|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Globalization Environment Strategic management Business management|
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 series defines quality as the standard to which an organization's processes meet the set requirements (Hoyle 2017). Quality determines whether a given product or service meets the consumers' need by being fit for purpose. For organizations to meet the standards and requirements for quality, they have to perform a series of interrelated activities. A Quality Management System (QMS) ensures that these activities are well coordinated for the realization of an organization's goals and objectives (Hoyle 2017). Organizations are tasked with the responsibilities of satisfying consumers' needs and meeting future expectations to compete and sustain a competitive advantage over their competitors. Organizations should ensure that they meet the consumers' needs by coordinating all the activities from the production chain to the supply chain. The organization should also focus on employees' needs by encouraging motivation and maintain a favorable environment because employees represent the most valuable resource in an organization.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) further defines Total Quality Management (TQM) as an organizational approach that focuses on quality and ensures full participation of its members towards achieving corporate objectives through satisfying consumers' needs, employees' needs, and the society in general (Hoyle 2017). Quality management system thus ensures that quality is achieved by minimizing waste and rework. Quality management system provides that an organization should emphasize on preventive approach by investing in employee training, plants and equipment, and buying appropriate raw materials to reduce the cost of production (Hoyle 2017). Excessive costs of production results from rework and adopting appropriate preventive measures and quality management system helps manage these problems. Quality management thus provides that an organization should have control over its employees, operations, and the quality of services and products (Hoyle 2017).
Some of the quality management pioneers include Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, and Malcom Baldridge. Edwards Deming is regarded as the father of modern quality management as he provides for a management system that focuses on quality and long-term improvement (Ross 2017). Deming's philosophy is based on systematic problem solving which identifies variations and states that managers should be in a position to determine these variations. Deming's quality movement emphasizes the needs of existing and future consumers. Deming invented a PDSA cycle that involves conducting market research and formulating a plan on the product, executing the program, checking the product to confirm whether it fits the plan, and finally marketing the product and improving production process (Ross 2017).
Juran pioneered the management dimensions that consist of organizing, planning, and control carried out by the management to produce quality and achieve the organization's objectives (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Juran's concept of quality provides that the product must satisfy the customer's needs in terms of design, safety, availability, conformance, and use. Juran's technique concentrates on top-down management strategy and use of technical methods to solve problems (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Juran is recognized for his trilogy that involves quality control, improvement, and planning (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Baldridge, on the other hand, provides for performance excellence where organizations need to follow specific guidelines to ascertain whether it is capable of reaching excellent quality levels (Lee and Ooi 2015).
Quality Improvement Tools
Quality management provides that organizations should seek to improve their quality to meet consumers' expectations continually. Quality management is enhanced by integrating and coordinating an organization's activities with quality functions. Some of the tools available for quality improvement in an organization include the process mapping, the PDCA cycle, and the root cause analysis.
Quality improvement involves a critical understanding of the process to be applied to improve quality (Damelio 2016). The process can be part of the organization's routine operation processes. For instance, in the supply chain, the organization's method could be the buyer of goods from a retailer, services provided when products are sold to customers or manufacturers of finished goods. Mapping process thus involves identifying and analyzing the information and physical flow of these processes (Damelio 2016). Through a graph, the mapping process will illustrate the flows in the supply chain. The mapping process is essential because it identifies the scope, interaction, and the starting point of the improvement process with the organization's activities (Damelio 2016).
Root Cause Analysis
This is where an organization determines the root cause of a problem involving quality improvement. The root cause process is achieved through different phases. The first phase is the open phase where the organization involves its personnel in identifying the root causes to its problems. At this stage, the organization applies to cause and effect diagrams to identify possible problems in machines, workforce, materials, methods, and measurements (Brook et al. 2015). The next phase is the narrow phase that involves narrowing the problems to a workable number that can be improved (Brook et al. 2015). The last stage is the closed phase, and here the organization agrees on a root cause by validating using research and evidence collected from consumers, employees, and vendors (Brook et al. 2015). Organizations use check sheets, Pareto charts, and scatter plot diagrams to analyze the evidence.
The PDCA Cycle
Edwards Demming implemented the PDCA cycle, and he provided four cycles of the improvement process that involves planning, doing, checking, and acting (Ross 2017). The first stage is the planning process, and it consists of identifying a suitable plan of how the improvement of the quality process can be achieved (Ross 2017). After planning, the second stage involves proceeding with the changes that have been planned to address issues identified during root cause analysis (Ross 2017). This change process could mean buying new production systems. The third stage is the check stage, and it includes ascertaining whether the changes made have had substantial effects and expected outcomes (Ross 2017). If at this stage, the organization is not satisfied with the changes, it will have to restart the improvement process again from the planning stage. The last phase of the cycle mandates that once the problem has been solved and the improvement process is useful, it should be incorporated in the routine operations of the organization (Ross 2017).
Requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Standard
The requirements in the ISO 9001 Standard are structured in a PDCA cycle format (Hoyle 2017). The purpose of the requirements is to ensure that organizations achieve effective quality management systems and improvement tools. The registrar of Certification Body must ensure that organizations adhere to the conditions before being certified. The requirements are provided for in section 4 to section 10 of the ISO 9001 Standard. ISO 9001:2015 provides that organizations must illustrate the procedures they tend to apply for effective operation (Hoyle 2017). The standard also states that organizations must provide quality management systems, quality guidelines and policy, and the expected outcomes (Hoyle 2017). The rule further provides that organizations must keep accounts of numerous records. Organizations are tasked with the responsibilities of assessing opportunities and risks. Organizations should also identify the external and internal affecting quality concerns. Organizations are asked to illustrate how the ISO 9001:2015 requirements are met, while the auditor has to ascertain the effectiveness of the quality management system (Hoyle 2017).
The requirements prescribed in the ISO 9001:2015 are founded on quality management principles that organizations apply in their daily operations to achieve their objectives. Some of these objectives are the desire to meet consumers' needs. The primary objective of quality management is to meet and exceed consumer expectations (Hoyle 2017). The principles also focus on leadership and encourage leaders to have unity of direction and purpose and employ good management skills in achieving the organization's objectives. Quality management principles also help organizations implement policies that foster improvement and sustain a good relationship between parties in the market such as vendors to gain a competitive advantage (Hoyle 2017). Organizations are also capable of using evaluated data and information when making decisions to produce expected outcomes. ISO 9001:2015 also provides that organizations should engage their personnel and maintain very competent and motivated employees who can deliver quality products and services (Hoyle 2017).
ISO 9001 Certification
The ISO 9001 provides that for a company to be certified, it must adhere to the rules and standards provided by the ISO 9001 Standard. The ISO 9001 Standards provides for strategies on how organizations should focus on quality management by satisfying consumers' needs, improving management and leadership tactics, and implementing policies that seek to improve the quality of products and services among others continually. The ISO 9001 is the only series that requires certification (Hoyle 2017). An organization should seek certification even if the Quality Management System (QMS) is only designed to improve performance at a particular department of the organization. These standards are set by the current model of ISO 9001:2015. Certification does not matter the size of an organization or the type of industry an organization deals and it can either be a manufacturing organization or a service-based organization (Hoyle 2017). The ISO 9001 only provides for process-based standard guidelines and not how the product should be designed. The ISO 9001 Certification only certifies organizations, but individuals can become Certified Lead Auditors after training which takes five days (Hoyle 2017).
Certification process involves following the steps required to implement an ISO 9001 QMS, and these steps are; learning about the ISO 9001 model, performing a gap analysis, implementing a project plan, informing employees through training, documenting and implementing ISO 9001 systems, conducting internal audits, prepare the organization for registration audit, and finally making improvements to the QMS (Hoyle 2017). A registrar of Certification Body (CB) then issues a certificate after auditing the performance of the organization against the requirements of the ISO 9001 (Hoyle 2017). The certificate is valid for three years. Independent third-party certification involves third-party bodies confirming whether an organization adheres to the requirements of the ISO 9001 Standard (Hoyle 2017). The certification process is carried out by external agencies that ensure the requirements are met after which ISO affirms the certification.
The United Kingdom statutory bodies and professional organizations have established the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) that is mandated with the role of overseeing and assessing certification bodies such as the ISO 9001 Standard. UKAS role is to ascertain that the certification bodies meet the applicable and available accreditation standards provided internationally.
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