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Article

Joel D. Wisner

This article presents the findings of a comprehensive, exploratory survey concerning transportation quality improvement programs. Various quality improvement program

Abstract

This article presents the findings of a comprehensive, exploratory survey concerning transportation quality improvement programs. Various quality improvement program dimensions were compared among two groups of respondents: those who experienced market share increases or cost decreases associated with the quality programs, and those who did not. The survey examined firms’ general focus on quality and customers, the use and design of formal quality improvement programs, and the success and current status of these programs. A number of significant quality program differences were found when comparing the two groups, including differences in top management support, benchmarking practices, customer interaction, and program design elements.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article

John Groocock

Contrasts idealised versions of quality assurance systems and quality improvement programs. Notes that only powerful customers such as defence procurement agencies can…

Abstract

Contrasts idealised versions of quality assurance systems and quality improvement programs. Notes that only powerful customers such as defence procurement agencies can impose quality assurance systems; also points out that individual customers are weak customers whose only power is the ability to move from one supplier to another. Outlines the conditions under which a customer will be able to impose a quality assurance system on the supplier. These conditions include, for example, that there should be an excess of capable suppliers. Points out that quality improvement programs, on the other hand, are initiated and sustained by the supplier’s own top managers. Considers also the role of such factors as industry regulators.

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The TQM Magazine, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article

Eric Sandelands

Total quality management does improve organizational performance and remains the most viable long‐term business strategy around. These were the findings of arecent report…

Abstract

Total quality management does improve organizational performance and remains the most viable long‐term business strategy around. These were the findings of a recent report entitled “TQM: Forging a Need or Falling Behind?”, commissioned by Development Dimensions International of Pittsburgh, the Quality & Productivity Management Association of Schaumburg, Illinois, and Industry Week, which were based on interviews with 6,500 people in 84 organizations. However, on considering the various elements which help or hinder TQM implementation, training emerged as the one successful theme in successful programmes.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article

Lars Nilsson‐Witell, Marc Antoni and Jens J. Dahlgaard

Continuous improvement has become an important strategy in improving organizational performance. Unfortunately, product development is often excluded in continuous…

Abstract

Purpose

Continuous improvement has become an important strategy in improving organizational performance. Unfortunately, product development is often excluded in continuous improvement programs due to the special characteristics of product development activities. The overall purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of continuous improvement in the context of product development.

Design/methodology/approach

A central aspect in this context is that many organizations find it difficult to improve and learn if work is carried out in the form of projects. In this paper, a quality perspective on continuous improvement is introduced and its usefulness is tested empirically through three case studies in Swedish organizations. The focus is on the improvement programs used and the quality principles displayed in a product development context.

Findings

The results show that the three investigated organizations have multiple improvement programs, but that some configurations of improvement programs seem to be more successful than others. For instance, co‐ordination of multiple improvement programs, scope creep, and separating between product development processes and project management models are important success factors for continuous improvement. In addition, an introduction of an improvement program without adoption of a critical mass of quality principles is doomed to fail.

Originality/value

The research initiative is one of the first to conduct an empirical investigation of how organizations design and work with improvement programs in the context of product development. It provides knowledge to both academics and practitioners on how organizations can design and implement initiatives on quality management, especially in the context of product development.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 22 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

Edna M. White, Mehdi Kaighobadi and T.J. Wharton

Total quality management programmes emphasizing continuous improvementhave become increasingly popular as companies perceive the importance ofquality in maintaining or…

Abstract

Total quality management programmes emphasizing continuous improvement have become increasingly popular as companies perceive the importance of quality in maintaining or enhancing their competitive position. Although improvement programmes are extremely valuable, they do not eliminate the need for control. Unfortunately, companies striving for quality improvement may de‐emphasize, or even abandon, the use of process control charts, believing that process control cannot be applied during periods of change. There is a need for a procedure formally linking the methodology of statistical process control – which assumes process stability – to the management of quality improvement programmes – which assumes constant positive change. Provides a procedure to develop and use process goal charts. The procedure uses a straightforward adaptation of the standard process control chart methodology to support and control the planned change of a continuous improvement programme. The procedure is illustrated with a simple example and possible extensions of the procedure are suggested.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

Luís Mendes and Luís Lourenço

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the following purposes: first, to identify/analyze the main factors that hinder quality improvement programs’ implementation in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the following purposes: first, to identify/analyze the main factors that hinder quality improvement programs’ implementation in SMEs, and second, to test if the level of importance attributed to those factors differ according to firms’ dimension.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was mailed to 600 Portuguese SME randomly selected. Out of the sample, a total of 95 questionnaires were completed and returned, performing a final response rate around 16 per cent.

Findings

Findings reached from this research, highlighted seven different factors affecting quality programs: top management's education/training level and priorities, costs and actual performance, lack of support from external agents, human resources’ overload, aversion to change, lack of resources, and culture and training. Furthermore, results suggest that these factors assume greater importance in medium-sized firms, compared to smaller ones.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused specifically on the Portuguese manufacturing sector; thus, particular attention should be paid in attempting to generalize results. Moreover it is recognized that further researches may consider exploring longitudinal research designs in order to gain additional insights into the dynamic nature of problems faced.

Practical implications

Understanding the main problems that hinder quality improvement programs’ implementation in SME may allow practitioners to plan more effectively their quality management system, especially faced with scarce resources.

Originality/value

Quality management issues focus essentially on larger organizations. This paper is the first attempt to systematize the main factors that hinder quality improvement programs’ implementation in small and medium sized firms.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article

Jaideep G. Motwani, Mary L. Frahm and Yunus Kathawala

Argues that organizations are in the midst of a competitive revolutionand quality improvement is an important factor in the quest to remaincompetitive. Companies are…

Abstract

Argues that organizations are in the midst of a competitive revolution and quality improvement is an important factor in the quest to remain competitive. Companies are realizing they need to initiate a quality improvement programme and that training is a critical variable in the success of that programme. Improvement involves change, and training prepares employees for the change by providing the skills needed to work as a team member, communicate effectively, and identify and solve problems. A quality training programme requires certain elements for it to be successful: a change in the company’s culture; support of top management; a strategy to guide the company; communicating to employees the reason for quality improvement and how the change will affect them; providing the proper training and providing it at the proper time; and evaluating the training process.

Details

Training for Quality, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4875

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Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-881-0

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Article

Mohit Goswami, Gopal Kumar and Abhijeet Ghadge

Typically, the budgetary requirements for executing a supplier’s process quality improvement program are often done in unstructured ways in that quality improvement

Abstract

Purpose

Typically, the budgetary requirements for executing a supplier’s process quality improvement program are often done in unstructured ways in that quality improvement managers purely use their previous experiences and pertinent historical information. In this backdrop, the purpose of this paper is to ascertain the expected cost of carrying out suppliers’ process quality improvement programs that are driven by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Design/methodology/approach

Using inputs from experts who had prior experience executing suppliers’ quality improvement programs and employing the Bayesian theory, transition probabilities to various quality levels from an initial quality level are ascertained. Thereafter, the Markov chain concept enables the authors to determine steady-state probabilities. These steady-state probabilities in conjunction with quality level cost coefficients yield the expected cost of quality improvement programs.

Findings

The novel method devised in this research is a key contribution of the work. Furthermore, various implications related to experts’ inputs, dynamics related to Markov chain, etc., are discussed. The method is illustrated using a real life of automotive industry in India.

Originality/value

The research contributes to the extant literature in that a new method of determining the expected cost of quality improvement is proposed. Furthermore, the method would be of value to OEMs and suppliers wherein the quality levels at a given time are the function of quality levels in preceding period(s).

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

John L. Michela, Hamid Noori and Shailendra Jha

Examines the literature to identify the essential components of kaizen or continuous improvement programmes. Relying on published sources on the North American experience…

Abstract

Examines the literature to identify the essential components of kaizen or continuous improvement programmes. Relying on published sources on the North American experience with continuous improvement, also tries to identify organizational structures and practices likely to lead to successful implementation of such programmes. Distinguishes between kaizen and more radical, “strategic leap” improvement approaches, and describes the North American record of success with continuous improvement programmes. An emergent theme is that success with continuous improvement requires a wide array of systems, processes, and orientations to be congruent within the organization. Argues that the study of when, how, and why kaizen succeeds is by no means complete, and proposes a set of open research questions whose investigation is likely to be useful to both scholars and practitioners. Finally, discusses some of the ways in which the existing literature can be immediately useful for practice in organizations.

Details

International Journal of Quality Science, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8538

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