Monday, 13 June 2011

Evolution of TQM

  From holistic historical review quality revolution, we can deduce that Quality can be classified into four evolutionary phases:
o   Inspection
o   Quality Control
o   Quality assurance
o   Total quality Management
1- Inspection Phase:
During the early days of manufacturing, an operative’s work was inspected and a decision made whether to accept or reject it. As businesses became larger, so to do this role a full time inspection jobs were created. Accompanying the creation of inspection functions, other problems arose:
o   More technical problems occurred, requiring specialized skills, often not possessed by production workers.
o   The inspectors lacked training.
o   Inspectors were ordered to accept defective goods, to increase output.
o   Skilled workers were promoted into other roles, leaving less skilled workers to perform the operational jobs, such as manufacturing.
o    These changes led to the birth of the separate inspection department with a “chief inspector”, reporting to either the person in charge of manufacturing or the manager. With the creation of this new department, came new services and issues, e. g, standards, training, recording of data and the accuracy of measuring equipment. It became clear that the responsibilities of the “chief inspector” were more than just product acceptance, and a need to address defect prevention emerge and guide to emergence of another phase which is quality control. (1)
2- Quality Control Phase: 
Quality Control department evolved, in charge of which was a “quality control manager”, with responsibility for the inspection services and quality control engineering. In the 1920’s statistical theory began to be applied effectively to quality control, and in 1924 Shewhart made the first sketch of a modern control chart. 
His work was later developed by Deming and the early work of Shewhart, Deming, Dodge and Romig constitutes much of what today comprises the theory of statistical process control (SPC). However, there was little use of these techniques in manufacturing companies until the late 1940’s.At that time, Japan’s industrial system was virtually destroyed, and it had a reputation for cheap imitation products and an illiterate workforce. The Japanese recognized these problems and set about solving them with the help of some notable quality gurus – Juran, Deming a Feigenbaum. In the early 1950’s, quality management practices developed rapidly in Japanese plants, and become a major theme in Japanese management philosophy, such that, by 1960, quality control and management had become a national preoccupation. By the late 1960’s/early 1970’s Japan’s imports into the USA and Europe increased significantly, due to its cheaper, higher quality products, compared to the Western counterparts. In 1969 the first international conference on quality control, sponsored by Japan, America and Europe, was held in Tokyo. In a paper given by Feigenbaum, the term “total quality". Hence the Total quality was used for the first time by Feigenbaum, and referred to wider issues such as planning, organization and management responsibility. Ishikawa gave paper explaining how “total quality control” in Japan was different, it means “company wide quality control”, and describing how all employees, from top management to the workers, must participate in quality control. Company wide quality management was common in Japanese companies by the late 1970’s.
 THE Q
uality revolution in the West was slow to follow, and did not begin until the early 1980’s, when companies introduced their own quality programs and initiatives to counter the Japanese success.

3- Quality Assurance Phase
Quality assurance focuses on avoiding defects appearance prior to its occurrence by planned and systematic production processes that provide confidence in a product's suitability for its intended purpose. Quality assurance is considered the third step in the evolution toward TQM. It is different from quality control. Quality assurance is evident before and during the event process (2) points out that QA was applied to manufacturing between 1950s and 1980s. QA concentrated on the entire production process as well as the contribution of all functional groups in order to prevent quality failure. (3)
Sallis states that the concern of QA is about preventing faults occurrence in the first place. Quality is designed into the process to ensure that the products are produced to a predetermined specification. Sallis argues that the quality of the good or service is assured by there being a system in place, known as a quality assurance system, which lays down exactly how production should take place and to what standards. QA, then, is a managerial process that can be applied to all manufacturing processes and aims to achieve quality through preventing faults. However, quality assurance has its limitations as it specifies how things should be done in the current context but is limited in the scope to improve or enhance. The focus on quality has continued across business and commerce as well as public services such as education and health. (4) There has been a development from a narrow construction as quality control to a more developed understanding of the process of change and improvement. In order to survive in an increasingly global marketplace, the issue of customer satisfaction as part of quality was required.   Consequently, TQM was born.

4- Total Quality Management Phase
  After entering World War II in December 1941, the United States government ratified legislation to help gear the national economy to military production. At that time, military contracts were awarded to manufacturers who submitted the lowest competitive bid. Products were inspected to meet requirements upon delivery.
During this period, quality was defined in terms of safety. The armed forces inspected virtually every unit of product to ensure its safety for operation. This practices required huge inspection forces and caused problems in recruiting competent inspection personnel. To ease
Problems without compromising product safety, the armed forces began to utilize sampling inspection with the aid of industry consultants particularly the Bell Laboratories. They adapted sampling tables and published them in military standards. In addition to creating military standards, the armed forces helped their supplier to improve their quality through sponsoring training courses in Shewart’s statistical quality control (SQC). While the training courses led to quality improvement in some organizations, most organizations had little motivation to truly integrate the techniques (5).

 W. Edward Deming, a statistician and a student of Shewart, helped engineers and operators in the war years to accomplish tasks such as the bullet production. Unfortunately, his efforts were not appreciated in his home country, the USA, but his ideas were embraced in Japan as part of the massive post war construction (6). After the war, major Japanese manufacturers converted from producing military goods to civilian goods for trade. Because at that point Japan’s reputation for products was shoddy, Japanese organizations explored new ways of thinking about quality. They welcomed input from foreign companies and lecturers, including American quality experts Deming and Juran, and adopted unprecedented strategies for creating a quality revolution. Japan’s strategies represented the new “Total Quality” approach. Rather than relying mainly on product inspection, TQM focused on improving all organizational processes. As a result, Japan was able to produce higher-quality exports at a lower price (7) by the end of 1970s, the American quality crisis attracted attention from national Legislators, administrators and the media. Consequently, the chief executive officers of major American corporations came forward to provide personal leadership in the quality movement and have led to the expansion of TQM (8). TQM has become the subject of various debates and discussions in various places around the world since the1980s. Managers of organizations have explored TQM in order to provide quality products and services in a competitive era. Consequently, TQM has become a popular approach in the business and manufacturing field and was in the 1990s adapted for use in various fields.
In summary, the history of TQM may be viewed as a continuing refinement and extension of concepts and practices aimed at developing quality. Its roots can be traced back to simple inspection procedures, then to developing to quality control and quality assurance. From this development TQM has developed as more advanced as quality management principles are applied in all levels of an organization.

 

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1-      UK. Department of Business Innovation and Skills, Accessed at   www.dti.gov.uk  retrieved 10.11.2009 
2-      Edward Sallis, Total Quality Management in Education, ( Tidball , UK, 1993) , p.26
3-  Daniel Seymour, quality improvement and institutional research (Antioch University, Santa Barbara 1992), p.8
4    Liston  C. , Managing Quality and Standards,(Buckingham Open University Press,1999) P8
5-   American Society for Quality (ASQ), OP. Cit , retrieved 3o-09- 2010 
6-  Ibid. retrieved 01.10.2010 
7-  Sallis, Op. cit. P 26
8- American Society for Quality (ASQ), OP. Cit , retrieved 25.09- 2010

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