For an Online Learning Centre

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2.2 Quality is important worldwide

Worldwide, everyone recognize the importance of quality. Hereafter, we introduce the concepts and elements discussed by

  • Total Quality Management Approach,

  • Deming Prize,

  • Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award,

  • European Quality Management Award,

  • ISO 9000:2000.

2.2.1 Total Quality Management Approach

Many authors have written and many experts have spoken on Total Quality Management (shortly TQM). They agree on the fact that this approach can integrate all the elements of an organization in order to meet the needs and expectations of its customers. The implementation of TQM involves:

  • systematic and long-term commitment, in particular by senior management;

  • commitment to getting things right the first time;

  • understanding of both internal and external customer-supplier relationships;

  • understanding of costs involved in the purchase of products and services;

  • commitment to aligning systems to the organizational needs;

  • appropriate management and training techniques to improve communications between sections and between staff and management;

  • meaningful measures of performance to enable workers to understand what they are contributing and how they can improve;

  • customer satisfaction;

  • employee satisfaction;

  • understanding of impact on society;

  • focus on business or organisation results.

2.2.2 Deming Prize

The DEMING prize has introduced in 1951 by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE), in honour of W. Edwards Deming, one of the leading theorists in the field of total quality management.

The prize has given to companies demonstrating successful company-wide quality control using statistical process control techniques.

Assessment has divided in ten categories:

  • Policy,

  • management of organisation,

  • education,

  • information gathering,

  • analysis,

  • standardization,

  • control,

  • quality assurance,

  • results,

  • future planning.

Deming introduced the idea that quality control should be a strategic activity led by senior management, who should:

  • create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service,

  • adopt the new philosophy,

  • cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality,

  • end the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier,

  • improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production, and service,

  • institute training on the job,

  • adopt and institute leadership,

  • drive out fear,

  • break down barriers between staff areas,

  • eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force,

  • eliminate numerical quotas for the work force and numerical goals for management,

  • remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship. Eliminate the annual rating or merit system,

  • institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone,

  • everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

2.2.3 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award

U.S. Congress established the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1987 to raise awareness about quality management and to recognize U.S. companies that have successful quality management systems. Today, U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in close cooperation with the private sector and American Society for Quality (ASQ) focus on the following ten criteria for performance excellence:

  • leadership,

  • strategic planning,

  • customer and market focus,

  • information and analysis,

  • human resource focus,

  • process management,

  • business results.

This award follows many aspects of TQM and Deming Prize as declares that:

  • quality is not a program; it is an approach to business,

  • quality is a collection of powerful tools and concepts that is proven to work,

  • quality is defined by the customer through his/her satisfaction,

  • quality includes continuous improvement and breakthrough events,

  • quality tools and techniques are applicable in every aspect of the business,

  • quality is aimed at performance excellence; anything less is an improvement opportunity,

  • quality increases customer satisfaction, reduces cycle time and costs, and eliminates errors and rework,

  • quality is not just for businesses. It works in non-profit organizations like schools, healthcare and social services, and government agencies,

  • results (performance and financial) are the natural consequence of effective quality management.

2.2.4 European Quality Management Award

The European Quality Award has administered by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), with the support of the European Commission and the European Organization for Quality.

The award has developed in 1991 as a means for supporting the successful management of total quality in European companies. Total Quality encompasses all the ways in which a company meets the needs and expectations of its financial stakeholders, its customers, its people and the community in which it operates and in so doing enables companies to move towards business excellence.

The prize examine nine criteria, divided into Enablers (the hows) and Results (the whats). The Enabler criteria are concerned with how the organisation conducts itself, how it manages its staff and resources, how it plans its strategy, how it reviews and monitors key processes. The organisation’s Results are what it achieves.

These encompass the level of satisfaction among the organisation’s employees and customers, its impact on the wider community and key performance indicators. EFQM’s approach is crystallised in the EFQM Excellence Model showed in the following figure

2.2.5 ISO 9000 2000

ISO is the acronym of International Organization for Standardization, a network of national standards institutes from 140 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industries, businesses and consumer representatives.

The ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families are among ISO's most widely known and successful standards ever. ISO 9000 has become an international reference for quality requirements. ISO 14000 help organizations to meet their environmental challenges.

The last revision of ISO 9000 has launched at the end of 2000 and named ISO 9000:2000.

Following ISO 9000 2000, to achieve and manage quality, it is necessary to pursue eight principles (see figure):

  • customer focus,

  • leadership,

  • involvement of people,

  • process approach,

  • system approach to management,

  • continual improvement,

  • factual approach to decision making,

  • mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

Keeping in mind these principles, it becomes clear that:

  • top management have to lead the organisation to achieve customer and regulatory requirements in a manner that satisfies all interested parties;

  • the right capabilities and resources have to be in place to achieve the organisation's objectives;

  • organizations do not have to enter into commitments it is unable to meet;

  • processes have to be designed to achieve the organisation's objectives;

  • processes have to be implemented as designed and their performance continually evaluated;

  • deviations from requirements have to be promptly detected;

  • problems have to be promptly resolved and prevented from recurring;

  • nonconforming products or services have not to be supplied;

  • continual improvement in performance have to become a routine;

  • evidence of performance have to be available and used to make decisions;

  • customer needs and expectations have to be continually assessed to ensure high customer satisfaction.

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