What is Quality Management?
Quality management is the act of supervising all the activities and tasks that are needed to maintain the desired quality of a product or service. This ensures to maintain the satisfaction of customers. For this, management has to create and implement quality planning and assurance, as well as quality control and improvement systems.
Quality management process is a set of procedures that are followed to ensures that the goods and services produced by a team are “fit for use”. The total quality management philosophy is essential for quality management.
As customers become more sophisticated, better informed and their expectations grow, the only way to survive and prosper business is by offering a commitment to quality. A quality management system is relevant to all organizations whether large or small, public or private, manufacturing or service. Its process starts with setting quality targets, which are agreed with the customers.
A quality management system such as ISO 9001 provides a management framework that gives the necessary control to address risks and measure performance in the business. It also helps to enhance image and reputation and enables to look for improvements through internal and external communications. Quality assurance and quality control processes are followed to measure and report the actual quality of goods and services produced by an organization.
Principles of Quality Management
The main objective of quality management is to maintain continuous improvement on products and services to fulfill changing demands of the customers. Following are the quality management principles, those are needed to be considered by the management to maintain the quality of products and services.
For effective quality management, these principles are a must-follow. These principles help to achieve quality in the products of the organization.
#1 Continuous Improvement
Management must continuously improve the production process for better productivity and lower cost. It is the responsibility of the management to innovate alternatives to reduce waste and to improve quality. Management needs to consider that corporate reengineering and process improvement is not a one-time effort. But, it is a continuous task up to the functioning of the organization.
#2 Focus on Customers
Satisfied customers are essential for organizational success. As such, an organization must produce goods and services on the basis of customers’ needs and expectations. Only slogans and inspirational words to satisfy a customer are not sufficient, what is needed is, action to improve the quality of products and services.
#3 Change in Culture
It is concerned with regulating the behavior of employees by socializing them about organizational culture. Socialization facilitates employees to consider the values and norms of an organization and perform activities and show consistent behavior. This helps to maintain a self-controlled environment and meet the changing expectations of customers.
#4 Employee Involvement
Management needs to consider a participative management system in each and every activity of an organization. Subordinates should participate in the decision-making process. Such sharing and knowledge, information, ideas, and experience in the decision-making process develop the feeling of self-responsibility among employees. In such a situation, they devote their best effort to maintain quality.
#5 Prepare Strategic Plan
For quality management must have vision and foresight. By focusing long term performance of the organization is essential to prepare a strategic plan. It is the basis of future organizational performance. Therefore, a strategic plan needs to be prepared by studying all the environmental factors that may affect quality in the long term.
#6 Focus on Team Work
The management must break down barriers between deparments and staff areas. The practice of teamwork and group efforts must be encouraged. Employees can improve productivity by learning from one another and coordinating efforts regardless of their functional expertise. A feeling of competition among employees and department must be avoided to develop team spirit.
#7 Efficiency Development
It is necessary that both management and workers must be educated and trained in the new methods to improve quality. Continuous improvement should be the purpose of every member of the organization. Generally, junior workers learn their jobs from seniors. On-the-job training helps them to increase the required knowledge and skills to complete a given job. It gives broad knowledge and a clear idea of how to do the given tasks.
#8 Mutual Relation with Suppliers
Suppliers have a direct relation to the performance of the organization. They supply materials and services on the basis of the need of the organization. Management needs to maintain mutual relations with suppliers for uniform business activities. For this purpose, it is essential to pay the credit amount on time.
#9 Focus on System Approach
In the organization, it is necessary to develop a system to convert the input into output. Management develops rules, regulations, procedures for doing work. All the members from top-level to subordinates level need to emphasize on working system of the organization. It helps to maintain the quality of performance.
#10 Emphasize Transformation
For quality management, all organizational members must have an understanding of each other and work together to reach quality goals. The top management must develop strategic plans in order to achieve the highest level of quality. Neither the worker nor the management alone can improve the quality. Therefore, all the internal matters of the organization should be known to all the members.