are outlined below.

Product quality

A key focus area for any business should be the quality of the products and services offered to the consumer. Several definitions exist for product quality. Given the nature of services provided by Better Medical Hospital, the preferred definition is the user-based approach, where the quality of the product is judged based on its ability to satisfy the varying needs of the various consumers (Garvin, What Does “Product Quality” Really Mean?, 1984).

Customer focus

The second area of quality focus is the focus on the customer. In order to determine the best forms of managerial, operational and production practices, a firm should base such decisions on the experience of their customers. In using this focus area type, the views of the consumers are held in high regard in terms of what the company does. An institution such as Better Medical Hospital should have a customer-centric approach to its operations as this will lead to better performance metrics for management (Garvin, 1987).

Employee engagement

A firm that seeks to deliver on its mission and vision should focus on the quality of personnel at its disposal. Such a company seeks to optimize the skills and interactions of its members of staff. Once the employees of the organization are empowered, they provide the needed services which lead to satisfied customers. In the case of the healthcare facility, the availability of engaged employees makes a big difference in the attitude of the customers. This is because the employees have a direct engagement with the customers that are usually at a personal level….

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Quality Management System

Quality Management System
Quality Management System

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Quality Management System

Short Answer Essay Questions:

  1. What is a quality management system that is structured to support organizational excellence? How does a quality management system developed to promote organizational excellence differ from the traditional product related quality systems?
  2. Provide at least two specific examples of how quality as organizational excellence can be deployed through operations in a service related company. Include the process and possible quality-based methods and tools which can be applied in your response. Reference to class room workshops and examples are acceptable.

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Quality Management System

Question 1: A quality management system that is structured to support organizational excellence

A quality management system refers to the systems of business process management that ensure the products and services of a given business entity align with the needs and expectations of the customers. A quality management system that is structured to support organizational excellence provides a holistic management of the organization rather than a focus on the various integral parts of the organization with a focus on customer needs, strategic planning, and continuous improvement (van der Tuuk & Sibinga, 2008; Evans, 2013).

How a quality management system developed to promote organizational excellence differs from the traditional product-related quality systems

The traditional quality systems had a focus on improving quality after production. In addition, the traditional systems measure the quality of small batches as a means to determine the process performance. The employees are passive in the traditional systems and the management expects the minimum improvement annually. The traditional systems had a short-term focus, where the current profit is a major driver. In the traditional quality management system, quality is inspected into the product while there is a constant conflict between the shifts in productivity and quality (Goetsch & Davis, 2010)……

Question 2: How quality as organizational excellence can be deployed through operations in a service related company.

In a company whose main product or products are in the form of services, the concept of organizational quality and excellence may be deployed through various operations. In this case, an example of an insurance sales firm provides sufficient context. An organizational approach to ensure excellence, in this case, would involve the use of a statistical measure of sigma to quantify the operational processes required to maximize quality in the example of millions of sales per year. In this scenario, a measure of either 3 sigma or 6 sigma may be used to align operational efforts in the right channels (Dale, Wiele, & Iwaarden, 2007). A global organization such as AON or Prudential PLC may find such an operational approach useful…..

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