• TRADITIONAL QUALITY CONTROL Under traditional quality control ...

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Total Quality Management
Under traditional quality control, inspection of goods and services (checking to make sure that what's
being produced is meeting all expectations) takes place at the end of the operations process. The
problem with this sort of inspection is that it doesn't work. It won't ensure quality, however you define it.
Think about a simple test, like the F-Test, that shows how difficult it is to realise a specific sign or
characteristic in a limited time range. Imagine how much more difficult inspection is at the end of a
process for a product with several hundred or thousand parts, such as a car -- or a forklift.
There are three main problems with inspection under traditional quality control:
it's costly, in terms of both tangibles and intangibles (e.g. materials, labour, time, employee morale,
customer goodwill, lost sales)
it's done too late in the process, often resulting in defective or non-acceptable goods actually
being received by the customer
it's done by the wrong people--by separate "quality inspectors" rather than by the workers
Another problem with inspections is often the lack of operational definitions between upper
management and "quality inspectors", inspectors and workers, and even between inspectors, as to what
constitutes a "quality product". For example, to meet quotas, inspectors may approve goods that don't
meet 100% conformance, giving the message to workers that it doesn't matter if their work is a bit
slipshod here and there. Or one inspector may be following different procedures from another, or using
different measurements.
According to one of the quality "gurus", W. Edwards Deming,
"Inspection with the aim of finding the bad ones and throwing them out is too late, ineffective,
costly. Quality comes not from inspection but from improvement of the process."
To prove his point, Dr. Deming would demonstrate the "red bead test" in his lectures:
Audience members would be selected to perform one of several
roles in a business (worker, inspector, or foreman). The "workers"
would be supplied with raw materials (red and white beads, mixed
together in a large container) and equipment, in the form of a paddle
with 50 holes in it. The beads would be poured into a smaller vessel,
then back into the larger vessel to simulate a production process;
and then each worker would dip the paddle into the vessel, filling
each hole with a bead. This would represent one day's production for
each worker. Inspectors counted each red bead in the paddle as a
defect, and records were kept for each "worker". Low number of total
defects, over several days, might result in promotions or pay raises,
while a high number might result in dismissal.
It doesn't take the workers long to realize that it is random luck, not their innate skill or ability to learn,
that determines the number of "defective" red beads that end up in the paddle. Under the conditions
given, every worker will experience good (fewer red beads) and bad (more red beads) days, without any
means to tip the scales to their advantage. Nor would any amount of inspection have an affect. The only
thing that could lead to improvement would be to improve the process -- i.e., reduce the number of red
beads in the incoming material -- and that would be management's job, not the workers. In Deming's
view, management is responsible for 94% of quality problems.
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Other quality experts, like J.M. Juran, think that there is a place for inspection in a quality process -- just
not the traditional method. Inspection occurs at varying places "upstream" in the process, right from the
point of incoming materials, in order to detect and correct errors long before the final product emerges.
This is usually much less costly than having to scrap or rework final products that don't conform or are
judged unfit for use. Juran also supported the concept of workers being allowed to self-inspect their
work, given the appropriate information and tools to do so.
Total quality control focuses on examining the processes in an operation, to learn where mistakes are
being made, why they are happening and if it is possible, practical and economically desirable to
prevent them from recurring. Inspection has its place in TQC, but it is inspection of the process, not the
product -- a principle in line with Dr. Deming's teachings.
So how do you improve a process?
1. First, you need to recognize the problem
The recognition of a problem may come from internal (worker) or external (supplier/customer)
sources. Both sources are invaluable, but unfortunately not all organisations provide feedback
2. Define and identify the problem
Then the process giving rise to the problem has, likewise, to be identified and documented. Flow
charts often prove to be the most useful form of documentation, as they are geared to breaking
any operational process down to its nuts and bolts.
3. Measure and analyse the performance
Once a process has been documented, its performance can be measured and analysed. There
are a number of methods available to do this, but the method used will be determined by both the
type of measurements being taken and what is being analysed. For example, control charts using
can provide a highly effective visual indication of the points where a process is not in control, as
well as when corrective action should or should not be taken. Deming and other quality "gurus"
teach that some variation in a process is inevitable and is not cause for concern, but it should be
held to a minimum in most cases. Pareto analyses arrange data in order of priority or importance,
and often reflect a high percentage of problems arising from a few causes (the "vital few").
Fishbone diagrams concentrate on one problem effect (result), and attempt to show all the
causes contributing to it which may be negatively affecting it.
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1. Cause and Effect Diagram
The cause and effect diagram is also called the fishbone chart because of its appearance and the
Ishakowa chart after the man who popularized its use in Japan. Its most frequent use is to list the cause
of particular problems. The lines coming off the core horizontal line are the main causes and the lines
coming off those are sub causes.
1. Identifying potential causes of a problem or issue in an orderly way (example: Why has membership
in the band decreased?; why isn't the phone being answered on time?; why is the production
process suddenly producing so many defects?)
2. Summarizing major causes under four categories (e.g., People, Machines, Methods, and Materials
or Policies, Procedures, People, and Plant)
1. Prepare a flip chart or an overhead transparency of the following template:
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2. Write the issue (problem or process condition) on the right side of the Cause and Effect Diagram.
3. Identify the major cause categories and write them in the four boxes on the Cause and Effect
Diagram. You may summarize causes under categories such as:
Methods, Machines, Materials, People
Places, Procedures, People, Policies,
Surroundings, Suppliers, System, Skills
4. Brainstorm potential causes of the problem. As possible causes are provided, decide as a group
where to place them on the Cause and Effect Diagram. It is acceptable to list a possible cause
under more than one major cause category.
5. Review each major cause category. Circle the most likely causes on the diagram.
6. Review the causes that are circled and ask "Why is this a cause?" Asking "why" will help get to the
root cause of the problem.
7. Reach an agreement on the most probable cause(s).
2. Run Chart
The run chart shows the history and pattern of
variation. It is helpful to indicate on the chart
whether up is good or down is good. This tool
is used at the beginning of the change
process to see what the problems are. It is
used at the end (check) part of the change
process to see whether the change has
resulted in a permanent improvement.
3. Scatter Diagram
The scatter diagram show the pattern of relationship between to variables that are thought to be related.
For example is their a relationship between out side temperature and cases of the common cold? As
temperatures drop, do colds increase. The closer the points hug a diagonal line the more closely there
is a one to one relationship.
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4. Flowchart
The flowchart lists the order of activities. The circle symbol
indicates the beginning or end of the process. The box
indicates action items and the diamond indicates decision
points. A beneficial technique is to map the ideal process
and the actual process and identify the differences as
targets for improvements.
A flow chart is a pictorial representation showing all of the
steps of a process.
A Flowchart is used for:
1. Defining and analyzing processes (example: What is the
registration process for entering students?)
2. Building a step-by-step picture of the process for analysis, discussion, or communication purposes
(example: Is it possible to shorten the length of time it takes for a student to complete the program?)
Defining, standardizing, or finding areas for improvement in a process
1. Familiarize the participants with the flowchart symbols
2. Brainstorm major process tasks. Ask questions such as "What really happens next in the process?",
"Does a decision need to be made before the next step?", or What approvals are required before
moving on to the next task?"
3. Draw the process flowchart using the symbols on a flip chart or overhead transparency. Every
process will have a start and an end (shown by elongated circles). All processes will have tasks and
most will have decision points (shown by a diamond).
4. Analyze the flowchart for such items as:
Time-per-event (reducing cycle time)
Process repeats (preventing rework)
Duplication of effort (identifying and eliminating duplicated tasks)
Unnecessary tasks (eliminating tasks that are in the process for no apparent reason)
Value-added versus non-value-added tasks
5. Pareto Chart
The Pareto shows the distribution of items and arranges them from the most frequent to the least
frequent with the final bar being misc. The tool is named after Wilfredo Pareto, the Italian economist who
determined that wealth is not evenly distributed. Some of the people have most of the money. This tool
is a graphical picture of the most frequent causes of a particular problem. It shows where to put your
initial effort to get the most gain.
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1. Focusing on critical issues by ranking them in terms of importance and frequency (example: Which
course causes the most difficulty for students?; which problem with Product X is most significant to
our customers?)
2. Prioritizing problems or causes to efficiently initiate problem solving (example: Which discipline
problems should be tackled first? or, What is the most frequent complaint by parents regarding the
school?; solution of what production problem will improve quality most?)
3. Analyzing problems or causes by different groupings of data (e.g., by program, by teacher, by
school building; by machine, by team)
4. Analyzing the before and after impact of changes made in a process (example: What is the most
common complaint of parents before and after the new principal was hired?; has the initiation of a
quality improvement program reduced the number of defectives?)
1. Determine the categories of problems or causes to be compared. Begin by organizing the problems
or causes into a narrowed down list of categories (usually 8 or less).
2. Select a Standard Unit of Measurement and the Time Period to be studied. It could be a measure of
how often something occurs (defects, errors, tardies, cost overruns, etc.); frequencies of reasons
cited in surveys as the cause of a certain problem; or a specific measurement of volume or size.
The time period to be studied should be a reasonable length of time to collect the data.
3. Collect and Summarize the Data. Create a
three-column table with the headings of "error Error Category Frequency Percent of
or problem category", "frequency", and "percent Total
of total". In the "error or problem category" Punctuation 22 44 %
column list the categories of problems or Grammar 15 30 %
causes previously identified. In the "frequency" Spelling 10 20 %
column write in the totals for each of the Typing 3 6%
categories over the designated period of time. TOTAL 50 100 %
In the "percent of total" column, divide each
number in the "frequency" column by the total
number of measurements. This will provide the
percentage of the total.
4. Create the framework for the horizontal and vertical axes
of the Pareto Chart. The horizontal axis will be the
categories of problems or causes in descending order
with the most frequently occurring category on the far left
(or at the beginning of the horizontal line). There will be
two vertical axes-one on the far left and one on the far
right. The vertical axis on the far left point will indicate the
frequency for each of the categories. Scale it so the value
at the top of the axis is slightly higher than the highest
frequency number. The vertical axis on the far right will
represent the percentage scale and should be scaled so
that the point for the number of occurrences on the left
matches with the corresponding percentage on the right.
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5. Plot the bars on the Pareto Chart. Using a bar graph
format, draw the corresponding bars in decreasing
height from left to right using the frequency scale on
the left vertical axis. To plot the cumulative
percentage line, place a dot above each bar at a
height corresponding to the scale on the right vertical
axis. Then connect these dots from left to right,
ending with the 100% point at the top of the right
vertical axis.
6. Interpret the Pareto Chart. Use common sense-just
because a certain problem occurs most often doesn't
necessarily mean it demands your greatest attention.
Investigate all angles to help solve the problems-What makes the biggest difference? What will it
cost to correct the problems? What will it cost if we don't correct this problem?
6. Histogram
The histogram is a bar chart showing a distribution of
variables. An example would be to line up by height a group of
people in a course. Normally one would be the tallest and one
would be the shortest and there would be a cluster of people
around an average height. Hence the phrase "normal
distribution". This tool helps identify the cause of problems in a
process by the shape of the distribution as well as the width of
the distribution.
7. Control Chart
The control chart is a line chart with control limits. It is based on the work of Shewhart and Deming. By
mathematically constructing control limits at 3 standard deviations above and below the average, one
can determine what variation is due to normal ongoing causes (common causes) and what variation is
produced by unique events (special causes). By eliminating the special causes first and then reducing
common causes, quality can be improved.
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Total Quality Management
This is the story of a QC program that was implemented in the main office of a large bank. An average
of 500 customers call this office every day. Surveys indicated that the callers tended to become irritated
if the phone rang more than five times before it was answered, and often would not call the company
again. In contrast, a prompt answer after just two rings reassured the customers and made them feel
more comfortable doing business by phone.
1. Selection of a Theme.
Telephone reception was chosen as a QC theme for the following reasons: (1) Telephone
reception is the first impression a customer receives from the company, (2) this theme coincided
with the company’s telephone reception slogan, "Don’t make customers wait, and avoid needless
switching from extension to extension", and (3) it also coincided with a company-wide campaign
being promoted at that time which advocated being friendly to everyone one met.
First, the staff discussed why the present
method of answering calls made callers wait.
Figure 3.1 illustrates a frequent situation,
where a call from customer B comes in while
the operator is talking with customer A. Let’s
see why the customer has to wait.
At (1), the operator receives a call from the
customer but, due to lack of experience, does
not know where to connect the call. At (2),
the receiving party cannot answer the phone
quickly, perhaps because he is unavailable, and nobody can take the call for him. The result is
that the operator must transfer the call to another extension while apologizing for the delay.
2. Cause and Effect Diagram and Situation Analysis
In order to fully understand the situation, the circle members decided to conduct a survey
regarding the callers who waited for more than five rings. Circle members itemised factors at a
brainstorming discussion and arranged them in a cause-and-effect diagram (Figure 3.2).
Operators then kept check sheets on several points to tally the results spanning 12 days from
June 4 to 16. (See Figure 3.3.)
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3. Results of the Checksheet Situation Analysis
The data recorded on the checksheets unexpectedly revealed that ‘one operator (partner out of
the office)’ topped the list by a big margin, occurring a total of 172 times. In this case, the operator
on duty had to deal with large numbers of calls when the phones were busy. Customers who had
to wait a long time averaged 29.2 daily, which accounted for 6% of the calls received every day.
(see figures 3.4 and 3.5)
4. Setting the Target
After an intense but productive discussion, the staff decided to set a QC program goal of reducing
these waiting callers to zero. That is to say that all incoming calls would be handled promptly,
without inconveniencing the customer.
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5. Measures and Execution.
(1) Taking lunches on three different shifts leaving at least two operators on the job at all times.
Up until this resolution was made a two-shift lunch system had been employed, leaving only one
operator on the job while the other was taking a lunch break. However since the survey revealed
that this was a major cause of customers waiting on the line, the company bought in a helper
operator from the clerical section.
(2) Asking all employees to leave messages when leaving their desks. The objective of this rule
was to simplify the operator’s chores when the receiving party was not at his desk. The new
program was explained at the employees’ regular morning meetings, and company-wide support
was requested. To help implement this practice, posters were placed around the office to
publicize the new measures.
(3) Compiling a directory listing of the personnel and their respective jobs. The notebook was
specially designed to aid the operators, who could not be expected to know the details of every
employee’s job or where to connect his incoming calls.
6. Confirming the Results.
Although the waiting calls could not be reduced to zero, all items presented showed a marked
improvement as shown below. The major cause of delays, ‘one operator (partner out of the
office)," plummeted from 172 incidents during the control period to 15 in the follow-up survey.
from 'The Quest for Higher Quality - the Deming Prize and Quality control," Ricoh Company Ltd.
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4. Find a solution for the problem
5. Implement and evaluate
When the cause of a problem has been identified, and a "cure" found, it must be implemented
and evaluated once again, to confirm that the solution is working. If not, the analysis starts once
again. See also the case study "Shortening customers' telephone waiting time". This cycle
needs to be applied to every process in every operation, and it should never stop.
You might ask, if a problem has been fixed, why can't it be checked off the list of things to
correct, and fogotten about?
Because nothing is static: suppliers may change some aspect of their materials; equipment may
develop problems that, however slight, affect output; technology may be upgraded, requiring
new and different training, and so on.
Total quality control should allow for this ongoing cycle of continuous quality improvement,
a concept that Japan has been using for a long time but which is still quite a revolutionary idea
to most western organisations.
The principle behind the continuous improvement is Kaizen, a Japanes term which can be translated:
Kai = change
Zen = good
Kaizen means improvement. Moreover it means continuing improvement in personal life, home life,
social life, and working life. When applied to the workplace Kaizen means continuing improvement
involving everyone - managers and workers alike. Kaizen can be stated the following:
"In its broadest sense, quality is anything that can be improved."
"There is always a better way."
"There is no acceptable best way."
It is through Kaizen that the processes which bring forth or sustain the product are made more
competitive. If customer satisfaction (the larger the better) and cost (the smaller the better) are chosen
as the primary quality characteristics, then the focus of workplace Kaizen is to improve value, and hence
competitive advantage. Total Quality Control is the system to implement Kaizen.
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Tools for continuous improvement
1. The Deming Wheel
The process of continuous improvement, called PDSA or, alternatively, PDCA (Plan/Do/Study or
Check/Act), is often referred to as the Deming Wheel, although Deming called it the Shewhart Cycle
(after its inventor, Dr. Walter Shewhart, a statistician and author of Statistical Methods from the
Viewpoint of Quality Control), illustrated below:
Step 1: Identify a problem area or the opportunity for improvement, the reason for working on it, and an
indicator- with an emphasis on the customer-for measuring improvement.
Step 2: Break down the problem area to determine its subparts, identify the components with the most
impact on the customer, clarify the problem statement, and set a target for improvement.
Step 3: Evaluate the information gathered, and identify and verify the root causes of the problem. Utilize
cause and effect analysis and the questions, "What causes this?" and "Why does this condition
exist?" to eliminate the problem's symptoms and identify the underlying or root cause.
Step 4: Identify and select the proposed solutions or countermeasures to correct the root cause of the
problem identified and verified in step 3. Evaluate potential countermeasures for effectiveness
and feasibility, and support the one chosen for implementation with appropriate data such as
cost-benefit analysis, barrier/aid identification, and an action plan to assure any barriers are
Step 5: Confirm that the problem and its root causes have been identified, countermeasures
implemented, and the problem decreased and the target for improvement met.
Step 6: Assure that once a problem and its root causes have been identified and countermeasures
implemented, the problem doesn't recur. Once the data obtained in step 5 confirm that the
countermeasures have been successful, the improvement can be standardized, using control
charts and/or standards or procedures. Replication should be utilized where the results are
successful and can be shared with other areas doing similar work.
Step 7: Decide what will be done with any future problems, evaluate the team's effectiveness and
lessons learned, and develop an action plan for remaining problems. This step identifies the
Deming Wheel as a tool, which should continue to be used to evaluate the problem and any
changes in circumstances. By continually turning the wheel, adjustments can be made as
circumstances change.
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2. Benchmarking
Another method employed in continuous quality improvement is known as benchmarking.
Benchmarking involves the comparison and measurement of similar processes, and might take place on
any of three levels:
Within a company (e.g., between departments)
Between a company and its competitor(s) or
Against other industries.
It may not be known beforehand whether the process selected for comparison is better, equivalent or
worse than the one being measured, but often those doing the benchmarking will look for the "best in
class" -- a top-notch yardstick against which to measure and which, it is hoped, will aid in their own
process improvement.
Benchmarking is not new. We all perform it to some extent every day, and never give it a second
thought. For example, we may realize that our colleague has found a quicker route to work. The majority
of us will be keen to learn how this improvement has been achieved, so we ask. We get the maps out
and clarify exactly the route taken, and implement the action to achieve the improvement...until an even
better route is identified. Improvement is a never ending journey.
What can be so difficult about examining how other organizations have achieved improved
The answer is nothing, but "examining others" is a world away from really learning "how" they achieved
the improvement.
1. How do you identify a suitable activity to benchmark?
As with all improvement activities, it is better to start with a known problem area that is able to be
defined, or an activity where improvement will provide maximum benefit.
Once the subject activity is identified, spend as much time as possible defining it. The more clearly you
know your problem, the easier it will be to identify differences that will lead to major improvement.
2. How do we gather the information?
Develop a questionnaire with all the information you want to obtain. Remember to phrase questions
to gain maximum comparative information. Ask open-ended questions-How? Where? When? Who?
What?-and allow for scaled answers (very important, important, not important). Review the
questionnaire with a team of others to identify ways to improve it.
Complete the questionnaire for your own organization. This is a good test of the questions and also
ensures that you can respond to similar requests for information from your benchmarking partners.
Write down your reasons for asking each question. Again, this will test if all the questions are really
necessary, and will provide you with a ready-made answer when the partner asks, "Why do you
want to know that?"
Talk to the benchmarking partner. Describe and clarify your areas of interest, objectives and primary
questions. Ask if these areas have been covered before (the information you seek might already be
Arrange a visit (eyes are as useful as ears-and they double your chances of learning).
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3. How should a visit be performed?
Prepare thoroughly. Find out as much as possible about the benchmarking partner from other
sources (publications, consultants, trade associations, etc.) so that you can maximize knowledge
gained from direct contact with the partner.
Use a small team (two people is ideal) and nominate one as the leader. Thank the partner (again
and again). Debrief as soon as possible after the visit.
4. What to do with the information gained?
Use it to compare the similarities and differences in your two organizations and activities, in order to
clearly identify improvement opportunities. Share the knowledge with all interested parties in your
own organization, and then take the improvement action!
But several of the quality "gurus" warn of the limitations in benchmarking, some of which include
copying a more successful competitor's performance without understanding the underlying reasons for
the performance, and seeing it as an end in itself. Even if your company found it was the "best in class",
that doesn't mean it's time to stop looking for ways to improve quality. The search for total quality control
should be never- ending.
Quality assurance is the method by which organisations try to ensure that their product conforms to
specifications and meets customer expectations. "Assurance" consists of a system of rules or
procedures setting standards for activities in an organisation. It is possible to develop this for one
company, but having one which several conform to has its benefits. For example, the need for Quality
System Standards was recognised in the 1960's by UK armed forces, which had suffered from high
levels of equipment failure. Successful implementation there led to similar standards being applied to
other high-risk industries (e.g., nuclear plants).
Once the benefits of applying such standards had
become apparent, the concept spread to industries in
general, leading to the development by the British
Standards Institute in 1979 of a standardised, formal
quality assurance system known as BS5750. Although
companies could follow their own, internally developed
quality standards, it also become apparent that
implementing a formal, nationally approved system could
give a distinct edge in an increasingly competitive
marketplace, and more and more companies chose to go
with BS5750. This, in turn, led to the development of an
internationally recognised Quality System Standard
known as ISO9000. Instituted by the Geneva-based International Organisation for Standardisation, and
directly based on BS5750, ISO9000 (and no, it is not an incorrect acronym, but simply usage of the
prefix "iso", meaning "equal") was formally adopted by a number of countries in 1987.
Like BS5750, ISO9000 has three levels, the first, ISO9001, is the most demanding. The second level
concerns only production and installation, while level 3 is limited to final inspection and tests. ISO9001
covers the following areas:
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Although the standards were originally developed for use in manufacturing, they have been expanded to
apply to service industries as well. Sometimes ISO9000-type procedures are in place even if the system
has not been formally adopted.
ISO9000 has a lot to recommend it: it's well laid out and easy to follow, provides opportunities to
discover and implement quality improvements in operational processes, and reassures customers that a
company is both in compliance with industry - wide system specifications and has a commitment to
providing the best possible product. It would seem that ISO9000 is the perfect way to ensure quality.
But is it? Rules are not always what they seem or appropriate:
Businesses often think that, once they "have ISO9000", they automatically have a quality product, but
that may not be the case. Take another look at the list of areas above for ISO9001: each process is
being monitored, but there's no guarantee that the process itself -- no matter how long or recently it's
been in place -- is any good. It's been pointed out that, under ISO9000 rules, you could produce a
lifejacket made out of concrete.
ISO9000 is a good starting point, and should be customised for individual organisations. But in its
current form, it doesn't cover enough ground; opportunities for quality improvements to a process are
not necessarily spotted or acted upon; it doesn't allow for customer feedback, and it can be too
Forklifts are important pieces of equipment at the Brewery, as
they are used to transport the completed packages of beer from
their pallets to loading areas and then onto delivery trucks.
Scottish Courage follows ISO9002 procedures, adapted for the
company's use, for the management and maintenance of their
forklifts. A Truck Management Decision Flowchart is
appended to this basic outline of procedures, which, when used
in conjunction with the "FLT Prestart Log Sheet", helps the
employees decide whether a forklift is operational, faulty but
operational, or not fit for use. Scottish Courage implemented
BS5750 in 1991 solely for its Small Packaging area. Quality
System Manager Terry McLaughlin says there were two
reasons for the implementation: it was seen as a good
commercial advantage, and they were under external pressure
from customers. "When Scottish Courage and Scottish &
Newcastle merged in 1995," he recalls, "management looked at
its business strategy and decided to make Quality System the
foundation of operations. ISO then became the objective for
everybody." Systems were phased in over several years, and
the entire site received full ISO registration in July 1996.
"We've decided as a company that we want to base management on ISO and Total Quality; it enhances
our business opportunities", says Terry. ISO procedures add consistency to the Brewery's operations,
but "it's not seen as set in stone. It's an organic system, is being developed and will continue to be
developed. Procedures are subject to regular change if we feel things are not as good as they could
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Total quality management is a holistic, dynamic approach to management. It involves all of the
preceding aspects of quality, but takes them further and integrates them completely into an
organisation. TQM focuses on:
Customer satisfaction.
Continuous improvement.
Customer satisfaction.
Whether the customer is external or internal to the company, this is what keeps a company in business.
Marketing departments often take on the task of determining what the customer wants, via methods
such as customer surveys. But surveys may have design pitfalls: if you don't ask the right questions,
you won't get the right answers. For example, it's an asset if your salespeople are perceived by all
concerned as polite and cheerful, but that won't improve your sales figures if they can't supply your
customers with necessary product on a timely basis. TQM must consider both current and future
customer needs, while keeping in mind such possibilities as the development of new products that
customers might not think of on their own but which they would respond positively to.
To achieve TQ, everyone in an organisation must be committed. Achieving this commitment is not easy
and takes a long time (for example, Juran would say five years). This is why most authors suggest that
organisations need strong leadership and commitment from the top. Companies use mechanisms such
as Quality Circles (which nowadays are cross-functional teams that meet regularly) and suggestion
schemes to include people in the TQ objective. However, if these are not complete with training and
information sharing, they won’t work. The best results come when people work on issues which are
relevant to them, using techniques they are familiar with, and they have the responsibility and often the
resources to effect changes. Prior to practical and effective implementation of the TQ the following

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