What's Slowing Our Response to the Challenge?

Article

Gibson, Thomas C.   (1988, ASQC)   E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Inc., Wilmington, DE

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3392    May 1988    pp. 9-14
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Article Abstract

Some American Companies have been working at quality as a business strategy for about ten years now. And yet, after almost a decade of activity, there are still only a few really solid quality success stories to talk about. Most companies have not moved beyond lip service. What's slowing our response?

Experience, during the past five years, in trying to launch a total quality improvement process in one large diversified organization has identified the following as key issues blocking our ability to improve at a faster rate:

  • Many of our upper and middle managers as yet have been unwilling to embrace the reality that in today's global marketplace, quality is synonymous with change and improvement.
  • There is an absence of gut level belief that a great part of our inability to compete is due to the presence of chronic problems and related high costs, throughout our work processes, and that many of these problems can only be identified through proactive methods.
  • There is a void in functioning capability at all levels regarding the new methods needed to change and improve in today's environment.
Activities initiated to resolve these issues and accelerate improvement include:
  • - Making the cost of quality study a regular part of the annual business planning process.
  • - Helping line managers analyze cost of quality estimates for their particular operations, so failure areas and their costs can be related to real people and real processes.
  • - Establishing progress against specific improvement projects as one but not the only standard by which line management improvement performance will be measured.
  • - Identifying areas where operating strengths either need to be retained or improved and then establishing appropriate training/development activities to achieve these goals.

Keywords

Administration,Quality management (QM)


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