Enhancing Productivity and Quality Management
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Enhancing Productivity and Quality Management
Week Two Guidance: Enhancing Productivity and Quality Management
Higher productivity relative to competitors is very important for a nation because it provides the nation with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Productivity increases add value to the economy while controlling inflation. In addition, higher productivity provides the basis for a sustainable long-term growth in the economy. It allows companies to undercut competitors’ prices to improve their market share, or realize higher profit margin at the same price level. Relative higher productivity also makes it more difficult for foreign companies to compete (Stevenson, 2011).
According to Stevenson (2011), service jobs have lower productivity than their manufacturing counterparts because service productivity is very difficult to measure and consequently, difficult to improve. In many cases, service jobs include intellectual activities and a high degree of variability, which makes productivity improvements difficult to achieve. Manufacturing jobs, on the other hand, lend themselves to productivity improvements mainly because they are able to utilize computer-based technology such as robotics to increase worker productivity.
Higher productivity allows companies to undercut competitors’ prices to improve their market share, or realize higher profit margin at the same price level. A higher productivity related to their competitor’s gives them a competitive advantage in the market place. Relative higher productivity also makes it more difficult for foreign companies to enter a new market because it is difficult for them to compete against companies that have relatively higher productivity (Stevenson, 2011).
Furthermore, it was stated by Light and McGee (Winter, 2015) that employers are learning how important it is to have skilled employees for certain job when it comes to productivity. The bottom lines depend on productivity and if productivity is high, money is made. So, it is very important to have employee’s be skilled in the area of productivity. Training can help, but employees’ need to entire the job market with some type of skill so that training will not be an issue that takes up a lot of time. In order to keep the stockholders pleased with management, all managers must focus on the bottom line when it comes to productivity.
Productivity Video: https://youtu.be/AXob4cpWFoM
This chapter is devoted to quality management. It presents a definition of quality, discusses the importance of quality and the determinations of quality, highlights the views of leading experts on modern quality management, and describes the total quality management approach.
As reported by Stevenson (2011), Total Quality Management (TQM) is a popular approach that:
- Promotes understanding and fulfilling the needs of customers.
- Defines quality in terms of customer requirements.
- Views quality improvement as a never ending quest to improve the process.
- Uses statistical reasoning with data to solve problems and to improve the process.
- Emphasizes the role of leadership systems in improving quality.
- Utilizes appropriate education and training to everyone in the organization in a continuous fashion.
- Views quality not only as a technical operational issue but also views it from a strategic orientation that leads to enhanced long term planning.
- Encourages empowerment of the employees in the work place in order to improve job design, job performance and continuous improvement in all aspects of the organization.
TQM is an approach that views quality improvement as a never-ending quest to improve the conversion process so that the level of customer satisfaction continually rises. Since the Japanese have been so successful in continuously improving the quality of their products and services, Kaizen, or continuous improvement, has become an extremely popular and widely accepted managerial approach to improve quality on a daily basis. The old adage, “if it ain’t [sic] broke, don’t [sic] fix it,” has a rather hollow ring to it these days. A more appropriate transformation today would be “just because it ain’t [sic] broke, doesn’t [sic] mean it can’t be improved.”
Quality Management Video: https://youtu.be/gJk_I1h914I
Stevenson, W. J. (2011). Operations Management. (11th Edition) New York, NY:
McGraw Hill Irvin. ISBN: 9780073525259.
Light, A. & McGee, A. (Winter, 2015). Employer Learning and the Importance of Skills,
Journal of Human Resources 50(1), 72-107.