Quality ManagementIntroductionQuality management is an approach which seeks to improve the quality of products and services of an organisation in order to meet customer needs or to exceed their expectations. Daft and Lane (2009, p. 554) define quality management as a quality control strategy that emphasises a well-organized and unrelenting pursuit of better quality and reduced costs. Quality management is achieved through implementation of a quality management system in an organisation, which controls and directs the organisation with regard to quality. There are various methods by which an organisation can develop a quality management system and hence maintain high quality products and services.
They include the Six Sigma principles, quality circles, reduced cycle time, continuous improvement and benchmarking (Daft & Lane, 2009, p. 554). This paper examines the importance of quality management to organisations. As well, it discusses the aforementioned quality control methods and explains how they can help to raise and maintain high quality products and services in an organisation. Further, an explanation is given of how a quality management project can be implemented in an organisation, with a critical evaluation of the importance and relationship between human and technical issues that highly influence the implementation process. Importance of quality managementQuality management is an important principle to organisations for a variety of reasons.
First, it ensures product and/or service quality. Some of the most important product qualities are reliability, durability and performance (Madura, 2006, p. 334). Through implementation of effective quality management techniques, an organisation can produce high quality products and/or services, which perform in accordance with organisational objectives and promises. Quality products will endure normal, daily use (Madura, 2006, p.
334). Implementation of quality management programmes also helps companies in designing new, better quality products and/or services. Secondly, quality management helps to ensure customer satisfaction. As Joiner (2007, p. 618) points out, it is essential for any organisation to conduct regular customer surveys in order to understand how customers rate its products or/and services. Surveys should also include individuals who are not the organisation’s customers. This will enable the organisation to understand the reasons why these customers prefer the organisation’s competitor. From the data collected, the organisation will be in a position to target specific features of products or services that require improvement.
Through the use of quality management programmes, the organisation will be able to create the type of products or services desired by customers, thereby ensuring their satisfaction. Further, quality management enables customers to increase revenues in the long-term. As Joiner (2007, p. 618) notes, quality products and services give organisations a good reputation in any industry. This good reputation enables an organisation to sell more products and services to existing customers and to gain new customers.
Effective quality management techniques also help to remove inefficient and unnecessary processes within an organisation’s system. According to Joiner (2007, p. 618), this helps to increase employee productivity. Removing unnecessary processes means that workers spend less time on job activities that do not contribute to the quality of the final product or service. Consequently, workers produce more work in less time, while salaries remain the same. Generally, this helps to alleviate costs incurred due to inefficiencies, which enables organisations to realise higher net profits.