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7 Excellent Quality Management Strategies

7 Excellent Quality Management Strategies

Quality Register

The Quality Register is a tool used in quality management in a number of industries to monitor and increase the quality of products and processes. It is a real-time dynamic document with all quality checks, incidents and improvements recorded in it.

Real-World Application in Manufacturing

In a manufacturing setting, a quality register may include results of inspection of a new batch of automotive parts. If, for example, 1,000 parts were produced, the register would describe inspection of a sampled 100. It would say that 95 parts were within tolerance, while 5 were not and require further measurement and analysis. This way, the manufacturing issues are identified and addressed on the spot, and only high quality parts are moved further along the process.

Usage in Software Development

In software development, a quality register is used to record bugs and defects in the software. One such register may include that the new software release was tested using 500 test cases, of which 487 passed and 13 failed. The failures would be described and qualified by level of severity, impact on other systems, and steps to reproduce. This information would allow the development team to prioritize fixes and make the software more stable and reliable for the end user.

Increasing Hospitality Service Quality

In the hospitality industry, a quality register may be used to improve guest experiences. It can include information about various guest complaints and resolution thereof. For example, for a 300 room hotel, 4 rooms may have guests who make the complaint for room cleanliness. Then, the information on measures to be taken, such as different cleaning supplies or extra training for the housekeeping will be put in the register. This way, the high service quality in maintained.

Benefits and Strategic Impact

The use of a quality register facilitates proactive management. By recording and analyzing every incident with respect to quality, organizations can be ahead of problems and address them with preventive measures. This not only increases the quality of the product or service and customer satisfaction, but also the customer loyalty.

Challenges and Considerations

The cons of using a quality register are that it is updated continuously only if all staff are involved in reporting and recording issues. The management must then commit to implementing and enforcing daily use of the register. Also, this system might require additional investments in programs or tools for analysis of the data and possibly training of personnel. To implement a quality register, a company must develop the register form with a number of fields such as date, issue, detected by, corrective action taken, and results of the action. It must also conduct regular audits of the register to ensure its use.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement, also known as Kaizen, is a vital principle of quality management gaining widespread relevance throughout various industries. It implies improving a product or service through ongoing, minor changes. This process is possible because of this approach, by which firms achieve innovative and cost-effective results of high quality.

An Example of Implementation of Continuous Improvement in Automotive Manufacturing

An example of a creation of Kaizen effect may be found in automotive manufacturing. A major car manufacturer made an observation that the time needed for installing a dashboard to the car chassis may be reduced . It then took 30 minutes to complete the task, which was optimized to 20 minutes by repositioning the tool, hence, increasing the speed of the production line and decreasing the probability of operator mistakes. It also helped reduce fatigue and injuries of the workers installing the dashboard.

An Example of Implementation of Continuous Improvement in Software

Software developers are also in a dire need of the implementation of continuous improvement. A software enterprise tended to develop software for six months, which led to the creation of considerable bugs and customers that were increasingly dissatisfied. The creation of continuous delivery was driven by the leadership intent to dismiss as many bugs as possible and increase customer satisfaction rates. It developed, hence, gave rise to the creation and review of the code within a week and not a month, making the software functioning on a considerably lesser number of bugs and with increased user satisfaction rates.

An Example of Implementation of Continuous Improvement in Retail

One more instance of Kaizen implementation may be leveraged in the retail area. A retail chain preserved a continual detection and examination of the clients’ comments about the quality of the service that serviced as a benchmark. It detected that quite common comments were in the categories of waiting at the checkout. As a result, an idea of testing a few minor changes was conceived, including changing the size of activity shapes as well as their design. The results of this change were the decrease of the waiting line during peak hours by 25%, which positively impacted customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In conclusion, for the creation of continuous improvement, organizations need to infuse an atmosphere in which change and improvement ideas come from all the employees. In order to achieve success with that, it is paramount to introduce systematic training and clear communication of the company’s goals and keep its attention on a regular basis. This chain of actions will provide all the employees with recognition of the successes of the company that are created week after week and are aimed at the change for the better. Many organizations never start reaping the benefits of CI, which is attributed to two principal factors, change resistance, and inability to make that CI stick after the initial successes.

Customer-Centric

Customer-centric strategies are those quality management approaches in which the customers stand as a focus for the organization’s decisions and processes. The customer-centric strategy aims at meeting all customer expectations and exceeding some. In fact, it implies that the ranges of the customer’s requirements that are not addressed are narrowed with the customer-centric strategy. In this case, a customer finds a limited number of unmet requirements when using a customer-centric service. The results are increased customer loyalty and improved brand image. For this reason, customer-centric strategies are a popular way of improving customer satisfaction and, consequently, the ongoing success of an organization.

Example from Healthcare

A hospital I have practiced at had a poor patient intake process which involved long and intricate paperwork and took an average of 50 minutes. A customer-centric approach was adopted by the hospital to improve customer satisfaction. The process began by surveying patients. The survey results indicated that patients wanted to spend shorter time in the office waiting during the intake process. A customer-centric approach was implemented, and the patients were allowed to fill out the paperwork for their intake process online, during the week before their visit to the office. When the process started to be used, the average waiting time was reduced to 15 minutes. As a result, the patient satisfaction rate rose incredibly.

Example from Retail

A retail chain I have worked with had some complaint from customers, particularly women. Although being able to offer a large variety of products, the retail chain did not manage to fulfill the expectations of awarded customer service. A customer-centric approach was very appropriate in this situation. The retail chain introduced an enhanced training program for their employees, which entailed extended product knowledge and some interactive skills, such as active listening and guiding through the selection of goods. The retail chain also provided the employees with modern mobile tools that allowed them to check additional sizes and colors of a single product in the inventory, without going back to the cashier. This customer-centric approach led to an increase in the customers’ satisfaction rate of around 30% and an enhancement in sales volume.

Example from Design and Development

A technology business I have had some contact with implemented a customer-centric strategy by analyzing the customer demands. The company focused on the development of a new software platform and launched the beta version of the product. Having received the responses from the customers, the developers found out that not all businesses fit for the same packaged software. Thus, a greater flexibility of the product was required. This remark was implemented in the final version of the software. This customer-centric approach led to instant market success, high customer adoption rates, and multiple industry awards.

Process Approach

The process approach is defined as a concept in the quality management system, which is used for understanding and managing the activities as interrelated processes. In other words, they function as a coherent system. By managing the processes and their interactions, organizations facilitate achieving more efficient results and effective continual improvement. According to the official definition of the ISO standard , “a process is a set of interrelated or interacting activities that use inputs to deliver an intended result.”

Applied Example in the Automotive Industry

One of the examples of how organizations can implement the process approach is based on the experience of a leading manufacturer in the automotive industry. The company reorganized its assembly line. Initially, it mapped out every single step of the assembly approach necessary to produce one model vehicle. At the second stage, each step was assimilated for the time and resources. However, “if the ways were standardized more than one way was consolidated into a leaner process, more efficient, quicker”. For example, the step of collecting virginal parts before starting assembly was retrofitted by driving into the shops parts scheduled for assemblage, shortening the time required to perform this function by 20%. Furthermore, the process change reduced the impairing of parts during new collection and delivery.

Applied Example in the Software Development

The example of how it is possible to implement this approach is a special case when weaker methods can lead to worse results and preserving the prior approach, in this case, will only strengthen the downward progress. A software development company mapped out the processes responsible for the software lifecycle from first design to ultimate investigation. They discovered that it took much considerable time to produce the software during the process of Code Inspection/Review. Therefore, the company used automated tools for testing and organized trainee squad meetings. As a result, the amount of time required to launch the end-product was reduced by 30% while continual quality was risen at each development phase.

Applied Example in the telecommunication facility

The process provided by a telecommunications facility includes the process map of the duration of a consumer complaint staying together with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with it . Delivering the consumer to a queue has averagely increased the lasting concerning processing the call by 30 seconds. Lastly, the map was reconstructed. The first contact group or the front end helps got to serve the full consumer’s calls. The route with the grumbles is linked with totally hauling the consumer across the centre. The time spent reaching the front end was reduced by 3 min to an hour or averagely by 50%.

People Engagement Strategy

People engagement strategies in quality management imply that employees are directly involved in every stage of process improvement and quality assurance. This approach is vital as it adheres to the experience and knowledge of people who know their company’s internal operations.

Improvement of the Production Quality in Manufacturing

A manufacturing plant implemented a people engagement strategy by having floor workers in quality meetings weekly. Initially, the meeting was only for the employees of the company. However, with the involvement of the workers, the company heard the common issues from the people who knew the machinery and systems every day. They contributed to practical improvements, e.g., realigning some of the machines for optimal operations, which reduced mechanical failure. After the suggestions were implemented, the machinery was down by 15%, and the product defects reduced by 10%.

Improvements in Service Delivery

A hospital implemented a people engagement strategy by forming a committee of nurses, doctors, and administrative staff. This team was responsible for taking over the patient care process. A standard patient handoff that improved the accuracy of data, reduced patient wait times, and increased satisfaction levels was developed. The patients’ satisfaction increased from 75% to 90% within six months.

Resolving Delayed and Buggy Project Deliveries in a Tech Company

A tech firm followed a people engagement strategy as they were not able to deliver projects on time and kept releasing bug-ridden software. They decided to form different cross-functional teams comprising developers, testers, and customer service agents. The teams would meet bi-weekly, review feedback, shared the experience and the challenges. This approach resulted in a reduced bugs rate by 25% and increased on-time delivery rates by 85%.

Successful People Engagement Strategies

An effective people engagement strategy rests on the principles of openness and transparency: employees are trained to make experiments and empowered for decision-making . Management always recognizes the people who volunteer and take initiatives. Regular training is held as it is impossible to ensure that a high level of employee engagement is established and maintained and the quality in an organization is improved.

Challenges of People Engagement in Quality Management

The primary problem that can occur with involving people for quality improvement is doubts of employees. They may have initial resistance to change and be skeptical about what they can do. To tackle it, management always ensures that all of the people who volunteer and have ideas for change are rewarded. They also follow the people to make sure that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

Decision Strategy

A decision strategy in quality management can be defined as a way of making well-informed decisions that are based on the available data, meet the goals of the organization, and, therefore, positively impact quality. The purpose of this approach is to ensure that decisions are made based on structured data and not assumptions. The following paper will describe three cases where a decision strategy is implemented to demonstrate the advantages of such an approach.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

A pharmaceutical company needs to implement the decision strategy due to the critical importance of quality and subsequent significance of making accurate decisions regarding the product. For example, the company can decide to manufacture a batch of medications based on the data retrieved by the statistical process control . Alternatively, the data can help to conclude that the batch does not meet the required quality and needs to be reworked. As a result, the company reduced the level of defect rates by approximately 40% and improved the quality of the product .

Implementing Decision Strategy in Retail

Another organization – a chain of retail shops – can also implement the implementing decision strategy. By researching the available data, it became possible to determine the reasons why products keep being stored in stocks due to their low popularity. When the company retrieved and analyzed the information properly, it became possible to anticipate customers’ decisions by examining the sales. The organizational process became predisposed by future decisions that can be withdrawn from the data and other shareholders. As a result, the shares of overstock inventory of the company were decreased by 25%, and the revenue rose after the popular products were kept in the stock mainly.

Resource Allocation in Construction

Finally, another company that operates in the sphere of construction can implement a decision strategy for the most effective allocation of the available recourses. By having the project data at their orders, including the time that it took to its implementation, the costs of the labor force and required materials, and also by evaluating examples of work, it became possible to analyze what exactly helped enhance the results. As a result, the organization narrowed down on the process that allows it to demonstrate 15% faster project delivery time, which fact also influenced a doubled profit. Plausibly, the decision strategy will help to ensure sustainable income increase.

Strategies for Improvement

There are several strategies that can be used to ensure the effective implementation of a proper decision-making process. Analytical tools need to be properly designed in order to collect and evaluate available data correctly. Data criteria should be also objectively met and widely understood by the members of the organization. To ensure effectiveness, it is not disruptive to consolidate a practical-training-based decision-making approach. The primary challenge in decision strategy is the proper availability and interpretation of the data, as many workers are used to making intuitive decisions that, based on previous experience, they are not always able to do.

Regular Internal Audits

Regular internal audits remain the cornerstone of effective quality management. This critical tool allows organizations to determine whether their processes are effective and efficient. The audits are designed to ensure that the internal standards and requirements are met in addition to enhancing compliance with federal laws and legislation. Further, they assist in identifying and addressing nonconformances before they have a detrimental impact. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the necessity of regular internal audits using examples and relevant strategies.

Manufacturing, Process Improvement

The example to come from the manufacturing company specializing in electronic components. As the manufacturer found out during its regular quarter audit, the defect rate constituted 5% during the soldering process. The company concluded from the audit that the soldering equipment appeared to be outdated and thus the cause of the raised rate. After replacing the soldering equipment, the defect rate decreased to 1%. Consequently, product reliability and customer satisfaction rose to a new height, as products were believed to have quality standards again.

Energy Industry, Safety Incident Reduction

The auditing experience of internal audits in the energy industry is significant due to a number of HR and safety standards to meet since high risk is always there. A utility company, in its turn, conducted bi-annual safety audits across all plants. It had been found out that the safety maintenance procedures on various plants often were not followed. As a result, a special training program was developed and a revision of the used list launched. It was successful, as in the next year about 60% of the safety incidents decreased.

Hospitality, Standardization

A similar case had been experienced with a chain of hotels that carried out regular customer satisfaction audits. The quality of the different hotels’ rooms and all opportunities provided in them in met quality often was non-similar. It was about the indicators of bed cleanliness, the availability of water, soap in the bathroom, turned on light bulbs, and functioning TV. All that staff were trained and a list of everyday procedures was made. The customers’ satisfaction average on the online service rose at least by 20%.

Strategies, Effectiveness

Clear scheduling and appropriate performance should be followed by strong communication throughout the organization. It is equally important to thoroughly train internal auditors in the means to ensure no-bias reviews. Moreover, it is fundamentally critical to accept auditors’ findings, with a further set of robust improvements developed, implemented, and monitored. Regular internal audits might often face substantial resistance due to the prejudices against senior and middle line managers. They see those as avoidable stress and additional work to be done. In reality, though, everyone should perceive a chance and the significant space for improvement as the top management’s admitted failures would definitely also cause them to fall.

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