The Future of Quality Management in the Twenty-First Century

There are several trends that will shape the future of quality management. These trends are as follows:

  • Increasing global competition. More and better com­petition from emerging industrialized nations will be an ongoing part of life for organizations.
  • Increasing customer expectations. Today’s global cus­tomer is interested in not just the quality of a product provided but also the quality of the organization that backs it up. Customers want an excellent product or ser­vice from an organization that also provides accurate bill­ing, reliable delivery, after-purchase support, and social responsibility.
  • Opposing economic pressures. The global marketplace exerts enormous, unrelenting pressure on organizations to continually improve quality while simultaneously re­ducing the prices they charge for goods and services. The key to achieving higher quality and lower prices for customers is the reduction of the expenses associ­ated with satisfying unhappy customers—expenses that amount to as much as 25% of the cost of sales in many companies.
  • New approaches to management. Companies that succeed in the global marketplace have learned that you manage budgets, but lead people. The old approach of providing an occasional seminar or motivational speech for employees without making any fundamen­tal changes in the way the organization operates will no longer work.

1. Quality Management Characteristics for the Future

To succeed in the global marketplace for now and in the future, organizations need to operate according to the prin­ciples of quality management. Such companies will have the following characteristics:

  • A total commitment to continually increasing value for customers, investors, and employees
  • A firm understanding that market driven means that quality is defined by customers, not the company
  • A commitment to leading people with a bias for continu­ous improvement and communication
  • A recognition that sustained growth requires the simulta­neous achievement of four objectives continually forever: (a) customer satisfaction, (b) cost leadership, (c) effective human resources, and (d) integration with the supplier base
  • A commitment to fundamental improvement through knowledge, skills, problem solving, and teamwork
  • A commitment to fast-paced, constant learning, and an ability to respond quickly to changes in the competitive environment
  • A commitment to achieving end-to-end collaboration using web-based, on-demand tools that are fully inte­grated throughout the supply chain
  • A commitment to maintaining an environment in which creativity, critical thinking, and innovation are not just encouraged and supported, but demanded

As long as the concept of competition exists, there will be a need for quality management. In the twenty-first cen­tury, globalization will only intensify the level of compe­tition businesses face. That is why the book you are now reading has been translated into Korean and Indonesian. The concept of quality management is being adopted glob­ally and, as a result, will continue to be applied and refined through this century.

Companies that develop the characteristics listed above will be those that fully institutionalize the principles of quality management. Quality management as both a practice and a profession has a bright future. In fact, in terms of succeeding in the global marketplace, quality management is the future. Consequently, more and more companies are making quality management the way they do business, and more and more institutions of higher education are offering quality management courses and programs.

Source: Goetsch David L., Davis Stanley B. (2016), Quality Management for organizational excellence introduction to total Quality, Pearson; 8th edition.

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