Business - Operations Management - Quality And Operations Ma

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Business Angela Emma Rudd BMA
17th February 07
Operations Management
Quality and Operations Management
An important aspect of operations management is making sure that the goods and
services produced are of a suitable quality. This means that the products meet
specifications that the firm has set out and these, in turn, meet customer's needs.
A quality product does not have to be expensive ­ it simply has to meet the
requirements of the customers. To produce good quality products a firm must identify
exactly what customers are looking for this will involve market research. The firm
must then specify exactly what the product has to do and make sure that these
specifications are achieved every time.
The traditional approach to improving the quality of a firm's products is to put
resources into inspecting the finished products to find any faults that exist and remove
them. The logic behind this approach is that, if all the products with defects can be
found, the customer will only receive perfect products. As a result quality will be
improved. This is known as a quality control system and it relies on the inspection of
In recent years many managers have questioned whether quality control is effective.
One problem is that the quality control assumes defects are inevitable. The task is to
make sure they ate discovered before the customer receives the product. In effect,
this is saying to the production department that it is acceptable for them to make
mistakes, because the quality control will find them later. This may mean employees
do not take care in their works.
The quality assurance approach puts emphasis on preventing mistakes. If the
process can be designed in a way which ensures defects do not happen (and in
which employees produce correct work every time) inspection at the end of
production process is unnecessary. This approach to quality focuses on prevention,
not inspection. It stresses the need for employees to get it right first time.
An important part of this approach is that employees check their own work rather than
rely on someone else to check it for them at the end of the process. This is known as
selfchecking. Employees also have the right to reject any work of an unacceptable
standard, whoever produced it. Previously employees often accepted poor quality
items, as they did not feel responsible for the finished product. Faulty products were
simply passed along the production line until the quality control department found the
mistakes at the end. Under the new approach to quality employees are held
responsible for their own work if they accept faulty work form other employees or
pass on faulty goods they are held responsible. Ensuring that they produce quality
work is now seen as part of everyone's job.
Quality Awards
BS 5750 is a quality award available to organisations in the UK. A similar award in
Europe is known as ISO 9000. The government gives these awards to firms, which
are able to show that they have a system whereby quality is regularly measured and
in which action is taken if quality levels fall below the set targets.
To achieve BS 5750 firms must:

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Business Angela Emma Rudd BMA
17th February 07
Set quality targets
Examine their production process to ensure that these are achieved
Measure the actual results and take action if what actually happens is different
from what the firm wants to happen.
Targets might involve:
The speed with which the firm responds to enquires
The delivery time of goods
Customer satisfaction
BS 5750 does not, in itself, mean the product or service is good quality. This is
because it does not examine the business's actual standards.…read more

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Business Angela Emma Rudd BMA
17th February 07
The TQM approach considers that employees should also aim to improve the quality
of what they do. It is tempting to assume that what you are doing is good enough and,
provided profits are reasonable, it is easy to become complacent. Such complacency
is dangerous because markets and conditions can change rapidly. To succeed firms
must be continually trying to improve what they do to ensure that they actively delight
customers.…read more


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