Most organizations have a quality management department aimed at reviewing the quality of all factors that concern the delivery of different services. In this regard, organizations use different control processes to achieve quality. Armand Vallin Feigenbaum was a control expert who devised the Total Quality Control Principle creating the foundation for Total Quality Management. The following essay provides a discussion of the contributions made by Feigenbaum to the field of Quality Management.
A world quality guru Armand Vallin Feigenbaum was born in 1922 and served as a president and C.E.O of the General Systems Company (Feigenbaum & Feigenbaum, 2009). He has made enormous contribution in the field of quality management resulting in the improved productivity and management strategies in organizations across the world. Feigenbaum devised the concept of quality control, which he defined as an efficient system with the ability to integrate quality development, its maintenance, and the efforts of all the stakeholders in improving quality. The integration further results in economical production of goods and services while offering satisfaction to consumers.
Feigenbaum also suggested a critical concept known as the hidden plant, whereby he stated that in every organization, a significant proportion of available resources are wasted by not doing the right things in the first place. Such situation leads to the usage of additional resources in attempt to correct the mistakes. He established the percentage of wasted resources being 40% of the organization’s resources while many managers view the number rather unrealistic. Eventually, managers have come to prove that the suggested percentage was very close to the truth.
The concept of accountability of quality is also among the issues that Feigenbaum stressed on by stating that the high-level managers of an organization must change their view towards quality and manage it effectively to serve as role models to the juniors. He further indicated that management of quality in the majority of organizations is considered everybody’s job, which later translates to being nobody’s job (Spetzler, 2016). Such generalization in quality management results in the lack of accountability. Feigenbaum suggested that particular people at the management level should be responsible for ensuring that quality is maintained at the highest possible standard.
Further, Feigenbaum devised the concept of quality costs that he classified into four categories namely prevention, appraisal, internal, and the external failure costs (Spetzler, 2016). The prevention costs include the issue of quality planning which is a continuous process that should involve all the stakeholders of an organization. On the other hand, appraisal costs imply the inspection of extent to which the quality policies are being adhered to, while internal failure costs are associated with the scrap and redoing of things that were initially not done properly. He defined scrap as the wasted resources that may not be reused when repeating the work and thus are wasted. More so, the process of redoing the work is both time and energy consuming; therefore, Feigenbaum put greater emphasis on proper performance in the first place.
On the contrary, the external failure costs are related to the expenses of warranties and the customers’ complaints (McCormick, 2002). Warranties are expensive to an organization since the process involves replacing the faulty product with a well-functioning one, which reduces the profitability of organization. In order to avoid increased cost of warranties, the concept of proper performance is still applied. Additionally, the customer complaints lead to the loss of the company’s market share thus negatively affecting the growth of the organization. In this regard, Feigenbaum emphasized that the word of a dissatisfied customer spreads wider and faster than that of a happy one; hence organizations should always consider customers satisfaction to remain competitive in the global market.
In order to enable organizations to improve their customer focus, Feigenbaum developed various elements of total quality to use as a reference point for organizations worldwide in their endeavor to satisfy their customers. First, quality is what the customer perceives to be good quality and not what the company thinks regarding it. The desired quality is achieved by constant evaluation of customers’ satisfaction and improvement of the areas that cause dissatisfaction among the consumers. Furthermore, managers should always review the negative feedbacks from the customers as an element of improvement. Second, Feigenbaum stated that the process of quality development begins with an individual, so managers should always work towards personal development and growth of the employees before focusing on the overall team development (Feigenbaum & Feigenbaum, 2016).
Feigenbaum also emphasized that the quality is not achieved in one day but is a continuous process, and managers should be patient with their employees to build a positive attitude towards quality among the employees’ team. Furthermore, the importance of innovation in quality is also emphasized because innovation and quality are mutually beneficial and interrelated.
In conclusion, it is evident that Feigenbaum’s works on quality have had significant impact on organizations and changing the managers’ and the employees’ perception of quality. The total quality editions were published in more than 20 languages being an evidence that Feigenbaum’s work is globally used and has led to significant changes in the management practices and attitudes towards the quality of products and services.