In Order To Implement Tqm Management Essay

Total Quality Management TQM can be defined as a management approach to continuously improve quality of products, services and processes. Quality is subjective and have many perspective depends on the individual or parties. For customers, quality is the characteristics of a product or service for example design and function satisfy their needs. Then for producers, they define quality based on the service or product conformance to requirements and free of deficiencies. By increasing conformance and reducing scrap they will raise profits.

Total Quality Management consists of three main keys. They are to seek for continuous improvement, involvement of the whole organization from top management to general workers and to fulfil customer needs. The continuous improvement aim is to get better results in the future by increasing the process capabilities in demand and supply generation, operation, technology and people capabilities. Most mistakes usually made by the human and faulty system also contribute to the defect. The best way to eliminate and prevent the mistake repeated is by determining the causes and change the process. Others method is by inspection at the source of mistakes and stop process in time.

In order to implement TQM in an industry, the first step is to know the organization current situation. It is important to know what the main problem organization faces and need to be improved then followed by another minor problem.

The main concern in implementing TQM is to change the employee behaviour or break their habits in working. People are uncomfortable when they are asked to change their working style. So this goes to the management to solve it effectively and deals with employee fairly for the organization benefit

This paper is about the implementation of Total Quality Management TQM in an Australian mining company joint venture with the Ghana Government located in Ghana. Generally, there are four sections that will be discussed. They are the challenge the industry faced, the stages of TQM implementation, the elements of TQM and the roles of the whole organization in supporting the TQM implementation.

The barriers and issue of the mining company face further described in the first section. Then, there are three stages of the TQM implementation which are preparation, planning and execution. After that is the elements for TQM implementation that will be discuss more on empowerment, motivation, benchmarking and others. Lastly is the roles of senior management, middle management and workforce in supporting the TQM implementation. Most companies implement TQM for better financial profit, customer satisfaction and quality product and services.

2.0 Main Challenges, Barriers and Issues

Although TQM provides many important benefits to the mining industry, there are also some major barriers, challenges and issues that the mining industry faced. One of the barriers is lack of preparations and training in TQM applications. This barrier causes failures in most cases. For example, lack of quality cost analysis in the preparation stage prevents the realistic feasibility studies. The main reasons for the lack of quality cost analysis in the available accounting system [1]. Unfortunately, economics of quality cost is not very well known by the mining industry. Therefore, it is commonly believed that the production of high quality products causes financial and manufacturing problems and cannot be economical. For example, high quality marble products can be exported at lower prices than their identical produced in other countries. So, some ores and stones low quality but low cost production are preferred. To increase the competitive power of mining industry in international market, firstly international quality standards should be reached or exceed [6].

Beside the lack of preparation and quality cost analysis, in the implementation of TQM certain difficulties are seen. The most important of all is the insufficient commitment of top management and their resistance to the lean management system. This is especially the problem of big companies in which a high level of hierarchy is present. The other problem with the manager is the competition among the departments. This competition prevents the information share between the departments. As the hierarchy is at the minimum in some small-scale mining companies such as marble processing plant coal mines and so on [1].

For technical barrier that commonly occur in mining industry also affect in the implementation of TQM. Small mining companies lack the technical or financial capability to proper exploitation, mining development, mineral extraction, and the processing. The company is also a lack of mechanical equipment and maintenance facilities to increase output and at the same time to minimize the production of waste [1]. In addition, many small mining companies are not aware of the current version of the technology and failed to identify the areas where advanced technology can be used. Although advanced technology has been identified in some mines, the lack of experienced experts has become a problem for the small mining company. Unfortunately, the introduction of international standards only provides general guidance and lend little in the way of practical methods to implement industry specific environmental management practices [4]. Fixed location of mineralized zones interests impose constraints on all aspects of mining development including mining methods, the need for infrastructure and services, and the appropriateness of waste management or disposal method [7].

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A TQM implementation program will successfully achieve if the top management committee in plays their role. Lack of commitment to quality management may stem from various reasons. Major obstacles include the preoccupation with short-term profits and the limited experience and training of many executives. The extent of environmental management and investments mostly relies on the attitude of the top management towards the environmental issues [5]. Top management in most of the mining companies is less concerned over environmental issues and reluctant to allocate adequate financial, technological and human resources to implement the green management practices. There is also an inevitable amount of hesitancy by top management towards implementation of green management practices as it involves huge amount of documentation work and a serious non-compliance uncovered during the environmental auditing process might lead to social outcry or, even legal action [6]. Therefore, top management of the company must give full commitment and involvement to TQM implementation and carrying out quality data training for its employees.

Introducing new technology on existing manufacturing culture has often contributed to ineffective quality improvement. In the mining industry, local people usually retort to proposals for increased mechanization and advanced technology. They opine that it would reduce employment opportunities at the mines. This is because operations by the advanced technology equipment and system are therefore unhealthy, unsafe and negligent towards environmental degradation prevailing throughout the area [1]. There is a fearful feeling among employees when the company introduces the adoption of new technologies, which drives them to offer resistance to change. General resistance to change is often a barrier to new programs [2]. Major barrier seen in the implementation of TQM is the resistance to change due to human attitude and human nature [3].

Every employee in any mining industry has an important role in the implementation of TQM program. Employee’s commitment to change programs is crucial given that they actually execute implementation TQM activities. Basically, small-scale mining companies do not have a proper performance evaluation system. They also do not provide proper rewarding incentive for the employees to motivate them to take responsibility in protecting the environment [6]. The roles, responsibilities and authority of the employee are not properly explained nor communicated to all organizational levels which are important in obtaining commitment of the workforce to successfully carrying any business activities or program and at the same is also a prerequisite for green supply chain management. This leads to confusion among staffs regarding their responsibilities and poor motivation towards environmental protection practices. There is evidence that lack of understanding and proper training exists at all levels of any organization, and that it is a large contributor to worker resistance [7]. TQM requires a well-educated workforce with a solid understanding of basic calculation, reading, writing, and especially in communication [3]. Although some mining companies invest heavily in quality awareness, statistical process control, and quality circles, often the training is too narrowly focused. If a mining company wants to produce a quality product, employees need to know how to do their jobs. For implementation of TQM to be successful, organizations must commit to training employees at all levels. TQM programs or activities should provide comprehensive training, including technical expertise, communication skills, small-team management, problem-solving tools, and customer relations [2].

3.0 Stages of TQM Implementations

This section will describe about the stages of the implementation of TQM. The research is based on mining company located in Ghana. The company is having collaboration between the Government of Ghana and Australian mining company. It has adopted the TQM since 2004 and the aimed is to improve the company’s efficiency and remain competitive through systematic improvements to the process and its operations. In the implementation of TQM, there are three main stages including preparation, planning, and execution processes[1].

3.1 Preparation of Implementation

The preparation process is the first stage to implement TQM. It is very important for the top management to involve and give full of commitment to make sure the implementation is successful. Usually, the Total Quality Steering Committee (TQSC) will be established by the top management to collect and analyze the data based on the research[8]. In the preparation process, the mining company using the data collection method based on the integration of structured interviews and structured questionnaires. Because of the high level of accuracy, the company is using triangular method in achieving research finding. Triangulation method is the combination and application of more than one research view in the study of the similarity of the phenomena. It is also the common method using by the company in the surveying customer and clients[7].

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Figure : Example of Triangulation method

The research was conducted over the period of six months (Mac to August 2009) gather data through questionnaires, detailed interviews, the presence of formal and informal meetings, company observation and documents. The preparation process involving 60 top managers, middle managers, supervisors, and shop-floor employees. Based on the literature review, various of the questions has been established to identify the areas of improvement and development. Then, structured interview was developed based on the guidelines provided by Ghauri and Gronhaug (2002). There are several factors was taken to build the questionnaire including the commitment of the top management to the quality, training for total quality, customer-driven data, availability of quality data, TQM methods, and supplier information. Finally, 17 questions were developed and respondent will be asked to give their score based on code in the table below[1].

1

2

3

4

5

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

3.2 Planning Process

The second stage is the planning process and also can be called as the data processing and analyzing. TQSC will plan all of the information and data collected from the preparation process. The planning process is using Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) cycle because it is a suitable tool to be used in planning. The PDCA cycle was inspired by Deming[1].http://hci-itil.com/processes/images/deming_pdca_cycle.jpg

Figure : Example of PDCA Cycle

Plan – For example, in a mining company, there will be an environmental and safety issues. TQSC need to identify and select the problems, potential problems, and try to find out the solution for the problem. At this level, TQSC will establish the overall objectives of the implementation of TQM in the mining company. The team also may set a plan to drive the objective to achieve the goal. Then there will be a measurement system to check the implementation[9].

Do – The second step is to develop the solution for the problem occurs. For example, in the safety and health issues, the company must ensure that the workers always equipped with the protective equipments and complying the safety and health regulations provided by the company . Then all of the solutions will be implemented in the company as the improvement. The improvement can be new processes, new method, and also, new systems that going to be used in the mining company[9].

Check – After implementing the improvement, TQSC need to measure the result whether it meets the objective or not. They also need to identify the gap of the results and analyze the cause of gaps. As the example, TQSC should record the accident rate, and the level of employees’ health in the workplace[9].

Act – If the objectives are not achieved, the PDCA cycle needs to be repeated. If the objectives was achieved, the full implementation will be done to the company in the execution stage. TQSC also need to grab the opportunity occurs for other improvement when the new process began[9].

In the planning process, one of the important thing is to train employees with the new environment, new equipments, and new systems. When the employees can adapt and feel comfortable with the new changes, the company can proceed to the other stage of TQM implementation which is execution process.

3.3 Execution Process

After completing planning process, it is the time for full implementations of TQM to the company. The execution process will establish the new working environment and systems for the mining company. This process may involve the change of the organizational structure, processes, and procedures. All of the changes will need to be monitored and recorded for continuous improvement in the future. It means that if necessary, the company can make the modification and changes for future improvements. As the result, the mining company in Ghana is about 42.14 percent of the TQM implementation[8].

4.0 Elements of TQM Implementations

4.1 Continuous Improvement through training

Continuous improvement is the concepts to make the mining company become successful and remain competitive with that sector. One of the important keys for continuous improvement is training. To become successful in TQM implementation, a company should train their workers. There are many benefits that will can be obtained if the company provide training to employees. The benefits are stated as below

The company will have knowledgeable and trained workers that will drive the company to the continuous improvement. As an example, well trained workers in the company might have many ideas and solution for any problems occurs. So this may lead a rapid solution for the problem and make the company become more efficient[6].

One of the Deming 14 Points is to drive out fear among the workers. When the company having well trained workers, they will always ready for any new tasks given or new change of the system established[6].

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Well trained workers also can make the implementation of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) of the company become faster and easier. TPM is about the involving of all levels of workers in the maintenance. So, if there is any situation occurs, it can provide quick response to settle the situations. For example, if the mining machine having small problems at the site, the workers at low level also can repair it without waiting the maintenance team to come[6].

From all of the benefits discussed above, the mining company should emphasize and provided their employees with a proper training to ensure the company successfully implemented TQM in their organization.

4.2 Organizational Change

In Deming 14 Points, it is listed that one of the key points to implement TQM is to remove barriers between the department and workers. Many organizations found that it is important to have the organizational change in their company. The common organizational structure used in an organization is functional structure. It was found that this type of structure is having several problems such as it is separating employees from customers. Besides, the department in the organization also do not work each other and lead to blame-blame situations between the department if any problem occurs. The workers are not working as a team. So when this situation happened, organizational change should be done in order to create a better working environment[8].

As the solution to the problems, cross-functional structure was introduced to improve the efficiency of the company. In cross functional structure, workers are more tendency to work each other to solve problems. Cross functional also makes the shop-floor workers are able to speak out and give their opinions to the top level of managements. The different departments will be more responsible and have a better communication with each other and make their works become more effective. Figure below shows example of the cross functional structure of a mining company.

Figure : Example of Cross Functional StructureTop Management

Financial Department

Human Resources Department

Maintenance Department

Operation Department

Health and Safety Department

Cross Fucntional Structure in Mining Company

CONCLUSION

For a successful implementation of TQM, the most important is top management must believe the implementation can lead to better and demonstrate it by commitment. Others state that manager’s commitment and support also contribute to successful implementation. Managers must act as leaders to guide the employee and at the same time should not condemn a wrong but give responsibility for workforce. Others are senior management need to provide training and give practical participation in ensuring all employees acquire the knowledge and experience to implement TQM. Lastly, top management should make sure every employee understands the knowledge about the customer requirements.

Middle management provides leadership to design the systems and processes. In mining industry, middle management involvement in a number of safety activities was associated with good safety performance. Middle managers need to take a stronger and more proactive approach to Occupational of Health and Safety (OHS) in order to build genuine safety cultures in the mining industry [9]. Middle management roles in supporting the TQM implementation such activities included personal inspections of work areas, open and informal communications between employees and management and frequent contacts between workers, management and supervisors. They concluded that the active involvement of management acts as a motivational force for both management and for employees.

The workforce is lower management that important in supporting the TQM implementation. The workforce who involves getting workers in an organization those deliver the quality. In the mining industry, it has been adjusted to a working environment where quality, ranks highest as a priority. As employees become committed to the vision, values and quality goals of the organization, empowerment becomes a necessity. Employees need to be aware of the TQM concepts, trained to improve interactive skills, problem identification and solving skills and also technical skills. Employees need to be informed about the quality initiative and participate in the improvement activities and through top, middle and lower level management communications. Employees of an organization acquire new knowledge and skills by participating personally in TQM [8]. Teamwork skills are needed to have employees work together and a review of the reward and recognition schemes is another important factor to ensure and reinforce employee commitment and involvement.

In the employee participation, the employees of an organization acquire new knowledge and skills by participating personally in TQM. Their participation leads to lasting changes in behavior which results in quality improvement ( Juran and Gryna, 1993). Participation can also change some employees’ negative attitudes, reduce con¬‚ict stemming from the working environment, instill in them a better understanding of the importance of product quality and contribute to the establishment of an organization-wide quality culture.


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