Quality control is of primary importance when it comes to building a successful business. It is aimed at delivering products that meet or even exceed customers’ expectations. Quality control forms the basis of an efficient business which operates at high levels of productivity and minimizes waste at all cost. One of the quality management systems which is based on a well-recognised standard is the ISO 9001 which was published by the international organisation for standardization. It provides a high quality and strong foundation aimed at achieving a wide range of marketing benefits.
A strong competitive advantage is being provided by the ability to offer customers quality products. Quality control eventually helps any entrepreneur win business from competitors who are unable to meet standards.This gives you the ability to charge premium prices for your superior products without fear of failure. Where quality is critical, quality control often opens up new opportunities in the market sector.
Customer satisfaction is increased by offering the market with quality products. So ensuring a good quality management system is of great importance to your business’s success since customers are more likely to move to the places where they are best satisfied. All satisfied customers have complete confidence that your products would keep on providing reliable performance even in times to come due to their past experience. This is already a guaranty that they would buy from you in times to come. Whereas with poor quality control your customers are being driven away once and for all since they have no satisfaction with your products. Satisfied customers would not only buy your products but most often will go up to the extent of recommending the product to other customers. This they will do directly or provide testimonials which you can eventually use in your marketing communications so as to get the attention of more customers.
Installing a good quality management system contributes greatly to your company’s reputation especially with the increasing growth of social media. An advantage you will never get with poor quality control. Most customers share their views on services and products often on social media and on product review sites. Your own personal marketing efforts can be reinforced by positive reviews and comments. Whereas poor quality control can have a damaging effect on your reputation if the word does spreads. Further damage can be caused by a major quality issue such as product recall which easily attracts media attention.
Your production and product support cost can be reduced by a good quality control system. A good quality management system helps lower levels of waste and rework thereby improving productivity and cutting waste leading to production efficiency. The number of returns you have to manage together with the cost of repair can be handled by delivering quality products to customers.
The impacts of total quality management on the business’s performance
Total quality management is referred to as a firm-wide management philosophy which has to do with improving in a continuous manner the quality of the products or services or processes by keeping focus on the customer’s expectations and needs. This is aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction together with the firm’s performance. There exist mixed results when it comes to the relationship which is existing between total quality management and performance. Even though most of the results coming from previous studies where positive, some of the results where non-significant or negative. The different reasons behind these mixed results can be as follows;
All of the previous studies used different methods together with different total quality management variables and different performance measures in their models of research.
They were carried out in different context such as different industries and different countries in the world.
The mixed results in different studies might have been the cause to barriers of total quality management practices.
Research which is conducted with the appropriate analytic methodologies and measuring tools can contribute significantly when it comes to investigating work on total quality management. This is done so as to analyse reasons of the relationship which exists between total quality management performance and practices;
Bringing out the different impacts of total quality management practices on various firm performances.
Analysing the reasons and difficulties of implementing total quality management practices by firms.
Using appropriate methods to analyse the relationship between total quality management and the firm’s performance.
The relationship between total quality management and performance on business
An overall look of total quality management practices show that;
It has positively been related to manufacturing performance and productivity.
It has led to quality performance.
It has led to employee satisfaction together with performance.
It has led to innovation performance.
It has led to customer satisfaction and results.
It has led to competitive advantage.
It has led to financial performance.
It has led to an aggregate firm performance.
H1: Total quality management practices are related to the business’s performance in a highly positive manner.
Leadership: All leaders in a total quality management system view the firm as a system;
Which support employee development.
Which establishes a multipoint communication between employees, customer and manager.
Which encourages the use of information in an effective and efficient way.
In addition all leaders encourage employee participation in their decision making thereby empowering the employees. From previous studies it was found that leadership does improves;
The business’s operational performance.
The business’s inventory management performance.
Customer results and social responsibilities.
And an overall firm performance.
H2: Leadership is related to performance in a positive way.
Knowledge and process management: Knowledge management in an effective manner ensures that employees obtain timely consistent, reliable, necessary and accurate data which is needed for them to do their work efficiently within the firm. The expected benefits from a total quality management system can be obtained only through this way. Activities are emphasised by process management, as being opposed to the results going through a set of methodological activities. This eventually includes all existing preventive and proactive approaches designed for quality management in order to reduce any variations in the process. Thus improving the quality of the products to meet customer’s needs. By so doing errors in the process can be quickly figured and remedied before it is too late. In addition as the process becomes more prevention oriented, profit of the firm is increased and cost of production is reduced significantly.
H3: Process management and knowledge are positively related to performance.
Training: A necessary training should be given to all the employees of total quality management firms to improve on their proficiencies in their various tasks. Success is brought to the firm through an effective training in improvement and management in quality. Quality remains the concern of the whole firm and not a concern of a particular department. Proper training should be given to all employees based on their results of training needs assessment. The employees know the structure of the firm and industry after an effective training is being offered to them and as a result they would be more productive. The employee’s loyalty, performance and motivation to the firm is also improved by an effective training. The full participation of all employees who are trained on producing reliable and high quality products or services would be more fruitful in the production stage. As a result of this, customer complaints would reduce thereby leading to an increase in customer satisfaction. A lot of studies report show often that training is related positively to;
The business’s operational performance.
Inventory management performance.
The business’s innovation performance.
The business’s market and financial performance.
H4: Training is highly related positively to performance
Supplier quality management: In total quality management, supply chain management implies reducing and streamlining the supplier base to facilitate management of supplier’s relationships. It is also aimed at developing strategic alliances with suppliers thereby working hand in hand with suppliers in order to ensure that expectations are made on time. In the product development process, it is aimed at involving suppliers at primary stage to take advantage of their expertise and capabilities which are highly needed. Conclusions from previous studies stand for the fact that supplier quality management positively affects business’s operational performance together with inventory operational performance and the overall firm performance. As a result of this the following hypothesis was emitted
H5: Supplier quality management is related positively to the business’s performance.
Customer focus: All total quality management firms focus on serving all the external customers. Before this can be possible, start by knowing the expectations and needs of customers so as to offer the service or product accordingly. Referencing from a successful customer effort, the production process can be arranged with respect to the customer’s needs together with expectations and complaints. This often encourages the firm greatly to produce reliable and high quality products and services on time with an increased productivity and efficiency throughout the whole process. The firm’s sales together with the market share will increase whenever customer expectations are met leading to their satisfaction. Thus,
H6: Customer focus is positively related to the performance of the business.
Strategic quality planning: Include in strategic quality planning the; vision, mission together with values of the firms. All these are formed by just taking into account the quality concept. With a solid and effective strategic planning effort employees must be considered as important input in developing the vision, strategies, mission and objectives. This helps to facilitate the acceptance and support of all the strategic quality plans by all the employees. Good successful quality planning efforts often take into consideration all the possible side effects of the plan to the surrounding environment previous to the plan.
It can be concluded that total quality management is an ethical and holistic approach for the firms which is aimed at continuously improving on their products or services. This is done in order to satisfy their customers and ensure sustainability. Total quality management practices generally brings improvements on all performance measures. Performance is not affected by leadership. Improvements on inventory management performance, social responsibility, innovation performance and financial performance are brought by knowledge and process management practices. Operational performance, customer results and employee performance are brought about by successful training. An increase is brought on operational performance, financial performance and customer results by an effective customer focus. Employees’ performance and social responsibilities of the firm are improved by an effective strategic quality planning.
There exists seven outstanding basic quality management tools. These quality management tools which are designated to a fixed set of graphical techniques are being considered as being most helpful in all troubleshooting issues related to quality. The reason why they are called basic is because they are not just simple but are quiet suitable for people who possess little formal training in statistics. In fact these seven basic quality management tools can be used to solve vast majority of quality related issues in businesses. The seven quality management tools are;
The cost of quality refers to a particular methodology which allows an organisation to determine the extent to which all its resources are used for the empowerment of activities that prevent the production of poor quality products or services. When an organisation is in possession of its cost of quality then it would better determine its potential savings to be gained by implementing the different process improvements. It is of primary importance for each and every organisation to know its cost of quality, as they would satisfy customers with quality products thereby winning the confidence of these customers even for future goods. But it should be noted that poor quality will give the organisation a bad reputation thereby reducing its profitability in the market.