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Article

H.S. Bunney and B.G. Dale

Outlines the main findings of a longitudinal study into the use and application of quality management tools and techniques in a speciality chemicals manufacturer. Finds…

Abstract

Outlines the main findings of a longitudinal study into the use and application of quality management tools and techniques in a speciality chemicals manufacturer. Finds that the use of a particular tool or technique is related to the stage of development of the organization’s improvement process and, in the early phase of the improvement process, tools and techniques were used in a haphazard manner, which improved with operating experience. Points out that those tools and techniques which were introduced in relation to a defined need were better understood and utilized than those which were applied company‐wide and without a specific use in mind at the time of the training. Highlights the fact that soundly based training delivered by credible trainers is vital to early success in the use of tools and techniques.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article

Jordi Castello, Rudi De Castro and Frederic Marimon

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the use of quality management tools and techniques and their integration into the ISO 9001:2008 standard in a wind power (WP…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the use of quality management tools and techniques and their integration into the ISO 9001:2008 standard in a wind power (WP) sector supply chain (SC).

Design/methodology/approach

The research project was carried out in 119 WP sector SC companies (i.e. component suppliers, wind turbine assemblers and wind farm operation and maintenance services) using the questionnaire method. The companies selected employ quality management systems (QMSs) which conform to the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

Findings

The survey findings reveal that the degree to which quality tools and techniques are used in the WP companies can be characterised as “high”. The results show that internal audits, flowchart diagrams and cost of poor quality are the most-commonly applied tools and techniques, although they also indicate some areas for further improvement, for instance, when using advanced and complex quality techniques such as design of experiments, quality function deployment or business process management. In addition to this, the findings reveal that ISO 9001:2008 establishes a favourable environment for the use of quality tools and techniques.

Research limitations/implications

The study was based on the perceptions of quality managers, quality engineers and company managers (subjective data) and did not examine the reasons for either not implementing and/or the difficulties encountered while implementing quality tools and techniques.

Practical implications

The specific findings indicate that employing quality tools and techniques is useful for managers, not only when implementing a QMS, but also when suggesting recommendations for improvement.

Originality/value

A change of developing a framework integrating the main QT&T procedures into the main ISO 9001 processes.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

Christos Fotopoulos and Evagelos Psomas

The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of use of quality management tools and techniques as well as employees' training in ISO 9001:2000 certified companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of use of quality management tools and techniques as well as employees' training in ISO 9001:2000 certified companies.

Design/methodology/approach

A research project was carried out in 370 Greek companies, using the questionnaire method. The selected companies have been implementing a quality management system in accordance with the ISO 9001:2000 standard. Independent Samples t‐tests and One‐Way ANOVA tests were used to identify significant differences between selected companies.

Findings

The level of quality tools and techniques used in the ISO 9001:2000 certified companies can be characterised as low. The majority of companies use the easiest to understand and implement quality tools. However, the more complex quality tools and techniques are barely used. As far as employees' training is concerned, it mostly addressed specialized issues, while training on quality tools and techniques was not highly performed.

Research limitations/implications

The study was based on the quality manager's perceptions (subjective data) and it did not examine the reasons for not implementing and the difficulties encountered while implementing quality tools and techniques. These constitute research limitations but also future research orientations.

Practical implications

Given the increased rate of companies adopting a quality management system, continuous improvement through a Total Quality programme can be achieved through the implementation of quality tools and techniques.

Originality/value

This paper describes the implementation status of the quality tools and techniques in companies with a four‐year experience in ISO 9001:2000 standard.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

David R. Bamford and Richard W. Greatbanks

This paper describes the use and application of a structured approach to the basic implementation of quality management tools and techniques such as the QC7 tools.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes the use and application of a structured approach to the basic implementation of quality management tools and techniques such as the QC7 tools.

Design/methodology/approach

A methodology based around the application of a structured approach to the use of basic quality management tools is adopted, and provides a simple yet powerful means by which the steps of problem solving can be sequentially linked together.

Findings

Everyday process examples are used to highlight the benefits of such tools and techniques in contributing to a greater understanding of the process by the process operator or owner. For each example, the use of appropriate tools or techniques are examined and their application analysed. The paper then goes on to discuss the wider implications of quality management tool application within industry and business.

Research limitations/implications

It is not suggested the examples detailed are thoroughly scientific in methodology but they do serve to illustrate that by applying the tools in a systematic manner, even the simplest of processes can be understood in greater detail.

Practical implications

The following are key for the successful implementation, use and success of applying the QC and M7 tools and techniques: in‐depth knowledge of the process; formal training in problem‐solving techniques; appropriateness of tools selected for use; and apply simple models at all levels in the organisation to aid communication and learning.

Originality/value

The paper concludes by arguing that the wider use of the tools, ideally by the process operatives themselves, tangibly lead to a fuller understanding of specific processes. This will ultimately impact upon their organisation.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

R.E. McQuater, C.H. Scurr, B.G. Dale and P.G. Hillman

Outlines the key factors in the successful use of qualitymanagement tools and techniques in a process of continuous improvement.Examines some of the common difficulties in…

Abstract

Outlines the key factors in the successful use of quality management tools and techniques in a process of continuous improvement. Examines some of the common difficulties in use and application together with tips to overcome and steer around them. Details of a health check for assessing tools and techniques is also given.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 7 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article

Shamsuddin Ahmed and Masjuki Hassan

Quality management (QM) cannot be assured unless some objective assessments are undertaken. A number of tools and techniques are available to conduct such analysis…

Abstract

Quality management (QM) cannot be assured unless some objective assessments are undertaken. A number of tools and techniques are available to conduct such analysis. Although some of them are product or service specific, however, a few basic tools and techniques are commonly used in manufacturing firms. This study focuses on the state of application of QM tools and techniques in small and medium industries (SMIs). The findings reveal that by‐and‐large, lack of methodical analysis is a major weakness of SMIs. Still some rule‐of‐thumb and subjective observations are dominating over objective evaluation in the process of quality control decisions. A few case studies which have been conducted, and one that has been briefly reported here, also support this conclusion. The methodology of the study has three folds: literature review, survey in SMIs and case studies.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

Ashish Thomas

Most successful companies have adopted some type of improvement methodology to achieve optimum performance, high quality, lower costs and productivity. Some of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Most successful companies have adopted some type of improvement methodology to achieve optimum performance, high quality, lower costs and productivity. Some of the structured methodologies employed indiscriminately are total quality management, quality control, agile, lean and Six Sigma which yield varied results. The purpose of this paper is to explore how to harness the power of an integrated system of quality tools and techniques to create operational excellence. An integrated framework involves matching quality tools and techniques to the multi-phases (input, transformation and output) of lean manufacturing or service ecosystem.

Design/methodology/approach

Current research of lean quality systems provides a conceptual understanding of core tools employed by manufacturing and service organizations. Interviewing domain experts from a series of manufacturing and service organizations highlighted a common challenge. The challenge was lean tools and methodologies were selected and employed arbitrarily for the different operational phases, which resulted in selective synergies of tools between operational phases. This limitation resulted in rework and duplication of quality efforts through the diverse phases of the transformation system. This study is based on the hypothesis that all phases of an operational system must be linked by common tools and methodologies which enables harnessing quality benefits and synergies throughout the entire operational system. The study methodology trailed through cooperative inquiry using a case study approach to design an integrated framework of tools that facilitates a common platform for manufacturing or service ecosystems.

Findings

This study suggests that quality systems in a complex competitive environment must consider an integrated iterative approach. An iterative development of lean quality tools for multiple phases produces an integrated quality system. Such systems employ blending and extending of lean quality tools to multiple phases of the transformation system to synthesize agile and versatile quality system.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that the research of integrated framework is based on repertory grid technique only; it should be supplemented by other methods. Second, the proposed framework does not consider the complexity added by the internal and external stakeholders as they interface with the integrated system at different points with reference to phases of the system.

Practical implications

One of the advantages of this method is its generality, instead of delivering a monolithic system at the culmination of long transformation process we rely on smaller quality sprints which are implemented sequentially at each stage or phase of the transformation system. The phenomena of incremental clustering of time-series of quality sprints for different phases results in true integration from end to end for a transformation system.

Social implications

This study helps investigate the personal constructs that users and managers employ to interpret and select quality tools or methodologies for the different phases of lean transformational system.

Originality/value

This study aims to understand the impact of blending quality and business process improvement tools and methodologies to enhance outcomes. The basis of this study is “the power of multiplicity” through which a diverse collection of improvement paths is pooled into an integrated framework of quality tools for lean and efficient operations.

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Article

M. Spring, R. McQuater, K. Swift, B. Dale and J. Booker

Based on fieldwork carried out on two Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council‐funded projects in the area of design, the paper presents the details of an…

Abstract

Based on fieldwork carried out on two Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council‐funded projects in the area of design, the paper presents the details of an assessment approach which has been developed to assess the use and application of quality tools and techniques in the new product design and development process. Its use will help management recognise the symptoms, root causes, issues and problems that are adversely affecting NPDD, with respect to application (or lack of it) of quality tools and techniques.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article

Bozena Poksinska, Jostein Pettersen, Mattias Elg, Jörgen Eklund and Lars Witell

This paper aims to present and discuss the current state of quality‐improvement activities in Swedish companies. The paper focuses on the drivers for quality improvement;…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present and discuss the current state of quality‐improvement activities in Swedish companies. The paper focuses on the drivers for quality improvement; types of approaches, tools and techniques, and organizational aspects influenced by quality improvement; and potential areas for improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents results from a survey on quality improvement work in Swedish industry. Data for this paper were collected using a web‐based questionnaire that was distributed to 800 production managers working in Swedish service and manufacturing organizations. Of the 800 questionnaires sent, a total of 118 questionnaires were filled out, which resulted in a response rate of 16 percent.

Findings

The result shows that the major drivers for quality improvement work in Swedish industry are economical aspects as the need for cost reduction, the need to become more competitive and the wish to increase market share. Drivers such as pressure from shareholders and trends in management have a minor role. The underlying approaches for quality improvement work are standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14000. A total of 72 percent of respondents stated that they work with quality management systems; 59 percent, with environmental management systems. The aspects that were most positively influenced by the improvement work were employee motivation, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, product/service quality, and flow in internal processes.

Research limitations/implications

Empirical results obtained in Sweden may differ to some extent in other countries.

Practical implications

This paper is intended as a source of inspiration for researchers, consultants, and managers who are interested in the current trends and future developments in the quality field.

Originality/value

The paper provides valuable insights into the current state of quality improvement activities in Swedish industry, as seen from the perspective of the production manager.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article

Evangelos L. Psomas, Christos V. Fotopoulos and Dimitrios P. Kafetzopoulos

The purpose of this paper is to determine, first, the level to which ISO 9001 certified manufacturing companies adopt process management and improve quality, second, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine, first, the level to which ISO 9001 certified manufacturing companies adopt process management and improve quality, second, the latent factors of process management and quality improvement, and finally, the relationships between the latent factors extracted.

Design/methodology/approach

A research project was carried out in 196 ISO 9001 certified manufacturing companies operating in Greece. A structured questionnaire was designed and pilot tested and then addressed to management representatives of the companies. Descriptive statistics were used in order to determine the level of process management adoption and the level of quality improvement. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were also applied to extract the latent factors of process management and quality improvement and to assess their reliability and validity. The relationships between the latent factors were determined through structural equation modelling.

Findings

Two latent factors were extracted with respect to process management (the core process management practices and the supporting quality tools) and one latent factor with respect to quality improvement. The findings revealed that the ISO 9001 certified manufacturing companies implement to a high degree of the core process management practices, in contrast to the supporting quality tools. Notwithstanding, significant quality improvement is achieved. According to the structural model, the core process management practices have a strong, positive and direct effect on quality improvement. The supporting quality tools have an indirect effect on quality improvement through their significant correlation with the core process management practices.

Originality/value

This paper describes a reliable and valid model that analyzes process management in two latent factors (the core process management practices and the supporting quality tools). The model also depicts the effects of these latent factors on quality improvement of ISO 9001 certified manufacturing companies.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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