Operations Management

Developing Effective Operations: Quality

Developing Effective Operations: Quality

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Business Studies A Level - Quality ApprovedTQM is used by businesses to prevent errors and waste from occurring throughout the whole of the organisation. It’s also an attempt to make employees value the concept of quality in whatever their role is.

TQM is composed of a number of sections:

      • – Internal relationships, those between employees and management, are viewed just as important as external relationships, those between the business and customers or suppliers.
      • TQM is a policy that should be followed by everyone who makes up the business.
      • In order to ensure quality throughout the whole of the business, all departments must be monitored.
      • – Team-work must be paramount because it’s better for motivation, co-operation and skill development.
      • – Market research is important for ensuring customer satisfaction. Any complaints should be taken seriously and used to better the organisation.

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Quality circles

Business Studies A Level - Quality CirclesA quality circle is a group of workers who meet on a regular basis in order to discuss problems occurring with the quality of production. Solutions are then identified and recommendations made to management.

The quality circle is also involved with then implementing the new solution and monitoring its progress.

The aim of quality circles is not only to improve production but make the workers involved in it feel valued and recognise that they’re making a large contribution to the business.

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Zero defects

Business Studies A Level - Zero DefectsThis is the main objective for any business: to reach a level where there are no defects in a product thereby saving on waste and time.

Attaining zero defects improves a business and it’s reputation with its customers thereby increasing sales and revenue.

In order to reach this level of functioning every employee within a business would have to have the right training and be completely committed.

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Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)

Business Studies A Level - KaizenKaizen is a Japanese word. It means: change for the better.

Businesses tend to face pressures from two main sides:

– From customer demands to improve their product.

– From competitors who are improving their products or offering a better after-sales service.

This means that in order to stay ahead a business must continuously be updating and improving their products and services.

It’s possible for the whole of a business to improve itself, not just the production process. However, in order to achieve this everyone, from those in the production department to personnel, needs to share the same goal and vision.

The notion of Kaizen links in with other concepts like TQM And quality circles as it aims to reduce waste, time required, and production costs.

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Quality standards

Business Studies A Level - British Standards Institution KitemarkThe body responsible for keeping a check on standards and performance within the UK industry is the British Standards Institution (BSI). If a product wears the BSI kite mark then a customer can rest assured that it has been manufactured and produced to a high level.

Quality assurance is important for achieving customer service. A business sets quality standards and then must prove that it meets these standards throughout the whole of the organisation.

The most commonly used certification within the UK is British Standard 5750 (BS 5750). However, today businesses use the internationally recognised ISO 9000 instead.

In order to have a loyal customer base the quality of its output is very important for a business. This quality must extend throughout the whole of the product process, from its design to its after-sales service.

Involving employees within quality programmes achieves two main purposes:

      • – The overall quality of the output and process is improved
      • – It motivates workers and makes them feel valued

Quality control is important for checking the quality not only of the end product but also the raw materials and supplies. Usually this is carried out by quality inspectors but it can also be a role for the employees themselves.

Strict quality control systems are required if an organisation wants to adopt concepts like zero defects and Kaizen.