This movemer led to the emergence of a separate inspection department. An important new idea that emergi frDm this new department was defect prevention, which led to quality control. Inspection still has an important role in modern quality practices. However, it is no longer seen as the answer to all the quality problems. Rather, it is one tool within a wider array.
(2) Quality Control and Statistical Theory: Quality control was introduced to detect and fix problems along the production line to prevent the production of faulty products. Statistical theory played an important role in this area. In the l920s, Dr W. Shewhart developed the application of statistical methods to the management of quality. He made the first modern control chart and demonstrated that variation in the production process leads to variation in product. Therefore, eliminating vanarion in the process leads to obtaining good standard of the end product.
(3) Statistical Quality Control: It focuses on product and the detection and control of quality problems; involves testing samples and statistically infers compliance of all products; it is also carried out at stages through the production process; and relies on trained production personnel and quality control professionals. Shewart’s work was later developed by Deming, Dodge and Roming. However, manufacnnng companies did not fully utilise these techniques until the late l940s.
(4) Quality in Japan: In the 1940s, Japanese products were perceived as cheep, shoddy imitations. Japanese industrial leaders recognised this problem and aimed to produce innovative high quality products. They invited a few quality gurus, such as Deming, Juran and Feignbaum to learn from them about how to achieve this aim.
Deming suggested that they can achieve their goal in five years; not many Japanese believed him. However, they followed his suggestions. Maybe the Japanese thought it was rude to say that they did not believe Deming. Or may be they thought it would be embarrassing if they could not follow his suggestions. Whatever reason it was, they took Deming’s and other gurus’ advice and never looked back.
In the 1950s, quality control and management developed quickly and became a main theme of Japanese management. The idea of quality did not stop at the management level. Quality circles started in the early 60s. A quality circle (QC) is a volunteer group of workers who meet and discuss issues to improve any aspects of workplace and make presentations to management with their ideas.
(5) Total Quality: The term ‘total quality’ was used for the first time in a paper by Feigenbaum at the first international conference on quality control in Tokyo in 1969. The term referred to wider issues within an organisation. Ishikawa also discussed ‘total quality control’ in Japan, which is different from the western idea of total quality. According to his explanation, it means ‘company-wide quality control’ that involves all employees, from top management to the workers, in quality control.
(6) Total Quality Management: In the l980s to the 1990s, a new phase of quality control and management began. This became known as Total Quality Management (TQM). Having observed Japan’s success of employing quality issues, western companies started to introduce their own quality initiatives. TQM, developed as a catchall phrase for the broad spectrum of quality-focused strategies,programmes and techniques during this period, became the centre of focus for the western quality movement.
A typical definition of TQM includes phrases such as: customer focus, the involvement of all employees, continuous improvement and the integration of quality management into the total organisation. Although the definitions were all similar, there was confusion. It was not clear what sort of practices, policies and activities needed to be implemented to fit the TQM definition.
(7) Quality Awards and Excellence Models: In 1988 a major step forward in quality management was made with the development of the -Malcolm Raldrige Award in the United States. The model, on which the award was based, represented the first clearly defined and internationally recognized TQM model. It was developed by the United States government to encourage companies to adopt the model and improve their competitiveness.
In response to this, a similar model was developed by the European Foundation of Quality Management in 1992. This EFQM excellence model is the framework for the European Quality Award. While leading organisations compete to win awards, the main purpose of these awards is to encourage more companies to adopt quality management principles. The models are practical tools; they help organisations to measure where they are now and where they want to be in the future. The models also help organisations to create an action plan to reduce the gap between these positions.