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Effective operations management and total quality management strategies

Effective Operations Management and Total Quality Management Strategies


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All businesses are always looking strategies to make their operations smoother and
increase the profitability of their investments. There are many strategies that the firms can
employ to get results out of their operations. It has emerged that effective Operations
Management strategies and Total Quality Management strategies are the key ways of increasing
efficiency in organizations. Operations management focuses on systematically controlling the
operations that transform resources into the final product that provide benefits to consumers.
Total quality management is an approach to management that strives for high quality of products
and services by incorporating all organizational functions to concentrate on meeting customer
needs. Management of a firm is required to actualize these two strategies if they are to maximize
effectiveness in their processes, including customer satisfaction.
Operations are all the processes undertaken in making a product, whether a good or a
service. Operations management is about controlling of processing and manufacturing activities,
and services to ensure that there is efficiency in the production process. Therefore, using this
approach, management needs to ensure that operations are adding value to the customers by
delivering utility. It should be provided adequately in all of its forms, namely form, place and
time utility. To achieve successful operations management, the management must review
operations process, operations control and operations planning.
According to Davenport (1990), operations process is a set of procedures and techniques
used to make a product. The operations process for different customer demands should be
differenciated. For example, the procedure for manufacturing goods that have been ordered
needs to be different to the one used to manufacture goods that for stocking purpose. This will
help meet customization and time demands from different customers. Secondly, the top
management has to exercise operations planning, plans on location, capacity, and quality of items

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that will be produced. The result will be proper planning in resource acquisition and distribution
to user departments. Finally, management must administer operations control in the firm. Control
is achieved by monitoring the performance of various departments and then comparing with the
plans and schedule laid out.
A key strategy for improving and maintaining quality standards is to practice total quality
management. This approach requires that there is continued improvement of human resource,
technology, products, and the working environments. With total quality, whatever affects quality
is a target for recurrent improvement. Total quality management philosophy can be achieved
through business process reengineering, adding value through supply chain, and getting closer to
the customer.
Business process reengineering entails making radical changes to the main business
processes so as to attain dramatic performance improvements. The goal is to achieve superior
quality and reduced costs and cycle times. Goetsch and Davis (2013) suggest that business
process reengineering improves quality by reducing the disintegration of work and forming clear
ownership of processes. Workers become responsible for their output and based on immediate
feedback, they evaluate their own performance. The priority operations capability of business
process reengineering is to reduce costs and cycle times by removing unproductive activities in
the production process. Another operations capability is high quality since business process
reengineering includes redesigning processes that compromise quality.
A supply chains is a network of all the suppliers, employees, technology and activities
that work together to create a product. It begins with delivery of raw materials from the supplier
to the manufacturer, through to its eventual transfer to the ultimate consumer (Ebert and Griffin,

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2013). Each phase of production relies on the others for success in getting products to the clients.
This strategy is built on the fact that members of the chain will gain competitive advantage by
working as a synchronized component. Albeit each party focuses for its interests, it coordinates
with suppliers and consumers throughout the supply chain. Decisions made by companies that
are part of this chain should consider the whole chain rather than on just the next user. A way of
actualizing the strategy is by having a centralized information system. From this information,
firms adjust their inventory according to orders placed. They can also redesign their products to
match global trends and needs. As a result, the operations capability is low costs as wastage in
terms of excess inventory and stock is reduced.
To be successful, the investor must take steps to figure out what customers want from the
products they utilize. With that information, improvement projects are initiated. Stevenson,
(2012) affirms that the procedures need to be undertaken both internally and external. That way,
it is easy to resolve issues before they get to the final user of the product. For example, the
production department is the consumer of supplies from purchasing department. Information
needs to flow from the former to the latter so as to ensure that only the required quality of raw
materials are utilized in the production process. Customers become the ultimate beneficiaries of
the initiative.
In conclusion, effective operations management and total quality management can lead to
success of a business. In order to make operations efficient and effective, then operations
management strategies offer the right solution to the issue. Where quality delivery to the
customers is a priority, the business must enforce a total quality management strategy. If the top
management can create a proper balance of the two strategies, there would be a positive change
to the performance of the organization leading to customer satisfaction.

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Reference
Davenport, Thomas & Short, J. (1990), "The New Industrial Engineering: Information
Technology and Business Process Redesign", in: Sloan Management Review, Summer
1990, pp 1127
Ebert, R.J., & Griffin, R.W. (2013). Business Essentials (9th ed., pp. 166-187). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Goetsch, D.L., & Davis, S.B. (2013). Quality Management for Organizational Excellence:
Introduction to Total Quality (7th ed., pp. 3-18). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall .
Stevenson, W. J. (2012). Operations management.