Product Quality Management and Control Activities

Quality spheres

Quality constitutes a critical component in an organization’s strategic management processes. Jones (2014) affirms that quality should be an integral aspect of an organization’s procedures, functions, and policies. Its effective implementation requires firms to consider three main quality spheres, which include quality control, quality management, and quality assurance. The quality control sphere is concerned with providing organizations with an opportunity to analyze and identify relationships and factors that cause disparity in product quality. Different activities should be executed to achieve this goal.

First, organizations must integrate effective monitoring process stability and capability. Xu (2014) posits, “Process monitoring promotes production stability, checking, and analyzing the capability to produce products according to their technical specification’ (p. 957). One of the most effective techniques that firms can use in undertaking process monitoring entails the incorporation of statistical control charts. The second activity involves measuring process performance by developing a comprehensive measurement framework. Moreover, quality control involves reducing variability in an organization’s quality processes.

The second quality sphere entails quality assurance that focuses on several activities aimed at guaranteeing that products adhere to the set quality specifications. Thus, quality assurance largely entails engaging in verification, testing, and the evaluation of the different aspects. Some of the areas considered in quality assurance process entail examining the quality procedures, standards, and policies. For example, firm managers should consider entrenching different international quality standards such as ISO 9000: 2008 and ISO 9004:2008 among others. This move will enable firms to achieve the desired level of quality.

Quality assurance does not only focus on the quality of the final product. On the contrary, quality assurance further entails assessing the different production processes such as designing and development. It is essential for firms to ensure that quality assurance is undertaken during the earlier production stages to be effective in implementing quality assurance. Moreover, quality assurance should be a holistic process. Thus, the quality assurance process should focus on the entire system used in producing a product. Consequently, a firm is in a position to undertake effective process improvement. Quality assurance culminates in instilling confidence amongst consumers.

The quality management sphere is comprised of the management processes that ensure that the various quality activities are undertaken successfully. Under this sphere, organizations are in a position to plan for quality improvement. Thus, quality management provides firms with an opportunity to determine the most effective way to address the quality gaps that arise in the production process. Moreover, the quality management sphere plays a fundamental role in assisting organizations entrench a strong quality culture. Some of the issues that organizations should consider in their quality management process entail providing effective leadership and support, investing in employee training, promoting organizational communication, and developing effective organizational systems that will reinforce development of the desire quality ideas (Jones, 2014).

Considering the quality spheres mentioned above entrenches quality as one of the strategic management aspects. The three spheres increase the level of understanding amongst managers on how to sustain quality in organizations’ operational processes. This assertion arises from the view that the three spheres underline the importance of adopting a holistic approach in their pursuit of quality. For example, succeeding in quality control requires the total involvement of the workforce. Thus, the spheres enable firms’ managers to appreciate the view that attaining the desired level of quality is a collaborative process amongst different internal and external stakeholders.

Scenario analysis

In the pursuit of improving my skills and experience as a management practitioner, I sought an internship opportunity with a well-established manufacturing firm. The firm specializes in manufacturing different fast moving consumer goods. During the internship, I was working directly under the production supervisor. My duties entailed assisting the supervisor in his supervisory role of ensuring that employees adhere to quality procedures. The internship led to a significant appreciation of several strategic management aspects. However, I noted that the supervisor was mainly concerned with ensuring that the employees achieve the set production target during a particular shift. Additionally, the production targets set were considerably high. Subsequently, the employees did not pay much emphasis on adhering to quality.

The supervisor believed that meeting the production target was critical in the firm’s quest to achieve the projected level of profitability. Moreover, the supervisor held that meeting the production target would ensure that its products are always available within its supply chain. Thus, the ease of availability would influence the rate at which customers purchase its products repeatedly. The supervisor considered profitability as a fundamental component in the firm’s quest to attain long-term survival. However, this approach indicates a considerable lack of recognition on the role of customers in an organization’s pursuit of profitability. In the course of my study, I have recognized that customers are a key component in a firm’s pursuit of bottom-line. Thus, I drew the supervisor’s attention on the need to adopt a customer-centric approach in the production process. Lamb (2010) emphasizes that business profit models “are shifting from a product centric mindset to a more customer-centric framework” (p. 41). Therefore, the need to consider customers as a critical component in an organization’s pursuit of profitability cannot be ignored.

Adopting a customer-centric approach is essential in an organization’s quest to achieve profitability. Achieving profitability is largely anchored on the extent to which a firm nurtures a positive post-purchase experience. Quality constitutes one of the aspects that a firm can leverage on in developing such post-purchase experience. I emphasized the importance of the supervisor focusing on ensuring that employees adopt a customer-centric approach to their production process as a way of meeting the customers’ needs. One of the issues that the supervisor should take into account entails ensuring that employees understand the company’s quality management system.

The supervisor should have emphasized on ensuring that employees understand the documented quality policy, quality manual, and quality objectives. Moreover, adherence to quality underscores the importance of ensuring that the customers’ requirements are duly determined and met. Jones (2014) cites understanding the customers’ requirements as a critical aspect of an organization’s quest to enhance the level of customer satisfaction. This assertion arises from the view that the customers’ requirements are integrated effectively into the production process. The outcome of this approach is that the firm will be in a position to achieve product realization.

By shifting from the product centric to customer centric approach, the organization’s supervisor will be in a position to steer the firm towards a high level of profitability. The customer-centric approach will ensure that the levels of profits achieved are sustainable. This assertion arises from the view that products meet the customers’ requirements. Subsequently, the likelihood of entrenching repeat purchase behavior amongst the customers will improve.

Case review: Wainwright Industries

The case study highlights that Wainwright Industries has integrated two main initiatives in its quest to promote customer satisfaction and adhere to quality. One of the initiatives entails improving the manufacturing operations using different processes such as computer-aided design and just-in-time manufacturing. The second initiative focuses on human resource management. The significance of emphasizing these two initiatives arises from the recognition of the view that leveraging on quality, as a source of competitive advantage, is only possible if a firm focuses on developing its internal strengths (Foster, 2009). Therefore, developing a high level of synergy between the firm’s production processes and its human capital is critical. In the course of its operation, Wainwright Industries has recognized that the implementation of top-notch production processes and technologies alone such as the computer-aided technology and the just-in-time process would not culminate in competitive advantage.

On the contrary, investing in human capital increases the effectiveness with which the processes and technologies integrated culminate in the creation of the intended value to the organization. By empowering employees through training and profit sharing, Wainwright Industries has significantly improved the chances of attaining the employees’ satisfaction. Through this approach, the likelihood of the employees identifying with the firm is improved considerably due to high job satisfaction. Therefore, employees will endeavor to adhere to the stipulated management system such as the procedures and standards. The ultimate effect is that the firm is in a position to increase the level of customer satisfaction.

Egalitarian culture

The egalitarian culture entails a distinct organizational culture that is focused on adhering to equality and elimination of discriminatory practices in an organization’s operation. This culture offers a strong sense of ownership to employees (DiRomualdo & Winter, 2005). Based on this aspect, the egalitarian culture is critical in the Wainwright Industries’ attempt to become quality minded. This assertion arises from the view that the sense of ownership and identification with the firm would increase the employees’ commitment to the stipulated quality management systems. Moreover, entrenching this culture is essential to the firm’s effort to ensure that the employees adopt a customer-centric approach in executing the assigned roles and responsibilities. The egalitarian culture is based on the concept of sponsorship, whereby new employees are mentored by the incumbent employees on the levels of commitment that they should ensure in executing their duties to ensure success.

Importance of quality in precision auto part industry

Quality constitutes a critical aspect in the precision auto parts industry. Ensuring effective precision turning is essential in the success of different manufacturing industries. Subsequently, firms that specialize in the production of precision turning components must ensure that their products facilitate effortless manufacturing. The importance of quality in this industry arises from the view that the success of the precision turning products depends mainly on how they make manufacturing activities of other firm’s efficient. The importance of quality in the precision turning auto parts industry is entrenched by the fact that poor quality precision turning equipment may compromise the production process by increasing the cost of production. Additionally, poor quality precision components might also present a safety hazard in the manufacturing process. Therefore, precision auto part manufacturers must integrate an effective quality control, assurance, and management processes.

References

DiRomualdo, T., & Winter, J. (2005). Manifesto for the new agile workplace. Oxford, UK: Career Innovation.

Foster, T. (2009). Managing quality. New York, NY: Pearson Education.

Jones, E. (2014). Quality management for organizations using lean six sigma techniques. New York, NY: CRC Press.

Lamb, R. (2010). Improving your bottom-line through the contact center. London, UK: Lulu.

Xu, J. (2014). Proceedings of the eighth international conference on management science and engineering management; focused on computing and engineering management. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.