Quality, QA, QC and TQM – Introduction to Management

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qualityQuality, Quality Assurance(QA), Quality Control(QC) and Total Quality Management(TQM)
Principles of Management (POM)
Third Semester | Second year
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Meaning of Quality, QA, QC and TQM
Quality is the perception of excellence viewed by customers to satisfy their needs. It is a sense of appreciation that a product or service is better than others. Consumers perceive quality by evaluating one or more dimensions consisting of performance, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceived quality.

Dimensions of quality
Performance: operating characteristics of a product.
Conformance: Degree to which designs and characteristics meet specific standards.
Reliability: Consistent performance within a specific standard.
Durability: The length of product/service’s useful life.
Serviceability: The speed and ease of repair.
Aesthetics: The looks, taste, feel, sound, smell of product.
Perception: As seen by customer(Brand name, reputation)

Factors affecting Quality
Quality is the level of excellence viewed by customers to satisfy their needs. The greater the perceived value of product or service, the higher is customer expectations for quality. The effective management of quality depends upon a number of factors consisting of:
• Policy
• Information
• Engineering and design
• Materials
• Equipment
• People

Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total Quality Management (TQM) refers to management methods used to enhance quality and productivity in organizations, particularly businesses. TQM is a comprehensive system approach that works horizontally across an organization, involving all departments and employees and extending backward and forward to include both suppliers and clients/customers.

Advantages of Total Quality Management (TQM)

  • It makes the organization/company focus clearly on the needs of its market. This is essential for a organization/company to survive in the competitive market.
  • It helps in achieving a top quality performance in all areas, not only in the final product or service quality. In fact, achieving top quality performance in all areas reflects substantially on the final product or service quality, since quality is a continuous chain.
  • It assists in implementing the simple procedures necessary for the achievement of quality performance.
  • It helps, critically and continuously, in examining all processes to remove non-productive activities and waste.
  • It determines the required improvements and develops a measure of performance.
  • It provides full, detailed understanding of the competition and develops an effective competitive strategy.
  • It develops the team approach to problem solving.
  • It develops good procedures for communication and recognition of outstanding work.
  • It reviews continuously the processes to develop the strategy of never ending improvement
  • Management objectives, such as customer satisfaction, meeting specifications, larger market share, higher productivity, zero defects, increase in sale and decrease in costs, can be achieved by embodying TQM ethics in all aspects of the organization.

Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality assurance (QA) is a process-centered approach to ensuring that a company or organization is providing the best possible products or services. It is related to quality control, which focuses on the end result, such as testing a sample of items from a batch after production. Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, quality assurance focuses on enhancing and improving the process that is used to create the end result, rather than focusing on the result itself. Among the parts of the process that are considered in QA are planning, design, development, production and service.

Quality Control (QC)
Quality Control defined by ISO “the operational techniques and activities that are used to satisfy quality requirements. An important part of the quality control is the Quality Assessment: the system of activities to verify if the quality control activities are effective, in other words: an evaluation of the products themselves.
Quality control is primarily aimed at the prevention of errors. Yet, despite all efforts, it remains inevitable that errors are be made. Therefore, the control system should have checks to detect them. When errors or mistakes are suspected or discovered it is essential that the “Five Ws” are trailed:
– what error was made?
– where was it made?
– when was it made?
– who made it?
– why was it made?
Only when all these questions are answered, proper action can be taken to correct the error and prevent the same mistake being repeated.The techniques and activities involved in Quality Control can be divided into four levels of operation:
1. First-line control: Instrument performance check.
2. Second-line control: Check of calibration or standardization.
3. Third-line control: Batch control (control sample, identity check).
4. Fourth-line control: Overall check (external checks: reference samples, inter laboratory exchange programmes).

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