This term has been a busy one as you have learned about the ins and outs of quality and the tools and techniques that can be used to ensure that quality is met and controlled within the workplace. As you begin your final week in your journey towards quality, you will learn about costs and the role of people in quality management.
You might be wondering what role costs have when considering quality standards. This would be a good question as some overlook the aspect that money plays when managing workplace quality. Imagine this, you have purchased a brand new vehicle that you absolutely love. You can’t wait to get it home and show it to your friends and family. A few weeks into owning the vehicle, you get a letter stating that the vehicle has a recall on it. You now must take the vehicle to the shop to have it repaired which takes time out of your day and can be a bit frustrating. On the end of the vehicle manufacturer, they are forced to pay for the repairs on the vehicle which means that they are paying labor costs and for the costs of the parts. Not to mention that if the recall results in a lawsuit, the vehicle manufacturer will also have legal costs to endure.
In quality control situations, there are four categories to consider when determining costs.
First, you must consider the costs associated with prevention. These are the costs associated with research, product development, reviews, audits, etc. Time and money was put into making sure that the product developed was going to be sold with no issues at all. There are costs with the appraisal which measures and evaluates production to ensure there are no issues. This category includes inspections, training, setups, etc. There are internal failure costs which consist of the costs of failures prior to the delivery to the customers. These costs come into effect when there are errors found in production, repairs, reworks, material changes, etc. Finally we have the external failure costs that are the costs we may be more familiar with as these costs occur when the product has been sold and an issue has been found. Aside from simply losing money on the product, a company has to consider that they may lose a customer. Anyone in the business industry knows that customers are a necessity in order to succeed, so this alone can be detrimental to an organization.
Cost of Quality System
In order to help avoid losing money due to the categories we just discussed, Philip Crosby came up with a cost of quality system as a means of helping to keep companies from losing money. Sower (2011) quotes Philip Crosby in the textbook by stating “the goal of a quality cost system is to provide a means of showing management that reducing the cost of quality is in fact an opportunity to increase proﬁts without raising sales, buying equipment, or hiring new people. In addition to getting management’s attention, a cost of quality system also provides a measurement base for seeing how quality improvement is doing.” In other words, the goal is to aim for zero failure costs in the production to the selling process. The cost of quality system put into place within the workplace aims to do just this.
Now, we have established how to measure costs, how to prevent loss, how to manage quality, etc. There is one final aspect to consider and that is the human body. What role do people have in quality management? Well, they have a very important role. People, as perfect as we all try to be, have a tendency to cause an issue from time to time. Unfortunately, change is one of the biggest challenges that humans face within the workplace and when this challenge occurs, errors occur too. So, how can this be avoided? Well, for starters, it is important to understand those who are employed. Understanding what moves them, motivates them, makes them uncomfortable, etc. is a big part of avoiding change resistance. A strong manager is one who understands that people are human with feelings and emotions. Though the workplace is not necessarily the place to show these emotions and feelings, when one faces an unexpected and unexplained change, it is natural to resist. Taking the time to learn about each individual helps to curb these feelings and emotions while directing them in a more positive and productive direction.
Communication is your first step in working with your employees. If you are going to claim you have an open door policy, be sure that you truly do. Don’t let your employees feel that you are not approachable because this will lead to errors in the future. Take the ideas your employees offer and determine if they can be of use. You might find that your biggest resources are those you have working for you. The vehicle windshield wiper and airbag didn’t invent itself after all.
Motivate your employees. Studies have shown that a motivated employee is a productive employee. I am sure you would agree with this statement. I know that when I am feeling less than motivated, I have a tough time getting my work done. This is a human characteristic and it’s a normal feeling. However, lack of production leads to a decrease in profits and an increase in costs. So, again, learn about your employees and understand what motivates them. Be creative and show your employees that you are making an effort to meet their needs. Aside from needing customers to be successful, you will also need motivated employees.
Finally, set standards and policies and be sure to follow them. A manager who leads by example will have employees who follow suit. Be sure that the policies that are put into place are reasonable and something that can truly be followed. Taking the time to set an example for your employees while enforcing the policies will help to ensure a successful work environment and will help keep costs low. Imagine a shop with no injuries or a production line with no errors. These are the standards that need to be set and followed in order to create a successful and profit producing workplace.
Chapters 12 and 13 will provide you with the information necessary to costs and the role people play within the quality management process. Your main objective in finishing the weekly learning is to investigate the importance of human factors in quality. Upon completing your chapter reading, be sure to review the presentation and video that are found in your learning material.
Sower, V.E. (2011). Essentials of Quality. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Final Project Over the past 8 weeks, you have learned about the importance of quality within the workplace along with the tools and techniques that can be used to ensure that a quality product or service is being passed onto the customer. In week 8, you learned about the role of human factors in quality. Choose a company of your choice to determine how tools and techniques learned this term could benefit the company. You can include any of the methods you have found to be useful over the past 8 weeks. You will also determine the human factors that could be helpful or harmful to the company and expand upon what could be done to improve the product or service quality overall. Use your course materials and outside research to generate a solid analysis on why these methods would be helpful. Your analysis should be supported by research.
The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:
Write between 1,500 – 1,750 words (approximately 6 – 7 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below. Use font size 12 and 1” margins. Include cover page and reference page. At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing. No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references. Use at least four references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the four reference requirement. Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style. References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.