Total Quality Management Examples
Ames Rubber Corporation manufactures rubber rollers for office machinery and specialized components for the assembly of certain vehicles. The corporation was founded in 1949 with headquarters in Hamburg, New Jersey. The company has over 400 employees throughout its three complexes in New Jersey. Ames Rubber Corporation reports annual sales of around 50 million dollars. Though Ames Rubber Corporation fits the bill of а medium-sized company, it has demonstrated superior excellence in terms of quality. The standout fact about Ames Rubber has emerged in its sustained level of excellence through excellence. As such, it has gained reputable acclaim in the copier industry.
Although Ames Rubber has realized commendable accomplishments, this excellence has not come without problems. Around 30 years after its formation in the early 1980s, the global environment changed drastically. Previous parameters, which decided upon quality levels, no longer sufficed. As a result, tougher measures became operational. There emerged a radical change in the demand exerted by consumers. In an effort to maintain relevance, Ames Rubber had to adapt to these changing circumstances by producing higher quality products at lower cost. In addition, Ames Rubber has always had its own share of the internal market. However, in recent years, foreign competition for market share has intensified. It has placed greater pressure on the company to produce cheaper and higher quality goods.
The emergence of such intense competition laid bare another underlying problem faced by Ames Rubber. The company discovered its unawareness with regards to enhancing the quality of its products in a manner that catered for cost concerns. Also, the company noticed that it lacked a reliable and comprehensive quality plan that could direct its efforts towards better quality. The lack of an adequate quality plan also hampered the company from manifesting an ability to anticipate changing requirements of customers. Nevertheless, Ames Rubber discovered and implemented appropriate measures to aid in the mitigation of such emergent problems.
Excellence Through Quality
In an effort to address the encountered problems, Ames Rubber implemented a program called Excellence Through Quality. The program arose owing to the decision made by the company to dwell on the efficiency of its manufacturing activities and quality endeavors. Ames Rubber hoped to attain maximum satisfaction for both external and internal clientele. Granted, this new quality program got modeled on a similar program pioneered by Xerox. Nevertheless, the Excellence Through Quality program had its own repertoire of objectives.
The program was aimed to ensure that every employee of Ames Rubber got enrolled into an involvement group, which convened on a regular basis. As such, these involvement groups would necessitate the utilization of team processes aimed at improving the quality of products. The program also aimed to establish systems for cost of quality collection and reject tracking. Moreover, the program endeavored to earmark and isolate processes that presented the biggest problems. The company also adopted periodical reviews of strategy and operations to assess how faithful it adhered towards overall quality objectives. The employees of Ames Rubber received extensive training in such areas as quality management, leadership and communications, as well as statistical quality control.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The program resulted in a number of benefits to Ames Rubber. Internally, there arose cultural changes, which improved relations in the office environment. The adoption of an egalitarian philosophy sought to engender a sense of brotherhood and teamwork towards the attainment of quality objectives. It instilled a greater sense of purpose and responsibility in the workers. What is more, Ames Rubber set numerous safety committees to ensure and oversee the wellbeing of workers throughout the three facilities owned by the firm. The CEO also redesigned the organization chart by elevating the status of the workers above him.
All the above-mentioned changes triggered an increase in the morale of the employees due to improved communication procedures and inclusive involvement. Better knowledge and understanding of customers and employees has resulted in booming groups of employee involvement. The volume and percentage of produced rejections was reduced by close to 50%. The structure of the company changed for the better due to decentralization and reorganization of operations. This radical change in the general outlook of the company got reflected in an effort of prioritization. There became established a recognized system of total quality. In general, the company observed a definite improvement in its financial results. Perhaps the most conclusive evidence towards the advantages realized by the program lies in the application, which the firm placed in pursuit of the Malcolm Bridge National Quality Award. The disadvantage with the program pertains to pressures involved with environmental changes. These pressures concern the improvement of quality.
Excellence Through Quality program has achieved all the objectives that Ames Rubber Corporation had set out to attain. The company managed to engender a quality-minded culture. As already outlined, the program has also realized multiple benefits as regards quality. Thus, Ames Rubber has managed to remain attentive to the issues pertaining quality. The application of these issues has transcended improved management of operations. Therefore, Ames Rubber has adapted its operations to the extent of delivering on the cost, distribution, and quality requirements of its customers. The problems that the company experienced in the 1980s have all become an issue of the past.