TQM Implementation Plan: Valiant Motors

Profile of Valiant Motors

Valiant Motors is a global corporation that conducts the automobile and financial business. It has two business segments. The car division designs manufactures and sells car products. The products include commercial vehicles, passenger cars, and related accessories and parts. The other section designs, manufactures, and sells housings. The segment also offers operator support and vehicle tracking services.

The mission and vision of Valiant Motors are divided into three categories. The company seeks to develop technologies and supply automobile products of high quality that meet the customers’ needs. Moreover, it values its employees and endeavors to provide them with a comfortable working environment which can enable them to exploit their full potential and creativity. Furthermore, Valiant contributes to the society and seeks to improve in the area of environmental consciousness. The company also aims to integrate TQM within the management system and all processes of the business. By implementing TQM, Valiant Motors is determined to ensure continuous improvement of the quality of products and services, achieve customer loyalty through customer satisfaction, and save costs by means of minimizing wastage.

Rationale for Using the TQM Approach

TQM is a continuous quality improvement process aimed at a predictable degree of dependability and uniformity. In the contemporary global competition, quality is an important factor in achieving competitive advantage. TQM helps Valiant Motors develop differences that aid the clients and consumers in distinguishing their motor products positively from the alternatives on the market. TQM has shaped the strategic directions of Valiant Motors and enabled it to maintain above-average profitability for many years. TQM facilitates customer satisfaction through process management, strategic planning, people management, and customer focus. Organizations that produce high-quality products attract and retain customers (ASQ, 2013). In addition, helping the organization avoid waste and reduce operating costs, TQM attracts more sales.

The Principal Elements of TQM

TQM is a management system that helps an organization be customer-focused and involves all employees in continuous improvement of efficiency, elasticity, and competitiveness. It uses data, strategy, and effective communication to incorporate the quality discipline into the organizational culture (Goetsch & Davis, 2013). The following are the principal elements of TQM.

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Customer Focus

Clients are the ultimate determinant of the quality level. The organization conducts various activities to foster improvement of quality. They involve training of employees, upgrading of software and computers, integration of quality into the business process, and purchasing of new measuring tools. However, the customers determine the utility of these activities. The customer-focused practices ensure more profits for the company and a significant market share.

Process-Centered Operations

Processes are series of steps that are implemented when the organization takes inputs from the suppliers and transforms them into outputs to deliver them to customers. The company focuses on process thinking. It defines clearly the steps involved in conducting the processes. It also continuously monitors the performance measures to identify unexpected variations.

Integrated Systems

Organizations have multiple functional specialties arranged in departments of vertical structures. TQM focuses on the horizontal processes that link these functions. The micro-processes comprise larger operations, and the aggregate sum of all processes constitutes the business process that defines the implementation strategy. Participants of the organization understand the mission, vision, guiding principles, quality objectives, policies, and organization’s critical processes. The body continuously communicates and monitors business performance. TQM also employs the strategic and systematic approach to achieving the mission, vision, and goals of the organization. The approach includes formulating a strategic plan that integrates quality as its core component.

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Continuous Process Improvement

Continuous improvement helps the organization be creative and analytical in finding the mechanisms of improving their competitiveness and effectiveness to meet the expectations of the shareholders. Process analysis aims to reduce or eliminate variance. Deming (1986) suggests that the variance is the chief impediment in providing quality services and products. Minimizing process variation increases uniformity, reduces waste of staffing, materials, and machine time. It improves the quality, adds value to processes, and increases employee productivity. Moreover, it involves the installation of operator-controlled processes and improvement of work-centered methods. Therefore, it results in lower unit costs, promotes design for manufacturing programs, continuous improvement, and compact process flow.

Communication

Effective communication in an organization is crucial in motivating and building employee morale. It is most important in daily operations and the times of organizational change. It also plays a significant role in efficient production of high-quality goods since it clears the misunderstanding of instructions and procedures. Communication creates a feeling of satisfaction with a commitment among the employees since it engages them in relevant decisions of the organization. Moreover, communication improves the relationship between the organization and its suppliers and customers.

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Cultural Requirements for TQM

Empirical-Based Decision Making

The data regarding performance measures is imperative in assessing how well an organization performs. TQM requires an organization to conduct a continuous process of collecting and analyzing data to improve the accuracy of decision-making as well as utilize the history to make predictions and achieve consensus.

Employee Education and Empowerment

Human resources constitute an important factor for the success and sustainability of TQM. The organization should assign human resource development a strategic role in TQM by employee empowerment and education. Employee empowerment addresses the problem of body quality at the source through facilitating the participation. Empowering employees enables them to make decisions concerning their work and environment. The team eliminates fear from the workplace and provides a favorable work environment to achieve total employee commitment. The measures of employee empowerment include self-managed work teams, employee-customer interaction, employees’ autonomy in decision-making, and the use of employee suggestion in decision-making.

Employee training is also an essential cultural requirement for TQM. It increases their effectiveness and productivity. Supervisors should implement TQM within their departments and teach their employees the TQM philosophies. The training that is necessary for TQM includes problem-solving, teamwork, decision-making, interpersonal, job management, and technical skills.

Enterprise Structure and Teamwork

Teamwork is an essential cultural requirement of TQM. The use of teams helps the organization become better and find quicker solutions to problems. They also provide longer lasting improvements in operations and processes. The employees are freer to present their issues in teams and receive better solutions from their teammates.

TQM Tools

Quality Improvement Teams

They are small groups of employees in an organization with the task of solving particular problems concerning quality and productivity. The groups have a particular target for improvement. They are efficient in identifying the causes of poor quality and formulating the corrective action (Cohen, 2005). Different from benchmarking, quality improvement teams and SPC tool focus on quality within the organization and do not engage in comparison with other companies in the industry. 

Benchmarking

It is the process of identifying the best practices and approaches in relation to another company. The organization compares its productivity in specific areas with that of other organization in the same industry or outside the industry. Benchmarking has an advantage because it helps the organization become more competitive in the industry by producing higher quality products than its competitors. The SPC and quality improvement teams do not engage in comparison with other organizations but rather concentrate on ensuring quality within the organization.

Statistical Process Control (SPC)

The organization can measure the quality of the use of statistical techniques. It takes periodic random samples during actual production to determine whether it meets quality levels or whether it should stop the production to adopt a corrective action. Most processes produce some levels of variation. SPC uses statistical tests to determine when that happens as well as the level to which the changes deviate from the standard quality level. SPC focuses on preventing defects rather than inspecting product quality. Like quality control teams, SPC concentrates on ensuring quality within the organization but does not engage in inter-organizational comparison like benchmarking.

The Role of TQM in Enterprise Strategy

Strategy involves the utilization of organizational resources in the most efficient way. Policy shapes a plan for an organization, while TQM provides the techniques and principles to implement the program. For example, an organization may have a strategy for increasing sales. TQM, in its turn, will create policies to increase sales by means of focusing on customer satisfaction, thus attracting new clients. TQM directs business strategy to make emphasis on operational performance excellence and customer-driven quality. Finally, organizations should synchronize TQM and strategy to provide mutual assistance.

Applicable Total Quality Techniques and Best Practices

Organizations prioritize to offer high value to customers by meeting their expectations. The leadership models a total quality philosophy to facilitate the achievement of the quality objective (PMI, 2013). The leaders also mobilize the organization towards the implementation of the TQM strategy. The top management must show high commitment to the implementation of TQM. They should provide the process with financial resources and priority. They should also participate in the TQM steering committees. The ISO 900 registration also encourages the company to improve its quality to the global standards (ISO, n. d.). Valiant Motors applies the following techniques.

Reduced Set-Up Time

Valiant Motors realizes that set-up practices confine labor and equipment and do not add value. Therefore, it organizes procedures using carts and trains employees to perform their setups. It also employs small lot production to reduce high setup costs, large inventories, defect costs, and extended lead times. The technique has helped the organization reduce set-up time from months to hours.

Employee Empowerment

Valiant Motors organizes their workers by forming teams, training and giving them the responsibility to perform specialized tasks. The teams also do minor equipment repairs and housekeeping. They have leaders who also work within the team. The company allows the teams to make decisions and solve problems that they face.

Quality at the Source and Equipment Maintenance

The employees detect and fix problems in the entire process of production. In case the workers cannot fix the defect, they halt the entire production until specialist make necessary corrections. As a result, the company records low levels of product defects. The maintenance specialists improve equipment performance and train workers to perform maintenance. The cases of machine breakdowns are rare in the company.

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The Role and Level of Involvement of Project Management in the TQ Implementation Plan

Change management is increasingly adopting a project-oriented approach. It is imperative for TQM steering committees to incorporate the aspects of project management in the implementation of TQM. Project management helps the TQM implementation process work within specific timelines, in a predetermined order, and using certain resources. It aids the TQM in optimizing the use of time and resources, which is congruent with the objectives of TQM. Quality improvement projects that focus on customer satisfaction introduce excellent TQM practices to the entire organization (Kerzner, 2013). TQM uses statistical tools such as SPC and data-oriented decision-making, which originate from project management.

Valiant Motors will involve project management at all levels of TQM implementation. The project networks help direct the order of events. The Gantt sometimes allows the performance of two events simultaneously, which is time-saving. Project management will also assist in optimization of resources by minimizing time wastage. Moreover, it makes TQM implementation a time-bound event, where events must begin and end within specific timelines, and specifies the role of each participant in the process. 

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Implementation Plan Tactics

The following outline shows the key activities, scope, and milestones in TQM implementation.

  1. Obtaining executives’ commitment

Get the top managers commit to ensuring that they will view the quality as their primary goal. Top management commitment will positively influence the employees’ commitment to quality and change the culture of participants.  

  1. Educating first-line managers

The organization should train managerial abilities in top managers by citing the experience from well-performing and unsuccessful businesses. The training should equip the managers with modern management practices and enhance their decision-making skills.

  1. Creating TQM steering committee

Each department will provide a volunteer member to partake in TQM steering committee. The committee will ensure quality in all processes of the organization.

  1. Outline mission statement, vision statement, and guiding principles

The management should inform the employees that their activities in the organization should conform to the organizational objectives and strategy. It is imperative that the employees know the future state that the company desires, what it aims to accomplish, and the values that influence its priorities and decisions.

  1. Designing flow diagram of organization processes

The organization should clearly show all the processes and the procedure of their execution. The flow diagram indicates the level of quality that the business requires at each level.

  1. Focus on the customer and surveys

The organization will embark on understanding its main customer groups so that it produces goods and services according to their requirements. The customer groups include the employees, suppliers, customers, volunteers, and vendors. The company should then conduct a survey on each of the client groups to establish their perception of the company goods, services, and processes, and plan to improve according to the investigation data.

  1. Employee empowerment

The top management should allow the employees to develop, unleash, and use their knowledge and skills to their full potential. Empowerment will create opportunities for innovation, creativity, and employee loyalty. The management will educate the employees on decision-making and problem-solving skills.

  1. Quality training program

The organization should train and educate the employees on the quality management. The training includes ISO 900, TQM, quality function deployment, and statistical process control. Moreover, it will be aimed at enabling the employees to apply the knowledge of quality management in quality improvement activities.

  1. Establishment of quality improvement teams

The organization will establish a group of employees in each department which will meet regularly to deliberate on improving the quality of their work. The organization provides the resources, support, and favorable environment for quality improvement teams.

  1. Use of TQM tools

The organization should set targets concerning teamwork, organizational objectives, and job requirements against which it will measure the quality. It should use SPC to evaluate whether the processes attain the set quality. It should also use benchmarking to compare its quality with the best-in-class firms and competitors.

  1. Assessing the benefits of TQM

The organization should examine whether the quality activities meet the organizational expectations. It should also conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the TQM process.

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