Every business must strive to provide quality products and services to customers. To achieve that objective the company must draw well thought out policies and procedures to ensure 100% achievement of the targets.
Here are some tips to ensure that your business attains and enhance quality:
Document Quality Objectives and Procedures
Quality management objectives, policies and guidelines must be set and published in manuals, in the business newsletter, on the notice board and wherever appropriate. This is to educate and remind employees and management and serve as guidelines. Even suppliers and customers should be informed on the company’s quality management policies and where appropriate be advised to adhere to them.
Educate Employees on Quality Requirements
For total quality management to work everyone in the business must be educated and trained in its principles. Everyone must be brought on board – from the cleaner, the gardener, the electrician, the clerk, and manager etc. Employees should be made to own the process and not to feel left out of the action. Employees should be organised in quality circles (groups) within departments to brainstorm and implement quality issues.
Foster a Policy of Zero Tolerance to Defects
One error could cause a thousand corresponding errors or negative consequences. Let’s take a typical example of a car. A loose nut on the tyre can cause the tyre to run inappropriately and cause an accident. The accident may affect you and whoever you are carrying in the vehicle and probably passers by and other vehicles. It may lead to deaths and injury. The multiplier effect may affect your life and other people’s lives without your knowledge just from a single defect. This is therefore to show every aspect of your business must be taken seriously.
All products and services must be checked for compliance to specifications and procedures. The business must foster a policy of zero tolerance to defects and all efforts should be made towards that end.
Use TQM Tools and Statistical Techniques to Measure Quality
Total Quality Management Tools (TQM) tools are a necessary component if you want to measure and enhance quality. Tools such as checklists, flowcharts, Gantt charts, Ishikawa diagrams and the like are important in the quality management process. Statistical techniques help to measure quality levels. By applying such techniques you would have set your business on the quality path. Ensure that you have minimum and quality levels for your products and services. You can use industry, national or international quality standards. If your business attains such standards, inform your customers by publishing your attainment or displaying the quality mark appropriately.
BRAINSTORM PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
A good approach to solving problems and technical challenges is to form quality circles, which will brainstorm problems and solutions and forward to management for approval. Root problems should be brainstormed, key solutions to them proposed and forwarded to management for approval.
Research has shown that most businesses have a 20% wastage rate. Check your dustbin. What do you see? What about the stores? How many goods have been returned because of defects in the past three months? You should work to attain zero defect in your products or services. Ensure that goods are made to specifications. Use statistical techniques to measure quality. Reduce paperwork. Improve the design and substance of your goods and services. Tighten controls. Reduce pilferage.
DELIGHT THE CUSTOMER
Quality management is not static but is a continuous process with the aim of ever delighting the customer. Remember that your competitors are working overtime to get your customers and stay on top. You should work ever harder to get their customers and delight your customers often. You can do that by anticipating customers’ needs. Do surveys and research on customers’ needs and expectations. Check what competitors are offering. Take action to continuously improve your goods and services.
LEARN FROM THE GURUS
Total quality management embodies a set of rules, policies and guidelines which are best learned from the pioneers. Get yourself books and manual quality management especially from the gurus such as Deming, Juran Crosby, Ishikawa, Fergenbaum and the like to learn more. Most of their ideas may be about manufacturing or not directly relevant to your business but they could be adapted to your business needs and requirements.
BE ACTION ORIENTED
A problem plaguing many people and businesses is their failure to take positive action and be mired by rhetoric and apathy. Management is tied down in endless meetings, conferences ad seminars whose recommendations are never implemented.
Prepare an action plan of your recommendations and solutions with set time frames and review periods. Check what makes action impossible to implement or bottlenecks to implementation.
Your action plan should be divided into short term, medium term and long-term activities. It should be backed by a budget for financing it.
Quality management or TQM is a broad subject and you require to learn more than what is provided briefly here. TQM is not the panacea for all business problems but they can be reduced by 50% if you adopt it appropriately.
To succeed in business you need the right business plan backed by adequate capital, the right product or service, the right marketing strategy, the right location and the right implementation strategy.
Quality management if well implemented could set your business on the path to profitability and success.
About the author
Abdallah Khamis Abdallah is a freelance copywriter.He provides quality marketing solutions that can boost your business sales and website traffic.Participate in contests to win prizes and get free gifts.For details visit his website at: http://www.qualitywritingsolutions.com