TQM: Towards Zero Defects
By: C. K. Karekatti
Success stories of QMS in automotive and electronic industries are well documented. Success of IndianOEMs in automobile Component industry is largely attributed to TQM. However utility of these tools is oftenquestioned in apparel industry. Having worked as a key member in implementing TQM in apparel industry, Iam better placed to answer these anxieties. If low productivity, fire fighting, customer complaints, attrition,are issues with your business, then your organization needs to either tighten the existing QMS or implementone. In this paper an attempt is made to introduce and quantify practical utility of these tools in apparelindustry.
Are QMS Suitable for labour intensive industry like Textile and Apparel ?
The answer is abundantly yes. Operations heads in apparel industry often express their inability tostandardize the processes due to product variability, unpredictable market (fashion) trends etc. One of theleading aerospace industry implementing TQM is an excellent example to refute these claims
. Thecompany sources components from vendors located across the globe. It is subjected to far more market riskcompared to apparel industry, including design changes, interest rates, exchange rates, and commodityprices. The company meets its delivery schedule where the cost of delay is catastrophic. Interestingly it isnot the process or product limitation but psychological factors that cause the reluctance among garmentprofessionals in implementing TQM.
History of QMS
In the early days quality was restricted to inspection. In the 1920’s statistical theory began to be appliedeffectively to quality control. Work of Shewhart, Deming, Juran, Dodge and Romig lead the foundation ofstatistical process control (SPC). In a paper given by Feigenbaum
, the term “total quality” was used for thefirst time, and referred to wider issues such as planning, organization and management responsibility.Ishikawa gave a paper
explaining how “total quality control” in Japan was different, it meaning, “companywide quality control” and describing how all employees, from top management to the workers, must studyand participate in quality control.
“A set of co-ordinated activities to direct and control an organization in order to continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its performance.”
Each Quality management systems (TQM, ISO etc) and its elements (Statistical process control, (SPC),Kaizen, Advance product quality planning and control (APQP), have a distinctive applicability. It is necessarythat the approach selected suits current and future needs of the organization. SPC works towards bringingprocess under the influence of common causes alone by identifying & eliminating assignable causes. APQPfocuses mainly on new product development / project execution. ISO 9000 currently includes three qualitystandards (ISO 9000:2005, ISO 9001:2000, and ISO 9004:2000). ISO 9001:2000 presents ISO's new qualitymanagement system
, while ISO 9000:2005 and ISO 9004:2000 _______________