Free «Integrating EFQM, Six Sigma and Other TQM Approaches with ISO 9001:2008» Essay

Integrating EFQM, Six Sigma and Other TQM Approaches with ISO 9001:2008

Introduction

The surrounding world of business includes a large number of companies willing to meet requirements of contemporary customers who strive for high quality products and services. Customers of different age groups tend to continue increasing their requirements regarding quality. In this way, the society becomes a booster encouraging companies to work on the continuous improvement of products’ quality. If companies neglect customers’ tastes and preferences, they are most likely to decrease their market share and lose their compatible market positions. ISO 9001:2008 is a series of international standards designed to measure the level of quality. Different companies performing in various areas comply with it. These standards are developed by Technical Committee of the International Organization of Standardization. The core of these standards has a direct relation to the essentials of Total Quality Management (TQM). ISO 9001:2008 does not guarantee that the product obtains high-quality characteristics. The standard does not control the level of quality of each specific product. However, it controls the processes aimed at producing a high quality product. In fact, companies need to follow this standardization in order to perform with an outstanding quality.

Today, the world offers several models of quality assurance, which gained popularity due to their fairness and importance in the business segment. The list of these models is not a broad one, and it includes European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence model, Benchmarking, Six sigma, and DGEP. All these models have a direct relation to ISO 9001:2008 and regulate the level of quality of the products produced by different companies. In addition, all these models have peculiarities and characteristics of the main approaches of TQM. It means that if a company is willing to develop and achieve success, it should implement at least one of these approaches in the Strategic Development Plan. In fact, ISO 9001 considers that entrepreneurs focus on TQM methods in order to improve their performance and lead it to the appropriate level of quality, thus meeting the requirements of one of these models. “TQM has been coined to describe a philosophy that makes quality the driving force behind leadership, design, planning, and improvement initiatives” (Padhi, n.d.). The mentioned TQM approaches become instruments in the company’s performance, which may generate the diversity of competitive benefits and help to close the gap between requirements of contemporary customers and the company’s economic results. The diversity of approaches gives companies an opportunity to select the most appropriate one for the development and quality management.

Implementation of EFQM Excellence Model

One of the most important models in the sphere of quality assurance is EFQM Excellence Model. It was created in Europe by the European Foundation for Quality Management. The core of the model includes values accepted by Europe, which appeared for the first time in the European Convention on human rights over 50 years ago. More than 30 000 enterprises use these values willing to improve products’ quality continuously (Richter, 2012). EFQM is an effective quality regulation tool helping entrepreneurs to create a wide range of competitive benefits able to enhance their productivity at once. EFQM model is an approach towards quality improvement, which is based on the implementation of nine criteria in the company’s performance. These include leadership (10%), people (9%), strategy and politics (8%), partnerships (9%), processes (14%), customers’ results (20%), society results (6%), and key performance results (20%) (Richter, 2012). “The criteria established by this approach thus reflected a consensus of what best practice looked like at the same time (and this has been maintained by periodic reviews ever since)” (Fechete, Nedelcu, & Popescu, 2014). In general, the idea of the model lies in the enhancement of the level of quality according to the value of human rights.

EFQM Excellence model means that every company needs a management framework, which becomes an essential quality regulation tool in the development of a strong set of competitive benefits. This model helps to decrease the gap between the company's vision and mission. It also helps to evaluate areas in the company’s activity, which should go through transformation in order to provide the company with competitive benefits in the process of quality improvement. Apart from this aspect, another element of the model connects ideas within the internal environment of a company and its external business conditions. The model helps to consider business as a complex organism including a variety of tools, elements, and objects. EFQM Excellence model helps in the process of making changes and transforming the leading processes in the company's structure in order to increase profits, productivity and an overall quality of the company’s activity. It opens the boundaries for the further development and improvement in the sphere of quality management. The model focuses on the quality of processes, products and services. One of the distinguishing features of EFQM Excellence model is its ability to combine elements contributing to the development of the company at all levels and all departments.

In terms of TQM ideology, the proposed model is an arching element of other quality management tools. It is a unique system, which integrates different elements aimed at quality improvement. The model introduced by the European Foundation helps any company to get rid of all problems and gaps in quality management. It also enhances the level of development and puts the company to another stage of evolution praising it with success and prosperity. It is an effective framework that coordinates its leading tools with TQM ideology in order to promote the development of a company in the future. It is a perfect element in creating a respectable, reliable and highly valued company in the eyes of partners, customers and competitors. The damaged reputation of the company can hardly be fixed, which means that it is important to build relations with customers on trust and cooperation.

The EFQM Excellence Model holds annualawards in order to define and praise the most successful companies, which managed to implement new quality management strategies and made a breakthrough in the business sphere. Among the lists of the companies that received recognition of the awards are St. Mary’s College, BMW Regensburg Plant, Nilufer Municipality, Sanitas Hospitales, and many others. It is important to mention that the list of the companies extends on an annual basis, which is a positive tendency in the world of business. It is a fact that the discussed model is the one that helps to unite the diversity of techniques aimed at leading to the improvement of the company’s performance in general. Nowadays, many entrepreneurs strive to integrate the principles of the TQM into the activity of the company.. EFQM Excellence Model helps to meet all requirements of the rapid and high quality development at the same time. These companies prove that EFQM is a significant management tool, which contributes to the overall improvement of companies implementing its mandatory elements. It is important to remember that the discussed model integrates both TQM and ISO requirements, which pushes the company towards development and success.

Implementation of Six Sigma Approach

Six Sigma is one of the most famous TQM approaches. Motorolla was the first company that succeeded to implement the concept in its performance in the 1980s (Fechete, Nedelcu, & Popescu, 2014). “Six Sigma is a management philosophy developed by Motorola that emphasizes setting extremely high objectives, collecting data, and analyzing results to a fine degree as a way to reduce defects in products and services” (Intrieri, 2013). According to the principles and original ideas of the Motorola Inc., the mentioned approach is a single mix of a metric, a methodology and management framework, all contributing to the improvement of quality management. First, the approach aims to decrease the amount of defects in the manufacturing process. The model considers that the whole manufacturing process cannot bring more than 3.4 defects per one million items of products (Intrieri, 2013). Six Sigma sets a number of indicators, which the company should approach in order to improve the quality level. Another aspect of Six Sigma is that this tool aims to improve all business processes running within the company. Four elements comprise Six Sigma and create its essence. These elements are key processes needed in meeting customer's requirements, data analysis, customer's requirements, and the rapid improvement of the company's performance. Moreover, Six Sigma is an approach based on the DMAIC model. Every letter states for defining opportunity, measure performance of the company, analysis of existing opportunities, improvement of performance, and control performance, which formulate the core of the model. Metric and management methodology formulate an essential combination necessary for quality improvement. It is important to strengthen the complex of that combination with the help of organizational behavior. It is a mandatory element of company’s performance, which should act according to the rules, standards, regulations and new quality management principles aimed at overall improvement. Six Sigma is one of the most effective approaches valued in the improvement of a company at all levels. The process of integration of Six Sigma in the operational performance of a company helps it to create appropriate accommodations for business improvement, build effective teamwork aimed to work on complex projects, increase improvement processes and create an appropriate atmosphere for the evaluation of results. The approach of Six Sigma helps to define the required amount of resources necessary for the process of quality improvement. It has a direct connection to the main aspects of leadership and management techniques. Companies with its essence have a high interest in the penetration of their performance in order to create competitive benefits and satisfy the needs of the most demanding customers on a continuous basis. Finally, Six Sigma is a model that strives to transfer the best results and implement the same techniques in all other areas of the company's activity. Six Sigma is one of the most effective ways to reach strategic and operational goals. In addition, it becomes a motivational and encouraging element for the staff and top management to stick to a new set of standards and norms, thus allowing the company to create a wide range of competitive benefits.

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In the diversity of companies that gained success thanks to active implementation of Six Sigma approach it is possible to outline Canon, IBM, Amazon.com, Ernst & Young, Ericsson, Nokia, Honda, and Kodak. It is important to mention that these companies prove that Six Sigma leads companies to success and improvement of performance at the same time. Six Sigma Companies and corporations from different corners of the world depend on the Six Sigma approach. Regardless of the company’s age, status, or the stage of lifecycle, it requires appropriate conditions in order to create competitive benefits. Six Sigma contributes to the total improvement and evolution of business. It is an approach that benefits business from the moment a company starts implementing it.

Implementation of Benchmarking

TQM approaches consider all techniques necessary for the evaluation of quality improvement sources. It is not a secret that benchmarking is one of the most widespread and easy methods to change the level of company's development and lead it to efficiency. The leading principle of benchmarking lies in the implementation of a set of indicators of one of the respectable business objects into performance of a company. The process includes several steps. First, the company should outline the target criteria of comparison. The second step lies in choosing a company, which will become the core element of the implementation of all management techniques.

Quality improvement is an aspect of company's activity, including a diversity of indicators. Benchmarking can become an effective tool in regulating costs, productivity, profits, customer's feedback, quality, a number of shareholders and partners, management strategy or organizational behavior. Regardless of the company’s performance area, it is important to make a review of the most essential elements off quality management and development. Benchmarking includes six elements that help in its implementation. These elements include functional benchmarking, process benchmarking, product benchmarking, performance benchmarking, financial benchmarking and strategic benchmarking.

Benchmarking as a quality improvement methodology has six stages of implementation, which a company should take in order to make its performance effective. The first step is the evaluation of problematic areas, which lead to the low quality of products. The process of evaluation of the problematic areas includes feedback from customers, partners, suppliers, personnel, marketing and quantitative research, surveys, financial analysis, and quality control research. Another significant element in the company’s performance is the evaluation of the processes used to apply appropriate benchmarking techniques. A company should know everything about its customer's, stakeholder's and partner's expectations. Moreover, another technique to make the process of benchmarking as fast as possible is to find a leading company willing to share information on mutual basis.

Effective benchmarking is based on cooperation and partnership as the best sources of performance. The final stage includes implementation of the selected techniques obtained from a sample of other companies. Benchmarking has a significant impact on a company and its performance in general. It is one of the most appropriate methods for new companies and small business to improve the quality of processes and products they produce. Quality management is a part of company's activity, which affects its performance indicators and direction of activity.

Benchmarking puts a company into the process of constant improvement. It means that a company should always produce better goods than its competitors. It is a fact that benchmarking is an analysis that goes far beyond a superficial analysis. It is a system of comparing processes running within two different enterprises. It helps to implement missing principles into the manufacturing process and create distinguishing features that will help to win customer’s loyalty. At the same time, benchmarking is the process with some advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it is the engine of company’s evolution and development. It opens the boundaries of company’s activity and suggests possible areas of improvement. Benchmarking also opens minds of entrepreneurs to new ideas and methods of management. However, benchmarking has some disadvantages as well. There are cases when companies acquire wrong techniques and tools of management. High standards of competitors can turn into low standards of a company due to a wrong analysis and perception of information. Although such cases are rare, it is necessary to be careful and accurate in the process of benchmarking.

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Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP)

The program is one of the examples of achieving business excellence in the segment of the government services. Government employees and departments fall under the influence of this program and formulate the basics of high quality initiatives in the sector of government regulation. This element can become one of tools appropriate for regulation of company’s performance. For example, a company can integrate the following terms and conditions of success within high-quality regulation of the government sector. It does not mean that the company should focus only on this system. It is necessary to provide a rational decision-making process that can penetrate the company’s performance with high-quality standards, pushing it to a new stage of development. The selected system will help to establish long-term success initiatives in the segment of financial and organizational performance. The whole set of DGEP encourages companies to have transparent performance, which will ensure that high-quality standards penetrate all levels of company’s activity. In addition, it will explain the reasons customers need to trust a company about its aspects of performance. In the aspect of DGEP, there is also a benchmarking technique that promotes companies applying patterns of success to their performance. It ensures continuous improvement and regulation of the company’s expansion initiatives. Finally, DGEP is an option to twist company’s performance to a new level of improvement, which will build up trust of the government and customers at the same time.

Conclusion

ISO 9001:2008 is a standard that takes into consideration the main indicators of quality. At the same time, it is a source of inspiration for companies willing to continue development, evolution and constantly improve. It is important to take into consideration various techniques and approaches of Total Quality Management. Moreover, companies that use several techniques in their performance are the most likely to create a wide range of competitive benefits, increase profits and productivity, gain respect from customers, stakeholders and suppliers, and improve the level of products quality. Constant improvement of quality is a source of stability and development. TQM approaches contribute to company's evolution. Legendary companies like Motorola Inc. and General Electrics contributed to the development of TQM and became a standard for thousands of companies all over the world. It is impossible to outline the most effective approach. All approaches of TQM are likely to bring success when they are combined into one system.

In conclusion, it is necessary to emphasize that the business world does not allow companies to make mistakes. Customers do not forgive failures of companies due to the lack of knowledge. It is a fact that entrepreneurs willing to develop their business and expand boundaries of activity will find a way to improve quality and meet requirements of modern customers. ISO 9001:2008 motivates companies to constantly improve their performance and life cycle. High quality products and services benefit both companies and customers. Companies gain respect, success and appreciation from customers, and customers gain a reliable source of goods. Relations between consumers and entrepreneurs are built on trust. Once balance between quality and price is lost, the company will lose customers loyalty.

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