The major new element in world market competition

Tqm is quality. During
the 1970s and 1980s, the Japanese and their U.S. companies
demonstrated that high quality is achievable at lower costs and greater
customer satisfaction. It was the result of using the management
principles of total quality management (TQM). More and more U.S.
companies have demonstrated that such achievements are possible Using
TQM as a new way to manage. Such companies also found that they were
recognized with everyone pulling in the same direction. Improvement
had become a way of live.
Improving competitive position and profit has always been the
responsibility of management. Before the 1980s, U.S. management was
broadly successful. Until then the dominant management model was that
of the autocrat. Management, primly senior management, decided how the
business was to operate, including what the policies and objectives
were; how it was organized; what jobs were established; and how should
they be done. It was an unquestioned axiom that if everyone did what
the upper management required, the business would be successful.
Organizations are composed of the people in them and the managers who
lead them. People respond strongly to leadership expectations and
rewards. If they are given little power in their jobs, they have
little interest in improving them. If leaders exhort the members for
better output but reward (promotions, bonuses, recognition) for mostly
higher output, they get the behavior they reward. Quantity over
quality has been a common management philosophy in the United States.
The first step in implementing TQM requires the an upper-management
change in both philosophy and behavior. Managers must adopt the
objectives of customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. They
must implement the change to achieve these objectives through their
personal and continuous involvement and in the reeducation of everyone
in the organization in TQM principles and practices. The past
philosophy of management can work reasonably well if a company
dominates world markets. When markets become complex and worldwide
with more and stronger competitors, a new model is needed. Asian
companies and some in the United States have demonstrated that there is
a more effective way to manage, quite different from the autocratic
model: It is employee involvement in quality improvement. These
companies also introduce high quality at lower cost as a competitive
element, thereby changing the competitive equation for everyone.
TQM is a way to continuously improve performance at every level of
operation, in every functional area of an organization, using all
available human and capital resources. Improvement is addressed toward
satisfying board goals such as cost, quality, market share, schedule,
and growth. It demands commitment and discipline, and an ongoing
effort.

The quality management process includes the integration of all
employees, suppliers, and customers, within the corporate environment.
It embraces two underlying tenets:
Quality management is a capability which inherent in your employees.

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. Quality management is a controllable process, not an accidental
one.

The idea of an integrated, human-orientated systems approach to
management was successfully used by W. Edwards Deming in the 1950s.
Deming told the Japanese that they could become world-class leaders if
they followed his advice and they did. He lectured top Japanese
business leaders on statistical quality control. He proposed a system
that would change the approach to management in many ways. Today, this
system is the pillar of TQM philosophy. These components make up the
strategic portion of the quality pyramid (figure. 1). There are mainly
eight functional elements from which other concepts flow. These are:
1.Organizational vision
Organizational vision provides the frame work that guides a firms
believes and values. The gist of the corporate vision should be a
simple, one sentence guide or motto that every employee knows, and more
important, believes. If well crafted, the vision statement can serve
through a torrent of change in product and service technology. The
strategic vision needs to consider both the external customer and the
employees, but should lack a defining or differentiating phrase between
them. For example, General Motors provides all employees a card with
its strategic vision, including a cause-effect diagram that indicates
the importance of team work (figure 2).
Simply stating a vision is not enough. It needs to be demonstrated by
the actions of the executives, managers , superiors, foremen, and
individuals. It should be done continuously in all their actions and
initiatives. Moreover, deliberation must be exercised in developing
these goals and strategies. They must reflect the values and culture
of the work force. While top-management commitment is essential,
managers should realize when to lead and when to get out of the way.
In a sense quality management is management from the bottom up. An
atmosphere of responsibility must be created toward the customer for
whatever product is produced or service is rendered (fig.3, below).


Figure 3
Strategies in Successful Vision Implementation
Demonstrate commitment. Inform suppliers.

Maintain a constancy of purpose. Take a long-term view.

Create more leaders. Establish meaningful goals.

Examine your mission. Discuss TQM with peers.

Behavior and action must be consistent with goal. Build
awareness.


2. Barrier Removal
It is inevitable that change will be resisted. In fact, a great deal
of effort in quality management is expended in overcoming such
resistance, usually by allowing change to come from individuals
directly involved, rather from management. The whole idea of
continuous improvement leads to continuous change.
Some of these barriers are:
. We know what they really want (without asking them).

. Quality is not a major factor in decisions-low initial cost
mentality prevails.

. Creative accounting can increase corporate performance.

. Cant manufacture competitively at the low end.

. The job of senior management is strategy, not operations.

. Success is good, failure is bad.

. If it isnt broke, dont fix it.

. The key disciplines from which to draw senior management are finance
and marketing.

. Increase in quality means increase in cost.

. Thinking that time, quality, cost are the worst mutuality exclusive,
at best we can only choose two out of three.


The following are the steps to barrier removal:
I. Identify barrier. As seen above some of these barriers may apply
effecting progress.
II. Place into categories. Related barriers and their systemic
causes may now be analyzed. Categorization may be facilitated by using
either cause-effect diagrams or quality function deployment.
III. Establish priority. An objective process that is not influenced
by management or hidden agenda must be developed. At this stage
barriers are judged on their validity in accordance with the severity
of the problem.
IV. Problem solve. This means more than symptoms removal. Sick
organizations do not recover for the long term if the symptoms are
masked. It is vital to address the root of the problem. The
elimination of one barrier may solve many problems for example poor
communication between management and staff. Keep in mind that
analyzing the problem should include estimates of resources required
for it solution.
V. Goals and strategies for resolution. Resolution of problems may
entail goals over a period of months or years. Goals should be
realistic and attainable with the given resources. Strategies ensure
that goals can be accomplished. Bear in mind that numerical goals as
such may not be what is required. Numerical goals may also limit the
amount of growth, particularly in organizations used to working up to
an average.
3.Communication
Communication is the glue that binds all the techniques, practices,
philosophies, and tools. Communication may be written, verbal, or
nonverbal. Understanding and refining skills for each main type
communication is an ongoing process for everyone.
All forms of communication involve four elements: the sender, the
receiver, the message, and the medium. The medium is the method of
delivery, and can effect the message. It was said that “the medium is
the message”, referring in part to the filtering effects that can
happen to the message and how personality factors may influence our
understanding (figure. 4).
VI. Written Communication. Office memos and reports are the result of
hundreds of hours (studies indicate anywhere from 21% to 70% of office
workers time is spent in manipulating written information) of work,
and their final form should be worthy of spending some time to get
words right. The use of white space and graphical elements such as
charts and figures enhances the readability of any written piece.
Given the vast amount of time spent on reading and creating memos,
letters, proposals, and the like, the byword on written communication
should be more is better, and the less is permanent (memos sent
electronically, faxes, hand notes on the bottom of the letters, rather
than typed, recorded reply) the better.

VII. Verbal. Verbal communication takes place in many different
settings, and the form of the communication will vary. One sort of
vocabulary may be used to address shareholders and a different idiom
may be used altogether when chatting with construction workers. The
skills principally lacking in verbal communication are public speaking
and small group interactions. Public speaking scares people to death.
This fear may be overcome by training(organizing and practice),
videotaping the presentation (to review latter), and practice(on small
group to build confidence). Small group interactions are essential to
buildup comfort and ease among the group.
It will provide a sense of team work and it is vital to have small
talk among the team.

VIII. Nonverbal. Humans infer a great deal of information from
nonverbal clues. This non verbal clues includes body language as well
as things as dress for success. Psychologists believe that nonverbal
clues lead to “gut feels” about how to interact with another person.
Despite the similarities of nonverbal communication, there are cultural
differences, and is probably most important to understand these, rather
than reading individuals body language. It is easy to fall into the
trap of overanalyzing nonverbal clues and infusing them with meaning,
when, for example, someone may be hard of hearing or near/far-sighted
rather than being inattentive (or too attentive).


4.Continuous Evaluation
Feedback is essential to continuous improvement. How else would we
know if our goals are being reached?. These feedback mechanisms may be
simple oral or written reports, information systems, or complex
automated statistical analyses integrated with our expert systems. The
key is to receive the information in time to allow initiating
corrective action. For example, in construction feedback from
engineers, subcontractors and so forth can help us as managers to find
new ways to reduce cost and schedule. Feedback may also help
architects to find the best way to construct a building and therefore
effecting the design. We also should understand and separate assessable
causes from chance causes. Assessable causes have distinct reasons for
there existence, while chance causes are those causes that we have no
control over.
5.Continuous Improvement
Unlike innovation, which require great resources, and no small amount
of serendipity, continuous improvement is easier to manage and utilize
everyones talent. Japanese companies have used this idea for some
time, and call this approach kaizen. This idea fits hand in hand with
team building approach. Kaizen and innovation are compared in figure 5
below.

Figure 5.

Improvement versus Innovation
Continuous Improvement Innovation
Effect long term and long lasting but undramatic. Shot term, but
dramatic.

PaceTime frame Small steps.Continuous and incremental. Big steps.

Intermittent and nonincremental.

Change InvolvementApproach Gradual and constant.Everybody.Collectivism,
group efforts, systems approach. Abrupt and volatile.Select few
“champions.”Rugged individualism, individual ideas and efforts.

Mode Maintenance and improvement. Scrap and rebuild.

Spark Conventional know-how and state of the art. Technological
breakthroughs, new inventions, new theories.

Practical requirements. Requires little investment but great effort to
maintain it. Requires large investment but little effort to maintain it.

Effort orientationEvaluation criteria People.Process and efforts for
better results. Technology.Result for profit.

Advantage Works well in slow-growth economy. Better suited to fast-
growth economy.
To reduce cost and time and increase productivity, in any
industry, the focus must be projected on the process that produces the
product. Improving the process in construction, for example, reduced
or may eliminate costly change orders and therefore reduced complexity
and time. Through inspection and analysis of the process, everyone
shares a common learning experience and the accumulated knowledge and
understanding
of the process become the basis for improving it.


Precepts of Quality Improvement
. Quality leadership must begin with top management.

. The most important aspect of quality is identifying the activities
within the organization that effect quality.

. Written procedure are one of the necessary communication media by
which the management functions of directing and controlling are
exercised.

. One of the most critical activities in quality improvement is
preparing a clear, concise description of the services to be acquired.

. The cost, time, and effort devoted to evaluating and selecting
suppliers must be commensurate with the importance of the goods and
services to be procured.

. Quality audits must determine the adequacy of, and compliance with,
established policies, procedures, instructions, specifications, codes,
standard and contractual requirements. Quality audits must also assess
the effectiveness of their implementation.

. The simple objective of most quality audits is to gather enough
reliable data through inspection, observation, and inquiry to make
reasonable assessment of the quality of the activity being audited.
. the foundation of quality control is having timely and accurate
information so that systems that are not capable of producing
consistent quality can be identified and improved.
. An effective quality cost program can help the management team to
allocate strategic resources for improving quality and reducing costs.

. Productivity, profit, and quality are the ultimate measure of
success of the production system.
6.Customer/Vendor Relationship
The “hearing the voice of the customer” has become a key phrase in the
past few years. This would seem to be a obvious point but its not.
After world war II, The United States was the only major country that
did not have a devastated economic infrastructure. Therefore, it was
able to produce items of any quality and sell them. Industries were
internally driven and not customer driven. As the glob markets grow,
new competitors with new technologies approached these markets
providing better quality products and involving the customers. This
approach worked miracles for these new industries and valuable lessons
should be learned from this. Here are some strategies for improving
customer and vendor relation:
. Link organizational vision to customer satisfaction.

. Reward suppliers.

. Move to a single source.

. Minimize the overall number of vendors.

. Identify the internal and external customers.

. Identify end users and distributors.
. Establish routine dialogue with customers.

. Involve the customer in planning and development.

Keep in mind that vendors must be qualified and have policies that are
compatible with yours. Viewing these vendors as partners, rather than
adversaries leads to the ability to implement successfully such cost-
saving measures as just-in-time, whereby materials arrive as needed to
the construction site.


7.Empowering The Worker
Empowering the worker means enabling the worker to achieve his or her
highest potential. For most American companies, this is new, and may
be the most powerful and useful concept in quality management.
Allowing and facilitating workers to achieve their highest potential
may seem obvious or impossible, but in fact it is neither. Empowering
requires turning the organizations chart upside down, recognizing that
management is in a place to aid the worker in overcoming problems they
encounter, not to place new roadblocks on the way.

Empowering strategies may include:
I. Ownership. A key strategy in empowering employees is to allow them
ownership of tasking, project, or division. Ownership implies trust
and requires a delegation of authority commensurate with the
responsibility of the task. Ownership can also be granted to a team.
Ownership also demands that the final resolution of the tasking be in
the hands of the owner.

II. Value all contributions. Whether or not we appreciate them, it is
important to enhance self-esteem of the contributor to accept their
contribution and evaluate it.

III. Every one has a value. If they didnt why would they be employed?
Treat everyone with respect. All work has dignity to it.

IV. Teams must own problem. Teams are a waste of time if management
vetoes or substantially changes their recommendation. If management is
unable to trust the recommendations that come from the team, then
management fear rules, and will spiral to lower and lower productivity.
V. Delegate authority to the lowest possible organizational level.
Constantly ask: why
should I do this? If you have hired competent people, let them do there
job. No one knows about the job than the person directly involved with
it.


8.Training
The outcome of training is modified behavior. It may be enhanced
interpersonal skills or specific manual skills, but there is a direct,
identifiable modification. Training need not consist solely of
traditional classroom instruction. Employees can train other employees
very effectively.
A company-wide curriculum should be developed that address the needs
of each department. Courses should be just long enough to be effective.

Anything over three or four days is unlikely to immediately be
absorbed into daily work habits. Immediate reinforcement of the
training is necessary to be effective.
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