Quality Management in Business

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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

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

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 improvement.

Toyota Company is a Japanese multinational corporation. It is an automobile industry that manufactures cars and trucks. The company can adopt the concept of Kaizen to improve their quality on a continuous basis. The major elements of this concept are as follows:

  • Teamwork
  • Personal Discipline
  • Improved Morale
  • Quality Circles
  • Suggestions for improvement

Benefits of kaizen concept

The concept of Kaizen is been used by Toyota in improving their present quality issues. With the help of kiazen technique, Toyota has been imporving its performance in the following ways:

  • Kaizen concept helps in reduces wastes in terms of inventory, time and motion. That is, the cited company has increased their productivity by reducing the waste and decreasing their cost (Fotopoulos and Psomas, 2009).
  • Through Kaizen technique Toyota had improved their space utilization and product quality and they have adopted measures on continuous improvement in significant manner.
  • Kaizen technique had not only helped them in improving their quality but also the employee morale and job satisfaction.
  • Toyota had improved the quality of the products through Kaizen technique. They had used statistical measures through which they can measure the quality of their products and this had helped them to do their work effectively.

However, Toyota is well aware about the use of Kaizen. For example, in the year 1999, at one of the U.S plant, 75000 suggestions were submitted by 7000 employees out of which 90 % of the suggestions were taken into action. Thus, it displays the efficiency of the Toyota Corporation in terms of Kaizen.

Added value and benefits of effective quality management

It is important for Toyota to implement effective quality management so that they can provide superior quality products to their customers. This will help them to gain various advantages through which they can increase the sales of their products easily. Adding value helps the businesses in creating something new and innovative for the customers so that they can modify their services. One of the most positive approach that can be used by the Toyota in effective quality management is through adding value to their products. The types of added value they can apply for their products and services are as follows:

Lowering cost: Effective quality management will help Toyota in lowering their cost in terms of production and continuous repairs. Quality products will lead to better services and also law maintenance and repairs (Kersten and Koch, 2010). Further, it will also reduce the scarp for the company.

Reducing waste: Quality management will cause less wastage for the company. That is, the production will be done efficiently and this will lead to improved production. Therefore, it will lead to low wastage and more productivity.

Saving time: Effective quality management will save more time of the manufacturers. This is because the quality production will lead to fewer problems and defects. Therefore, it will save the time of the quality management in finding out the solution of the quality problems (Kastner, 2012).

Customer Loyalty: The last but not the least important benefit of effective quality management will be gaining the loyal customers. Toyota through effective quality will be able to attract more customers.

Toyota had added value to their customers by providing them the quality products to satisfy their needs effectively. Toyota had planned various feedback methods through which they can get various suggestion as well improvements ideas from the customers so that they can fulfill the ultimate needs and expectations of the customers. The company had also made various products with regards to low prices so that the middle class people can also afford their products.

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Type of information made available to the customers

Mere planning effective quality measures will not work until and unless it is being properly communicated to the customers. Thus, it is the responsibility of the corporation to provide the sufficient information to the customers so that they can have an idea about the proper quality of the product. The various information that should be made available to the customers are as follows:

Location: Toyota will have to provide the appropriate locations so that the customers will have an idea about the branches of the company so that they can buy the products conveniently form the respective showrooms. The showrooms should be such that itself presents the quality of the product. They need to make their location so classy that they can attract their customers from the location itself.

Price Lists: Toyota should also reveal all the information about the price lists of the different product so that they can purchase accordingly (Dror, 2008). Price helps in determining the quality of the product. Thus, prices of product will help the company in segmenting their quality of the product.

Raising awareness: Toyota had organized various programs through which they have communicated the quality of their products. Through appropriate promotional tools, company can raise awareness among the customers. The Best promotions of product will help the company in reflecting the quality of the product.

Creating true Image: With regards to quality, the company should try to focus on improving their public image. Quality products will itself create the image of the company in positive way. Quality will enhance the goodwill of the company and will also encourage them to maintain their quality standards.

Targeting all groups: Toyota should try to focus on all target groups so that they can convey their information to all the segments of market. Quality determines the price of the product. Thus, price can be determined by targeting the appropriate groups. This will help the company in maintaining their quality according to the demand of the customers group.

The above mentioned information had helped the company in properly implementing their marketing strategies. The reason being, by providing proper communication to the customer about the product quality they can gain the support and loyalty of the customers.

Conclusion

From this report it can be concluded that it is important for the modern businesses to manage their total quality so that they can increase their customer loyalty. In this case the focus is being made on the Toyota Corporation. Through this report the total quality management programs of the Toyota is being highlighted.

References

  • Dahlgaard, J. J., Khanji, G. K. and Kristensen, K., 2008. Fundamentals of total quality management. Routledge.
  • Goetsch, D. L. and Davis, S. B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. pearson.
  • Oakland, J. S., 2014. Total quality management and operational excellence: text with cases. Routledge.
  • Rolstadas, A., 2012. Performance management: A business process benchmarking approach. Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Wheelen, T. L. and Hunger, J. D., 2011. Concepts in strategic management and business policy. Pearson Education India.
 

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