Those activities involved in the selection of the specific characteristics required to achieve the desired quality and the processing or fabrication of materials to conform to the specific characteristics selected.
Quality creation involves almost all organisational elements of the enterprise and is the basic objective towards which most activity is directed
In process inventories are drastically reduced by cutting lot sizes. Any interruption, therefore causes production to stop until the problem has been solved. In this way, JIT has been called a system of enforced problem solving. Now, this stoppage in production forces everybody to solve the quality problem so that the defect will not repeat. Hence high product quality is ensured.
Suppliers of materials, under JIT system, supply materials of perfect quality. Many companies do not even inspect suppliers’ deliveries of materials; rather, the emphasis is on working with suppliers to produce perfect parts and materials.
The worker is put in the driver’s seat in controlling product quality. The principles underlying quality at the source are:
Every worker’s job becomes a quality control station. The worker is responsible for inspecting his own work, identifying any defects and reworking them in to non-defectives, and correcting any causes of defect.
Statistical quality control techniques are used to monitor the quality of parts produced at each work station/ and easy-to-understand charts and graphs are used to communicate progress to workers and managers .
The act of determining conformance or non-conformance of the expected performance is the function of inspection. By inspection, a manager seeks to determine the acceptability or non- acceptability of the parts, products or services. The basis for inspection is usually a specification which is called inspection standard. Inspection is made by comparing the quality of the product to the standard.
The challenge is to keep inspection costs minimum, yet realise expected quality. In certain cases every part is inspected, in which case, it is called 100 percent inspection. When it is less than 100 percent , it is called partial or sampling inspection. Parts with high value and those having tendency to run in to large number of rejects are normally subject to 100% inspection.
QC is a voluntary group of people who meet togethet on a regular basis to identify, analyse and solve quality, productivity, cost reduction, safety and other problems in their work area, leading to improvement in their performance and enrichment of their worklife.
Consistency of purpose is a must for continual improvement of a product. Manager‘s have to ensure that the company’s vision of quality is understood by all the employees and that they move continuously towards it.
Continuous change and innovation is a must for survival. In today’s complex business situations, it is impossible for a small group of mangers to identify and sort out quality problems. Thus all the employees have to be involved in this process.
Quality cannot be achieved only by inspection. Inspection wastes valuable time and adds to the products cost without any value addition. Inspections may not be perfect, causing some defects to be passed on to the customer. Defects are symptoms removed by inspection, while the disease (root cause) remains. Inspections create a gap between the people and processes that introduce defects and the people and processes that detect defects
Wastes should be eliminated in every functional area, not just production. Even processes in accounting, HRM, customer service, and sales effect the quality of the product and, thus, generate waste. Therefore, the whole organisation should contribute towards the enhancement of quality.
The attitude of supervisors and managers towards workers should be that of a facilitator. Errors by workers should be treated by supervisors as an opportunity to learn the process and systems better. Teamwork should be promoted and rewarded.
The barriers between departments and individuals should be removed. Problems should not be handled within strict functional limits and the concerns raised by related functional areas should not be ignored.
Posters and slogans should be eliminated. These must not be used to tell the workers to work harder. Instead, they should be provided with tools and training so that they work smarter leading to better quality.
Vigorous programme of retraining and education of employees are a must.
Numerical targets and work standards may affect quality. Reasonable numerical targets make the workers complacent, while excessively demanding ones may lead to a compromise on quality in order to achieve the targets. Such targets cannot be eliminated, but can be set such that quality is not compromised.
Encourage workers to give quality improvement ideas without fear. Workers refrain from giving new ideas of change because they may have to work with new and unfamiliar methods in place of known and comfortable, though inefficient, methods. They also feel that if their ideas fail, it may affect their performance appraisal, eventually leading to job insecurity.
The lowest price should not be the sole criteria for selecting a supplier. Suppliers asking for lowest prices often offer low quality products, leading to an increase in the overall cost to the buyer due to the increased expenses of inspection, scrap, rework, and inventory to replace defective items, etc. Thus, the supplier offering the lowest total cost should be selected.
ISO 9000 standard represents an international consensus on good management practices with the aim of ensuring that the organisation can time and again deliver the product or services that meet the client’s quality requirements. These good practices have been distilled into a set of system, regardless of what the organisation does, its size, or whether it is private or public sector.
To promote the development of standardiastion and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.