Friday, June 21, 2013

MANAGEMENT CONSULTING PROCESS: QUALITY MANAGEMENT

Summary • Commercial organizations in the present day have realized the need to improve their operation processes with the intention of increasing the morale of their workers in effectively completing tasks as well as enhancing the quality of goods and services offered by the company. • In order to ensure team work, enthusiastic workers, customer satisfaction and high quality commodities, it is important for commercial organizations to engage in a process of continous improvement aimed at ensuring effective quality management. • In recent days, continous improvement has been referred to as total quality management (TQM). Regardless of the terminology used in referring to the practice, it is important that the phenomenon not only be understood but also applied in modern day commercial organizations. This paper depicts the management consulting process by Canterbury Prewcision Engineers Ltd ained at the implementation of quality management improvement. • After a brief introduction of the firm and its environment, the problem diagmosed and the concept of total quality management will be discussed. The role of the consultant as well as the steps and challenges of the implementation process will also be depicted. At the end of the paper will be a recommendation, summative conslusion and a bibliography of the references cited herein. 1.0.0 Introduction In recent days many commercial organizations have been under great pressure to improve their operations by embracing the best business practices and emergent management ideas. Weiler (2004, p. 54) posits that the development of quality management in recent days is one such concept that has gained increased preeminence in the business realms. There are a number of quality management and continous improvement models that have been formulated to this effect for instance Total Quality Management, Lean and Six Sigma. Boer et al (2000) describe continous improvement as “the planned, organized and systematic process of ongoing, incremental ans company wide change of existing practices aimed at improving company performance”. As indicated by Thawesaengskulthai (2007, p. 6), the research design of quality management and improvement in this management consulting exercise is divided into three main processes. The first stage is typified by a formulation of the theoretical and conceptual background of the issue in question as well as the adoption of a feasible model and the validation of such a framework in the process of quality management improvement. 2.0.0 Company Background and Environment Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd is a small to medium-sized commercial organization that is established in Christchurch New Zealand. This firm was created by Tom Charlwood and Martin Sherrif in 1970. Upon its formation, Tom Charlwood headed sales and marketing departments, Marion Charlwood was in charge of office management accounts and remuneration of workers and Martin Sherrif was in charge of production and operations. In spite of the fact that none of the mentioned three had any qualifications in administration or management, they all had a vast amount of engineering work experience and a great passion for entreprenuership. Accordling to Batley (n.d, p. 574) this commercial organization is involved in the manufacture of equipment and machinery, tools, engineering fabrications, dyes as well as the manufacture and supply of the named commodities to other commercial organizations. Presently, Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd has an estimated 54 workers and has been able to implement several quality management strategies in spite of operating in a very competitive market. SWOT Analysis One of the major strengths of the company is the fact that it is technically superior and has a stable science base. Opportunities for Canterbury Precision Engineer Ltd include the great demand for its products in regional and global markets as well as the increased rate of urbanization and industrialization in present day which increase the market for its products. However, the threats of rivalry as well as supplier and buyers is very great for this firm; this is in addition to the weakness of poor management and thr fact that it manufactures non-essential products. PEST Analysis Political factors impact the firm’s operations since the firm has to abide by the regulations and policies imposed by the government on the business. There are a number of pay, health and safety regulations that Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd has to abide by. The economic environment of the firm is very competitive. The future is promising for this firm due to the great demand its products has in both the regional and global market. Innovative technology has boosted the firm since it can now produce more for less. 3.0.0 Problem Diagnosis According to Batley (n.d, p. 575) after the creation of the firm, it was not long before the founders of Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd realized that they needed some knowledge on management. This is due to the fact that the two partners felt that they did not have much time to make important strategic decisions due to the fact that all their time was utilized in making urgeent decisions in different parts of the company. It was then that the managers felt a need to attend a seminar on Edwards Deming’s quality management principles. Batley (n.d, p. 575) inducates that the Edwards Deming Principles are not only people-oriented but also with the capacity to improve the quality in all operating processes in the firm. Nevertheless, the company directors did not achieve much success in their application of Edwards Deming’s 14 principles of quality management and it is for this reason that the consultant was approached. Bhuiyan and Baghel (2005, p. 761) state that quality improvement refers to any processes in a commercial organization that are aimed at ensuring an increase in the value to consumers or stakeholders through the enhancement of the superiority of goods and services offered by a firm in the commercial arena. The superiority of goods and services offered by a firm such as Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd is enhanced by improving the efficiency and worth of the activities applied at every point in the organization. The quality improvement process in Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd is based on the principle that commercial organizations- particularly the management and human resource- have the capacity to continously enhance all activities in the firm by applying particular systematic techniques. Figure 1 below depicts the importance of quality management in Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd. (Garvin, 1984) Role of External Consultant and Proposed Plan The consultant is tasked with the duty of successfully implementing the Edwards Deming 14 principles of quality management successfully in the Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd firm (Deming, 1966). As indicated by Jackson (2001, p. 157) practices of quality management and improvement in many commercial organizations have a propensity towards being unsuccessful. The main reason for such failures is the fact that the organizational leaders and managers lack the expertise, skills and knowledge that they require to successfully introduce quality amanagement and improvement practices in their organizations (Adam, 1994, p.30). In order to attain success in its quality management and improvement endevor, Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd requires the services of an external consultant that has the expertise and required skills in planning, executing, evaluating and reviewing the process quality management and improvement in the company. The implementation of quality management and improvement in a company such as Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd may seem as a very difficult and complex process in the initial stages. It is therefore very crucial for the consultant to come up with an effective plan clearly outlining the sets of procedures that will be applied as well well as the functions that will be fulfilled by the different people in the organization. According to Jackson (2001, p. 157) if the process of quality management and improvement in Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd is to be a success it is important that the consultant comes up with an effective plan of action. O’Brien et al (1995, p. 20) indicates that it is mandatory that such a plan contain five chief steps that will ensure a successful implementation of quality management and improvement. The consultant should come up with an implementation plan that will enable the establishment of a steering committee, ensure adherence to the principles and values of the company as well as come up with the instruments or indicators that will be utilized in measuring the success of the project. Jackson (2001, p. 157) further states that such a plan must facilitate the effective execution of all the sets of procedures related to the process of quality management and improvement. 4.0.0 Edwards Deming’s Total Quality Management According to McLaughlin and Kalunzny (1990, p. 166) the concept of total quality management, also commonly referred to as continouis improvement, is a model of management that is founded upon a number of principles. The first principle for total quality management in Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd is the fact that it is inclined towards the provision of high quality goods and services at a cost that ensures that consumers get value for their money. Secondly, total quality management is bent on attaining continous improvements in all operations in the commercial organization. The principles of total quality management appreciate that all the affiliates of the company have stakholders such as owners and consumers who may be either internal or external (Akao, 1990). Total quality management inclines towards ensuring a high level of employee involvement as well as teamwork. Great emphasis is placed on the manner in which tasks are carried out rather than the tasks that are accomplished. Total quality management is characterized by a focus on the elimination of waste, continous improvement, consumer satisfaction and increased participation by employees (Deming, 1966). 5.0.0 Steps in the Implementation of Total Quality Management It is important to note that, as posited by Shari and Aspinwall (2000, p. 646), the chief purpose for implementing quality management improvements in Canterbury Precision Engineering Ltd is the realization by the two directors that the survival and growth of the firm depends on this process (Sousa and Voss, 2001, p. 383). The management of Canterbury Precision Engineering Ltd is fully aware of the fact that such a process of continous improvement and total quality management will not only enhance the enthusiasm of workers to complete their tasks effectively but also improve the quality of the products and services offered by the company to its clientele pool. The implementation of the total quality management principles formulated by Edwards Deming is the same as that of other techniques of decentralized control in commercial organizations. An effectual and successful quality system is one that has the ability to ensure that all the needs and requirements of customers are satisfactorily met while at the same time ensuring that the commercial organization is committed to a delivering services that meet the objectives of the company. Shari and Aspinwall (2000, p. 646) describe the steps that characterize the implementation of Edwards Deming’s quality initiatives in Canterbury Precision Engineering Ltd. Firm Evaluation Hashmi (2010) purports that the first step in the implementation of quality management improvements is to assess the firm’s environment realities so as to determine the firm’s history, its current requirements as well as the conditions of work in the organization. Implementation of total quality management principles should only be done after ascertaining that the organizational context is supportive of such principles. After evaluating the firm’s needs of quality management improvement, Hashmi (2010) points out that it is important that a model of the desired state in the firm is formulated. Announcing Change Objectives De Cieri et al (1999, p. 56) posits that after the requirements of the organization have been assessed and the model context in the organization determined, the next step is to communicate the need for the quality management improvement to the affiliates of the organization, particularly the human resource. The management of the firm should make sure that they communicate the expected transformations as well as the mechanisms and techniques that will be applied in achieving the expected changes. This can be done by calling for all staff meetings in which the firms executive are present (Hashmi, 2010). The consultant in this process arranged for 2 hour meetings on every Saturday to sentize the employees on the issue. Implementation of TQM This is the actual execution of the TQM principles and it requires that the leadership in the firm be committed and dedicated to the process. As inducated by Hyde (1992, p. 30) the management should not be entirely dependent on members of staff to solely oversee or supervise the process. Pellegrin et al (1995, p. 683) state that the implementation process involves all the employess and leadership in the organization. The commitment of the leaders and employess can be attained by educating them on the importance of the process as well as the benefits that it has for each group as well as the entire firm. Evaluation After the process of implementation it is important that enough time be allowed to ensure that the executed transformations in the company have been effective. Indicators and assessment tools are then applied to assess wther or not the process of implementing quality management improvements has been successful or not (Akao, 1990). In total quality management the satisfaction of consumers or owners is the ultimate measure of quality. Act This is the last process in the action plan. It refers to the formulation and application of corrective measures in the plan in the event that the first plan of action does not bear the desired outcome. Sometimes a few changes are effected on the plan but at other times the entire plan has to be discarded and a new one formulated. 6.0.0 Challenges in Implementation Batley (n.d, p. 577) states that the major challenge in Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd was communication problems which led to confrontational arguements by staff members in different cliques. There were also negative attitudes by some of the staff that did not trust the directors’ intentions for proposing changes in the firm. Horine and Hailey (1995, p. 7) reveal that there are a number of challenges that characerize the process implementation of quality management improvements in firms such as Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd. After conducting an investigative study of 160 commercial organizations at different phases of the process of quality management, Horaine and hailey (1995, p. 7) purport that the main challenges include the organizational cultures in the firm, commitment by senior leaders, inadequate training in implementing strategies of quality management improvements and lack of enough time to carry out the implementation process. 7.0.0 Recommendations There are a number of recommendations that can be applied in ensuring that the implementation of quality management improvements in firms such as Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd is carried out effeciently.  Firstly, the implementation of quality management improvements should be centered on areas that are of actual importance and significance in the commercial organization. These areas should also be responded to by use of intervention measures or strategies that are clearly formulated.  Secondly, before any commercial organization ventures into implementing quality management improvements, it should ensure that it has established a capable framework of leadership, forged associations based on mutual respect and trust with the different stakeholders and developed effective communication and information networks (Akao, 1990). Such measures will not only ensure that the implementation process is a success, but also that the different stakeholders affiliated to the copmany are prepared for the transformations that will take place in the commercial organization.  Finally, that the implementation of quality management improvements in the company must be characterized by a conducive internal and external context. Such a context is relative to the competitive factors that the company experiences as well as the policies or payment and any important regulations. 9.0.0 Conclusions The modern day commercial realm is characterized by a very high level of competition and it is important that any company that wishes to remain competitive attains excellence in its human resource management as well as the quality of its products and services. Such superiority can be attained through the application of total quality management principles forwarded by Edwards Deming. Total quality management is characterized by a focus on the elimination of waste, continous improvement, consumer satisfaction and increased participation by employees. Commercial organizations in the present day, such as Canterbury Precision Engineering Ltd, have realized the need to improve their operation processes with the intention of increase the morale of their workers to effectively complete tasks as well as enhance the quality of goods and services offered by the company. This paper has discussed the process of quality management improvement in Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd by a consultant hired to implement TQM principles. The main steps followed ny the consultant in the implementation of TQM in the firm include coaching and training of employees and leadership, the development and support of the team and the execution of the improvement project. 10.0.0 References Adam, E., (1994), “ Alternative Quality Improvement Practices and Organization Performance”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 12, pp. 27-44 Akao, Y., (1990), “Quality Funcion Deployment: Integrating Customer Requirements into Product Design”, Productivity Press, Cambridge, MA Batley, T., (n.d), “Canterbury Precision Engineers Ltd: Implementing Quality Management Improvements in a Smaller Firm”, University of Otago- New Zealand, pp. 573- Bhuiyan, N. and Baghel, A., (2005), “ An Overview of Continous Improvement: From the Past to Present”, Management Decision, Vol. 43, No. 5, pp. 761-771 Boer, H., Berger, A. and Chapman, R. et al, (2000), “ CI Changes: from Suggestion Box to Organizational Learning-Continous Improvement in Europe and Australia”, Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot De Cieri, H., Samson, D., Sohal, A., (1991), “Implementation of TQM in an Australian Manufacturing Company”, International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management 8 (5), 55–65 Deming, W. 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L., Carek, D. and Edwards, J., (1995), “Use of Experimental and Quasi- Experimental Methods for Data-Based Decisions in Quality Improvement”, Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement 21 (12), pp. 683- 69 Weiler, G., (2004), “ What Do CEOs Think About Quality?’, Quality Progress, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 52-56