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Medhurst Derek and Richards Dave (2006) are the authors of the article with the above title. The authors work for D&D Excellence limited. The article is all about quality management strategies using a model called EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management).The article provides reasons in support and against the model.
One of the reasons against this model is that there are other models that are perceived to be compatible with European organizations because they have been put to test elsewhere and the results were quite impressive.
However, the authors are also in support of this model and they do this by presenting the indicators of success that were visible in organizations that have used the model in the recent years.
This is just an example of the excuses highlighted by the article. However, I really like the article because the authors have done a commendable research on their arguments and in fact, they have justified facts to support the arguments.
The Key Learning Points
The authors of the article are mainly concerned about the pros and cons of using EFQM model. According to the article, the model is just but a system hence its success will rely on the input of people that will be using it. There are eight objectives that must be observed for the implementation of the model to be a success.
The first objective of using the model is to improve the quality of goods and services. This is done by introducing new standards that must be met by the organization.
After the quality has been improved, it is expected that there will be a balance between satisfied and dissatisfied customers. This implies that currently there is an imbalance between the two, and possibly the number of dissatisfied customers outweighs the number of satisfied customers.
The research carried out in a period of five years using the EFQM indicates that the companies that applied the model recorded an improvement in sales return, operating income, and total revenue. The authors emphasize on the need to have confidence while trying out the model, despite the reports, which suggest that the model have failed in other companies.
The authors point out clearly that EFQM is just a structure and hence it should be used appropriately. In regard to this, the authors state that the article addresses many areas and incase an area has been omitted it should be incorporated appropriately.
The areas that have been omitted should be identified by assigning relevant topics because once the topics have been incorporated with the model a test is carried out on the model to gauge its performance. It is during theses tests that evaluators should give appropriate recommendations.
Additionally, there are organizations that used the model and they were able to achieve their goals, but later the system failed to meet their needs. Concerning this issue, the authors argue that companies experienced failure because of their own mistakes.
This because after getting used to the model for so long they decided to customize it to meet their needs without having to go through unnecessary paths in accomplishing their mission.
The companies that did the customizations should not expect to achieve the same results with companies that did not modify the model. It is certain that there are some requirements that were skipped during customization of the model, and this is why there was failure because the output expected from the model is determined by the inputs.
It is therefore not appropriate to compare a customized model with those that have not been modified. In such a case it is difficult to tell where the failure is coming from, but it would be easier if the model had not been tampered with.
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Another excuse quoted by the authors revolves around the differences in the paths taken by the model and the ones taken by the organization. This seems to create confusion because judging by the presentation of the model, some processes will be done differently so that the issue of top-notch production is no longer compromised.
The excuse implies that the model was expected to follow the same procedure, but then there are many ways of achieving the same results hence this statement suggests that the people concerned are afraid of change. What people do not know is that the success of this model will open more doors of advancement, both at the individual level and at the organization level.
Lack of time and resources has also been quoted as an excuse for not implementing the EFQM model, but every achievement requires sacrifices that are made in terms of spending money on skills and resources. Managers are deviating from a very important issue, and that is risk taking. It is certain that an organization is afraid of loosing its money and time to a venture where there is no guarantee for success.
Therefore, organizations should collect facts about the model by carrying out a survey to prepare for the possible setbacks before implementing the model. By doing so, organizations will have established fall-back positions should the model fail to deliver the required results.
Moreover, the implementation of the EFQM model should be gradual for an organization to evaluate the implantation process step-by-step. In addition, partial implementation requires less resources and time compared to the requirements of full implementation.
Gradual implementation will allow the entire organization, including administrators and the employees, to get acquainted to the system. This is because there are adjustments that have to be made prior to full implementation. However, the intensity of implementation is determined by the size of the organization.
Relevant Building Blocks of the Article
The authors of the mentioned article have done a commendable job in providing information about the EFQM model. The authors have provided detailed information concerning the main objective of implementing the model, which is improving the quality of production.
The article has gone an extra mile to provide facts based on the performance history of the model in other organizations. These facts are provided with the aim of persuading the organization to buy the idea of the model.
Similarly, the article has emphasized on the issue of the things that must be done prior to the implementation of the model. This is important because if an organization implemented the model blindly, it would suffer from the consequences that compliment ignorance. Besides, the article has warned the organization about the effects that would be expected if the model was customized.
Appropriate guidance has been provided in the article about the approach that should be employed in implementing the model. The authors have given their reasons for recommending partial implementation. This is because without providing logical reasons the organization would not understand why it should carry out the implementation gradually.
There are various benefits that come with models that are meant to improve the quality of production. First, the processes that are involved in production will be done much faster because the tasks will be broken down to simpler and manageable tasks.
This will cause the performance of the employees to improve tremendously and the productivity of the organization in general. Second, the organization will be able to penetrate into international markets because of using acknowledged models like EFQM.
Additionally, the clients of an organization will become satisfied because they will be getting goods and services that are equivalent to their money. This will go a long way in reducing complains, and the satisfied clients will bring their friends on board and thus the client base of the organization will widen. Moreover, the more clients will buy goods and services, the more the turnover of the organization will increase.
There are also shortcomings that are associated with the implementation of the EFQM model. The implementation of a model requires that the employees of an organization be trained on how to go about with the model. This comes at an extra cost and time and thus, small organizations are least likely to meet the costs.
There are also risks of failure, and unless an organization has been operational for a long time, it would be difficult to recover from such a big loss. That is why small and medium sized companies tend to shy away. Besides, there is no guarantee that the model will function efficiently if it is customized according to the needs of the organization.
Application of Subject Matter in Real Business
EFQM model provides an insight on how organizations can thrive by meeting the customer requirements. The argument provided in the article is that for an organization to achieve excellence it must be ready to make sacrifices to achieve its mission, and as far as organization missions are concerned, every organization wants to have a bigger market share.
For instance, EQFM model can be applied in manufacturing industries in Dubai to enhance the quality of products distributed to customers around the globe.
It then follows that big market shares are achieved by organizations that emphasize on quality towards meeting client satisfaction. Regardless of the location of the business, each entity must focus on quality because that is what entices the clients. Though, if the quality provided is of low quality, the clients will look for it elsewhere and that translates to loss of clients and hence, low turnover.
The lesson learnt in the mentioned article is that nothing good comes easily because for EFQM model to be a success, there are efforts that must be exercised to make it a reality. The fear of loosing is quite apparent in the article, and just in real life it can be a major stumbling block to success. However, practicing executives should consider the risks involved in every venture and prepare adequately, just in case they happen.
This implies that when an individual is preparing for the best he/she should also be prepared for the worst. Similarly, failure should not discourage someone from trying because the more you keep on trying, the more you identify the mistakes that made you fail, and the higher the chances of success.