Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management
including the introduction of the European Quality Award

The annual EFQM Quality Management Forum is an opportunity for top executives from many European countries to meet and exchange views on total quality management - related subjects.
These subjects are related to better performance of the organisation. A major purpose of quality management is to improve the systems and processes so that continual improvement of quality can be achieved.

What really is quality?
- Quality has to do with the way we deal with other people, with clear definitions of work, direction and expectations, and with understanding the demands that others have on our organisations, our products and our services.

The European Quality Award sets challenging standards. It is an internationally recognised achievement that will not allow companies to just sit back and watch their future performance, but which gives a basis for further improvements and thus more profitable business.

- Why apply for the European Quality Award?
The answer is simple. Increased global competition has led to increasingly more stringert customer expectations with regard to quality. It will help companies on their way to Business excellence and to increased process towards being at the leading edge of today’s quality organisations.
The TQM magazine is a compilation of supporting information and data, including the official publications of quality - awarded firms or organisations. Organizations - industrial, commercial or governmental - supply products intended to satisfy customers’ needs and requirements.

Award winners profiled
The following two firms were nominated, coming close to fulfilling the goals for the Total Quality Award. The next sections is an expectation of D2D’s course on the path to success and how Rank Xerox was the first Award Winner of TQM.

D2D (Design to Distribution)

In the year since winning the European Quality Award in October 1994, (the) contract electronics manufacturer Design to Distribution has signed contracts with several new blue chip customers and won new orders worth more than $200 million.
Dayvon Goodsell, the company’s quality manager, acknowledges the impact of winning the European Quality Award, but argues that the secret to D2D’s recent success has been its common - sense approach to total quality; its unrelenting focus on its customers and keeping everyone’s focus very firmly on the bottom line.
D2D is one of the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturers and a wholly - owned subsidiary [ Tochtergesellschaft] of ICL Computers. The company employs over 2500 people in five cities across Europe and in 1994 generated revenues of around $450 million.
Listening and learning from others is fundamental and the aim of the European Quality Award. At D2D people believe in the power of change. If they were not reinventing their process, improving internal communications, getting closer to their customers and improving their overall business performance, then they would have not remained competitive.
One example of this process of change was the launch, in July 1994, of Teamtalk, a company - wide initiative to encourage two - way, face - to - face communication. Following feedback from the employee opinion survey that existing briefings [Anweisung] were somewhat stale, D2D sought [pp of ‘seek’, suchen] the assistance of the industrial society to put in place a more interactive team briefing. Briefers were trained to be more concise [knapp, gedrängt] and to leave more time for discussion and questions. Already, the changes have had a positive impact.
While such initiatives are an important part of the puzzle, D2D believes that it was the adoption of the European Quality Award model as their own business planning template [Schablone] that put their quality initiatives into a sensible infrastructure. The business excellence model is part of the fabric of D2D. All employees are trained to understand its function and the principles of self - assessment [selbst - Bewertung].
D2D has much to look forward to, and much work to do, but they feel they have a sound basis on which to progress and grow.
In the past 12 months, D2D has signed major contracts, worth well over $200 million, with Pace Micro Technology, Madge Networks, Acorn Computers and Online Media.

Rank Xerox, the document company

Xerox invented photocopying, and for years held the sole [alleinig(en)] patents on this technology. When its monopoly evaporated [verdampfte], the company regained its competitive advantage, developing a host of new products and services along the way remaining photocopying, like scanning, storing, printing and faxing. But the range of products and services also included technical support, systems and software.
Changing from the ‘Copier Company’ to the ‘Document Company’ was a visible signal of a totally new approach to the document service business.
"Documents can be both electronic and paper based, and we deal with both," says David Jones, a director of the strategic development and communication group.
Most companies, large or small, generate documents electronically from personal workstations. Many of these are routinely transmitted via wide and local area networks. Faxes are increasingly sent and received via modems linked to workstations. But the last link in the chain, output to paper, is still a relatively discrete operation.
Rank Xerox estimates that a company of 300 or more people spends between 4 and 6% of its revenues on document management.
Rank Xerox Europe has over 26,000 employees at 40 locations. The company has implemented quality in every aspect of its business. In 1992, Rank Xerox entered its entire Western European operations for the European Quality Award, and was its first (!) winner. The Rank Xerox Quality Journey, which started in 1982, is a well - documented case history in corporate transformation through innovative management techniques.
Many quality tools which the company developed along the way, like benchmarking (standardizing) and policy deployment, have become the common currency in total quality management. Current and former Xerox employees are well known names on the international conference circuit.
By 1994, through a combination of sound marketing and focused sales initiatives, Rank Xerox had successfully expanded the perception of its range. Rank Xerox established a task force [Aufgabenliste] to develop a map which might show different routes to the realisation of the Xerox 2000 vision.
This task force is a strategy which will touch everything they do - how we address the market; what they offer customers, how they engage [einstellen, verwickeln] their employees in learning; and how they communicate both internally and externally.

l Customers
You can no longer afford [leisten] to sell where you want to sell. You have to sell where your customers want to buy.

l Internal education
The sustainable source of competitive advantage is the quality of your employees and their ability to learn. People have a natural tendency to turn inwards. They are happiest doing what they have always done, especially if they are doing it well. You have to permanently challenge the tendency to turn inwards.

l Communication
The company must use every weapon in its quality armoury to reinforce this message and make its people comfortable with the wave of new thinking.

l Service
Customers are looking for someone who can sit down with them and figure out how to match a variety of products to their service needs. You nust to be positioned as a quality company, offering a range of products and services which make it attractive for customers to do business on a basis which goes beyond commodities and into partnering.

This was a brief overview of how companies join Total Quality Management. Once they receive the award, firms use quality in every stage they can, implement it in its processes and provide outstanding products.
Companies all over the world still are and will be entering in Total Quality Management, not only because they don’t want to miss the train, but since leading in performance on the highest level has become essential in business. n

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