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Question:
Discuss about the Total Quality Management for Quality Management.

 

 
Answer:
Overview:

The assignment integrates total quality management and quality control theory with the given case study. The case study opens with Bob Solver, the new director and quality assurance manager at a manufacturing plant conversing with Pat Little, the quality control manager. Their conversation reveals the total quality management deficiency, which was affecting the productivity of the company. The study and analysis of the case study would proceed under the light of two theories, namely total quality management concepts and quality control theory. Total Quality Management refers to controlling and bringing in continuous improvements in all the areas of operations namely human resource management, financing and marketing. The aim of TQM is to streamline the operations of the companies to ensure high quality products and maximum satisfaction of the customers (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). The quality control theory defines quality control as the process to judge, inspect and review the quality of all the factors of production. QC embraces various areas like usage of raw materials, allocations of human resources and financial resources. QCs today even consider soft elements like integrity, motivation and team spirit (Mitra, 2016). The researcher would incorporate both TQM and QC concepts while delving into the case study. 

 
Excavating deeper:

As per the case study, a deeper excavation into the conversation between Bob Solver and Pat Little reveal that there existed acute total quality control management and quality control. There existed issues with the filling plant, which filled grease into the grease cans. The filling equipment put excess pressure on the grease spray cans, which requires perforating holes to realise the pressure.

The conversation revealed lack of career planning for the employees by the human resource department. This was evident from the holding back of the promotion of Pat to employ Bob in spite of the fact that Pat was already holding a managerial post in the company and deserving a promotion (Fullerton, Kennedy & Widener, 2014).

The third quality issue in the manufacturing company is that there existed acute lack of cooperation and coordination between the employees and departments. Al Grey, the line inspector tagged the cans having poor quality to be sent to the rework department. The production department in order to meet the client requirement surpassed the quality control department and shipped the products namely, the cans. This analysis showed that there existed lack of cooperation between not only the employees but also their departments. This lack of coordination resulted in shipment of poor quality products (Albliwi, et al., 2014). Another example of lack of collaboration between departments was that the marketing departments emphasised on a particular shape of the cans to make them visually appealing. However, the design of the can created pressure on the content inside which often resulted in additional perforation to release the pressure (Benavides-Velasco, Quintana-García & Marchante-Lara, 2014). This shows that the lack of coordination led to faulty product strategy among the departments. These factors impeded the spray manufacturing company achieving its target rate of production. The presence of conflict between the departments led to shipment of unfit products. The aim of the production department was to ship products irrespective of their quality. Thus, the production department only worked on meeting short term profit and had no long term goal like gaining loyal consumer base and business expansion by providing quality products.

Issues with quality management:

The above discussion brought into light several issues of quality management pertaining to the machinery, human resource management and departmental coordination. The machinery, which filled the cans, was purchased for production of another product. It required frequent repairs. This shows that the management used inappropriate machinery to fill the spray cans.

The next issue with total quality management was with the management of personnel. The personnel who operated the filling machine lacked appropriate training and commitment to high quality performance. The managers lacked commitment and leadership qualities. For example, Budd the manufacturing manager took no initiative to improve productivity of the manufacturing unit (Leithwood, 2016). This analysis of the issues clearly points out that the lack of total quality management existed at all levels of hierarchy in the grease and spray-manufacturing firm. 

 
Personnel:

As per the case study, the personnel responsible for operating the filling equipment lacked formal training of operating equipment and received informal training from Bud. The operator who operated the filling equipment as a result lacked commitment to produce quality products and did not cooperate with Al Gray. The case study bears no example to show that he took initiatives to rectify the operating errors, which Gray pointed out. This analysis showed that the personnel operating the machinery did not follow total quality management which to production of faulty products (Sommer et al., 2015). Moreover, total quality management aims to achieve high quality in products offering to customers to ensure customer satisfy, repeat business generation and earning of revenue. The theory and practice of TQM has to be enforced from the top followed by the medium and lower level. The lack of commitment and sense of responsibility of the operator shows that the top management of the company was not concerned about enforcing TQM in the company (Pathak, 2015).

Plant maintenance:

As per the case study, the automated filling equipment was acquired for another product but was shifted into filling spray bottles with greasy paint. One of the most important criteria of total quality maintenance is to acquire appropriate sets of machinery and plants to ensure production of goods according to the customers’ requirements. This also ensures low cost of production of goods, thus giving financial sustainability to the business organisations. However, the management of the spray manufacturing company acquired inappropriate machinery. This discussion showed that the management did not follow total quality management and quality control standards (Attri et al., 2013). Frequent breakdown of the machinery led to loss of productivity and prevented attaining high level of productivity. The apex management of the firm should stress on obtaining appropriate machinery to fill the cans without exerting high pressure within them. The plant maintenance department should emphasis on improving the plant maintenance standard to ensure high productivity with minimum wastage of raw materials and loss of productivity due o frequent breakdowns.

The purchasing department:

As per the case study, the operations of the purchase department showed acute lack of total quality management. Managing the production process in order to source high quality of raw materials is one of the main characteristics of total quality management. The case study showed that the firm purchased nozzles with burnt marks from a local supplier. The burning of the nozzles distorted their shapes (Pathak, 2015). The study however bears no evidence of the purchase manager or the apex management taking any initiative to change the supplier. 

 
Product design and packaging department:

Total quality management requires the apex management of the business organisations ensuring collaboration between departments to streamline their activities with the organisational strategies (Tshabuse & Pretorius, 2016). The case study shows that product design and packaging department designed the cans with raised sides as per the requirements of the marketing department to make them look more attractive. However, this raising of the sides made filling the problems more difficult. This shows that the marketing and the packaging department did not coordinate with the product-manufacturing department.

The manufacturing manager:

As per the case study, the manufacturing manager was not committed to manufacturing of high quality finished products-the cans of greasy spray for industrial purpose. The manufacturing manager did not show any initiative to source high quality and machine friendly nozzles. Total quality management requires the organisations to produce goods as per the necessity of the consumers. The producers today emphasise on the benefit of the customer and design their goods to maximise convenience of the consumers. The factory in the case study manufactured nozzles, which put high pressure on the cans. One can infer from the discussion that the high pressure could cause the nozzles to blow off, thus causing harm to the customers. This showed that the manufacturing organisation was not committed to ensure the safety of the customers (Sommer et al., 2015). This analysis shows that the industrial spray manufacturing company did not implement total quality management in its operations.

The marketing department:

As per the case study, the modes of operation of the marketing department showed that it was not committed to ensure customer satisfaction. The marketing departments play a very significant role in ensuring high quality products by communicating the requirements of the customers to the organisations. They ensure that the companies maximise customer satisfaction by producing high quality products and generate huge revenue (Hajmohammad et al., 2013). However, the marketing department took no such initiative. The manufacturing company took no steps to rectify the packaging faults, which remained on the bodies of the cans. It was merely interested in selling cartons of industrial spray without having concern for the customers’ benefit.

Problem analysis:

 The analysis of the roles of the key departments like marketing and manufacturing departments sheds light on several problems in the manufacturing firms. The evaluation of the issues of the important personnel like manufacturing manager and their subordinates like machine operator shows that the lack of total quality management existed at all levels including the apex level. Total quality management aims to produce goods and services as per the demand of the customers. The demands of the organisations are regarded as the parameters quality. The apex management forms the strategic business strategies like manufacturing, marketing and financing. The apex management makes policies, which are then communicated, to the subordinates by the departmental heads and middle level managers (Appendix). The organisations today adopt Six Sigma and lean manufacturing to align the operations of all departments to ensure high productivity within a short period (Tshabuse & Pretorius, 2016).

The evaluation of the case study in the light of the above discussion on TQM revealed that the human resource department did not provide any formal training to enhance the performance of the machine operator. The manufacturing manager did not take any action even after proven lack of commitment of the operator towards machinery maintenance. The management did not take any initiative to replace the faulty machinery. The purchase department acquired low quality nozzles from local suppliers. The purchase manager was aware about the fact but did not take step to acquire suppliers supplying high quality nozzles. This showed that the management did not incorporate TQM to acquire quality supply chain to provide the company with high quality raw materials (Attri et al., 2013).

The analysis of the faulty manufacturing process shows that the lack of TQM existed in the middle level management due to lack of intervention from the top management. The managers of did not cooperate and collaborate with each to streamline the production and selling process (Pathak, 2015). For example, the marketing department did not collaborate with the production department to ensure high quality products.

As per the case study, the practice of total quality management emphasises on the ensuring benefits of stakeholders like customers and employees. The case shows that the manufacturing did not train its employees to enhance their competencies. The faulty manufacturing process of the resulted in cans of industrial spray with faulty nozzles which could blow off due to extreme pressure and harm the user. The machine did not receive proper maintenance, which left chances of accidents and breakdown resulting in injuries or fatalities. This analysis showed that the industrial spray-manufacturing firm did not take steps to ensure benefits of its internal stakeholders, the employees and the external stakeholders, the industrial organisations who purchased the spray and their employees (Hajmohammad et al., 2013).

The above discussion reveals that the industrial spray-manufacturing firm did not follow TQM and resulted in manufacturing faulty cans of sprays capable of hurting the user. This situation calls for recommendations of both long term and short strategies, which the firm should adopt to improve its present situation. 

 
Recommendations:

The following are the recommendations to the management of the firm to imptove its utter lack of TQM and quality management:

Short term:

 The management must instruct the HR department and the departmental heads to train their lower level employees. This would lead to improvement in their performances and commitment towards their job responsibilities.

The next immediate step, which the management take, is acquiring modern and appropriate can filling machinery. The piece of machinery should have the capacity to control its pressure while filling the cans.

 The apex management should ensure that the departments are aligned to the business process and the production operations take place as per the client requirements. This would ensure production of high quality cans of industrial sprays which would maximise the revenue of the company.

The management must instruct the managers to restructure the supply chain management. This measure should ensure acquisitions of high quality raw materials to ensure high quality finished products according to the needs of the clients, which would generate high revenue.

Bob should train the employees of the different departments to collaborate with each other to adopt TQM. He should make them realise that TQM is very important for the firm to maximise customer satisfaction and maximise revenue. He should encourage them to participate in the central decision making to ensure that they develop a positive working relationship. This would in turn result in ready collaboration among them, which enforce TQM. 

Long term:

The apex management of the firm in long run should aim to streamline its operations according to the lean management and TQM. The training of employees, acquiring of modern machinery, aligning departmental operations, which business requirements and restructuring of supply chains would result in streamlining of the operations to ensure high productivity. This streamlining of entire operations or lean management would enable the company to gain higher position in the market and earn higher profits.

Conclusion:

The above discussion brings into light that TQM is very important for smooth functioning of manufacturing firms. It is important for the firms to implement TQM to gain long term and short-term growth. The discussion also reveals that the apex management plays crucial in adoption and implementation of TQM. 

 
References:

Albliwi, S., Antony, J., Abdul Halim Lim, S., & van der Wiele, T. (2014). Critical failure factors of Lean Six Sigma: a systematic literature review. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 31(9), 1012-1030.

Attri, R., Grover, S., Dev, N., & Kumar, D. (2013). An ISM approach for modelling the enablers in the implementation of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). International Journal of System Assurance Engineering and Management, 4(4), 313-326.

Benavides-Velasco, C. A., Quintana-García, C., & Marchante-Lara, M. (2014). Total quality management, corporate social responsibility and performance in the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 41, 77-87.

Fullerton, R. R., Kennedy, F. A., & Widener, S. K. (2014). Lean manufacturing and firm performance: The incremental contribution of lean management accounting practices. Journal of Operations Management, 32(7), 414-428.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Hajmohammad, S., Vachon, S., Klassen, R. D., & Gavronski, I. (2013). Lean management and supply management: their role in green practices and performance. Journal of Cleaner Production, 39, 312-320.

Heizer, J. (2016). Operations Management, 11/e. Pearson Education India.

Leithwood, K. (2016). Department-head leadership for school improvement. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15(2), 117-140.

Mitra, A. (2016). Fundamentals of quality control and improvement. John Wiley & Sons.

Pathak, S. S. (2015). TPM Implementation to fine-tune manufacturing performance: An Indian industrial way. International Journal of Business Quantitative Economics and Applied Management Research, 1(8), 71-82.

Sommer, A. F., Hedegaard, C., Dukovska-Popovska, I., & Steger-Jensen, K. (2015). Improved product development performance through Agile/Stage-Gate hybrids: The next-generation Stage-Gate process?. Research-Technology Management, 58(1), 34-45.

Tshabuse, F., & Pretorius, J. H. C. (2016). Applying preventive and predictive best practice on plant maintenance.

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