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Quality Management Approaches

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Quality management approaches can be categorized broadly into three stages according to the evolution of management control. Management can implement control before an activity commences, while the activity occurs, or after the activity has been completed. Consequently, three types of control are feedforward, concurrent and feedback (Robbins and De Cenzo 1998).

Quality by inspection

The inspection-based system was perhaps the first scientifically designed quality control system to evaluate quality. The system is applied to incoming raw materials and parts for use as inputs for production and/or finished products. Under this system, some quality characteristics are examined,

measured and compared with required specifications to assess conformity. Therefore, the inspection-based system is a screening process that merely isolates conforming from non-conforming products without having any direct mechanism to reduce defects. Reducing the damage to final products, sampling

plans were developed to control product quality. Although an effective technique, a quality control system based on sampling inspection does not directly achieve customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. Producing fewer defects through process improvement is the only means of reducing defects.

Quality by process control

The quality management system

based on sampling inspections has been replaced

by the approach of continuously improving the

process. This concept, as pioneered by Deming,

moves from detecting defects to preventing them

and continuing with process improvement to

meeting and exceeding customer requirements

on a continuous basis.

Deming's approach

consists of four basic stages: (1) a plan of what to

do; (2) do or carry out the plan; (3) study what

has done; and (4) act to prevent errors or improve

the process. The planning stage consists of studying

the current situation, gathering data, and planning

for improvement. Related activities include

(a) defining the process, its inputs, outputs, customers,

and suppliers; (b) understanding customer

expectations; (c) identifying problems; (d) testing

theories of causes; and (e) developing solutions.




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