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5, 1994


Integrating quality control and inspection

into your total quality management system

Company, Manager Quality Control, 3100 E. 45th St., Cleveland, OH 44127,

Abstract With the move to total quality management (TQM) the role of the quality control
manager changes to quality leadership for the entire organization, providing total employee focus on
the quality mission and goals. This paper views the changes in the quality control department with
the implementation of TQM and offers a sample plan for integrating the quality department into a
TQM programme.

With the rapid implementation of total quality management (TQM) systems in the US, the
role of the quality control department and the manager of quality control is also changing
rapidly. The traditional role of the quality control manager is one of managing and administrating such functions as inspection, product testing, quality assurance (QA), technical
problem-solving, training, customer audits, supplier quality assurance and gauge-control
programmes. With TQM, the role changes to quality leadership, facilitating problem-solving,
employee training, quality goal setting and planning, resource managing to aid employee
problem-solving teams, resource management to the whole organization versus a department
on quality functions and coordination of quality functions for the whole organization. Clearly,
the quality control manager moves more from administrator to leader and coordinator. In
addition, the quality control manager's scope moves from a departmental to full organizational approach. The quality control department must be integrated into a total organizational approach towards quality and must give up any form of 'quality ownership', which rests
with all employees.

The roots of traditional quality control

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the craft's system was really a form of TQM reinforcing
total worker ownership. The heart and soul of the crafts-manufactured products were quality.
With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, a military organizational design based on the
theories of Henri Fayol caused a functional breakup of quality ownership among the



employees into various line and staff fiinctions. Mass production also broke up employee
ownership of the final product attributes such as end quality.
This loss of end quality and its ownership became visible in the US in the 1880s. The
classic example of this was played out on the front pages of major American newspapers in
the 1880s. The case involved a US Navy contract for armor plate with Carnegie Steel. A
number of court cases occurred against Carnegie Steel executives for knowingly shipping
defective and inferior steel. As the problem evolved, the Navy required an on-site inspector
to assure adherence to product requirements and process standards. Carnegie Steel argued
this was interference with the actual processing of steel versus assurance to product standards. The court cases were eventually dropped, but because of the names involved (such as
Charles Schwab) and the front-page coverage, it left a lasting imprint on American quality
management and manufacturing.
In particular, American manufacturing moved rapidly towards the internal inspection
departments and later quality control departments (a term first used in 1917). Of course, at
the time the motivation was to avoid government regulation, but there were benefits to this
type of quality management that were first during the early phases of the Industrial Revolution.
By the turn of the century, the concepts of Frederick Taylor (known as the 'father of
scientific management' and the Deming of his time) became the guide. Taylor designed a
quality control department as inspection, inspection standards, product testing, employee
training on process standards and the development of process standards. He argued effectively that this required a separate department. As Taylorism and the Taylor factory system
popularity grew, quality control (QC) and inspection departments became commonplace.
After World War I, the Europeans saw the success of American industry due to Taylor's ideas
and began to adopt the system on a large scale.
In the 1930s, quality control departments also took on technical problem-solving. In
addition, product monitoring in particular became a function of the quality control department with the work of Walter Shewhart. Shewhart's statistical product monitoring using
Pareto charts strengthened the quality control department's problem-solving function. During this time period, quality control departments began to be managed by engineering and
technical experts related to the product.
World War 11 saw the technical aspect of quality control departments grow even more.
Metallurgists ran quality control departments for steel, forging, etc. while electrical engineers
ran quality control departments for electrical component producers.
The traditional American quality control function
As already noted, the evolution of the quality control function had a strong foundation in
inspection, the principles of Frederick Taylor in the US and Henri Fayol in Europe, and
technical expertise for problem-solving. The government played an important role in the
development of this model. Statistical techniques were focused on product monitoring versus
process control.
The quality control function from an organizational standpoint was considered a staff
organization. The quality control manager reported to some form of general business
manager. Figure 1 is a generic quality control organization and functions based on the
historic roots previously discussed. Of course, the design of the organization varied by
product and company size. Clearly, however, the role of the quality control manager was
predominantly that of an administrator and business manager.
The staff role of the quality control manager lefi: the person out of the real processes of



Business Unit

Manager of
Quality Control






Figure 1. A generic schematic of traditional quality control.

the product quality or customer satisfaction improvement in relationship to the organization

as a whole. T~he role was more of a monitor of the process and a system maintenance
roleclearly, in the traditional role of the quality control manager, a business manager was
advised with little interface with general employee population of the company.

Employee-driven TQM
TQM breaks from traditional quality control in that it is participative, employee driven and
employee owned. In TQM, the quality function encompasses the whole organization. In
many cases, instead of changing the paradigm in many organizations, the quality control
department remains in a traditional role not integrated into the TQM effort. In many cases,
a separate organization is developed to manage the TQM effon isolating the quality control
department. In a successful TQM, all departments and managers must be integrated into the
effort. The team must be stressed over individuals and departmentsthis is the required
To integrate all employees into the effort, your TQM system must be well defined. While
many models exist, common themes do exist.

Total employee involvement and empowerment.

Strong customer/supplier/process/employee linkage.
Customer and supplier partnership.
Statistical process control.
Conformance and development to process standards that affect end quality.
Active employee corrective action and problem-solving.

Figure 2 is a schematic of an integrated TQM process known as optimum product attribute

management. Note that Fig. 2 describes the TQM process, not the management or the
employee roles required to implement it successfully. It represents the steps of designing,
implementing and maintaining a TQM system.
This system, of course, could be managed by the traditional quality control departmentalthough it would lack success if there was not total employee involvement. Total
employee involvement and empowerment are the cornerstones of TQM.
Figure 3 is a cross-functional team approach to the actual management of a TQM
system. It also shows that quality management in TQM systems is not a departmental but
total employee team effort. Inputs into the management of the process or system has no
departmental lines, but rather drives ownership to all employees. These employee inputs are
used to design, implement, monitor and manage the TQM process (see Fig. 2). Combining




Identify Key



to Workforce

Monitor Process


Problem Solving



Figure 2. Optimum product attribute management. A global approach to integrated process control.

these employee inputs with TQM process or system produces functional outputs as shown in
Fig. 3. The end result of this is customer satisfaction.

The role of the quality control departments in TQM

Clearly, the role of the quality control department must change with the implementation of
TQM. Figure 4 is a traditional generic quality control department organization. In a TQM
system, many of these functions now have the broader ownership of the whole employee
team. Some very technical and administrative functions must still rest under a quality control
department; for example, product certification, monitoring compliance, product design, etc.
Other traditional roles such as inspection can, and in fact in many new work systems, are
employee owned with again more efficiency.
For example, in new work systems, all employees are trained as inspectors. An employee
can one day be an inspector and on the next day an operator. The power of this type of
system is the 'inspector' who can move from pure sort inspection to diagnostic inspection
where he/she can take an active role in team problem solving. Under traditional quality
control systems an inspector is an expen in defect identification, but lacks the working
knowledge of the process/operation to help in root cause analysis. In the new generation of
TQM systems, inspection as a diagnostic tool is integrated in the TQM system (see Fig. 2).





Business Unit

Manager of
Quality Control





CiBtomar PmblwFW


Cuatomn NMit*
(WquIrM Stwidirdt

Cunomr ContKi

Figure 4. A functional view of a traditional quality control organization.

Note also that using and rotating all employees as inspectors reinforces the concept that all
employees are responsible for inspection and customer satisfaction.
In TQM systems, the role of the quality control department (or better, the quality or
TQM Department) changes to one of quality leadership, a resource to employee problemsolving teams, a quality training organization, a facilitator of employee quality planning, an
organization to communicate customer needs to the whole organization, an organization to
help all employees get involved in quality functions and an in-house customer advocate.
Clearly, this is a paradigm shift in the traditional mission of the department. The most
fundamental change in the department is now likely to be a resource to the whole employee
team versus a staff advisory department to a general manager. New roles also emerge such as
leadership and planning roles in campaigns to achieve supplier awards and certifications such
as Ford Q-1 and ISO 9000 efforts, internal company quality consulting, overall quality
planning and long-term continuous improvement.
The traditional roles of the manager of quality control can be summarized as follows:
department administrator; technical problem-solver; chief inspector; resource to a general
business manager; monitor product and customer requirements; maintain a system of
processing standards; manage customer problems.
The new TQM roles of the manager of quality control are:
quality leadership for the entire organization; explaining the corporate quality mission;
teaching, facilitating and developing employee improvement teams; quality training and skill
development; quality planning; providing total employee focus on the quality mission and
goals; employee communication.
Clearly, the new role of the quality control manager can be summarized as quality
Implementing the change in the quality control department
Certainly, implementation of a quality control depanment to a quality department requires
timing, training and again, leadership. Before any change can occur, the company or
organization must have its TQM plan and system well under way. This phase can last 1-5
years depending on the size of the company. Therefore, the quality control manager or
quality manager from the initial phases must have a leadership role in the implementation of
TQM. The quality manager is then in a position from the start to lead the corporate effort
and foresee the requirements of the role change relative to the organization. It also puts the



manager in a position to build the framework that will ultimately lead to a smooth department transition.
The following is a sample plan for integrating the quality department into your TQM
programme. The application of this type of plan will vary with company structure (management and union) and willingness for a paradigm change. Therefore, it must be assumed that
all employees are initially trained on the TQM philosophy, the company mission and the
company TQM initiative.
(1) Involve the quality manager in a leadership role in the implementation phase of
TQM. Clearly discuss the quality control department's new future role within the
department to remove fear.
(2) Involve the quality department in the training phase of TQM. Eliminate the term
quality control in favor of quahty.
(3) Train the quality department on their evolving new role realizing that TQM is not
a departmental effort, but a total team effort.
(4) Use early the quality department expertise is the development and operation of
employee problem-solving teams.
(5) Integrate the inspection unit into TQM: (a) Where possible, use the operator/inspection rotating positions; (b) another option is cross-training of the inspectors with
operating position.
(6) After step 5, start the active involvement of the inspectors into diagnostic problemsolving and employee team involvement.
(7) An optional step is to move the inspection unit into the operating unit with quality
control responsible for training, certification and customer interface.
(8) Finally, based on your final TQM system, filling the unique needs of your company,
integrate the quality department fully into your program. Define what traditional
roles must be maintained for the business.
While these steps are generic and each company has a unique culture, success of integrating
the quality department will depend largely on the leadership role of the quality manager.
Another key is the active, early and open involvement of the quality department employees
in making the change. Fear is the biggest roadblock to paradigm shifts and open employee
involvement is the best means of overcoming fear.