Total Quality Management

August 27, 2009

Definition of Quality

The concept and vocabulary of quality is elusive. Different people interpret quality differently. Few can define quality in measurable terms that can be operationalized. When asked what differentiate their product or service, the banker will answer “service,” health care worker will answer “quality health care,” the hotel restaurant employee will answer “customer satisfaction,” and the manufacturer will simply answer “quality product.” When pressed to provide a specific definition and measurement, few can do so. (more…)

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January 23, 2009

Differentiation Strategies

Differentiation strategies are an attractive competitive approach when buyer preferences are too diverse to be fully satisfied by a standardized product or when buyer requirements are too diverse to be fully satisfied by sellers with identical capabilities.

In simple words, the essence of a differentiation strategy is to be unique in ways that are valuable to customers and that can be sustained.

To be successful with a differentiation strategy, a company has to study buyer’s need and behavior carefully to learn that:

  1. What they consider important
  2. Why they think has value, and
  3. What they are willing to pay for

Competitive advantage results once sufficient number of buyers become strongly attached to the differentiated offering , the more that customers bond with the company and the stronger the resulting competitive advantage. (more…)

October 4, 2008

Strategic Quality Planning

Define the term strategy?

In order to understand the concept of strategic management, first we need to understand the literal meaning of the word “strategy”. The definition is mentioned below:

1. The science and art of using all the forces of a nation to execute approved plans as effectively as possible during peace or war. The science and art of military command as applied to the overall planning and conduct of large-scale combat operations.

2. A plan of action resulting from strategy or intended to accomplish a specific goal. 

3. The art or skill of using stratagems in endeavors such as politics and business

What is the relation of Strategic Planning and Total Quality Management?

When an organizations chooses to make quality a major competitive edge (differentiation), it becomes the central issue in strategic planning. This is especially reflected in vision, mission and policy guidelines of an organization.

An essential idea behind strategic quality planning is that the product is customer value rather than a physical product or service. This feat cannot be achieved unless an organization creates a culture of quality and no strategy and plan can be worthwhile unless it is carefully implemented.

What do you understand by the term quality statements? Elaborate them with examples.

Quality statements are part of strategic planning process and once developed, are occasionally reviewed and updated.

There are three types of quality statements:

1.  Vision statement
2.  Mission statement
3.  Quality policy statement

The utilization of these statements varies from organization to organization. Small organization may use only the quality policy statement

1. Vision Statement: The vision statement is a short declaration what an organization aspires to be tomorrow. A vision statement, on the other hand, describes how the future will look if the organization achieves its mission.

Successful visions are timeless, inspirational, and become deeply shared within the organization, such as:

  • IBM’s Service
  • Apple’s Computing for the masses
  • Disney theme park’s the happiest place on the earth, and
  • Polaroid’s instant photography

2. Mission Statement: A mission statement concerns what an organization is all about. The statement answers the questions such as: who we are, who are our customers, what do we do and how do we do it. This statement is usually one paragraph or less in length, easy to understand, and describes the function of the organization. It provides clear statement of purpose for employees, customers, and suppliers.

An example of mission statement is:

Ford Motor Company is a worldwide leader in automatic and automotive related products and services as well as the newer industries such as aerospace, communications, and financial services. Our mission is to improve continually our products and services to meet our customers’ needs, allowing us to prosper as a business and to provide a reasonable return on to our shareholders, the owners of our business.

3. Quality Policy Statement:  The quality policy is a guide for everyone in the organization as to how they should provide products and services to the customers.It should be written by the CEO with feedback from the workforce and be approved by the quality council. A quality policy is a requirement of ISO 9000.

A simple quality policy is:

Xerox is a quality company. Quality is the basic business principle for Xerox. Quality means providing our external and internal customers with innovative products and services that fully satisfy their requirements. Quality is the job of every employee.

How an organization can do strategic quality planning?

The process starts with the principles that quality and customer satisfaction are the center of an organization’s future. It brings together all the key stakeholders.

The strategic planning can be performed by any organization. It can be highly effective, allowing the organizations to do the right thing at the right time, every time.

(more…)

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