Total quality management is globally recognized system to review and control the overall quality of any organization. It can also be called as a philosophy which supports the quality management procedure of organizations including such benefits as improving overall customer satisfaction, enhancing employee motivation, reducing wastage of resources, developing the service and product quality and maintain a growing performance of the organization.
TTS generally is considered as a problem solving technique that specially focuses on the continuous improvement of the laity of product and service provided by a certain company. In this approach the management and employee can work together for the overall improvement by using quality and management tool aimed at increasing business and reducing losses in the extended track.
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Several key concepts that are the basis often are such as customer's requirements define the quality, quality improvement is a direct obligation to the top management, systematic analysis and development of work process brings the result of enhanced quality, the effort is somewhat incessant in nature and is lead all the way through the organization.
Functions of TTS
There are several tasks that are maintained worldwide to proper manage the TTS process.
The following functions are mentionable of them all:
- Promise of employees and management
- Gratifying consumer predilections
- Bargain of development time
- Just In time production and manufacturing
- Lessening of product and service cost
- Expedite system development
- Possession of line management
- Employee involvement and empowerment
- Benchmarking and stimulating goals
- Upgrading plans
- Incorporation of strategic planning
Apple Inc. is basically an American multinational corporation which designs, develops ND sells consumer electronics and software.
It is recognized as world's second largest electronics company considering the revenue earned. The company was established on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Waking and Ronald Wayne. This company belongs to computer hardware, computer software, consumer electronics and digital distribution industry.
Nowadays there are 408 retail stores for Apple and the overall functions of TTS is maintained by the following workers:
- Display Calibration & Instrumentation Engineer
- Mechanical Design Engineer
- Program Manager
- Video Code Architect
- Regulatory RFC Systems Engineer
- Hardware Systems Engineer
- Java Software Architect
- Data Analyst
- Firmware/SW Engineering Program Manager
- Engineering Project Manager
- Quality Assurance Engineer
- Facilities Manager
- Visual Designer
- Market Researcher
These are Just a few of the total recruits who manage the TTS. There are many more who maintain the system to serve the consumers. Reasons for adopting TTS for Apple Apple already has created great customer loyalty over the years. But there is an obligation of holding the position that they tend to possess.
Defining the Weaknesses
Apple lacks the variation in product that is very much important in this era of business. This is Just a simple weakness that can be pointed out very easily. But several weaknesses are such that cannot be assessed or controlled. TTS would be of great use in defining that feebleness at instance. Identify priorities and actions: Information regarding the cores that are to be performed by the employees is very much important.
There is a function of TTS that emphasizes on the information system. The collected information would help Apple to direct their concentration awards important functions. TTS keeps track of data related to importance of any job which is a helping hand to prioritize the things that are to be performed first by the company employees. Selection of proper actions regarding the object is also is a feature of TTS. Development of communication system: TTS emphasizes on the overall communication system which ultimately results in an efficient communication model.
The supervisors and subordinates are allocated with authority to control their workers. Whereas Apple is considered as a large company, distribution of responsibility and authority is necessary to improve the company reference. Direct comprehension: The use of TTS would serve uninterrupted insight into the company and personnel data by eradicating the barriers between staff areas and maintaining supportable relationship with acquaintances. This type of initiative is always helpful to companies like Apple which is bound to remain updated about their current situation.
Perfection of productivity and competence
Keeping track of the overall production cost and controlling the material costs is one important function of TTS. Well produced products generally help to increase the demand of the total service as well as product. This opens the opportunity to produce more and leads to lower average cost of production facility. On the other hand, consumer loyalty increases over time and helps to gain efficiency over production. Though Apple has a huge production capacity at present, it can be utilized better with the help of TTS and enhance customer loyalty.
Adoption of Quality Driven Strategy
Whereas every other company is trying to snatch the overall market share from Apple in various segments, it is time for Apple to gain competitive advantage based on quality products. TTS development would certainly result in higher customer distraction and serve as a competitive edge over the competitors. Proper stuff management: In the context of Apple, TTS will help the company staffs to work more vigorously to accomplish the consistent actions related to the explicit objectives of the organization as the process eliminates the measure that obstructs the devotion of personnel.
Total Quality Management principles of Apple Apple has accepted the importance of TTS long ago. But there is always difference in the application of TTS in different organizations. There are certain philosophies obtained by Apple Inc. ND employees oblige by these principles if any confusion appears in making quality related decisions. The principles are as stated- There is no obligation to hold the current quality management procedure if adoption of new procedure bring about good to the company. Adoption of new technique should be subject to reducing overall cost or enhance value of product or service.
The TTS procedure must support the concept of relentless improvement. Training is essential to develop the performance of the employees and necessary measures to train employees are type of investment. Friendly working environment is directly elated to employee service quality and ensure settlement of non-performance related problems. Authority is not certain to be held by the top level management. Rather, apt allocation of power inclines to lessen the workload as well as improves the overall speed of work.
Cross-functional effort is deliberated as the most apposite solution to reduce quality erosion. There is compulsion to improve planning, enhance production capability and serve on a constant basis. Every eligible employee is a suggestion provider in Apple Inc. And has right to speak about problems in any system that needs to be persisted. Moreover, the solutions given by other employees have importance to the top management all together. Integration between suppliers and organization is equally important as serving the customers according to their needs.
Apple ensures the integration through contractual relationship. Application of Total Quality Management Principles in Apple Total quality management mainly a method which continuously concentrate on the development of quality of all the separations of a company with a view to providing quality service to the clients beyond their potentials. It enlarges its functionality from upper to lowest level of a firm. To make a fruitful total quality management a company must have expert employees who can make qualitative decisions in any situations.
The total quality management principles can be greatly applied to Apple Corporation in different conditions. They are given below.
Customer centric approach
The main purpose of a business is to manufacture goods & services for the customers. Whatever Apple does like appointing expert employees, installing high- tech machines for production, or incorporating technologies for high quality management; if the ultimate customers do not like the products or services all approaches will be failed. So the main strategy of Apple is that it develops all its plans keeping customers in highest priority.
- Apple does not compromise with quality
- It has strong supplier partnership
- It has strong customer driven strategy
- It also maintains good customer relationship for future marketing.
In Apple all employees should work to achieve the ultimate goal of the organization. It is strictly maintained by Apple to motivate the employees and to bring out what it needs from employees. Apple has a reputation for appointing talented pools in its employee lists. After Job's return Apple has concentrated on employee's best performance.
For this they developed Apple fellow program, awarding the employees who made extraordinary contribution to the organizational growth. Active participation of stuffs can be achieved by making more workspace for the employees. Apple has followed some rules for employee involvement. They are:
- Apple develops employees with training
- It also has suggestion arrangement
- It measures the performance
- It offers employee acknowledgment
- It develops exceptional group
Process approach is the initial part of the TTS process.
Process can be explained as converting raw materials & raw suppliers into processed items or final items that can be delivered to the customers. All parts of production need expertise to complete the process properly. In Apple, processing of resources is important to accomplish a project efficiently & effectively. Apple managers are very proactive decision makers about the needs & wants of the customers. As a result it is helpful for them to the path of continuous improvement in the company. So apple takes some initiatives to accomplish the project perfectly.
Apple develops well-informed staffs for processing parts Apple builds proactive decision making process It always measures the performance of the employees After measuring it monitors constantly the overall works process of the organization. Integrated system Every business has its own functionality to perform which divide into different department. These functionalities are interrelated with various sources or horizontal processes which help to increase the continuous business improvement process. So every employee should have the knowledge of the company's policies, standard, procedure, objectives etc.
In Apple it is strictly maintained by the staffs to be aware f their goals & vision. Without having all sorts of knowledge about their work they cannot be dedicated to their work. Mainly Apple is famous for its strictly enforcing accountability. Each project of their company has a directly responsible individual. So Apple tries to maintain integration through some strict rules & regulation. As integration increases more, the type of competitive advantage also increases. Small processes add with larger process and it makes an integrated process.
So every employee in the apple should understand the overall mission of the company as well s the quality process to develop a successful project. Suppose if Apple maintains continuous monitoring process for continuous improvement then it integration of employees can be achieved. Apple has its own business culture & environment. If the integrated approach integrates all the elements of TTS then Apple can achieve the continuous improvement process with an effort that exceeds the customer expectation.
Strategic & systematic approach
Strategic & systematic part of the TTS is one of the most critical parts of TTS.
The main element of this process is to continuously improving the functionality of the many. Accepting quality control as the main element of any business can be the core success of any kind of business. So Apple must adopt systematic plan or approach to reach the ultimate goal of the corporation. After analyzing the overall working process of Apple, it can be said that it has a strong systematic plan to reach its goal. Moreover realizing, understanding, & managing the business objective can be effective for systematic approach.
All this activities create an integrated process which contributes the effectiveness & efficiency of the company.
Fact-based decision making
In any organization, performance measurement plays an important role for having a clear idea about the current improvement of the company. For effective TTS a company must collect information & evaluate them perfectly to have a clear understanding of the performance measurement, making effective decision & forecast.
But every decision must be develop according to the situation & statistical analysis. Any kind of emotional based decision should be evaded. In Apple monitoring & evaluation of performance is strictly maintained. Suppose if Apple wants apply fact based decision making process for continuous improvement then the corporation has to measure the performance effectively & efficiently in every phase of projects. Apple should maintain statistical control method Team focused on problem solving can be another solution for fact based decision making process.
Continual improvement is the basic aspects of total quality management. A continuous improvement process helps to continuously thinking about creative & innovative ideas for any kind of projects which eventually help to grow more competitive advantage against other competitors. In Apple if the managers follow the step by step solution of any problem rather than focusing or making rebellion on any specific site, it would be better to continuously improve on that sector. And from top to bottom level all the employees should be motivated to gain the ultimate craving result.
In summary Apple can follow the following rules for improvement:
- Apple can systematically measures the performance of any project
- It can develop active cooperation
- It can also accomplish cross functional process
Communication is one of the important parts often because it develops the motivational stimulus during the daily operational activities. In Apple after analyzing the working process we can say that the manager continuously involve employees in operational activities for better communication. It also gives them the feel of empowerment in the organization which is very helpful. It creates unity among the Apple's employees.
And it is the leading criteria for the ultimate success of the organization. So it is true that a communication process in apple leads to better quality improvement of the company. Evaluation of Apple's TTS on the basis of philosophies TTS generally is done through different approaches by different companies. But few techniques have been stated by specialists which ensure success to some extent if applied carefully. Amongst those techniques the popular ones are- Six sigma procedure Deeming 14 principles Concept of continuous improvement.
Six Sigma Procedure
Six sigma is a measurement of quality in an organization which is near to perfection.
Six sigma is a disciplined data driven process which eliminate any kind of errors or defects in an organization or any process, from manufacturing to transaction & to reduce and service. The I-J department of trade & industry says- 'Six sigma is a data driven method for achieving near perfect quality. Six sigma can focuses on any elements of product or services and has strong emphasis on statistical in design, manufacturing & customer oriented activities. ' None 2005) Both six sigma & total quality management have one common aspects and that is continuous improvement of the organization.
While total quality management works for different departments in an organization, the six sigma has the capability of delivering even sharper result than the TTS. Six sigma DYNAMIC process elements
- D- define opportunity
- M- measure performance
- A- analysis opportunity
- l- improvement performance
- C- control performance
Six sigma is mainly based on pre-planned project charter that mainly forms the basic scale of the project, financial budget of the project, benefits of the project etc. A company which follows the total quality management system may not be aware of the financial gains in the future.
But company uses six sigma which based on MIMIC can be helpful for making measurement, identifying problems & providing exact solution at the right time. Apple is a corporation where it is very important to have continuous innovation of new products with hi-tech technology, upgrade features etc. In this situation it very challenging for them to continuously innovating new features products. Application of six sigma may helpful for Apple organization to measure what improvement they are making & what will be the consequences after marketing the product to the market.
Six sigma basically give us a core road map for understanding the improvement process of an organization. Applying six sigma in Apple can have following benefits:
- Leadership commitment: Six sigma plays an important role in deployment cycle. In Apple managers can apply Six Sigma for leadership commitment. Managers of Apple can arrange training program to leaders of the organization through the principles and tools to develop their managerial infrastructure. The main advantage of this training program is that it will reduce the managerial hierarchy & procedural barriers of Apple Inc.
- Customer focus: In six sigma organizational work process is developed in such a way that organization will have close communication with all the customers, suppliers, vendors, internal & external parties etc. After applying this theory Apple will be able to eliminate the scope of defects from the organization.
- Strategic deployment: Six sigma mainly concentrate on the organizational principals like right people, right customers, project, tools, improvement tools etc. That are relate to bottom line principles. In Apple organization strategic deployment can be applied to achieve the bottom line success.
- Integrated infrastructure: In this process the leadership team explains & reviews the overall process of the organization. So Apple may use this approach to remove barriers. The leaders of Apple Inc.
- Disciplined framework: Six sigma follows the roadman of measure, analysis, improve & control. This disciplined framework helps to build up a clear communication way for the members of the organization. In Apple six sigma outlines can play a vital role for the development of communication process between internal & external elements. This disciplined element helps to build up continuous improvement in Apple Inc.
- Education & training: Six sigma believes that true success can be attained by true understanding in the firm.
So Six sigma uses its superiority & gears to transform the real problem to a real solution. In Apple, managers can try to maintain this superiority & gears to transform the practical problem into practical solution.
Eight steps to build successful Six Sigma in Apple
Burning platform & shared vision
First of all for applying six sigma Apple's needs to identify the burning platform like Apple is suffering from huge quality loses & it reasons 45% of their cost or Apple's competitors are gaining market share of every quarter by 12%. Without having these types of burning problem Apple won't be going for any six sigma solution. Finally, Apple's need to take act to achieve their vision; it safeguards that they gain credibility and strong provision from leadership. Leadership patrons safeguard will meet Apple's vision, thereby reaching superiority.
The main core of this part is that do not hesitate to hire right resources for the right place or people. It is true that resources alone cannot bring success in Apple. It should deploy them as a team & this team will work as a change agent. It is also necessary that the team will carry out the resources and make a success by using them. Apple's need to take care of their resources both in terms of pays and also the source appropriate and obligation to applying the common vision.
For six sigma the success can be achieved by teaching the employees. Apple needs to teach or give training the team for successful & powerful change agent. This can be achieved by assuring that the team is 100% trained & well performed their duties at the right time.
As Apple has gathered resources, well rained team then the next part is to make the people aware from the top level of the firm to the bottom level. For this Apple needs to learn what to manage and where to take threat, and the query here is how good Apple's service is in terms of risk modification and anticipation organization in terms of meeting the key anticipation of organization's objectives.
With ownership we can understand pride & power. Here Apple can make integrity by assuring team accountability, engagement & commitment. The key for success relies on these rules of accountability, engagement & commitment.
Creating a proper measurement system may ensure proper baseline. To achieve a targeted goal, Apple must have a measurement system. The key for measurement is to get the cost for quality right. But having lots of measures on Apple's record may shift devotion away from the serious few. So they need to classify and amount the key important pointers instead of evaluating the many cover pointers.
The key to success of any project can be attained by proper governance. Improper governance may lead to destruction of the project. So Apple can create a business quality council at the upper level of the group can level and clear all hurdles; this would generate interaction and also clear ways for following to timeliness. Proper governance would create best practices in the organization.
Reward or recognition plays an important role in the organization which creates energy in the team for their effort & also motivates them for further work. Proper recognition in Apple can create excellence in the performance & also create consistency.
Deeming 14 Principles
The statistician Dry. W. Edwards Deeming stated the model of 14 principles which basically explained the philosophies and development procedure through total quality management. These principles are certainly capable of maintaining the overall TTS of Apple. Constantly improving product and service: Apple should be planning considering the long term effects of any decision regarding quality management. It would be helpful to predict and prepare for the upcoming challenges in the long run which would have adverse effect on the business.
On the other hand, the decisions should be focused on the intention of improving the products and services.
- Adopting new philosophies: The current philosophies should always be subject to change according to the business requirement. The customer need has to be emphasized mostly as well as the competitive pressure and Apple is aware of it.
- Avoiding inspection to achieve and ensure quality: Inspection is in fact done at Apple to maintain proper quality. As a result the additional price is paid by the customers at the consumer level. There is no intention to avoid the inspection program at present. But today or tomorrow a better option must be found by Apple to deduct the overall cost of production as the competition is getting more intense nowadays.
- Using single supplier for any one time: This is not the case always because Apple has contract with different producers to provide raw materials in case of some items. However, most of the materials are supplied from one supplier at a time. This is important to keep a decent and viable relationship with suppliers and encourage them to evaluate Apple based on the quality but not the price. The use of single supplier will ensure the trustworthiness of Apple.
- Improved planning, production and service constantly: This is one sector where there is no scope of complaining against Apple. The employees are constantly working to improve the development innovative products and please the customers with enhanced service factors. More and more employees are being engaged to cultivate strategic planning for quality control measurements.
- Training employees to achieve success: Tons of resources are being spent in Apple to train their workers.
- The promise of highly technical and consistent service urges for the need of trained employees. There are several programs that are in operation to proper train the workers and maintain not only the caliber of employees but also the overall company image.
- Implementation of leadership: The proper allocation of authority serves as the injection as the cure of many complexities regarding decision making. Apple has been successful to achieve this function to an extent.
- Driving out fear: Employees should always feel safe from any unexpected behavior from their superiors if any mistake is committed by them.
- Apple has been successful to create a friendly environment amongst the superiors and subordinates where mistakes are not a subject to direct action. Rather, immediate measures are taken but to solve the mistaken functions.
- Elimination of barriers amongst stuffs: Cross-functional teamwork is the major concern of this philosophy. Apple at large uses this method to best utilize the capability of their workers.
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