As management of an organization, how do you stay in the forefront of the drive to improve the quality of your organizations products and services?
Total Quality Management (TQM); a management technique that focuses on improving the quality of the organization’s products and services. Now that you are informed about TQM, let’s take a look at ten (10) things you can do as a manager to ensure Total Quality Management.
1. Build organizational commitment to quality; your improvements will only be effective when all your employees embrace it, get everyone involved in your organizational culture.
2. Focus on the customer; your customers are always the starting point of identifying quality issues and ensuring a positive outcome through formulated quality gap plan.
3. Find ways to measure quality; for instance if you are in a manufacturing company, devising appropriate measures is relatively easy in criteria such as defect per million parts.
4. Set goals and create incentives; ways to set goals and link those goals to incentives through rewards such as bonus pays and /or promotional opportunities.
5. Solicit input from employees; your employees are a major source of information about causes of poor quality and may offer constructive suggestions about improvement.
6. Identify defects and trace them to their source; for instance, a major source of service defect is poor customer service procedures and a major source of product defect is the production system.
7. Introduce just-in-time inventory systems; arrange such that your supplies arrive at the organization when they are needed and not before, this way defective parts are not warehoused for months before use.
8. Work closely with suppliers; a major cause of poor-quality finished goods is poor quality component parts. Managers must work closely with suppliers to improve or ensure quality of parts they supply.
9. Design for ease of production; more steps required in assembling a product allows for more opportunities for mistakes. Designing products with fewer parts or simplifying providing a service is likely to link to fewer defects and/ or customer complaints.
10. Break down barriers between functions; for successful implementation, material managers have to cooperate with manufacturing managers to find high-quality inputs, marketing managers have to cooperate with manufacturing to act on customer problems, and informational systems have to cooperate with other functions of the organization to provide IT training programs etc.
Now you know, go on and achieve better and quality products and services for your organization. Don’t forget to develop organizational values and norms that are centered on improving quality!