Quality and Strategic Process Improvement

The Cost of Quality Improvement: Continuous Update of Standards vs. Successful Avoidance of Challenges

In the long run, the concept of quality improvement has finally become a new philosophy for entrepreneurs, as Sanchez and Blanco (2014, p. 986) explain. In a retrospect, the phenomenon is self-explanatory since the increase in quality levels triggers an immediate improvement in the company’s competitive advantage. However, the focus on quality as the top priority of a firm often comes at a price. Unless the principles of sustainable allocation of the available resources are incorporated into the company’s strategy, the firm is likely to incur incremental costs that it may not be ready to afford. Nevertheless, improving quality levels is crucial to remain popular among the target customers. Therefore, entrepreneurship must focus on using a sustainable approach that will help introduce the necessary changes gradually, at the same time using the available resources sparingly and wisely.

The significance of quality improvement can hardly be underrated as it is the primary driver behind customers. It should be noted, though, that alternative approaches to endorse progress and customer satisfaction in the context of an organization have been suggested. For instance, the idea of improving quality through the removal of constraint that the production options are restricted by was promoted by Filho and Uzcoy (2014, p. 3016). On the one hand, the identified approach toward addressing the demands of the clients and refraining from extending the company’s budget can be deemed as acceptable. On the other hand, the framework only works for the firms that operate under a single product and a single-stage plan, as Filho and Uzcoy (2014, p. 3016) detail. Therefore, as a company-specific strategy devised for a small or medium company offering its services in its home market, it may work, yet it will inevitably fail to support the viability of a large corporation.

Seeing that the process of quality improvement must be viewed as indispensable to the success of a firm in the environment of the global market, a flexible approach toward its continuity must be adopted. For these purposes, my company deploys the principles of Six Sigma built by Thomas Pyzdek as the means of enhancing the critical operations, as Pyzdek and Keller (2014) suggest. The framework is known as DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) can be viewed as the foundation for creating a stable improvement strategy. As Kumar and Schmitz (2011, p. 236) explain, it can become the foundation for building a sustainable quality management approach.

One can make the transfer to the concept of continuous improvement easier by suggesting closer supervision of the production processes. For instance, the use of audits can be a possibility, as Ates and Bitici (2011) suggest. As a result, the levels of customer satisfaction can be raised significantly. Additionally, more active and successful relationships with suppliers can be encouraged once the principles of quality improvement are applied to the use of information management systems. As Faint (2011, p. 38) declares, the application of a powerful tool for data management is likely to help avoid numerous misunderstandings between a company and its suppliers, thus, allowing a timely and careful delivery of the essential items.

Because improving the quality of products and services is the first step toward maintaining relevance in the target market, an organization must invest in the consistent improvement of its quality standards. However, the financial approach must be cost-efficient so that entrepreneurship should not suffer significant expenses. Thus, it is crucial to apply the principles of sustainable cost allocation, which will allow for sensible use of the financial resources and adequate use of advanced, high-quality equipment.

Reference List

Ates, A and Bitici, U (2011) ‘Change process: a key enabler for building resilient SMEs’, International Journal of Production Research, 49(18), pp. 5601-5618.

Faint, R (2011) ‘leaning towards business efficiency’, Operations Management, 5(1), pp. 38-41.

Filho, M G and Uzcoy, R (2014) ‘Assessing the impact of alternative continuous improvement programmes in a flow shop using system dynamics’, International Journal of Production Research, 52(10), pp. 3014-3031.

Kumar, S. and Schmitz, S. (2011) ‘Managing recalls in a consumer product supply chain – root cause analysis and measures to mitigate risks’, International Journal of Production Research, 49(1), pp. 235-253.

Pyzdek, T and Keller, P (2014) The Six Sigma handbook. 4th edn. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Sanchez, L. and Blanco, B. (2014) ‘Three decades of continuous improvement’, Total Quality Management, 25(9), pp. 986-1001.