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COMPETING ON THE EIGHT DIMENSIONS OF QUALITY

TOTAL QUALITY CONTROL


The article talks of an interesting concept called Total Quality Control
Armand Feigenbaum, in 1956 proposed this idea, where-in he stated that companies would
never be able to create high quality products, unless their different departments worked
together and became interfunctional. All these teams need to share responsibility for the
quality of the product and the manufacturing team cannot be solely blamed or left in isolation.

RELIABILITY ENGINEERING
Reliability engineering is engineering that emphasizes dependability in the lifecycle
management of a product. Dependability, or reliability, describes the ability of a system or
component to function under stated conditions for a specified period of time.
Reliability engineering represents a sub-discipline within systems engineering. Reliability is
theoretically defined as the probability of failure, as the frequency of failures, or in terms of
availability, as a probability derived from reliability and maintainability. Maintainability and
maintenance is often defined as a part of "reliability engineering" in Reliability Programs.
Reliability plays a key role in the cost-effectiveness of systems

Integrating Quality into Strategic Management


Strategic quality management is the process of establishing long range customer focused goals
and defining the approach to meeting those goals. It is performed at the top organizational
level. The eight elements of strategic management are:

Define mission and critical success factors

Study internal and external environments and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and threats to the organization.

Define a long term goal (vision)

Develop key strategies to achieve that vision.

Develop strategic goals.

Subdivide the goals and develop operational plans and projects to achieve the goals.

Provide executive leadership to implement the strategies.

Review progress with measurements, assessments and audits.

Quality must be integrated into the eight elements of strategic management mentioned above.
This is made possible by setting up organizational machinery to carry out improvements, train
all levels to execute their quality responsibilities, establish measures and review progress
against improvement goals and provide recognition for superior performance. Emphasis must
be on actions by line departments instead of relying on the quality department. To integrate
quality into strategic management leadership by upper management is essential.

Obstacles to Achieving Quality


There are many reasons why an organization fails to attain its quality goals but six are of
extreme importance:
1. Lack of leadership by top management: People in the upper management may be committed
to the quality goals of the organization but lack of visible leadership and evidence of this
commitment has a damaging effect on the rest of the organization.
2. Reliance on specific techniques as the primary means of achieving quality goals: Techniques
such as statistical process control, quality circles, quality function deployment etc. address
only a specific part of the problem.
3. Underestimating the time and resources required: Typically 10% of the time of the upper and
middle management and professional specialists is required to achieve breakthroughs in
quality. This time must be found without adding extra personnel. A change of priorities by
delaying or eliminating other activities is needed.
4. Lack of infrastructure for quality: For major activities the management delegates
responsibilities after setting up mechanisms that include goals, responsibilities, plans and a
structure for carrying out the task on hand. Such elements are very vague or missing with
respect to quality.
5. Failure to understand the skepticism for a new quality program: Employees have seen
previous quality programs go down the drain. The management needs to present convincingly
(1) a proof of the need for the quality effort and (2) demonstrate determination to make the
new program a success.
6. Failure to start small and learn from pilot activities: In a haste to achieve big results rapidly
massive training takes place with the hope that simultaneous advances can be made on all
fronts. The common mistake made in quality projects is the tendency to bite more than one
can chew. People grow tired of projects that seem to take forever. The ideal way to go is to
start off with small pilot projects that will be completed within six months.

DIMENSIONS OF QUALITY GARVIN


In 1987 David Garvin suggested that there are eight dimensions to quality.
1: Performance
A quality product will perform as expected by the user and as specified by the manufacturer. If
products do not do as buyers expect, users will be disappointed and frustrated. Worse still poor
performing products get negative reviews and lose sales and reputation.
2: Features
What additional benefits will be added to the product? Will they be they tangible or nontangible benefits. For example this could be after sales service, or guarantees. Some features
will be present in all products but other features will only be found in "quality" products. For
example all cars have wheels, steering wheel, gears, windows and seats but only some cars
have heated seats, assisted parking and bluetooth.
3: Reliability
Is the product consistent? Will it perform well over its expected lifetime and perform
consistently? Many brands have developed trust with customers because of their reputation for
reliability.
4: Durability
How durable is your product. Will it last with daily use?
5: Conformance
Does your product meet with any agreed internal and national specifications? For example
safety regulations and laws.
6: Serviceability
Is the product easy to service? Does the organisation offer enough service support?
7: Aesthetics
Is the product appealing to the eye? Design is important for many products; the colour picked
indicates certain things.
8: Perceived Quality

What sort of quality perception does the marketing team want to convey in their marketing
message? Will the price charged reflect the quality of the product? What brand name is going
to be used and does this convey any perception of quality?