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Meaning of quality management
Quality management is the process of maintaining all the activities and tasks in the organization in order to achieve a desired level of excellence. Quality management is also referred to as Total Quality Management (TQM).
The process of quality management
Quality management process has four basic components and these are as follows:
- Quality control planning
The first component of the quality management process is quality control planning. This basically deals with setting the goals and objectives of the business or the organization. The company needs to determine its quality standards and the procedures according to which the organization will check whether the standards are being met by the organization or not. In the quality control planning, various activities are planned by the employers like the stakeholder's expectations from the organization, the definition of success for the company, roles, and responsibilities of all the employees are determined, and the procedures are established which are required to check the improvement of the employees as well as the organization.
- Quality control
When everything is properly planned and well in place, then there arises the need for the second component of quality management process that is quality control. In this stage, the plans are actually implemented and tested by the employer in order to check whether the plans are successful after implementing or not. If any errors are there that are identified while testing, then these errors are corrected by the employers in order to facilitate the smooth functioning of the organization. When the testing of plans is being done, the inspection of all the activities happens simultaneously with the testing. Finally, after testing the plans, the data is collected which is then combined to extract the various patterns like histograms, charts, etc. The data which is obtained is shared with every employee working in the organization.
- Quality assurance
The next and important component of the quality management process is quality assurance. Quality assurance is a process in which the review of the process of services or goods takes place. Quality assurance helps in the inspection of goods and services at the place of production before they move out for delivery to the customers. Quality assurance is a process which follows some steps like it has to confirm that everything is happening as per the procedures laid down in the planning stage. Then the effectiveness of the process is checked and it is also checked whether it is as per the compliances or not.
- Quality improvement
The last component of the quality management process is quality improvement. After all the above procedures, the quality control process is reviewed and checked if there are any errors or any improvements that can be made for the future quality control process in order to make the process more efficient as well as effective.
Objectives of quality management
There are various objectives of quality management and these are as follows:
- Improving the quality of products and services
The main objective of quality management is to improve the quality of goods are services that are produced within the organization in order to sustain in the market. Quality is achieved by the organization when the three components are present in the operations that are high accuracy, compliance with the set standards, and the higher level of customer satisfaction. Each component is measured for improving the quality standards in the organization continuously at regular intervals.
- Influencing organizational culture
Culture in the organization has a very important role to play in quality management within the organization. The top-level management employees must incorporate the culture in the employees that the quality management must be done in the organization. If the culture is not developed in the organization that quality management must be done then no employee in the organization will take care of the quality. So, quality management comes with the influencing organizational culture.
- Focusing on training needs
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The management assigns the tasks to the employees on the basis of skills and knowledge that they possess. When an employee faces problem while doing the tasks despite having the skills and knowledge that are required to complete the tasks then there arises the need for training the employees. The focus and emphasis must be there on the training needs of the employer.
Importance of quality management
There are various factors that make quality management important for an organization.
- Quality management ensures superior quality products and services
There are various measures that are used by the organization in order to measure quality. Quality of the product can be measured by looking at its performance, reliability, and durability. Quality of the products and services cannot be overlooked by the organization as it is the biggest factor that can distinguish the firm from its competitors. Quality management is also required to provide a high-quality product and also to increase the satisfaction of the customers to the higher levels. Businesses and brands are recognized by the customers when they provide good quality products to the customers. Quality products ensure that the organization will sustain in the market for a long time and it will retain more customers.
- Quality management is essential for customer satisfaction which eventually leads to customer loyalty
The organization can satisfy its customers to higher levels if and only if they provide high-quality products to its customers. People who spend money to buy products wants that the products must be of good quality and if they are not of the good quality, they stop buying the brand which brings down the retention rate of the customers and reduced customer loyalty. High customers satisfaction can result in customer loyalty. When the customers are satisfied with the brand as they offer good quality products then they become loyal to the brand due to the high satisfaction that they achieve while using the brand. Quality management helps in delivering the goods to the customers that are free from defects. In this way, the goods are delivered to the customers as per the promises made by the brand.
- Quality Management ensures increased revenues and higher productivity for the organization
Employees in the organization will be satisfied only when they are given salaries and other payments on time and when the organization is earning high revenues due to its quality management system it will provide all the necessary benefits to its customers also. Quality management helps in producing high-quality products which improve the level of satisfaction among the customers and as a result of this customer satisfaction as well as retention the organization is able to earn higher revenues. When the revenue and productivity of the organization are increased the employee satisfaction will also increase. So, this means that quality management ensures increased revenues and higher productivity for the organization.
- Quality management helps organizations to reduce waste and inventory
Quality management enables the employees in the organization to work closely with their suppliers which helps in producing the required level of products that help in reducing the waste and inventory. Same as happens in ‘just in time’ technique, goods are produced whenever there is a requirement and in the same quantity that is required by the suppliers.
Principles of quality management systems
Principle 1: customer focus
Customer focus is the very first principle of quality management systems. This principle states that the focus of the customer must be on the same place where the organization wants the customer to focus. Customer focus covers both customers needs as well as customer services. It is the responsibility of the organization to focus on the needs and requirements of the customers. When the business lays more emphasis on the needs and requirements of their customer, the result is more satisfied customers which increases the retention rate of the customers.
Principle 2: leadership
It is very important in the organization to have leaders. This principle of quality management system states that the organizations must have the leaders assign to the employees who can direct them. Leaders can be the managers, or the superiors who can assign the roles and responsibilities to the employees and employees can reach them in case of any difficulties or problems. The goals and objectives of the organization must be clearly defined by the employer or the seniors to all the employees.
Principle 3: people involvement
The quality management systems are involved in the organizations to make the processes more efficient and effective. When the processes are effective and efficient this will result in reduced costs to the organization, improve consistency, reduce waste, and promote improvement continuously. People will involve themselves more in the organization which is very effective and efficient in its operations. This will help in building confidence in the shareholders. Quality management also helps in the optimum utilization of resources.
Principle 4: a process approach
This principle states that more efficient, effective, and desired results will be obtained when all the activities and resources in the organization are managed as a process. This is the process of evaluating the value that has been created or derived from the work. The process approach helps in establishing the link between the process inputs that come from the supplier's side to the outputs of the process that go to customers. This link between the suppliers and the customers help in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.
Principle 5: a systematic approach to management
This principle of the quality management system that is a systematic approach to management states that all the complementary or interrelated activities in the organization must be aligned together to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization pertaining to the quality effectively and efficiently. It means that when the complementary processes in the system are aligned together then the goals and objectives can be obtained more efficiently and effectively.
Principle 6: continual improvement
This principle can be very well understood through its name itself. It states that the quality of the product and services in the organization must be continuously improved in order to improve the efficiency in the organization and to embrace the new opportunities. The continuous improvement also helps in organizational flexibility and improved performances of the organization.
Principle 7: a factual approach to decision making
A factual approach to decision making means that the decisions in the organization must be made with proper attention and thinking. If the decisions are made in urgency without thinking much about it, this will impact the quality management in the organization. The decision must be made with proper clarity and after the proper analysis of the facts which is very important for the improved performance of the organization.
Principle 8: mutually beneficial supplier relations
This principle of quality management system states that the relation between the supplier and the company is beneficial to both the parties involved in this relationship. This principle deals with the supply chain. The strong relationship between the company and its suppliers will help in increasing productivity as both are interdependent. The result of this long-term relationship is the mutual benefit that results from this relationship. The benefits that are enjoyed by both the company and the supplier are optimization of costs and resources and the flexibility of joint responses to changing markets or customer needs and expectations.
Advantages of quality management
- Strengthened competitive position
Quality management in the organization helps in strengthening the competitive position of the organization. When the company produces good quality products, the satisfaction of the customers is increased to a great extent. They become loyal to the brand and retain with the brand for a long duration which acts as a competitive advantage for the organization against its competitors.
- Adaptability to changing or emerging market conditions and to environmental and other government regulations
The quality management process, when implemented to the organization, makes it flexible to the changes that arise out of changing market conditions, or due to changes in the environment and government regulations. When the process approach and systems approach is followed by the organization, the company can adapt to the changes very easily that arises out of changes within or outside the organization.
- Higher productivity
The productivity in the organization can be increased through the implementation of a quality management system because when the quality is well in place the more and more customers will be attracted towards the product which increases the demand for the products and ultimately leads to higher productivity in the organization.
- Enhanced market image
When the organization produces good quality products and develops a competitive edge in the market with its competitors the image of the organization is enhanced in the industry as the organization is well known for its quality products and services that are very well catering to the need of the customers.
- Elimination of defects and waste
The other very important benefit that can be availed by implementing a quality management system in the organization is that the defects and wastes are eliminated. When the company follows quality management process, it analyzes the products before delivering the goods and services to the customers in order to find the defects if any, in the products which helps in eliminating the defects. This system also allows the organization to reduce waste as the goods are produced whenever there is a need or demand by the supplier. Quality management system ensures proper utilization of resources in producing the quality goods and services.
- Reduced costs and better cost management
Reduced costs and better cost management is the other important advantage of quality management systems. When the customers are highly satisfied with the brand and its products, then the revenue of the firm increases which ultimately leads to the reduction in the costs and enables better cost management by improving the quality of the goods and services of the company.
- Higher profitability
When the revenues of the company are increased due to increase in satisfaction of the customers from the products and increase in the loyalty of the consumers towards the brand, the profitability also increases as a result of this increase.
- Improved customer focus and satisfaction
The focus of the customers is improved on the product and the brand when the high-quality products are being offered by the company to the customers. Whenever the company pays money to buy any product or service he or she wants that the product must be of good quality for which he is paying to the company and when the quality standards met the expectations of the customers the customer feels highly satisfied with the products and services of that particular brand and his or her focus is improved.
- Increased customer loyalty and retention
The other benefit of the quality management system is increased customer loyalty and retention. It is well understood that when the customers are satisfied with the products and services of the company, they will be loyal to the brand and retain with the company for a long time. Customer loyalty comes with customer satisfaction and when the customers are satisfied they will remain with the company or the organization for a long time period.
- Increased job security
The quality management system enhances the productivity and profitability of the company. When the profitability and productivity of the company are increased the company will take proper care of the needs of the employees. The salaries and other payments will be made to the employees on a proper time which increases their job security. The employees feel dissatisfied with the company when it is not able to pay well to its employee but as the productivity and profitability of the organization is increased it will pay all its employees appropriately which will enhance the job security of the employees.
- Improved employee morale
As discussed above, the increased productivity and profitability results in the satisfied employees. The company takes care of all the needs of its employees when productivity and profitability are increased due to high customer satisfaction as well as retention. The employees feel part of the organization when the employer shows them care and this will boost their morale and motivate them to work more efficiently and effectively in the future in order to be the valuable part of the organization. The employee’s loyalty towards the organization is increased as his morale boosts to a higher level.
- The improved and innovative process
The quality management process makes the system flexible which enables the organization to adapt to the changes easily and as result of this new and improved processes are developed in the organization which helps in the growth of the company.