Quality management is a continuous organizational process which is aimed at meeting and exceeding the customers’ requirements through specific processes and an organization wide participation in planning and implementation. The elements of quality management include focus on the customer, strategy, teamwork, continual commitment and a scientific approach. Other elements are continuous improvement, training and education, control and obsession with quality (Hakes, 1991).
The customer is the most important aspect of an organization because all activities that the firm conducts are geared toward the supply of goods or services to the customer. The internal customer is just as important as the external customer. The internal customer refers to individuals that are members of an organization who contribute to the final product that is offered to the customer.
Since processes are what determine the end product, it is necessary to continually improve them. When set objects are met, new objectives should be set for great levels of quality. Organizations that practice quality management are strategic in that they aim to be in line with set organizational objectives (Hakes, 1991).
Quality management also takes into consideration the future of the organization and activities of competitors. The organization is obsessed with meeting the quality standards that are required by the customers. In this way, the employees desire to do their best all the time.
The focus on quality is not just for the short term but for the long run as well. In order for the entire organization to be one-minded in quality, all employees have to be trained and educated on quality management. The quality management process requires that there be adequate control from top management, although autonomy is encouraged. A scientific approach is used in setting targets, benchmarking and performance appraisal (Hakes, 1991).
Kaoru Ishikawa was a pioneer in the subject of quality management. He emphasized on the quality management elements of customer focus and education of employees. His doctrine pointed to employee training as the basis for the commencement and maintenance of quality management in an organization.
He came up with quality circles which enable employees to be involved in problem solving while increasing their ability to identify opportunities for growth (Hakes, 1991). The development of these elements made Kaoru Ishikawa successful because organizations have been able to increase revenue and deal with competition in the market.
Quality management is very useful in today’s market environment. Competition is one of the biggest challenges facing firms. Market leader should employ quality market so as to maintain there position in terms of market share and profits. On the other hand, small organizations that are growing or trying to penetrate the market, would benefit greatly from quality management.
Customers in the current market are very complex and knowledgeable. They know what they want and expect companies to provide goods and services which meet certain standards. Quality management would enable a firm to meet the customers’ needs thus ensuring that there will be repeat purchases and loyalty to the brand.
The quality management field is likely to grow in future. More efficient and effective system will be developed so as to improve the position of the firm in the future market. The focus may be on external factors in the market such as changes in technology, globalization and environmental concerns.
Hakes, C. (1991). Total quality management: the key to business improvement: a Pera International executive briefing. London: Springer.