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WHAT IS QUALITY?

Quality is a subjective term for which each person or

sector has its own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: The characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; A product or service free of deficiencies. According to Joseph Juran, quality means fitness for use; According to Philip Crosby, it means conformance to requirements.

THE ROLE OF QUALITY IN BUSINESS :


The current Quality drive has brought many areas of

expertise together. We see, for example, operations research, project management, economics, statistics, systems analysis, various branches of engineering, marketing, general and strategic management, financial management, and many others coming together to achieve the best output for the organisation. The aim of the drive to improve and sustain Quality is primarily to improve business performance (through reducing poor quality and related costs) and to develop a conducive corporate culture to do this.

MEASURING QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE :


To be able to have a tangible effect on improving business

performance, Quality strategy must determine what is being done and then suggest ways of bettering it. This involves different methods of measuring performance. Some of these methods are:
Measurement against internal standards Measurement against customer needs Business performance measurements in financial terms Benchmarking internally and externally to set best standards Quality measurements that are holistic and seek determining

of total performance.

INFORMATION ON QUALITY STANDARDS : ISO FAMILY


Recent research shows that ISO accredited companies have

a distinct edge while competing for international business and ensuring customer confidence. In particular, the ISO 9000 Series of Standards is the most widely accepted quality assurance model in the world. The goal of these standards are to reduce waste and variation in product characteristics and process parameters, address traceability issues and promote continual improvement of the effectiveness of quality management systems.

To Achieve the ISO standard :


To achieve compliance with ISO guidelines, the

following best practices should form the basis of all ISO programs:
Establish clearly defined business processes. Conduct detailed internal audits and identify gaps. Conduct external quality audits. Establish effective closed-loop corrective and preventive

action processes.

QUALITY MANAGEMENT :
The Executive Sponsor is likely to establish a Quality

Steering Committee to act as the management board for the introduction, development and implementation of any quality initiative. A key member of the Steering Committee is the Quality Manager, usually appointed to be the program/project manager for QMS implementation. Project team members, process owners and people undertaking any business role are key participants in quality management.

Contd..
Partner integration can be enhanced further with respect to

interaction, organization, process and IT. Integration thus the company will be able to continuously improve the quality of their products.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT A QUALITY SYSTEM IN YOUR BUSINESS :


There are five key steps involved in implementing a quality

management system (QMS): Analyze your business by breaking it down into key areas. Plan your approach by deciding which resources you need and discussing the effectiveness of existing processes with staff. Decide if new processes are necessary and tell staff about them - provide training if necessary. Check that the processes are working by appointing someone to be responsible for the system and ensuring proper procedures are followed. Revise processes where necessary and continue to review them regularly.

QUALITY IMPROVEMENT :
The following diagram is the Shewhart cycle (PDCA)

for quality improvement, made popular by Deming.

Contd..
The philosophy is to keep improving the quality of an

organization. It is defined by four keys:

TOP FIRMS WHICH EMPHASIZE QUALITY:


Nokia Adidas Ford Satyam cinemas Wal-Mart

SIX SIGMA:
Six sigma is a business management strategy originally

developed by Motorola. Six sigma seeks to improve quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors)& variability in manufacturing and business process. List of Six sigma companies : Lg Honeywell Vodafone Motorola Whirlpool

TQM :
TQM is a philosophy which permeates throughout the

company. In addition, TQM provides some tools that can be employed in maintaining quality as well as implementing the philosophy in the everyday business of the company. The main principles of TQM may be summarised as:
Customer focus Prevention of poor quality rather than fixing its effects Attitude of continuous improvement ( kaizen ) Measurement and identification of opportunities to improve Removal of inefficiencies and non-productive costs.

IMPLEMENTING TQM :
We can see from the foregoing that TQM can be a major

change in the culture of an organisation. The costs are in the form of commitment, time, effort and often discomfort for some managers who may not want to give up the control function to their subordinates. It is a different way of managing that needs a different set of skills and trust in the people that form the organisation. It involves learning a new set of skills, redefining customers and their requirements, openness, working with real information to make informed decisions, and developing an attitude of life-long learning.

DEFINING CUSTOMER SERVICE QUALITY :


Service quality is defined as the discrepancy between

customers expectation and perception. From the perspective of customers, value for money is a deciding factor for the attractiveness of the transaction. Among the organizations that are reputed for their good standards, there is a common belief that high quality is an essential component of their market success.

CUSTOMER SERVICE QUALITY FAILURES :


Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry (1990) identified

five "gaps" in service quality that can occur between the service expectation by customers and the experience they actually receive. Customer expectations - management perceptions Management perceptions - service quality specifications Service quality specifications - service delivery Service delivery - external communications Service expectations - service perceptions

In all matters dealing with quality, including customer

IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE QUALITY :

services, the desire to improve must be supported by commitment by senior management. Once a decision has been made to focus on improving customer service, Zeithaml et al (1990) portray the steps as shown in figure

COST OF LOSING A CUSTOMER :


Because of the increased expectations of customers and the

competitiveness of the marketplace, customer service providers are recognizing the high cost of losing customers. When customers cease to do business with us and begin to do business with our competition, several unfortunate situations occur. We lose the current dollars that our business relationship created. We lose the jobs that our client or clients provide. A third situation that may occur is the loss of reputation . A final challenge is the loss of future business .

The qualities important to our customers are : Accuracy,

TIPS FOR A GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE:


Make yourself presentable/well groomed

Friendliness , Timeliness, Efficiency, Courtesy, Honesty. Some of the tips are :


Greet each customer as he/she enters your service area. Make any eye contact when speaking to customers Be a good listener and show interest in what the customer

is saying Dont chat with other staff when customers are around Make customers feel important & appreciated Avoid rushing or doing too many things at once Apologize when something goes wrong Use positive verbal & body language

CONCLUSION :
Thus quality refers to the systematic policies, methods

and procedures used to ensure that goods and services are produced with levels that satisfy customer needs. Quality helps to improve business performance (through reducing poor quality and related costs) and to develop a conducive corporate culture

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