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Applying Quality Principles: Total Quality Management

1322 words - 5 pages

The quest for improvement in various areas of life such as business, social and personal became so important that researchers had to pre-occupy their times for many years in finding better ways of providing solution to issues confronting companies, institutions, families and society as a whole. The premise that we can be better and do better at how we perform task is and should be of great importance to all, because that is the only time we seek the knowledge to reach new height and produce to our full potential. The opportunities in the field of process improvement are vast and the contributors are numerous, so in looking for specific solution, one would need to first define the problem or issue that need improved then select the right methodology to resolve it. For the scope of this paper Total Quality Management, Six Sigma and ISO 9000 will be the focus of how they can be used as quality initiatives tool to obtain excellence in performance. Though all three have some similarities and differences in techniques and philosophies, nevertheless their applications have helped significantly to advance process improvement efforts across the globe.

Total Quality Management (TQM) is an approach that seeks to improve quality and performance which will meet or exceed customer expectations. This can be achieved by integrating all quality-related functions and processes throughout the company. TQM looks at the overall quality measures used by a company including managing quality design and development, quality control and maintenance, quality improvement, and quality assurance.

Six Sigma can be best described as a business improvement approach that seeks to find and eliminate causes of defects and errors in manufacturing and service processes by focusing on outputs that are critical to customers and a clear financial return for the organization (Evans, 2001).

ISO 9000 defines quality system standards, based on the premise that certain generic characteristics of management practices can be standardized and that a well- designed, well implemented, and carefully managed quality system provides confidence that the outputs will meet customer expectation and requirement (Evans, 2001).

The case study has brought forth an issue that is very familiar to many customers who seek support and services from companies who provide a segment of their services via the phone. Automated phone service or IVR Integrated Voice Response has become very popular technique for companies to speed up their services, provide unattended service to customers, staff reduction among other reasons. IVR or Intelligent Voice Response is a form of automated phone answering service. This is quickly becoming a very popular option, as it combines the benefits of automation and a live voice. While still in its infancy, IVR is dazzling the telecommunications world. IVR is like voicemail, PBX, Live chat, email support and help desk, all rolled into one automated package. IVR can speak and...

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