What is Quality Management In Business?
Quality management is an approach that oversees all business activities to ensure the standardization of company's product and services (Dahlgaard, Khanji and Kristensen, 2008). It helps in maintaining the desired level of excellence. Quality-management includes the appropriate implementation of quality planning, assurance, control and improvement.
In the context of cited topic, the report has been prepared taking into consideration the Toyota Corporation. Toyota is a Japanese automobile corporation that deals in cars and trucks. It is considered as one of the successful business corporation. But from past few years Toyota is facing some quality issues. With regards to this, the report throws light on the different approaches to quality management, benefits of quality management in businesses, understanding the range of quality controls and at last, it throws light on the application of quality management principles to improve the performance of organization.
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Definition of Quality in terms of businesses and services
Quality: In the modern terms, quality is defined as meeting or exceeding the customer expectations (Goetsch and Davis, 2014).
In this definition the focus of the businesses is to fulfill the needs and wants of the customers. The businesses are supposed to produce their product or service keeping in consideration the tastes and preferences of customers. I think this is a good definition because nowadays customers want such services that can fulfill their expectations and needs.
Quality: Quality assures excellence of the goods and services in satisfying the customer needs.
In this definition, the quality focuses on the producing and delivering the best product and services to the customers. The businesses must focus on delivering those goods and services that satisfies the customers in the best possible manner. This definition is also good up to a certain limit because it is not always necessary that quality leads to excellent goods and services.
Quality: Quality can be referred as building company image by providing standard product and services to the customers.
In this definition the focus is on the improving the public image of the company by providing superior quality products to the customers. Toyota's quality system can be viewed in this definition because they have been providing the quality products to their customers to build their company image in an effective term. This definition is good because quality product can help the company in building their public image because quality creates brand.
Earlier processes of inspection and assurance
Earlier the focus of the company's was more producing and delivering goods rather than maintaining the quality of the goods. In manufacturing industries, the only way through which the quality was being measured is through mass production and quality control measures. Traditionally, the quality was being measured by the inspector and he used to do inspect the products in masses (Wheelen and Hunger, 2011). Thus, it did not lead to appropriate quality check. As a result the company's use to lack in providing the quality products. The company's has evolved from inspection technique to total quality management in an effective manner.
Inspection: In this level the quality inspector used to make evaluation through judgments and observations (Chaffey and White, 2010). The inspector used to check the quality of the product through testing, measurement, etc. This method was limited up to the mass production.
Quality control: In this level the team of quality management focused on fulfilling the desired level of the customer requirements and expectations (Oakland, 2014). Toyota can control their quality by taking views from their users and this will help them to know what all changes are being required by the customers in their products.
Quality assurance: The quality management makes assurance that the desired level of the requirements will be fulfilled. The management makes ways through which the quality of the products or services can be achieved. Toyota will be able to assure their quality by measuring the change in their sales that resulted due to appropriate quality control.
Total Quality management (TQM): In TQM, the focus is on the quality check of each and every aspect of the business. From suppliers to management and customers to departments, the quality of each and every process is checked. This is mainly done through the quality control technique such as ISO 9002 (Rolstadas, 2012).
Quality management approaches
To improve the quality issues, Toyota Corporation need to adopt various strategies through which they can improve the quality of their products. The approaches that can be adopted by Toyota are:
Deming's TQM approach
Edward Deming says that the company should focus on redesigning their systems to :
Plan: Toyota should make plans about designing those products that the customers want. They must focus on providing the quality products that leads to minimum wastage and reduces the cost of production (Brooks and Hestnes, 2010).
Do: Toyota to improve their quality problems will have to make their plans into action. Thus, they should make regular plans in improving the quality of their goods and services.
Check: The quality management of the Toyota need to monitor their performances regularly so that they can make the changes accordingly (Collingridge and Gantt, 2008).
Act: The management need to take all these points into action so that they can serve their customers in an effective way.
Juran's quality management approach
Like Deming, Joseph Juran also paid attention towards total quality management. He focused on three major areas:
Quality Planning: The management of the Toyota needs to make plans to improve the quality of their products and services.
Quality Control: It includes the means through which the quality control techniques can be adopted by the Toyota to get recovery from their quality issues.
Quality Improvement: It requires the continuous monitoring of the system and processes to make the improvements in the quality of the products (Dror, 2008).
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Ishikawa's Quality management approach
Toyota can adopt the six fundamental principles of the quality management:
- Quality comes before profits
- Company's should be customer oriented
- The products should fulfill the expectation of customers
- Presenting facts and data about products
- Respecting humanity
- Cross functional management
Taguchi's quality management approach
The main goal of the Taguchi's quality management approach is to fulfill the requirements of customers (Hoang, Igel and Laosirihongthong, 2010). Toyota can adopt the three level of Taguchi's approach for quality control:
- Identifying the existing level of quality-management
- Improving the quality measures through tools and techniques
- Monitoring the level of quality with the help of statistical data
Customer satisfaction is the marketing term in which the company tries to fulfill the needs and expectations of the customers. It is important for an organization to satisfy the need and wants of the customer because:
- A satisfied customer will lead to more repurchasing of products in comparison with unsatisfied customer (Yang, Hong and Modi, 2011). In Toyota, the specific department is being made that take care of the customers and makes relation with them to provide quality products to the customers. For example, Toyota company has specially made customer relationship department that focuses on the needs and requirements of the customers.
- The cost of attracting new customer is much more than retaining the existing customers. Toyota has developed the wide range of new cars through which they have grabbed attention of various customers. Therefore, it is important for company to focus on its existing customer so that they need not have to invest much cost for the new customers. For example, the company can be in touch with their existing customers and this will help them to promote their new products to their customers. On the other hand, to promote their product to the new customers they will have to do proper survey's and research and this will increase their cost.
- A satisfied customer will positive word of mouth and in turn will attract more customers. Toyota has tried to develop the products with the choices of the customers which had led to better customer satisfaction (English, 2009). For example, if the Toyota will manufacture the product according to the customer’s choice than they will get positive feedback from their customers.
It is important for the Toyota to satisfy the needs and wants of the customers. They can do so by adopting the following measures:
- The cited company can satisfy their customers by offering the product design according to the need and wants of the customers. They can do so by taking the reviews and feedback from the customers.
- One of the most effective way through which Toyota can satisfy their customers is through complaint management program. The freedom of review provided to customers motivates them to purchase the product of the company. Further, this technique will also help the company to know about the preferences of the customers.
- The company should plan various programs through which they can make continuous improvements in their products and services which in turn lead to customer satisfaction.
Continuous improvement is an ongoing process of monitoring or improving products, processes and services. The process of continuous improvement can be understood from the concept of Kaizen (Su, Q. 2008). Kaizen is an ongoing improvement from the top management, mangers to workers. It focuses on modifying or improvising the managerial and quality activity in significant manner. Kaizen literally means making changes for some good and on continual basis. Kaizen is a Japanese technique of continuous im