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Quanfa Wang:The Hierarchy Theory of Quality Excellence Management
点击:8638次 时间:2012-6-19 19:41:38
 
 
1.      Introduction
 
It is well known that there are so many quality models and methodologies evolved in the past, like Taylorism, Fordism, Statistical Quality Control, TQC/CWQC, TQM, ISO9000, Six Sigma, Performance Excellence Program and now the prevalent TQ in America, that many people in the enterprises are frustrated: Which model should be implemented? Do we have an omnipotent quality model? How to achieve quality excellence?
Nowadays there is a tendency in some institutions and enterprises that they are trying to exaggerate the power of one specific model and depreciate the function of others. For example, ones who support Six Sigma may say QCC or ISO9000 is useless. In fact, there is no any perfect solution to quality model ever and it also seems futile to try to find an omnipotent quality model.
We think all these quality models and methodologies are precious gifts and we should select them based on our specific circumstances, like different enterprise management level, company size, product characteristics and employee competence etc.
 
2.      Genes of Quality Excellence Organization (QEO)
 
“Excellence” becoming a catchword is due to the seminal management book, In Search of Excellence, written by Dr. Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. in Mckinsey. It was published in 1982 and remains one of the biggest selling and widely read business books.
In the book of In Search of Excellence, Peters and Waterman examined 43 of Fortune 500´s top performing companies, like IBM, GE, Milliken & Company, P&G etc. and found there were12 common characteristics among these world class quality companies, here called Quality Excellence Organization (QEO):
·           Management focus on quality;
·           A set of management system or methods as guidance;
·           Quality is measurable;
·           High quality must be awarded;
·           Each employee must get quality training;
·           Building up cross-function or cross-department team;
·           Small is beauty;
·           Providing continual motivation and endless Hawthorne Effect;
·           Setting up a parallel organization – Shadow Quality Organization for quality improvement;
·           Everyone involved in quality improvement, especially supplier; sales agent and customer are also part of quality improvement process;
·           Quality improvement is the key to cost reduction as quality will decrease cost;
·           Quality improvement is a non-ending journey.
In 1998, Dr. Feigenbaum also characterized quality leadership companies in the paper of The Future of Quality Management as below:
·           Make quality the epicenter of increasing revenue growth and competitive leadership;
·           Achieve complete customer satisfaction by offering essentially perfect goods and services whose quality the customer determines;
·           Accelerate sales and earnings growth through quality failure reduction;
·           Innovate in product and service leadership and cycle-time management;
·           Restore the ‘fizz’ to jobs by using tools and resources to encourage employee participation in quality improvement;
·           Develop effective supplier partnerships;
·           Create a seamless quality value network among customer, producer and supplier relationships;
·           Provide environmental and safety leadership;
·           Ensure that quality remains the company’s international business language.
Dr. Feigenbaum concluded that these QEOs will share certain quality management characteristics. In particular, they will:
·           Consider their basic objective as continuously accelerating value for customers, investors and employees;
·           Emphasize that “market-driven” means quality according to what their customers, not the company, say it is;
·           Lead by a combination of passion, discipline and populism, with a bias for improvement and an emphasis on communication;
·           Recognize that sustained growth demands increasing customer satisfaction, cost leadership, human resource effectiveness and integration with their supplier base --- all four, all the time;
·           Foster a deep commitment to fundamental business improvement through knowledge, skills, democratic problem solving and teamwork.
United Technologies Corporation (UTC) is a famous high-tech enterprise in America with numerous inventions and creations in its history: the first elevator, escalator, air-conditioner, helicopter etc. invented in the world. Due to its special aviation and aerospace background, UTC is not well known to outside while UTC sets very high requirements on quality and safety. UTC has an internal operating system, called Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE), which integrated lean thinking and quality methods. Now ACE became UTC’s daily operating system with a set of powerful tools on waste elimination, problem solving and new product development etc. By ACE, UTC has ranked top 1 in the field of Aviation and Aerospace in America since 2001 as a world class QEO with:
·           Delighted customers;
·           Extraordinary leadership;
·           Motivated, creative people;
·           Process and system thinking;
·           Superior business results/metrics;
·           High quality products;
·           Efficient processes: quality + flow;
·           Competent supply chain;
·           Relentless improvement of everything;
·           Competent operating system;
·           Best in class.
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) founded on August 20, 1987 and currently it is still regarded as one of the most honourable quality award in the world. The MBNQA proposed the concept of Performance Excellence the first time, so it is also called as Performance Excellence Program. The MBNQA guiding principles are as below:
·           Extraordinary leadership;
·           Customer driven;
·           Organizational and individual learning;
·           Attention on employees and partners;
·           Agility;
·           Focus on future;
·           Creative and innovative management;
·           Social responsibility;
·           Focus on result and value creation;
·           System thinking.
 
3.      Quality Excellence Management (QEM)
 
3.1  Quality Engine
 
A survey on Baldrige Award winners shows each awarded organization has its own unique “Quality Engine” driving its quality activities. Table 1 listed some Quality Engines of American companies. It means that each company should find your quality engine based on your strengths. There is no omnipotent catholicon on quality management.
 
Table 1. Quality Engines
So, how to find your own quality engine? Is there any guideline or rules for this? If we have not found any quality engine, what can we do?
 
3.2  Concept of Quality Excellence Management
 
We try to propose a concept of Quality Excellence Management (QEM) based on our quality practices. QEM doesn’t mean you must put some complicated quality models and methodologies in place, but adopt appropriate ones depending on your organization size, field specialty, quality competence, management level in different development phase etc. You should go forward step by step in order to achieve quality excellence.
The bases of QEM are customer-oriented awareness and putting people first. Other factors of QEM are healthy quality organization and function, strong quality competence, continuous quality improvement activities, a set of quality operating system, companywide quality KPIs and quality award system based on the quality KPIs. Figure 1 is the QEM concept model.
Figure 1. QEM Concept Model
 
4.      The Hierarchy Theory of Quality Excellence Management (HT-QEM)
 
We think QEM can be categorized into 3 levels: Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced. Different enterprises in different management levels should adopt different portfolio of quality models and methodologies. We called it the Hierarchy Theory of Quality Excellence Management (HT-QEM):
·    1st level: Preliminary QEM;
·    2nd Level: Intermediate QEM;
·    3rd Level: Advanced QEM.
An organization can evolve from one QEM level to another higher level. The transition time period from one to another is depending on your overall company management level, for example, management involvement, employee willingness and quality competence etc. It’s not recommended a company to jump from Preliminary QEM to Advanced QEM because we don´t expect a company to implement JIT or Six Sigma if even 5S and TPM are not in place.
We sorted out almost more than 40 kinds of popular quality models and methodologies applied in leading companies, and divided them into 3 groups. One QEM level is corresponding to a group of quality models and methodologies. An organization can do self appraisal to check which level you stay on now.
 
4.1  Preliminary QEM
 
The Preliminary QEM is the entrance level to quality excellence. An organization at this level should focus on basic quality model, methods and tools etc. We defined 21 items as the key elements of Preliminary QEM:
1)      ISO9000 as a starting operational model of company to run an effective quality system
2)      Management leadership and support on quality
3)      TQM concept: Management commitment, PDCA, process management, continuous improvement etc.
4)       Putting people first or people focus
5)       Quality function as a separate department, better under top management
6)       Training on quality awareness and basic quality tools
7)       Quality Control Circle (QCC) activities introduced
8)       Suggestion / Idea system introduced
9)       Quality control system in place: incoming inspection, process control, final inspection or outgoing inspection, reliability testing etc.
10)      Quality traceability system introduced
11)      Measurement system analysis (MSA) introduced
12)      Quality planning with FMEA and control plan etc.
13)      Statistical process control (SPC) on key control points
14)      Corrective Action Request (CAR) or 8D applied for improvement
15)      5S activities implemented
16)      Total Productivity Maintenance (TPM) activities implemented
17)      7 Quality tools used for 90% basic quality issues
18)      Cost of poor quality (CoPQ) analyzed and followed up
19)      Lesson Learnt sharing system in place
20)      Customer focus: “Next step is your customer” and “A complaint is a gift”
21)      Customer satisfaction and engagement survey (CS&ES) conducted
 
4.2  Intermediate QEM
 
The Intermediate QEM will lead to a little higher level after the Preliminary QEM. We defined 20 items as the key elements of Intermediate QEM:
1)         Comprehensive TQM system in place
2)         Zero defect concept: do right thing right the first time
3)         Company level quality management committee set up
4)         Strengthened training on quality methods and tools
5)         Companywide QCC activities deployed and standardized
6)         Six Sigma method introduced and applied partly
7)         Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) in place
8)         Quality Function Deployment (QFD) adopted to transfer from Voice of Customer (VOC) to product design requirements
9)         New product development quality gate setting up
10)      SPC applied for all appropriate areas
11)      Process Certification adopted for all production processes to make sure under control
12)      Process Management or SIPOC or Value Stream Mapping (VSM) used for organizational process optimization to make sure effective and efficient
13)      Benchmarking in place
14)      Business Process Reengineering (BPR) for breakthrough improvement
15)      Design of Experiment (DOE) for product design and parameter optimization
16)      Poka-Yoke (Mistake Proofing) system widely implemented
17)      lean thinking and JIT introduced
18)      Quality motivation and award system in place
19)      Best Practice sharing system in place
20)      Total customer satisfaction (TCS) system in place
 
4.3  Advanced QEM
 
The Advanced QEM is the highest level, so the organization with this level can be called as Quality Excellence Organization (QEO). We defined 10 elements for Advanced QEM:
1)         Performance Excellence Program implemented
2)         Quality becomes an integral part of life and everyone is a quality delighter
3)         Quality learning organization established
4)         Quality VP or Chief Quality Officer position set up
5)         Everyone has strong quality competence
6)         Mistake proofing system applied in design stage
7)         Lean thinking applied in whole company
8)         Six Sigma widely implemented, including lean six sigma (LSS) and design for six sigma (DFSS)
9)         Create attractive quality product/service to make customers delighted
10)      Focus on green product/service to environment and social responsibility
 
5.      Conclusion
 
We found that many companies hurried to implement Six Sigma or JIT, but totally failed in the end. The reason is they maybe still stay at Preliminary or Intermediate level, and have no competence to do these. By means of HT-QEM, a company can evaluate its development stage and management level, and then decide how to implement appropriate quality models and methodologies in its organization.
 
References:
Evans, James R. and Lindsay, William M. (2010), “Quality Management and Quality Control”, Chinese Version 7, Beijing: China People’s University Publication Press
Wang, Quanfa and Li, Yan (2011), “The Way to Quality Excellence”, Guangzhou: Jinan University Publication Press
Feigenbaum, A. V. (1998), “The Future of Quality Management”, Quality Digest, No 5
Wang, Quanfa (2011), “The Evolving on Quality Models and Methodologies,” Standard Science, No 12, pp54
 
 
原载于《香港2012亚洲质量网组织大会论文
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