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Quality Management Systems

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Quality Management Systems

Topic:  Types of quality management systems that are put in place to help eliminate manufacturing errors.

Thesis: There are many different ways a manufacturing company can help improve the quality of the products they produce.

 I.      Introduction

W. Edwards Deming revolutionized quality control during the manufacturing process.  His 14 points helped transform not only the manufacturing industry but also how to effectively manage people in general (Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008).

       The 14 points that were posited by Deming included the following: in order to implement a quality management system, there was a need to have a system that brings about some consistency in order to improve the products and services that are being manufactured Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). He also stated that there needs to be a transformation which required the adoption of a new philosophical approach to management systems Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). The third point he raised was that there needs to be a paradigm shift from the manner of conducting things that relied on inspection as a means of meeting quality standards Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). The fourth point related to the customary mode of giving opportunities to suppliers based on price alone Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008).

            He suggested that cost could be minimized by having contractual relations with only a single individual Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). Deming also stated that businesses should pay much emphasis on knowledge sharing and knowledge management in order to train staff on the job and also will give room for the nurturing of leaders. Deming also highlighted the need for having strategic planning which will eventually improve the productivity and service delivery Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). Deming also highlighted the importance of driving out fear and removing the impediments between employee's areas. Deming stated that organizations needed to ensure that there were effective communications channels within its systems in order to do away with numerical quotas for the employees and numerical objectives for the management Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). He also suggested that there was a need to remove the impediments that provided for an annual rating system that led to the deterioration of the pride of employment Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). Finally, he stated that each individual in an organization needed to tailor their efforts to accommodate the transformation mechanisms that needed to be implemented Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008).

What is a quality management system?

            Quality management systems are defined as "A set of policies, processes, and procedures required for planning and execution in the core business area of an organization" (ISO 9001 Quality, n.d.). Quality management systems are also defined as a set of various systems that are put in place by an organization that is tailored to meet the customers' divergent needs and ever changing trends (Lam, 2011). They are structured in ways that ensure that the organization's vision, mission, and core values are embodied in the substance of the QMS. A model quality management system needs to elucidate an organization's objectives and policy considerations.

Types of quality systems

Over the years a number of quality management systems have been formulated depending on the various business activities that an organization is engaged in and its preferred business management framework (Lam, 2011). The different types of quality management structures that are present in the world today include:

                                                  i.      ISO

                                                ii.      Six Sigma

                                              iii.      Lean Sigma

I.            ISO

"ISO 9000 is a set of international standards for quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system" (What is the ISO 9000, n.d.). The ISO management system is enshrined in a number of principles that are often applied by some of the leaders within an organization in order to improve the productivity and overall performance of an organization.

Principles of ISO

Customer focused. Under the ISO management system, a leader needs to ensure that they are cognizant of the current and future customers' preferences. In order to do this, the management should structure their objectives to ensure that they meet the customers' preferences and expectations. The ISO system requires an organization's management to ensure that the products and services that are offered adequately satisfy the customers' divergent needs and foster cordial relationships with them. An organization's ISO system should not be content with merely meeting the customers' expectations but should also strive to supersede them.

Leadership. An ISO system requires an organization to have a leadership structure that complements its vision and mission. The leadership structure needs to formulate various targets that challenge the entire organization to reach its optimum potential. An ISO system requires a leader to enhance various values that can be adopted by junior members of an organization. A leader is also required to be an embodiment of trust and credibility for the organization while dealing with various stakeholders of the organization. Leadership should also foster employee interactions and provide for various ways to motivate the employees in order to improve their performance levels.

Engagement of people. An ISO system relies on the interaction of people within an organization. This ensures that the organization pulls its resources from the different skills and abilities that are contained in an organization's structure. The ISO system increases accountability and is a fertile ground to enhance the performance of various employees in an organization. In order for an organization to fully implement an ISO system, it requires a framework that promotes knowledge management and knowledge sharing in order to effectively counter the challenges in an organization.

Process approach. An ISO system provides a framework for undertaking the activities of an organization. The framework involves ensuring that the various activities that are conducted by an organization are managed as processes. This framework provides for the evaluation of the various activities that are conducted in an organization in order to highlight their performance. The process approach also ensures that there is a thorough scrutiny of the ways in which activities are intertwined. Finally, the approach enables the organizations classifies the various activities in an order of importance and provides for a mode of resource allocation.

Improvement. ISO management systems are tailored to improve the overall productivity and performance levels of an organization. They ensure that they lay the required foundation to evaluate, celebrate and empower the various members of an organization to improve their individual performance. Improvement of Individual performance has an effect on the overall productivity of the organization.

Evidence-based decision-making. An ISO system provides a framework that promotes accuracy of information that relates to the organization's undertaking. In order to do this, adequate research is promoted using the appropriate methods. After the research is conducted the various findings are evaluated in order to put in place appropriate methods for implementation.

Relationship management. In order to ensure that an organization adheres to the ISO quality management system, it is required to come up with internal structures for the identification of the suppliers in order to mitigate the operational costs and maximize on the resource allocation. The internal structures need to set the various ways that the organization will relate with the suppliers in order to promote future relations. ISO systems promote the knowledge management in order to improve the development activities within the organization.

II.            Six Sigma

            “Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process…” (What is Six Sigma?, n.d.). The end result of implementing a six sigma it to lower the operational costs of an organization, it enhances the experiences that customers have while dealing with an organization and has the effect of promoting better leadership within an organization.

       Six Sigma is a quantitative approach that seeks to evaluate the overall performance of various internal structures in an organization. Six sigma utilizes a distinct approach in evaluating the performance. This is usually done by highlighting the defects in the processes that are conducted by an organization. The general rule is that a process should not occasion more than 3.4 million defects per million opportunities (Psomas, 2013). In Six Sigma defects are basically the things that do not conform to the specifications of a customer. An opportunity in six sigma is defined as the number of chances that a defect can be experienced in a given process. In order to evaluate Process sigma, a unique calculator known as the Six Sigma calculator is usually employed (Psomas, 2013). Six Sigma further consists of two methodologies known as Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control abbreviated as DMAIC and Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify abbreviated as DMADV (Uluskan, 2016). DMAIC is often used for improving existing processes that are underperforming and DMADV used to improve new processes in order to live up to the set standards.

III.            Lean Sigma

“Lean is a tool used by businesses to streamline manufacturing and production processes. The main emphasis of Lean is on cutting out unnecessary and wasteful steps in the creation of a product so that only steps that directly add value to the product are taken” (Bisk, n.d.). It relies on a cooperation between members of an organization in order to progressively elements that are not of importance to an organization. It combines three management processes namely, the six sigma, the lean manufacturing process and the lean enterprise process.  Those who utilize the lean process believe that waste comes from unnecessary steps in the production process that do not add value to the finished product (Bisk, n.d.).

IV.            Conclusion

There has been a need to come up with various management systems that ensure that there is a standardized mode of conducting operations in the manufacture of goods and services.  These systems bring sanity in the world and improve the quality of products that are released to the market. These different quality management systems that can be used to help reduce defects within the manufacturing process in order to improve the productivity and overall performance of an organization.

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