The quality concept today is vital part of business at a global level. The quality management system is intended to improve productivity and enhance customer satisfaction. The quality management system promotes companies to evaluate hidden needs of consumers, identify the processes that develop quality products which are according the expectations of shopper, and control business process. Quality management is the basis for business achievement of any firm. The concept of quality has huge importance in business management literature since 1950 when scholars concentrated on this issue.
The concept of quality in business focuses on the savings and additional profits that organizations can realize if they remove mistakes throughout their operations and produce products and services at the best level of quality desired by their customers. American Society for Quality defined that quality is based on customer's perceptions of a product/service's design and how well the design matches the original specifications, and the ability of a product/service to satisfy stated or implied needs and it is achieved by conforming to established requirements within an organization. The ISO definition of quality is that quality is conformance to requirement, the totality of features of the product that bear on its ability to satisfy stated and implied need (Suganthi, 2004). The development of quality management is strongly related to the automobile industry, as many quality approaches were applied early on in the automobile sector and brought a common enhancement to both worlds. Toyota pioneered many quality principles, such as the origins of Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-In-Time Management, or Lean Management, and Ford can be seen as prime example for the effect of quality principles on business performance. Theoretical studies described that a quality management system is a management method used to communicate to workers what is required to produce the desired quality of products and services and to influence employee actions to complete tasks according to the quality specifications. Factors that represent need of customers include utility value, affordable cost, longer life, reliable performance, product look, ease of maintenance and prompt after sale service (Suganthi, 2004).
Purpose of quality management: The main objective of the quality control in firms is that management must take initiatives to provide products that have better customer value and improve organizational outputs. The belief of Quality management is to guarantee quality in products and services offered by organization. Quality Management System has major aim to establish a vision for the employees, set standards for employees, build motivation within the company, sets goals for employees, help fight the resistance to change within organizations and assist to direct the corporate culture.
Quality improvement is required to achieve business success. It may simply be the extent to which organization can produce superior-quality product or service than competitors are able to do at a competitive price. When quality is the key to a company's success, quality management systems allow organizations to sustain with and meet current quality levels, meet the consumer's requirement for quality, hold employees through competitive reward programs, and continue with the newest technology.
Historical review of quality management: In the decade of the 1950s, Japanese companies started realizing the benefits of emphasizing quality throughout their organizations and enlisted the help of an American, W. Edwards Deming, who is accredited with giving Japanese companies a huge start in the quality movement. His methods include statistical process control (SPC) and problem-solving techniques that were very successful to gain the necessary impetus to change the attitude of organizations needing to produce high quality products and services.
Quality experts of 20th century like Crosby, Deming and Juran broadly elucidated the quality of products in two categories. The first category is the quality of product that satisfies applicable specifications. Quality is a simple matter of producing goods and delivering services whose measurable characteristics meet the fixed set of specifications that usually are numerically defined. Other one is quality that satisfies the consumer. Independent of any measurable characteristics, quality products is simply those that satisfy customer expectations for their use or consumption (Nanda, 2005). Fundamentally, quality management includes all activities that are required to plan for quality in an organization and satisfy quality objectives.Activities of Quality Management (Nanda Vivek, 2005)
Deming is renowned as expert of total quality management. In his viewpoint, a shift to quality paradigm in a company is a transition towards a more mature management style (Nanda, 2005). Deming principle of quality management states that a product or service possesses quality if it helps somebody and enjoys a good and sustainable market.
Deming philosophy of quality management is a set of fourteen principles (Table: 1). He developed the sequence reaction that means to improve quality, reduce costs and enhance productivity. This led to increase in market share, and long-term endurance of organization in marketplace.Table: 1
Deming's Fourteen Points for Management:
The main belief of the quality control in companies is that management team should work hard to develop goods and services that have good value for purchaser and it can augment organizational production. The principle of Quality management is to make certain quality in products and services presented by global companies. Gitlow et al. represented that quality is the declaration that ushers a product or service delivered according to customer standards, devoted to fulfil the demands of the purchaser, meets expectation of the buyer and also satisfies unexpected needs in the future (1989). Plentiful management studies of the quality management have disclosed that company must continually track on quality of products and services offered for gratification to customer and fulfil their needs. Gitlow et al. indicated that quality is the assurance which escorts a product or service delivered according to customer standards, committed to fulfil the needs of the customer, meets expectation of the customer and also satisfies unexpected needs in the future 1989.
Abundant studies of the quality management demonstrated that it is important for firm to continuous track on quality of products and services offered for real satisfaction to customer and meet their needs. On the other hand, Foley, et. Al. argued that "Continuous improvement of quality of service and/or product cannot be the end to which competitive business is directed. Whilst every business wants to remain viable then continuous improvement and customer satisfaction can only be a means to an end and not an end in itself. There may be times in the life of an enterprise where, to satisfy its survival (profit) criterion, it will be necessary to discontinue or slow down the rate of quality improvement activity, however clear it might be that those activities would increase quality of product and/or service and customer satisfaction" (1987).
Philip Crosby theory of quality management states that quality is free. He believed that quality means getting it the right the first time rather than merely laying down acceptable levels of quality. Crosby initiated the zero defect program. There are fourteen steps of quality improvement declared by Crosby (Suganthi, 2004).
Another famous theorist of quality control was Joseph M. Juran, who, focused on improving quality. Juran also established the Juran Institute in 1979 and its goals and objectives were to assist organizations to improve the quality of their products and services. Juran defined quality as "fitness for use," meaning that the users of products or services should be able to rely on that product or service hundred percent of the time without any worry of defects. Juran also developed a wide-ranging approach to quality that covered a product or service's entire life cycle, from design to customer relations and all the steps in between. Juran advocated that an organization should scrutinize all processes and procedures from a quality viewpoint and investigate for a "fitness for use." Once this is completed the organization can start to make changes based on the "fitness for use" model. Juran's ten steps of quality improvement are as follows:
Other theorist who explained the concept of quality management was Clause Moller. He developed the principle of personal quality as main element of total quality management. He explained 12 rules to quality improvement (Suganthi, 2004).
Quality must be integrated into the design process by moving its focus to early stages of the production life cycle, thus eradicating the need for mass inspections. This means operational cost reduction when shifting from a reactive to a proactive mode. Deming highlights the need for quality management to build quality into the product. "Quality at the Source" denotes that every single employee is responsible for quality in every moment. Devoted quality departments should be made redundant by this quality approach, since they are decoupled most of the time from internal matters of the production process and will never be as efficient in determining insufficiency.
Numerous quality management programs which are used to enhance product and services are Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints and Total Quality Management. Six Sigma is a practical management concept and problem-solving procedure but it is not a complete management system. TQM is a management approach in which quality is highlighted in every aspect of the business and organization. Major goal of TQM is long-term development of quality products and services. TQM breaks down every process or activity and emphasizes that each contributes or detracts from the quality and productivity of the organization as a whole. The important characteristics of total quality management are that it includes all organization, and suppliers and customers. Tobin affirmed that TQM is incorporated program to gain competitive advantage through continuous improvement in organizational environment (1990). Management's role in TQM is to increase a quality scheme that is flexible enough to be adapted to every department, aligned with the organizational business objectives, and based on customer and stakeholder needs. Once the strategy is defined, it must be the motivating force to be deployed and communicated for it to be successful at all levels of the organization.
Quality management has numerous advantages. At international level, many industries, service organizations, and educational institutes have implemented quality system. These organizations get many advantages such as reduction in complaints from customers both internal and external, decrease in cost of the product, reduction in cost of production time, increased system efficiency, increased morale of workman, increased customer satisfaction.Benefits of quality system (Source: Suganthi, 2004 )
In present business scenario, criteria of quality have been changed. Companies and customers both look differently the product quality.Table: changing views on quality (Source: Suganthi, 2004 )
ISO 9001 Quality Management: ISO stands for the International Organisation for Standardisation which consists of the national standards bodies of 91 nations. Its main role is to develop international standards to improve the exchange of goods and services internationally. The ISO 9001 standard is a quality management standard. ISO 9001 Management Systems can assist in decreasing costs by tracking and measuring outputs and identifying areas of waste or repetition. It has numerous advantages such as it offers improved product or service quality and consistency so customers know what they are getting time and time again. The ISO 9001 certificate is suitable for all types of firms and educational corporations and is well recognized at international level as a valuable quality management system.
To summarize, quality management assist an organization to grow up in market place. Companies execute different procedures and instructions to develop and transport products as per the anticipations of customers. Quality management enhances quality by involving processes, environment and people over the period of time to fulfil the requirement of respected customers. Organizations are involved in continuous quality improvement to thrive in the international open market. Many studies established that organizations are dependent on their customers and apply array of method to enhance quality in order to satisfy potential customer needs. Companies can achieve target through offering better quality product or service in today's competitive market. Quality management program helps Company to maintain current quality levels, assure the consumer's demands for quality and sustain the latest technology.