The term quality management can be described as a process aiming at ensuring that, a product or service being produced conforms to the set quality standards. Planning, assurance, control, and improvement of quality are the key processes that contribute to the success of quality management. Quality management promotes consistency in production of quality products by enhancing conformity of the processes through which products and service are produced. In order to produce consistent quality products, quality management team combines both quality assurance, and quality control processes for conformity purposes.
1. Why is it important for every manager to understand?
It is important for every manager to understand quality management because; it is one of the most fundamental determinants of success in any managerial position. A manager who understands quality management will be able to deal with any quality issue that may arise in his or her area of leadership or control. For example: Production managers in any manufacturing industry, need to understand quality management, so that they can be able to lead the entire production team in producing products that meet minimum required standards, as established by quality regulatory bodies. Failure to achieve this, the whole production process will be a waste of time and resources since the products produced will be of poor quality and may not be certified by quality regulatory bodies to enter the market.
2. How might a quality-management program affect productivity?
A quality management program might negatively or positively affect productivity in any production sector. A well planned quality management program is likely to increase productivity through reduction of wastage. A good quality management system is likely to increase production efficiency (cost effective) and enhance the value of products. A well managed quality program reduces incidences of complaints from customers, who are using the products. Good quality management program enhances production of high quality products, which uphold the reputation and positive image of the company, and acts as an evidence of product compliance. Lastly, it enhances safety, reliability and conformity of the products to the required standards and regulations. The opposite will be true for a company or organization with a poorly planned and managed quality program.
B. A number of quality-management philosophies hold that prevention costs are the most critical quality-related costs.
1. What is the logic behind this premise?
The logic behind the above premise is that, when it come to quality issues, it is better to incur the costs of preventing occurrence of such issues rather than incurring the costs of controlling the issues after they have occurred. Therefore, it is advisable that any projected quality issue, be attended to, in terms of prevention rather than waiting till it occurs. In most cases, the costs of preventing occurrence of quality related issues are cheaper than the costs that might be incurred after occurrence of the issue. Prevention of one quality related issue might imply prevention of many other quality issues that might company the issue at hand. Therefore, incurring prevention costs on quality related issues not only saves the issue at hand, but also other related issues that may require a lot of cash once they occur (Kenneth, 2005). For example, it is critical to incur the cost of preventing entrance of rats into a grain store by installing rat guards, and other preventive measures. This is because, once the rats are allowed into the store, the costs for controlling them will be much higher, and at the same time, property will have been destroyed or lost value.
As an operations manager, I would apply this logic because it saves on expenditure, time and resources in the long run. For example, when refining oil, it is advisable to install overflows for all water tanks that are adjacent to the oil tanks. This is because when water overflows into the oil, a lot of time, resources and money will be utilized in order to separate oil from water.