Quality refers to desirable characteristics that an item may have. These can be natural characteristics or unnatural ones. An item will pass the quality bar if it can surpass the expected characteristics. Quality has been a sensitive issue in the manufacturing sector. This is specifically so because of the changing society. About six decades ago, a lot of emphases were put on production. The issue was to have a company producing as many products as possible and taking them to the readily available market.
However, this outward approach to production has completely changed. The world has taken a new dimension. The society has become increasingly knowledgeable due to developments in the information and communication sector. Many firms producing similar products characterize the current market. This has raised competition levels in the market. With customers who are aware of what they want, manufactures have been forced to devise methods that would help make their products be seen as the best in the market.
This has brought about the need to have an outside approach to marketing. This involves understanding what the customers need and designing products that would be able to meet their demands. Trough this, firms can sustain the competition that exists in the current market. For this to be a reality, quality must be the guiding principle. There should be a deliberate attempt to satisfy customers. Kerzner (2003), states that a satisfied customer will inform two more about the good experience he or she had with a particular company while a dissatisfied customer will inform ten others of the horrible experience. For this reason, it is advisable to eliminate all customer complaints if a firm expects to be successful in its operations.
Excellent Manufacturing Company
Established in February 1995, this firm has experienced positive growth, making it one of the leading producers of plastic products in the state of Ohio. Jack Walker, the founder, and the chief executive officer has steered this company to success through various initiatives. With an employee base of 105 people, this company produces a wide range of plastic products ranging from fasteners and construction materials to cabinet hardware and decorative hardware. It uses various raw materials and other recycled items to manufacture their final products. The company is currently running at a capacity of about 92%.
The Company’s Quality Levels
When the company started in 1995, its products were considered as some of the best in the market. The company was relatively small and managing its units was much easier. It satisfied its customers and this saw it increase its market share. Because of this, the company increased in size and covered a larger area.
It expanded most of its operational units and the need to satisfy a larger market share as evidenced in late 2000. Nevertheless, the company did not have a proper quality assurance team. Because it had started as a small firm, the need for the quality assurance department was not there. However, the growth of the company resulted in high demand for the company’s products in the market. Without realizing it, the company started producing products in mass, giving less attention to the quality of products.
This has resulted in the production of products that do not meet the quality standards of the market. As proof of this, the company’s customers have launched complains about the company’s products. This may jeopardize the position of this firm and if care is not taken, the company may soon start losing its market share. There is, therefore, a need to implement quality procedures in the firm.
Plan for Implementation of Quality in the Firm’s Operations
As the firm embarks on creating a Quality Assurance Department, there is a need to establish a clear plan on how this process will take place. One factor that should be taken into consideration when implementing quality procedures in production is that quality starts and ends in the mind. It starts in the minds of the production officers and ends in the minds of the consumer. It is therefore important to ensure that all employees appreciate the need for quality and that they understand the requirements of ISO 9000. They should also be taken through the concept of Total Quality Management.
Total Quality Management demands that all departments and employees regardless of their positions in the firm get involved in the implementation of quality standards. It is therefore vital to prepare all employees psychologically as regards new strategies to be employed. Furthermore, the introduction of new production tools familiarizing employees with new procedures is mandatory.
Let them know and appreciate the new strategy that is to be employed and let customers know that the company has decided to restructure its operations to ensure the quality of its products. The new quality assurance manager should find ways of understanding the capability of employees and their culture. This would guarantee the quality of products in the market. If done carefully, this firm will eliminate customer complaints, increase market share and maintain its reputation in the market.
Kerzner, H. (2003). Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. New York: Wiley and Sons.