TQM: Total Quality Management

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Total Quality Management - sky-view

Notorious views on Quality. 

Quality, as generically defined, involves industry-specific standards for achieving product and/or service excellence. However, quality may encompass numerous dimensions with varying connotations depending on its sundry, industry-specific applications. Indeed, the linguistic ambiguity of “quality” with its assumed conflicting “multi-dimensional” definitions plausibly disrupts communication—articulating “a coherent strategic plan” for implementation. [i] Nevertheless, a non-exhaustive definition of differing quality perspectives might include, inter alia, the following descriptions:

  • Product Quality Dimensions. David Garvin enumerates eight quality dimensions:
  • Performance—efficiency with which product achieves intended purpose— improved performance often associated with enhanced quality;
  • Features—auxiliary accessory attributes, which when offered, generally aggrandize product value, often to premium-price range;
  • Reliability—propensity for consistent low-failure performance throughout useful design life—Reliability management emerged to ensure this quality;
  • Conformance—assurance by express and/or implied warranty that product conforms to contractual specifications concerning product fitness;
  • Durability—product stress tolerance without failing;
  • Serviceability—accessibility to simple, affordable product repair by technician;
  • Aesthetics—subjective sensory characteristics suited to customer preferences concerning perceived attractiveness of product’s exterior physical appearance;
  • Perceived Quality—customer perception of products and services, sometimes based on subjective rankings—e.g., prestige, AASCB business school v. non-accredited institution, etc. [ii]

Service Quality Dimensions
Generally, quality assumes even greater ambiguity for services than products given the greater diversity and subjective nature of attributes associated with them in various industries. Nonetheless, many service firms presumably use the following dimensions to measure quality service performance:

  • Tangibles—physical appearance of service facility, equipment, personnel, and/or communication materials;
  • Service Reliability—service provider’s perceived ability to accurately and dependably perform promised service consistent with customer expectations;
  • Responsiveness—service provider’s ability to promptly accommodate customer needs, without deferring assistance;
  • Assurance—employees’ ability to inspire trust through perceived knowledge, competence, empathy, availability, professionalism, timeliness, completeness and/or pleasantness.

Differing Functional Perspectives on Quality
Differing quality perspectives tend to reflect functional differences in various organizations. These functions include supply chain management, engineering, operations, strategic management, marketing, finance/accounting, and human resources.

  • Supply Chain Perspective—the various upstream activities, core processes, and downstream activities associated with cost-saving service improvement including:
  • Supplier Qualification—using supplier performance criteria to identify worthy providers through conformance rates, cost levels, and/or delivery reliability;
  • Supplier Filters—filtering supplier performance through international standards as ISO 9000— registration achieved by documenting equal cross-functional performance processes to facilitate supplier conformance; [iii]
  • Supplier Development—training systems for implementation with suppliers, often synchronizing purchase systems and supplier resource planning systems through electronic data interchange (EDI);
  • Acceptance Sampling—ensures products satisfy requirements;
  • Value-Stream Mapping—flow charts to separate value-added & non-value added processes;
  • Six-Sigma—quality improvement value-adding procedure that reduces costs, while improving product, service, and process design;
  • MAIC—Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control—analytical framework employed by Six-Sigma to objectify product/service improvements.
  • Down-Stream Activities—focused improvement on shipping, logistics, customer support, delivery reliability, and after-sale service.
  • Engineering Perspective—application of statistic-oriented mathematical models & problem-solving skills to target business and industry production issues; Includes the following quality indicators:
  • Product Design Engineering—developing product from concept development to implementation often with computer-aided design (CAD) facilitating life cycle;
  • Concurrent Engineering—simultaneous performance of sequential processes in product design, typically synchronizing cross-functionality—different disciplines—to synergistically enhance product & expedite delivery;
  • Reliability—statistical thinking applied to determine propensity of failure through probability theory over product’s useful life:
  • Redundancy—parallel back-up system to replace failed primary system.
  • Statistical Control Process—monitors process capability and stability in satisfying product specifications;
  • Operations Perspective—interdisciplinary theory that integrates engineering, operations research, organizational theory, organizational behavior, and strategic management with a systems view to address quality problems;
  • Systems view—assesses several variables—e.g., machines, labor, procedures, planning, & management to identify contributing factors correlating with quality problems;
  • Strategic Management—incorporates planned processes to achieve quality improvement; considers quality-related goals:
  • Mission—company objective stating why organization exists;
  • Core Values—guiding principles that simplify organizational decision-making.
  • Marketing Perspective—customer relationship management, specifically, satisfying and delivering value to customers in improving overall company value. Here, marketer focuses on perceived quality of products and services to satisfy customer preferences.
  • Financial Perspective—quality relies on measurable, results-oriented thinking restoring value to shareholders by maximizing returns for a given risk—e.g., cost-saving, revenue-generating, prudent investment.
  • Human Resources Perspective—quality assumed in developing a sustainable work-force through employee-empowerment—vesting greater flexibility, independent responsibility.
  • 360-degree evaluation—involving peers, supervisors, and subordinates to evaluate employee performance in preserving reliable, competent, qualified workers.
  • Quality Management—discipline dedicated to “total quality management”—or considers cross-functionality of all foregoing disciplines as integral to overall skilled management for companies.

Three Spheres of Quality:

  • Quality Control—scientific method of logical inductive/deductive structure through analysis, relation, and generalization:
  • Monitor process capability/stability;
  • Measure process performance;
  • Decrease variability
  • Optimize process to mitigate measures;
  • Perform representative sampling;
  • Develop and maintain control charts.
  • Quality Assurance—guaranteeing quality in product/service;
  • Process Improvement;
  • Failure Testing/Heuristic Experimentation;
  • Reliability/durability product assessments;
  • Concurrent engineering;
  • Quality Management—connects control with assurance to ensure quality standards as evidenced in the foregoing industries.

IMPACT OF QUALITY & FINANCE INDUSTRY
As aforementioned, quality connotatively assumes numerous definitions, not only within various industries but among different cultures manifest in the disparate geography, language and/or economic/political conditions. In other words, quality may suggest industry differences from one to another, yet exhibit even further differences within even the same industry among different countries.

Moreover, quality presumably exudes greater globalized impact with technological proliferation, as international exposure perhaps increases such that nations may interdependently influence mutual trade relations exchanging information on quality standards.  For example, the U.S. may maintain stricter food guidelines to prevent spoliation than possibly other nations’ preservation regulations. Therefore, this globalizing influence to quality assumes a contingency theory—concept which presupposes “no theory or method of business operation,” necessarily applies, “the same way in all instances.” [iv] If true, since no such universal quality standards exist to reasonably accommodate industry and/or cultural differences, variable quality definitions exist.

Assuming this conclusion, the various definitions of quality, whether industry-specific and/or culturally-influenced, may suggest a need for greater flexibility to accommodate differences. Hence, different quality standard definitions may enable greater flexibility in adapting to varying quality standards for mutually advantageous, sound, business practices. As an aspiring investment strategist/financial management professional, I may influence my organization to broaden its perspective from possibly perceiving functions in a controlled-vacuum. For instance, rather than isolating cost-savings “bottom-line,” my organization may consider a more cross-functional perspective that amalgamates all foregoing functions (supply chain management, engineering, operations, strategic management, marketing, finance/accounting, legal, human resources, etc.). Therefore, I may facilitate transparent correspondence—monitoring and participating in communications with all departments—investigating all options (domestically, internationally) such as to improve company operations on multiple fronts.

Additionally, with a flexible perspective, my organization may continually adapt to transitioning trends—differentiating from competitors with potentially profitable innovations in proprietary technology, listening always for continued improvements. By listening to all departments, I may readily mitigate unreasonable risks, with the collective information available from employees in each function. Moreover, this cross-functional integration may incentivize greater employee trust in the overall process, who might strive not merely to survive but thrive. Why? The discipline of considering various definitions assumes more listening, weighing perspectives proposed by all contributing members to improve operations. Consequently, this strategy gives voice to customers and employees alike in the common goal of seeking quality from multiple angles.

Furthermore, synchronizing cross functionality achieves competitive advantage by achieving economies of scale—extending operations to reduce costs. Ultimately, this utilitarian perspective—considering the totality of multi-cultural quality standard definitions within various industries—maximizes organizational performance from multiple vantage points. Thus, the organization plausibly ameliorates overall quality as elucidated from enhanced performance, generally synonymous with quality improvement.

EVOLUTIONARY INFLUENCES ON QUALITY
The following luminaries remain responsible for influencing evolution in quality concepts over time:

  • Edwards Deming—accredited with memorializing the Law of Diminishing Returns as an economic quality concept. [v] The Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns acknowledges a point at which quality increases presumably plateau, or improve at decelerated rates, relative to increased effort/added financing. Thus, at this particular, point, according to the law, additional, “investment in quality improvement,” becomes “uneconomical.” [vi] From the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns, Deming perhaps demonstrates his distinctive philosophy—specifically—that “commitment to a process truly rewards,” when it exudes, “continual improvement.” [vii] Deming’s notable 14 Points centralize this theme of “continual improvement.”

Deming implies from the Law of Diminishing Returns that if improvement diminishes with continued investment past a certain threshold, than we may wish to reduce and/or re-prioritize investments for increased “continual improvement.” This particular view on quality impresses me because of its seeming universal application demonstrating how often after a certain threshold “less is more.” Why? Because Deming recognized that “quantity” may compromise “quality.” [viii]

Additionally, this concept interestingly dovetails with perhaps an almost equally universal concept implemented in my daily routine to maximize prioritization management, specifically, Pareto’s 80/20 principle. Pareto’s 80/20 principle inherently assumes the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns vis-à-vis  producing more with less—that perhaps +/-80% of results plausibly stem from our +/- 20% most productive efforts. [ix] Pareto’s principle applies to the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns because, generally, maximizing efficient returns,  +/80% gains—whether building knowledge, a business, money, etc.—presumably stem from earlier +/- 20% investment efforts, before becoming counterproductive past a certain threshold.  Therefore, Deming, reputedly, “the preeminent authority on quality management,” impressively distinguishes himself as a guru because he inculcates quality improvement—progress measured in improving a process—through prioritization management. [x]

  • Joseph Juran—responsible for formulating Pareto’s 80/20 Principle as a universal quality concept, commemorating 19th Century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who identified that presumably 20% of population accounts for world’s 80% wealth. [xi]

Juran applies this principle specifically to quality in facilitating evolution of time/prioritization quality management. As aforementioned the 80/20 Principle, helps narrow focus to pertinent issues in a disciplined manner, discriminating between relevant and extraneous for enhanced efficiency. Juran refashioned Pareto’s 80/20 Principle to become a practical resource for quality-management implementation because it facilitates prioritization—separating important from unimportant.

Hence, Pareto’s 80/20 principle, if logically applied in moderation, may plausibly help me harness +/- 80% of energy into +/- 20% most relevant responsibilities. If true, Juran’s view, much like Deming, helps achieve more with less by again demonstrating the presumably inverse-relationship between quantity and quality. Thus, Juran innovatively expands Pareto’s 80/20 into a seemingly impressive quality-management formula for economical gains. Its near universal application—focusing on fewest perceived most important issues to maximize desired gains—may help clarify objectives amid confusion and/or ambivalence.  Therefore, Juran’s contributions to evolving quality concepts—mitigating wastefulness by re-prioritizing investment (energy, effort, time, money, etc.)—commands respect. For these foregoing reasons, Juran’s 80/20 Principle as applied to quality-management impresses me.

  • Stephen Covey—highly acclaimed author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey proposes a “value-based” approach designed to balance life in professional, personal, and spiritual growth. [xii] These seven habits include:
  • Proactivity—apply self-determination to assertively control environment;
  • Envision End-Outcome—visualize desired outcome in the present;
  • Prioritize—implement prerequisite steps to achieve desired outcome;
  • Winner-Mindset—A cooperative, utilitarian effort that considers victory for all involved as deemed vital to interpersonal leadership;
  • Understand First—Seek to first understand others through effective communication, listening, before eliciting understanding from others.
  • Synergize—synchronize collaborative teamwork such that quality engendered from a collective whole efficaciously exceeds the sum of its individual parts.
  • Sharpen Saw—learning from mistakes and encouraging the same of others with reciprocal accountability to facilitate consistent advancement.

As evidenced, Covey adapts Deming’s quality management principles to the context of achieving interpersonal effectiveness. For example, these seven habits seemingly centralize in the common theme of “continual improvement” as Deming advocated for productive returns. By integrating improvement standards with interpersonal emotional intelligence and/or soft skills, Covey demonstrates his impressive originality, expanding quality standards into previously unchartered domains.  Thus, Covey innovatively instantiates the inherent value of people skills to leadership in elevating organizational quality standards, a perspective perhaps overlooked by other empirical studies. Therefore, this self-improvement aspect to Covey writings perhaps most impresses me about him, inexorably inspiring me with insatiable desire as a rapacious reader for his literature.

  • Robert C. Camp—excogitated benchmarking—improvement strategies disseminated between companies—as a quality concept. Benchmarks signify “superior performance.” [xiii] Their purposes accordingly vary with specific industry. Perhaps inconceivable decades earlier, lest potential conflicts of interest from possible fiduciary confidentiality violations among competitors risked threatening company livelihood. [xiv] But since Camp’s efforts with Xerox presumably disproved this preconceived presupposition about knowledge-management/information distribution, his benchmarking practices achieved global eminence. Thus, Camp likely distinguishes himself as a pioneer with this seemingly innovative perspective since presumably no one preceding him established the benchmarking paradigm for company practice.

Moreover, Camp’s Benchmarking: The Search for Industry Best Practices That Lead to Superior Performance, seems like a perspicuous primer sufficient to incentivize intrigue, educating myself on information-sharing and performance enhancement. Therefore, Camp’s ability to defy societal standards with an informative guideline for improving performance demonstrates his quality evolvement contribution, which impressively encapsulates my learning interest.

  • Walter Shewhart—Engineer who devised Statistical Control Process (SCP), reportedly recognized for influencing Deming’s philosophy on quality improvement through the use of statistics. Shewhart invented control charts in 1924. [xv] Control charts mathematically determine maximum and minimum thresholds—upper/lower limits—to infer the existence of defects. They reveal process variations, which might imply issues, if data deviates from the normal range. So the logic proceeds, if data graphically displayed exceeds control limits, then a problem might exist, demanding further investigation. Thus, the control chart enables engineers by logical, inductive reasoning and/or deductive reasoning—inferring potential problems from existing data——to identify/remediate defects for quality improvement. [xvi]

Additionally, Shewhart influenced the development of continuous improvement processes as Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). PDCA—an analytical, problem-solving system that tests functionality—enable engineers to identify process issues and remediate them for quality improvement. [xvii] Shewhart’s two contributions—control charts and PDCA—“influence the daily work of quality.” [xviii] That control charts and PDCA still operate nearly a century later command respect, demonstrating Shewhart’s monumental significance in evolving quality standards.  Therefore, Shewhart’s contributions impress me because he produced a historically viable, problem-solving system which requires critical-thinking—inferring issues and applying logic to scrutinize potential flaws.

WHY STUDY QUALITY—BUSINESS & HEALTHCARE?
Given the ubiquitous application of quality as aforementioned, with technology propagating its omnipresence, all business and healthcare professionals everywhere study quality to avoid incurring risks. Since quality seems progressively pervasive, business and healthcare professionals who perhaps overlook its influence risk harming others with negligence.

Quality standards tend to evolve relative with technological expansion. Technological expansion tends to assume greater demand for continuing education—upgrading technical skills in executing fiduciary responsibilities with professional competence. Why? Clients entrust professionals as fiduciaries—relationship based on trust—with responsibility of providing reasonable care. This fiduciary relationship holds particularly true with patients to medical personnel and doctors, whom they entrust as guardians of their lives.  In other words, healthcare practitioners, maintain a requisite responsibility to diagnose and/or ensure the general health of patients.

If “knowledge transfers quickly throughout and across organizations,” as inferred from technology precipitating a global impact, then the learning curve presumably steepens. [xix] In other words, exponential information dissemination through technology may surpass the rate of knowledge acquisition. If true, professionals, especially medical personnel, as fiduciaries, become more susceptible to malpractice by not seeking continual improvement because the risk of limited knowledge may jeopardize lives, overlooking pertinent health problems. Today, professionals compete in a constant race of obsolescence, as technological advances potentially lead to antiquated systems and anachronistic standards. For example, the failure to incorporate contractual assurances (force majeure provisions to assume impracticability events, unforeseen natural disasters, and/or non-performance/default-risk frustration of purpose events), may cost companies profligate expense, and without any remedy against customers suing for non-delivery/product defects. Express and Implied Warranty of Fitness assurance for products also present pertinent issues for professionals with increased exposure to advanced equipment, and its potentially pernicious implications if technology malfunctions. Hence, increased technological reliance warrants demand for quality-control specialists and/or engineers to inspect devices as a prophylactic precaution against complications/malfunctions arising. Therefore, if professionals refuse to continue learning, refining their reasoning, assimilating new knowledge consistent with transitioning trends, they risk ossifying.

Thus, understanding quality becomes virtually indispensable, particularly in healthcare, to safeguard “avoidable deaths, underuse, overuse, or misuse of medicines and processes.” [xx] Quality healthcare treatment assumes the following:

  • Safety—reducing mortality, harm, and/or adverse events. Safety again implies constant training, knowledge management, and/or apprising of current government-industry consumer protection standards/regulations (FDA, CPSC, FTC, EPA).
  • Effectiveness—evidence based on procedures followed. Here, professionals consider whether their conduct comports with reasonable standards of care. The quality standard assesses whether professionals exercised responsibilities as any ordinarily prudent person acts under similar circumstances.
  • Timeliness—minimizing waits, delays, line-queuing systems, bottlenecks, etc. People generally regard the nuisance of possibly waiting several hours in a doctor’s office amid their exceedingly busy schedules. Therefore, expeditious service maintains primacy.
  • Patient-focus—measure patient and family satisfaction. Here, we discussed comprehensive surveys tested to reduce patient bias—questions objectifying treatment with questions directing answers for specific treatment; e.g.—“did medical personnel administer medication at appropriate times, help with bathroom facilities, etc.” We also discussed the significance of harnessing electronic medical records to efficaciously suit diverse demographics. For example, many people, myself included, may prefer to not receive medical test results via email, but more favor in-person visits and/or phone calls. Likewise, the electronic medical records wrongly assume everyone necessarily uses digital technology. But not all people, perhaps some elderly demographics, may not know anything about how to use computers and/or email systems. However, electronic medical records, if properly harnessed, may advantageously accommodate underprivileged countries by exposing people to modern advances in Western Civilized medicine for improved treatment. Likewise, electronic records—as in almost any profession—synchronizes information with physical records for a more effective redundancy system—backing-up data against potential deletion errors and facilitating quick access, where needed, to patient/client histories. Thus, if appropriately directed, electronic medical records may bolster patient-focused treatment.
  • Equitability—considers race, gender, income issues. Equitability becomes increasingly pertinent as the healthcare system becomes increasingly politicized, e.g., Obamacare—and dangers associated with a universal healthcare system that risks exorbitant costs incurred to doctors from insurance companies. Obamacare, counterproductively, risks some people, such as my mother, lacking access to reasonably affordable healthcare because some insurance services may not necessarily accommodate certain doctor programs. [xxi] Therefore, insurance coverage for medicine and treatment present equitability issues.

INVALUABLE INFORMATION GLEANED IN TQM COURSE
As an aspiring investment analyst, understanding that while quality “may not safeguard companies from bad management”—e.g., Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation—employees in non-managerial positions can assume leadership roles to remediate problems. [xxii] In class we emphasized the need for proper assertiveness and humility to question superiors about operations, so we may analytically understand its underpinnings. By familiarizing ourselves with company operations we attempt to protect a company from performance defects which may threaten viability by potentially predisposing reasonably foreseeable harm. We may also politely and responsibly challenge unethical practices, or a tenuous system inherent to flaws at employee/customer detriment. In other words, a non-manager, as myself, need not capitulate to the complacency of common custom, business as usual “bottom-lines,” if one perceives potentially dubious management processes.

This course’s emphasis on professional leadership—positively influencing company improvement by considering multiple quality perspectives—proved particularly helpful in reaffirming that non-managers may assert leadership roles to improve company operations. Therefore, that non-managers, regardless of position, may exercise genuine leadership—“influencing team progression toward attaining superordinate goals,” proves helpful because it motivates me to more assertively help my organization optimize its organizational operations. [xxiii]

TAGUCHI & SOCIETAL LOSS FROM QUALITY DEGRADATION
Taguchi further diversifies the definition of quality to include both product and service impairments in a system he characterized as ideal quality. According to Taguchi, the product achieves ideal quality, if delivered as intended “throughout its projected life under reasonable operating conditions without harmful side effects.” [xxiv] Taguchi’s perspective eloquently encapsulates my view in the following ways:

  • Legal—A departure from reasonable standards of care as sufficient to produce foreseeable harm implicates companies in negligence, which if sued for malpractice, may risk jeopardizing its economic viability;
  • Financial­­—beyond losses from potential liability, if the product/service acts and/or omits reasonable operating conditions, it assumes inefficient risks, projecting plausible volatility with little if any promised return on investment;
  • Marketing—quality issues evinced in legal and financial problems from loss also dovetail with marketing functions. Quality marketing recognizes customer priority in producing products/services that resonate favorably with their preferences. However, if a product or service deviates from reasonable operating conditions as adequate to trigger harm threats customer dissatisfaction among the privy parties. As an incidental effect, the company may suffer brand-damage with potential reputational loss from disparaging diatribes from any aggrieved parties on social media. Consequently, the negative exposure from news media and/or government regulatory reports (SEC, FDA, FTC, CPSC, EPA, etc.), especially if previously prominent, may trigger major losses from discontinuation in society.

These three areas demonstrate potential major losses to society as a company or entire industry associated with some particular product/service risks becoming insolvent. For example, consider Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. If Merrill—former Malcolm Baldrige recipient previously accredited with distinguished quality standards—loses billions of dollars from aiding fraudulent transactions, and selling subprime mortgages with reason to infer significant default-risk from its low-credit affiliations, it not only disgraces quality standards but potentially risks discrediting the entire financial industry. Interestingly, not a single financial institution thereafter receive Baldrige recognition. Merrill became attributed to what many people find wrong with the financial industry, resurrecting Wall-Street stereotypes of greedy Gordon Gekko types and virulent “Vampire Squids” exploiting for avaricious gain. If true, an entire industry may suffer, and the heightened psychological perception of risk may further exacerbate losses, tightened government regulations, e.g., Dodd-Frank Acts, which may further hinder growth for many securities firms. If true, inhibited growth for securities firms may translate into general restricted economic growth since the economy may rely significantly on securities firms to maintain market competitiveness.

Therefore, one quality issue leading to reputational degradation may undermine society with massive losses, especially if one company’s bankruptcy substantially influences the overall economy.

ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP—QUALITY IN FINANCE
As a leader in finance, someone generally concerned about “returning value to shareholders,” Joseph Juran’s, “the language of management is money,” represents my quality concept mantra. [xxv] Therefore, I become entrusted with implementing quality from the context of ensuring economic viability, which entails investigating and analyzing:

  • Securities Exchange and Commission (SEC) reports to view company financials (CEO net worth, shares owned in investment holding companies), consider legal issues (fiduciary violations/fraudulent activities), etc.;
  • Bio-pharmaceutical companies to diversify portfolio with companies differentiated by latest innovations in proprietary DNA/gene sequence technologies;
  • Reading analysts’ interpretation of company profiles, summarizing reports, recognizing assumptions to form logical summaries which infer company sustainability from operations in a particular market (determine possibly why some dairy company might expand already surplus milk supply and risk price plummeting from insufficient demand—rendering it likely un-investible);
  • Financial websites such as the Wall-Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, J3sg, ibanknet, to scrutinize ROE, (return on equity, available capital/firm assets), Size/Amount of Deposits, profit margins, investment holders;
  • Viewing financial statements to infer continued company viability from existing cash flows, company transactions, overall company valuation, specific securities investments (high-risk mortgage-backed securities v. less risky derivative forward contracts);
  • Updating stock prices periodically, while research such topics as hedge funds, long/short equities, fixed income; commodities, and real assets.

From these responsibilities, I shall consistently apply Deming’s Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns to, among other things:

  • Enhance personal efficiency;
  • Circumvent risk investments.

Deming’s philosophy here may enable me to not over-exhaust my research while simultaneously understand why some companies may uneconomically invest beyond efficient points—inconsistent with “the ethic of continual improvement”—in mitigating unnecessary risks. By diversifying these risks, in time, as a fledgling financial analyst, I shall facilitate ethically and logically sound investment practices, maximizing returns for the assumed risk.

IMPLEMENTING QUALITY MANAGEMENT POLICIES
To implement and manage quality policies I shall implement Deming’s 14 Points for Management, applied as follows:

  • Create Constant Purpose—Each task I shall purposefully accomplish, briefly enumerating objectives in a list agenda and prioritizing them quickly for efficient time investment. Likewise, I shall ask questions from my experienced staff to reduce risk of mistakes;
  • Adopt a New Philosophy—while work generally involves “not re-inventing the wheel,” I find my own originality in research strategies, finding quicker, more efficient ways to succinctly synthesize information. Likewise, if perceived inefficiencies arise between employees, I may engage them with a new reasoning/metacognitive strategy from my unique apperception of collective experiences ( history studies, law school education, writing, MBA program, possibly CFA as I plan to soon pursue it);
  • Cease Mass Inspection—Here, I may pursue more independent research, gathering evidence without bombarding superiors, revising my own work, “performing needed inspections at each stage for process control”; [xxvi]
  • End Awarding Business with Price Tags—This practice may prove resourceful assisting my father’s exporting businesses, A&K Forwarding, Inc., & Unit Cargo Container Lines, Inc., relying on ISO 9000 standards for quality systems to funnel shipments into single source purchasing—reducing suppliers. By reducing suppliers we may improve consistency in resource availability to expedite exportation;
  • Constantly Improve System—This principle goes without saying, as I find newer ways to enhance overall company efficiency with faster, more accurate and reliable research methods. Incessant self-education reinforced with tangible experience shall accelerate this learning curve;
  • Institute Training on the Job—Many companies prove successful because they take time to train their workers. As a future investment strategist, I look forward to someday mentoring my staff, and instituting on-the job Bloomberg Qualification Investment training programs free of charge. Such a training program facilitates employee empowerment, as they refine life-long professional investment skills, exportable for almost any future business;
  • Improve Leadership—With continued professional growth, I look forward to proactively influencing employees in ways that drive company development. Improving leadership assumes my active participation through the following:
  • Synchronizing communication among all employees/network functions;
  • Directly supervising staff, ensuring every worker understands her/his responsibilities;
  • Psychologically reinforcing quality behavior by encouraging employees (added-salary fringe-benefits similar to Nucor);
  • Deter Fear—Drive out fear by assuring workers that mistakes happen; “to err is human.” Rather than playing the blame game, we might establish a company culture where upper management (eventually myself) assumes responsibility for company mistakes. Also, I shall encourage employees to always ask questions, and reward them for asking questions—a culture that incentivizes transparency, and openness;
  • Remove Departmental-Barriers—This principle assumes cross functionality—facilitating team correspondence in ways that synergistically enhance overall company performance. For example, each function (legal, marketing, finance/accounting, operations management, IT, engineering, etc.), shall know the other’s function. Here, we shall model our work on the parallel-processing in focused teams Deming recommends;
  • Eliminate Zero-Error Tolerance Slogans—Rather than instigate an adversarial environment with slogan exhortations like “get it right the first time,” I prefer to simply train my employees. Training may include the privilege to pursue certifications (CFA, FRM, CPA, CPM, etc.) without any penalty for not finishing;
  • Quality Not Necessarily Quantity—Work standards may serve a necessary place in the workforce contrary to Deming’s philosophy. However, like Deming, we need not measure work standards by quantity but quality. Rather than expecting a set amount of work achieved, we may instead prefer less assignments performed but with exponentially higher accuracy. For example, we may just prefer one test that diversifies population samples using a 95% statistical confidence to represent data than hundreds perhaps not nearly as accurate. This principle may apply with data analytics for an investment portfolio. We may prefer observing 1-5 securities in lieu of 10-12. Here, we consider not “performance appraisals” but whether we aligned our system with company goals.
  • Minimize Pride Barriers—By creating the above training programs, a demand for knowledge-based work over rote physical operations, we incentivize learning and growth through employee empowerment. This strategy helps minimize pride barriers with a citizenship culture conducive to contentment, reinforcing meaningful purpose among employees.
  • Institute Education/Self-Improvement—Leadership here might include filling the workplace with a modest library of books available on subjects relevant to the business. Book subjects might encompass a comprehensive range of cross-functional issues to arise so that employees may become more effectively equipped for unanticipated circumstances. Additionally, initiating ISO-900 international quality standards, which often incorporate procedure manuals to document improvement processes may further catalyze education. These strategies combined with training/certification programs aforementioned accompanied by rewards benefits for pursuing new programs reinforces employee value. Again, the employee empowerment assumed in expanded intellectual resources may benefit them for a lifetime, potentially motivating discipline, diligence, and desires to excel.
  • Put Everyone to Work—By ensuring available work for everyone, a company reinforces the assumption that each person exudes some level of responsibility. This all-inclusive strategy may further empower employees with a sense of achievement because it supports equal opportunity without favoritism, and implies each member meaningfully contributes.

HOW FINANCIAL ORGANIZATIONS INTRODUCE QUALITY
Financial organizations, such as mine, create cost-savings initiatives. They not only expose people to prudent-risk taking, which may help generate revenue if properly implement through logical inductive/deductive reasoning. The critical-thinking skills and competencies cultivated in finance also help people to mitigate risks—differentiating competitiveness through diversification. These assets, pun intended, represent the basis of business—profit-maximization.

However, my financial organization, as with any financial organization, may improve quality by incorporating greater cross-functionality—considering how other functions—legal, marketing, technology, supply-chain management, etc.—to further mitigate risks. For example, greater mindfulness about conflicts of interests arising, fiduciary violations from adversely affecting clients and/or the company may help insulate liability. Thus, counsel may invaluable liability-prevention insight.

Additionally, greater cohesiveness with marketing strategists who analyze plausible consumer trends among companies in a particular economic environment may also strengthen investment forecasting accuracy. Listening to potential market concerns, analyzing company life cycles/maturity, etc., financial management may improve accuracy inferring trends among customers in maximizing efficient returns on investment. If true, greater cross-functionality may help financial organizations as mine generate even more revenue, and differentiate in competitiveness with expanded diversification.

Furthermore, the synchronized efforts may fuel economies of scale, as collaborative efforts coalesce in a common, collective purpose to curtail costs and expand operations.

ROLE OF CONTROLS, AUDITS, ACCREDITATION, OR CERTIFICATIONS IN QUALITY SYSTEM. 

  • Controls—system controls help to deductively identify the existence of an internal problem. Walter Shewhart’s control charts which feature maximum and minimum control limits may cue management into possible system malfunctions. If data exceeds the normal range—transcends maximum and minimum control limits—a problem may exist. See Supra, Question 2), 11. Therefore, controls reveal internal problems to effectuate system improvement.
  • Audits—a disciplined, internal assessment tool that combines “informed professional judgment” with “evidence, analysis, and convention,” to weigh the totality of evidence in fashioning improvement. [xxvii]Audits serve the role of harnessing top management leadership to effect system improvement.
  • Accreditation/Certifications—Accreditations and certifications represent marketable differentiations to catalyze global competitiveness. For example, Iona Hagan School of Business, an AACSB accredited institution, satisfies certain academic performance-based criteria attributed to quality business education. Certifications/certification audits likewise assume higher quality through documentation of systems and adherence to standards. For instance, ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 constitute international registered performance audit standards designed to improve company operations.

Therefore, controls, audits, accreditation, and certifications serve the role of distinguishing from ordinary processes by evidencing superior quality through objective, evidence-based processes. [xxviii]

QUALITY TRAITS OF SUCCESFFUL ORGANIZATIONS
Successful organizations evidencing high levels of customer service seemed to universally share the following traits:

  • Leadership—in the connotative context of quality management, exhibiting certain competencies, skills, traits, and/or ethics presumably sufficient to “inspire” an organization’s development. Generally, companies evidencing strong leadership showed a selfless commitment toward “continual improvement,” consistent with Deming’s 14 Points. Likewise, they demonstrated an abundance of the following traits:
  • Motivation—Companies like pre-2000 Merrill Credit Corp showed motivations allegedly not for some badge of honor, but to develop the company and themselves by serving others. Nucor exhibited this uncanny ability to motivate its workers through a presumably egalitarian benefits incentive program which psychologically reinforced punctuality and hard-work. The program, much like Deming’s 14 points, instituted equal opportunity educational/training programs which combined pay benefits for recognized employee-efforts. However, the system sanctioned tardiness. Therefore, the thriving steel manufacturing company in an apparently declining industry attributed its success to these factors as a plausible motivational impetus.
  • Acquisition—Additionally, they tended to exude a selfless, competitive growth-minded attitude—incessantly acquiring knowledge, even if it meant requesting guidance from reliable sources. They seemed to avoid the pitfall of pride shaming success. For example, Rheaco, TX-based aerospace equipment manufacturer, after witnessing decline, rather than relinquishing to mediocrity, sought assistance from University of Texas. The control-system overhaul optimized organizational processes enabled Rheaco to achieve more with less in reduced time, restoring and surpassing prior success.
  • Application—Lastly, companies not only acquired resources but applied recommended strategies to implement success—e.g., Rheaco, pre-2000 Merrill.
  • Strategic Planning—throughout the course we noticed strategic planning as another differentiator to distinguish seemingly sub-optimal companies from successful ones. For example, some failing companies miscalculated long-range project financing needs, omitting certain assurances of alternative mechanisms to mitigate default risks under contract.[xxix] Some companies, as described in class, shortsightedly scrimped on up-front investments, neglecting the strategic flaw of less expense long-term by incorporating mitigating measures. [xxx] However, successful organizations seemingly weighed the countervailing risks of neglecting investment outlay, since those which overlooked long-term costs to remediate problems, frequently failed.
  • Cross-Functionality—the recurring theme of cross-functionality to diversify quality improvements, advantaging varied, versatile talents often distinguishes successful organizations. Here, teamwork triggers a synergy whereby the different departments cooperate in the common purpose of improving organizational operations. Communication becomes key. Organizations overlooking cross-functionality, as discussed, often lack cohesiveness, typically from miscommunication. If true, the resulting miscommunication sometimes lead to legal issues, specifically, warranty of fitness violations and design defects from miscalculated specifications. However, cross-functional organizations typify transparency—communicating among different divisions to ensure no discrepancies in company objectives. Thus, they synchronize synergistically to improve operations because each department generally understands its primary role in achieving these objectives. This understanding generally translates into elevated customer service, mitigating non-conformance specification issues potentially contrary to consumer preference. Likewise, greater communication between the various functions enables marketers to more effectively explain customer interests. Companies lacking such communication may become oblivious to general market trends in building customer value. Thus, communication, generally an integral element of cross-functional organizations, becomes essential in developing customer value.
  • Remediation—numerous times throughout the course we witnessed instances of company success when a company humbly admitted its flaws, and implemented subsequent remedial measures. Why? Often companies that recognize a defect yet fail to remediate predispose lawsuits involving warranty violations and/or negligence products liability. However, those which concede issues, and reform problems, save money wasted in brand-damage from the foreseeable harm caused in deviating from reasonable standards of care. Therefore, remediation becomes another component of “continual improvement,” recognizing issues and seeking to minimize them where possible in maximizing operational efficiency.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
An organization moving through change might suggest the following factors to employees concerning design for manufacture:

  • Design for simplicity, using the fewest components possible so as to facilitate quick replacement;
  • Consider environmental issues as both companies and customers tend to represent key considerations;
  • Design the products for re-use to accommodate potential environmentally-influenced regulations.

LEADERSHIP IN CHANGEMENT MANAGEMENT
Change represents “the magnitude of differences between products measured at different times.” [xxxi] Assuming this definition, change in an organization becomes critical due to the risks generally associated with uncertainty. For example, a product at pinnacle performance stages generally witnesses declines later as it approaches maturity. However, predicting when a product peaks and falls generally depends on market trends in consumer behavior, which becomes susceptible to volatile fluctuations. Moreover, the generally “shorter product life cycles,” plausibly precipitated by technological advances, if true, might exacerbate unpredictability in determining when trends become fads. [xxxii] Likewise, the truncated time risks significant losses if a product prematurely ossifies into obsolescence. Nonetheless, by spearheading cross-functionality within an organization, the organization may become more readily prepared to infer changes by extrapolating information from market researchers.  Those market researchers may then communicate how to perhaps remediate products in adapting toward plausible consumer preferences suggested from potential market trends. A change leader might implement the following steps in initiating change:

  • Consider Complementary Products—while organizations may lack the prescience to adequately control life cycle rate changes for products it may introduce complementary products, new similar products which may enhance pre-existing products, e.g., seasonal, winter v. summer products (motorcycles and snowboards). [xxxiii]
  • Design for Manufacture (DFM)—products generally cost-effective due to design simplicity. Here, a manufacturer may plan ahead with easily built, maintainable products on the assumption of reusing, disassembling, and manufacturing them later if they prematurely fail. Though a complex process the cross functionality of “design engineers, operations managers, supply chain managers, marketing managers,” may work simultaneously to cut long-term costs by retrofitting products with DFMs. Some examples include:
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)—integrative assortment of financial, marketing, supply chain, and marketing computerized  applications with data analytics to project company operations;
  • Product Data Management (PDM)—a redundancy system for document management and/or preservation.

Both ERP and PDM may help regulate design phases for product life cycle.

  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)—system that identifies, analyzes, and documents possible failure modes and its effects on the system; created in 1960s aerospace and extensively incorporated into Six Sigma. Its benefits include:
  • Improving product safety, quality, and reliability;
  • Improving company competitiveness;
  • Increased user satisfaction;
  • Records actions to reduce risks.

If true, these benefits may help prevent product deterioration by deploying analytical software to infer system sustainability. Likewise, FMEA may apply throughout the entire production phase. Thus, FMEA may help organizations target risk during production, and continually tailor products throughout life-cycle based on plausible projected risks.

  • Product Traceability—a recall procedure that traces origins of defective products. This system proves instrumental in possibly immunizing liability from Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards created to prevent unreasonable risks of injury and/or death.
  • Environmental Considerations—the increasing trend toward green/environmentally sustainable initiatives in recent years perhaps coterminous with technological advances may prolong product life cycles since many consumers presumably favor energy-efficient initiatives. This particular design implementation generally fosters reusability.

VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER
Voice of the customer refers to implied customer preferences and/or perceptions. Since customer value proves integral to generating revenue, voice the customer exercises importance in preserving organizational performance. Why? Customers command sales. After all, “90% of business” presumably stems from repeat business. [xxxiv] If true, customer preferences drive economic viability, since the “voice of the customer” may positively or negatively impact organizations. If companies seek to satisfy customer preferences, they take strides in maintaining performance, as consistent with quality. If not, they risk brand damage, reputational loss perhaps from disparaging diatribes by disgruntled customers.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Customer-relationship management seeks to satisfy the voice of the customer by recognizing customers as valued assets requiring management for continued company success. Customer relationship management includes all the intangible, subjective qualities associated with providing customers a satisfying experience—e.g., professionalism, empathy. Customer relationship management generally assumes management reviews customer complaints, feedback, etc., as opportunities for remedial action and improvement.

PRODUCT/SERVICE DESIGN PHASE CONSIDERATIONS 

  • Customer desires;
  • Product capabilities;
  • Possible limitations in materials;
  • Presence of “better” materials for product creation;
  • Potential cost to create product;
  • Price-setting for success in the marketplace;
  • Understanding how to design products for quality;
  • Determining critical measurements for performance;
  • Customer performance expectations;
  • Avoiding performance overkill;
  • Balancing conflicting dimensions of performance.

FACTORS IN SERVICE CHALLENGES
Services comprise a mix of tangibles and intangibles delivered to the customer. [xxxv] The contingency of subjective intangibles, namely, service reliability factors—customer perceived “responsiveness, assurance, empathy, professionalism, timeliness, completeness, and/or pleasantness” create challenges. In other words, what may satisfy one customer, many not satisfy another depending as perceived by different people at any given time. For example, one person’s perception of “empathy,” the care/attention received from server may differ from another person. Likewise, services demand all of these factors simultaneously present—that customers receive “empathy,” assurance—courtesy shown with ability to inspire confidence and trust, etc. Indeed, responsiveness remains insufficient if the customer perceived no empathy, and vice versa. [xxxvi] Additionally, personality potentially factors into customer-service skills. The restaurant industry assumes this inference from its maxim, “if you are in it for the money, you generally won’t survive,” suggesting certain soft-skill people-pleasing predilections. [xxxvii] If true, these subjective factors support the probative inference of greater challenges providing services than products because services presumably possess “more diverse-quality attributes” compared to products. [xxxviii]

LEAN & SIX SIGMA IN ORGANIZATIONS
Six Sigma represents an advanced quality management system designed to target “90% of quality problems,” using its ostensibly “10%” most advanced “training and analytical techniques. [xxxix] Like Pareto’s 80/20 Principle it provides an analytical prioritization framework, which reduces firms costs using less resources by, “planning, organization, training, and pay for knowledge.” [xl] Six Sigma utilizes DMAIC—Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control, as an analytical framework adapted from Shewhart’s PDCA to spur organizational efficiency. The system enumerates as follows:

  • Define—Define project goals & customer (internal/external) deliverables;
  • Measure—Measure process to determine present performance;
  • Analyze—Analyze and determine source of defects;
  • Control—Control future process performance.

Six Sigma’s “3.4 errors per million opportunities,” demonstrates its efficacy as a control measure to reduce variation, eradicating defects for improved performance. [xli]

Given the perceived, compatibly complementary characteristic between Six Sigma and Lean concerning quality standards, firms undertook to merge them into Lean- Six Sigma. Ultimately, Lean-Six Sigma, an adaptation of Six Sigma—combines Lean and Sigma to expand the original Six Sigma system, which more closely emphasizes waste reduction than Six Sigma. By accentuating waste reduction, Lean-Six Sigma deploys statistical diagrams to target non-value activities, consequently lowering costs and defects while enhancing customer value. [xlii]

THREE DOCUMENTS ACCREDITED WITH RE-ENGINEERING HEALTHCARE

  • The Urgent Need to Improve Health Care Quality (Chassin and Galvin 1998);
  • To Err is Human (Kohn, Corrigan, and Donaldson 2000);
  • IOM’s Crossing the Quality Chasm (IOM 2001); See Supra, Question 3, p. 13-14.

GOVERNMENT AGENCY EXAMPLES OF QUALITY 

  • S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)—responsible for protecting public health by regulating, inter alia:
  • Human and veterinarian drugs;
  • Biological products;
  • Medical devices;
  • S. food supply;
  • Products emitting radiation.[xliii]

The FDA issues recalls with reports on defective devices, drugs, biological products, etc.

  • S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)—created to protect consumers from unreasonable risks of injury and/or death. The CPSC also issues recalls with reports concerning allegedly hazardous products.
  • S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—entrusted with preventing fraud, deception, and/or unfair business practices in marketplace. Thus, the FTC may sanction fraudulent practices of healthcare professionals in prescribing drugs, etc.
  • S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—regulates the environment and human health, considering sustainable practices, identifying hazardous wastes, toxic chemicals, emergencies, pollution, etc.
  • S. Securities & Stock Exchange (SEC)—regulates private primary and secondary financial markets to facilitate efficient capital formation/reasonable investment practices.

ROOT CAUSE OF NONCONFORMANCE
Statistics provides numerous correlative tools and methods to infer “root-cause” correlations for non-conformance defects. Those tools and methods typically manifest in the following charts:

  • Interrelationship Diagraphs—connect correlations (white boxes) with arrows to issues (shaded boxes) in isolating root causes. Boxes with more outgoing arrows may establish probative evidence of possible root causes. However, the evidence appears too attenuated to definitively demonstrate root causes with multiple, interceding superseding explanations. Therefore, this diagram merely speculates possibilities;
  • Cause and Effect Ishikawa Diagrams—effectively reduce abstractions to brainstorm possible explanations. Resembling a fish, explanations branch off from the head—rectangular boxes encapsulating issues—in line extensions. While it may help concretize thoughts, this diagram remains vulnerable to the same criticism as Interrelationship Diagraphs, considering conjectural correlations.
  • Process Control Charts—use statistical data to infer nonconformance defects via variations. If data exceeds control limits, an out of control event arises because it supersedes normal range. Since samples beyond control limits typically remain stable in less than 1% of instances the probability that randomness occurs diminishes. [xliv] If so, these out-of-control events strongly suggest root causes.

Establishing root causes becomes a relevant, logical mechanism that attempts to more accurately infer outcomes. If evidence exists to suggest a root cause, we may mitigate non-conformance defect risks with some reasonable probability of certainty. Therefore, identifying a root cause becomes critical in potentially preventing foreseeable harm arising from products because tests may suggest non-conformance with some reasonably probable certainty—randomness occurring less than 1% of times.

DISTINGUISHING LEADERSHIP TRAITS
Leadership, as per total quality management, involves the ability to positively influence organizational improvements. Assuming this definition, the following traits tend to associate with leadership:

  • Ethics—ability to execute responsibilities with uncompromised integrity. Here, the leader exudes honesty, consistent in behavior, and maintains lawfulness. Likewise, the leader acts as a fiduciary facilitating trust in confidence between employees, organization, and clients, without instigating conflicts of interest—acting adversely against privy parties;
  • Assertiveness—leaders typically act without trepidation to facilitate operational improvement after circumspect consideration of all evidence. They exhibit competence in timely fulfilling obligations. They generally time-manage well under pressure, and avoid procrastination.
  • Decision-Making—leaders generally exercise logic in rendering prudent decisions, gathering evidence to infer reasonable conclusions consistent with organizational improvement. The leader’s decision favors organizational objectives;
  • Motivating—leaders use their abilities to motivate others in optimizing organizational operations;
  • Effective Listening—leaders listen to the collective suggestions, cross-functions, employees, and clients alike, in synchronizing teamwork synergistically for organizational growth;
  • Effective Communication—leaders articulate organizational objectives effectively in various oral and written communication venues. They communicate with clarity, cogency, and concision such as to apprise all privy parties of objectives. Additionally, they facilitate communication through cross-functionality to spearhead progress.
  • Image-building—leaders tend to encourage others, utilizing their strongest assets favorably in fulfilling a common mission.

TWO AWARD PROGRAMS & QUALITY IMPACT

Malcolm Baldrige Award—shows superior results-oriented in “financial performance, customer satisfaction, customer retention, product/service performance, and public citizenship.” [xlv] Organizations qualify for the award based 7 distinct principles:

  • Leadership;
  • Strategic Planning;
  • Knowledge-management/Analysis;
  • Process Management;
  • Results-Oriented;
  • Workforce Focus;
  • Patient, Customer, &/or Market Focus.

The Baldrige Award proactively objectifies quality improvement standards since these traits typically attribute to successful organizations. After all, the basis for its model, “information and analysis,” confirms a core value factually associated with management. [xlvi] Therefore, the Baldrige Award defines quality by holding recipients accountable to global exemplary standards because anything less becomes an “embarrassment for other firms.” [xlvii] Organizations selected usually exhibit the highest measurable financial standards when awarded, e.g.—Merrill Credit Corp.

  • Deming Prize—presumably a more prescriptive, objective award than Baldrige with quality demarcated by statistical process control standards. The Deming Prize influences quality by instituting a measurable definition, awarding those who contributed to quality control, which assumes statistical standards. The Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers Committee (JUSE), known for their disciplined culture, even according to Deming himself, supervise this award.

Benchmarking refers to improving organizational operations by emulating the superior quality perceived in another company’s operations. If an organization appears to differentiate itself from competitors, “setting the benchmark,” then exploring its innovative features may simplify the otherwise “daunting and discouraging process,” toward progress. [xlviii] In other words, the privilege to learn from “a truly outstanding competitor,” might demystify and distill secrets perhaps otherwise inaccessible but for benchmarking. [xlix] My organization might benefit from the following benchmarking types:

  • Process Benchmarking—comparing processes to facilitate internal operation improvement;
  • Financial Benchmarking—using financial analysis to compare business results through indirect interaction of online databases as Lexis/Nexis;
  • Performance Benchmarking—comparing cost-effective strategies, such as accounting practices, concept acceleration into the market, and quality measures;
  • Product Benchmarking—disassembling competitor’s products through reverse engineering to compare its design strengths and weaknesses;
  • Strategic Benchmarking—assimilating from top-rated award winning companies to compare overall competitiveness;
  • Functional Benchmarking—focusing on a single function to learn how another firm executes the function. [l]

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT & QUALITY
Supply chain management involves managing goods moving down the chain of supply from supplier to consumer. Supply chain management constitutes an important business concept today because it encompasses numerous functions—operations, marketing, information systems, human resources, etc., especially as technological advances increasingly globalize operations. Therefore, supply chain management might support quality by “leveraging opportunities upstream and downstream,” to synchronize cross-functionality.

  • For example, supply chain management, given its access to multiple functions, could catalyze communications between the various functions (operations, marketing, finance/accounting, legal, IT, human resources, etc). The enhanced communication may facilitate transparency by ensuring a more seamless flow of materials from design to consumption.

    TECHNOLOGICAL IMPACT ON QUALITY
    Technology exercises a progressively pervasive influence on quality. It accounts not only for globalizing operations but generally requires continuing education from business and healthcare professionals to stay abreast of current trends. See Supra, p. 12 & 13. This technological hypertrophy influences manufacturing/service delivery through the following three sources:

    • Quality Function Deployment (QFD)—Developed by Dr. S. Mizuno, former professor from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, it described a method of translating customer requirements into functional design. For example, QFD facilitates “the voice of the customer” by transmitting information via, “ interviews, surveys, focus groups, customer specifications, observation, warranty data, field reports,” etc., in synchronizing cross-functionality. [lii] In other words, QFD may utilize its collection of data to distribute information among the various functions for reliable communication.
    • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) System—system for digitally developing product designs. Its application ranges from designing hamburgers to a new intersection that handles higher traffic volumes. [liii] The computer system simplified and improved design.
    • Concurrent Engineering—system which accelerated design life cycle, mitigating mistakes while contemporaneously synchronizing cross-functionality, simplifying communication among teams. This innovation precipitated economies of scale as teams from multiple functions—engineering, finance/accounting, human resources, legal, marketing, operations management, etc.—coalesced to decrease operation expense. Consequently, organizations may communicate more readily to reduce mistakes and/or mitigate risks previously associated with inadequate correspondence networks.

    * * *

    BIBLIOGRAPHY CITATIONS.

    [i] See Foster, S. Thomas, “Managing Quality Integrating the Supply Chain,” Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2007), p. 6.

    [ii] Garvin, D., What Does Product Quality Really Mean? Sloan Management Review (Fall 1984): 25-43.

    [iii] See Foster, S. Thomas, “Managing Quality Integrating the Supply Chain,” Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2007), p. 7, 70.

    [iv] See Foster, S. Thomas, “Managing Quality Integrating the Supply Chain,” Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2007), p. 6.

    [v] See Jones, Erick, “Quality Management for Organizations Using Lean Six Sigma Techniques,” Taylor & Francis Group, 2014, p. 8.

    [vi] See Foster, S. Thomas, “Managing Quality Integrating the Supply Chain,” Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2007), p. 1, 14, 28, 65, 430.

    [vii] See SkyMark, “Dr. W. Edwards Deming,” SkyMark Corporation, 2016, p. 1, http://www.skymark.com/resources/leaders/deming.asp.

    [viii] See Foster, S. Thomas, “Managing Quality Integrating the Supply Chain,” Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2007), p. 28.

    [ix] See Richard Koch, “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less”; See James T. McClave, P. George Benson, Terry Sincich, “Statistics for Business and Economics—12th Edition,” Library of Congress, 2014, p. 41; See Laura Stack, Time Management for Leaders: How to Get Everything Done and Still Leave the Office Early, Video.

    [x] See Foster, S. Thomas, “Managing Quality Integrating the Supply Chain,” Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2007), p. 28.

    [xi] See Foster at 34.

    [xii] See Id. at 38-39.

    [xiii] See Id. at 131.

    [xiv] See Id. at 38-39.

    [xv] See Wilcox, Mark, Ph.D, The Philosophy of Shewhart’s Theory of Prediction, p. 1, http://www.flowmap.com/documents/shewhart.pdf.

    [xvi] See Foster at 25.

    [xvii] See Heizer J., Render, Barry, Operations Management—Sustainability & Supply Chain Management, 11th Edition, Pearson, Inc., p. 222.

    [xviii] See Best, M., Neuhauser, D, Walter A. Shewhart, 1924, and the Hawthorne Factory, The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), PubMed Central (PMC) ©, US.gov, p. 2, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2464836/.

    [xix] See Gettinger, Marilyn, HCQB Chapter Summaries, p. 1.

    [xx] See Gettinger, Marilyn, HCQB Chapter Summaries, p. 1.

    [xxi] See Rescott, Lyle, The Failure of Obamacare, The Baltimore Sun, May 23, 2016, p. 1, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-obamacare-letter-20160523-story.html.

    [xxii] See Foster, S. Thomas, “Managing Quality Integrating the Supply Chain,” Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2007), p. 14.

    [xxiii] See Id. at 430.

    [xxiv] See Id. at 37.

    [xxv] See Id. at 14.

    [xxvi] See Id. at 30.

    [xxvii] See Id. at 417.

    [xxviii] See Id. at 414-15.

    [xxix] See Barrow, Keith, France Faces Tough Choices over Future of TGV, p.1, http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/high-speed/france-faces-tough-choices-over-future-of-tgv.html.

    [xxx] See Eric’s Presentation.

    [xxxi] See Foster at 166.

    [xxxii] See Id. at 166.

    [xxxiii] See Id. at 166.

    [xxxiv] See Id. at 108.

    [xxxv] See Id. at 435.

    [xxxvi] See Id. at 6.

    [xxxvii] See Id. at 6.

    [xxxviii] See Id. at 5.

    [xxxix] See Id. at 338.

    [xl] See Id. at 339.

    [xli] See Gettinger, Marilyn, Foster Chapter Summaries, p. 3.

    [xlii] See Foster at 341.

    [xliii] See FDA, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, What We Do, p. 1, http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/default.htm.

    [xliv] See Foster at 283, 288.

    [xlv] See Id. at 54.

    [xlvi] See Id. at 55.

    [xlvii] See Id. at 54.

    [xlviii] See Id. at 131.

    [xlix] See Id. at 131.

    [l] See Id. at 132-34.

  • See Id. at 223.

    [lii] See NPD Solutions, p. 1, http://www.npd-solutions.com/qfd.html.

    [liii] See Id. at 223.

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