Operations management

Operations management is an area of business concerned with the production of goods and services, and involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as little resource as needed, and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements. It is concerned with managing the process that converts inputs (in the forms of materials, labour and energy) into outputs (in the form of goods and services).

Operations traditionally refers to the production of goods and services separately, although the distinction between these two main types of operations is increasingly difficult to make as manufacturers tend to merge product and service offerings. More generally, Operations Management aims to increase the content of value-added activities in any given process. Fundamentally, these value-adding creative activities should be aligned with market opportunity (see Marketing) for optimal enterprise performance.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Operations Management [is the field concerned with managing and directing] the physical and/or technical functions of a firm or organization, particularly those relating to development, production, and manufacturing. [Operations Management programs typically include] instruction in principles of general management, manufacturing and production systems, plant management, equipment maintenance management, production control, industrial labor relations and skilled trades supervision, strategic manufacturing policy, systems analysis, productivity analysis and cost control, and materials planning.

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Total Quality Management and Its Building Blocks

By William King

The title is almost self-explanatory; still a brief definition of TQM by "International Organization for Standardization (ISO)" will help you in coming to terms with this system. It states, "TQM is a management approach for an organization, centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society". Although, such exemplary business models that act in accordance with all these requirements (especially the last one about society) are hard to find, but this all-inclusive business standard (known to be a product of Japanese industry) is worth putting into practice. First because it calls for an equal level of dedication and contribution from all levels and departments of organization, second because it focuses on quality and third and the most critical, it lays emphasis on customer.

It starts with customers & ends with consumers:

Total Quality Management approach has the customer on the top priority for all business decisions. It presents "customer satisfaction" as the key to the "long term success". Many times businesses are carried away by some glamorous product coming from their competitors, or a low-cost alternative, while compromising on customer requirements. "Total Quality Management" theory lays emphasis on making products or services with customer satisfaction in mind, not your personal preferences, not the competitors, not anything else, nothing, nada, zip.


Literally, the word means a set of standards while in business language a product is a quality product if it provides your customer more than what he/she was actually anticipating (usability and durability vise), for the given price. Nowadays, there's so much competition that you should not be offering anything at all if the product you are offering is not a quality product. Apart from the product, your customer support should be of excellent quality as well.

"Total" is for "team effort":

In the set of guidelines known as "Total quality management", the word "total" symbolizes team work. As a business, you'd not be able to come up with a quality product unless all departments of your company are not into it. Total quality management is not only for manufacturing department or for marketing section or purely for upper level management; you need to get each and everyone on board. Define the tasks for everyone; make them realize their significance and the contribution they can make towards company's success. Leader's function become much more significant, supervisors and managers should be leading from the front.

William King is the director of Computers Wholesale Suppliers and France Wholesale Suppliers, Distributors, Dropshippers. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Total-Quality-Management-and-Its-Building-Blocks&id=2634114

6 Characteristics of Total Quality Management

By Ngo Vinet

TQM is a new method of quality management involving many levels and processes of different functions, but requiring an integrated cooperation. Characteristics of TQM can be listed as follows:

1. Target:

In TQM, the most important target to achieve is Quality; Quality policy must be set toward customer. Meeting customer's needs mean satisfying every customer requirement but not trying to reach some quality standards set before. Never stop innovating - never stop perfecting the quality is one of the most important principles of TQM.

2. Scope:

To ensure the quality of service and product, TQM system requires the extending of production process to suppliers and sub-contractors. Normally, the trading of material in production may account for 70% of final product cost (depend on types of product). Therefore, to ensure the quality of the input material, it is necessary to set up specific standards for each type of material to control its quality. It is also necessary to change the method of placing order to make it suitable with the production process.

3. Form:

In stead of controlling the quality of the finished product (after production), TQM sets up plans and programs to supervise and prevent problems right before the production process. Statistical tools are used to supervise, quantitatively analyze the results as well as factors affecting the quality, consider the reasons and take appropriate prevention methods.

4. Basis of TQM system:

The basis of TQM practice in the company is Human. Talking about quality, people usually think about the product quality. But it is the quality of employees that is the main concern of TQM. Of the three factors of Business, which are hard factor (machines, equipments, money...), Soft factor (methods, secrets, information...) and Human factor, Human is of the first concern to TQM.

The basic principle for implementation of TQM is that the qualification of employees is developed fully and integratedly through training, delegation and assignment.

5. Organization:

TQM system is cross organized and functioned in order to manage, integratedly corporate with different activities of the system and facilitate group working. The implementation of TQM requires the participation of high and middle level managers. A proper organization will help duties to be assigned clearly. Thus, TQM needs new management model, with different characteristics from the previous model.

6. Management skills and tools:

Methods to implement must be based on the principle "do correctly at the very beginning", in researching and designing to minimize economic cost. Strictly apply DEMMING circle (PDCA) to make foundation for the continuous quality improvement.

I am a author of quality assurance management articles at http://qualitymanagement.hrvinet.com. You can find all templates, form, procedures of quality management, ISO...at: ISO 9001 procedures.

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?6-Characteristics-of-Total-Quality-Management&id=3629482