Building and sustaining high performance business organizations is a crucial success factor for both manufacturing and services institutions. With the current trend of transformations in the business world, notably as a result of the many changes in technology, there are numerous ways through which entrepreneurs can establish and sustain high performance strategies in business.
There are countless factors which can be implemented by business organizations in the wider business world, to build high performance in all segments of productivity. Quality management is arguably one of the key factors to consider when it comes to creation and sustainance of high-performance business organizations (Moody and Shanks 633).
This is an effective factor whose consistent application can result to the best strategic and tactical outcomes in business. Quality management is one of the upcoming trends that have continued to make outstanding transformations in the contemporary business world. Through this concept, modern day businesses have been able to address the uncertain business environment which is presented by the faster and disruptive changes currently affecting the global populations.
Quality management simply refers to activities which are involved in the determination of quality policies, and their applications in business through ways such as quality assurance and quality planning. Quality control and improvement are some of the main processes involved in the implementation of the practice within business organizations.
The main objective behind quality management is to oversee all tasks that are needed to achieve a desired level of success in meeting the expectations of the customers. As a matter of fact, quality management is just what modern businesses need to cope with the many challenges presented by the rising pressure of environmental factors affecting the business world nowadays.
This quality management research paper features Sony Corporation, as one of the global companies which utilizes the concept of quality management in shaping their business position in the competitive business world.
Contribution of Quality Management Frameworks in the success of organizations
The current business environment faces many challenges. Business entrepreneurs in all levels are facing increased demand for heightening social responsibilities, technological changes, and strategic thinking ways which have changed greatly over the years. Increased trends of competition and globalization have also been top among the factors which continue to pressurize the global business arena.
With all these demands, there is a need for modern businesses to adopt effective operational policies that will help to build, manage and sustain high performance business organizations in all levels of accountability. Today, high-performance corporations such as Sony, which has come to realize the value of employing quality management in their operational units, are the role models of the successful organizational world.
Sony Corporation is excellent in vast ways. The concept of quality management has consistently seen the company outperform many of its competitors in business, for a very long time. In this case, the company represents a real-world version of a contemporary managerial system.
There are many ways through which quality management systems or frameworks facilitate organizational success. The concept involves the practice of constantly improving performance in business, simply by targeting the end users, while at the same time, trying to address the expectations of the stakeholders.
In other words, this approach would ensure that both the company and the customers benefit equally in the long-term. If anything should be considered in the implementation of the concept, it is the end-users. Customers are of great importance to businesses, and nothing should be allowed to come between organizations and their consumers. The idea of gaining and retaining customers involves a lot of benefits, as well as costs.
The part involving the costs is the most challenging point that businesses have to deal with more wisely and in the best tactical way, so as to remain competent in the market. This explains the reason why many corporations in the current competitive business world would go to the extent of exploiting all their business capabilities, for the sake of satisfying the expectations of their customers.
The concept of quality management has constantly proved to be an effective solution for those organizations that need to make a difference in the market, by gaining a high competitive advantage above their rivals in the business (Evans and William 32). Consumer expectations inevitably define performance standards and criteria. In this regard, customer expectations are the main focus of quality management systems that direct an organization at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of performance and accountability.
By becoming the focus of corporate thinking for organizations, quality management is certain to ensure that products and services produced satisfy the needs of the consumers. This concept plays a significant role in ensuring that customer satisfaction is the most important consideration which comes in the minds of businesses and not only the thought of increasing profits.
Quality management, which has been focused on customers, works to cover the gap which exists between organizational levels of performance and consumer satisfaction. This way, organizations end up coming up with the most desirable products and services, thus achieving consumer satisfaction.
In order to achieve its purpose, quality management systems or frameworks works through a number of elements. Some of these elements include aspects such as completeness of products or services, convenience and accessibility, responsiveness, accuracy of services, consistency, timeliness, and courtesy as it is exercised by staff or employees towards the consumers.
Quality management standards, whether internally conceived or reinforced by the universally agreed ISO 9000, have always played a significant role in the success of many business organizations in the world. ISO 9000 series remains the only main set of international policies and standards that apply to the management of quality frameworks or systems. Some of the standards laid by ISO 9000 would include information management standards and health and safety among others.
The concept establishes a strong framework on how businesses would manage their key processes, towards effective productivity and customer satisfaction. Through this important initiative, which is certain to meet all required standards of customer satisfaction, businesses all over the world have been able to meet their objectives.
More importantly, the trend has also enabled organizations to constantly improve processes, systems and products in a manner that favors the customer and this has helped businesses to establish good relationships with their consumers. Quality management systems have constantly succeeded in sparing business organizations from making deadly mistakes, through reasonable planning and effective utilization of time and resources. All these initiatives do play a significant role in attracting and retaining customers in business.
From a close analysis of literature review on some of the most successful organizations in the world, there is a theory and practice behind the path taken by high-performance business institutions. From these observations, it has been discovered that effective business strategies and practices have applied all through.
From these findings, a model of performance which revolves around five main organizational characteristics has been developed. These include customer approach, strategic approach, leadership approach, values and beliefs, and processes and structure. In most cases, these characteristics have also acted as drivers of high-performance institutions.
This refers to the way an organization or institution would treat the consumer. High-performance institutions normally tend to have good and effective strategies of obtaining, treating, and retaining their customers in all terms. These organizations also apply all the necessary processes and facilities, to support and withhold the approach of their consumers.
An institution’s consistent application of strategic approaches plays a significant role in the determination of its success and prosperity in business. High-performance organizations are associated with achievable visions that have been sustained with flexible strategic plans.
More importantly, they also follow well-articulated principles and philosophies that are certain to establish the standards defining the type of behavior which should be followed by everyone in the organization. These organizations are also defined by management and employee teams who possess a positive understanding of the company’s business philosophy and business plans towards its customers.
This characteristic defines the strategies used by organizations in managing its workers in various segments, towards the achievement of established behaviors and goals. High-performance institutions would tend to be clear on the standards that workers should exhibit in the execution of important organizational strategies. In this case, organizational leaders such as executives and managers would establish goals matching the customers’ expectations and guide the other employees towards a focused directive in achieving those goals.
Values and beliefs
These are important in helping organizations achieve their business objectives. High-performance business institutions typically possess well established values that are well understood by all employees. This could be an organization’s code of conduct, which is consistent with their approach to leadership in business practices and accountability.
Processes and structure
This involves the procedures used by organizations in arranging their work policies and processes to execute desired business strategies. High-performance businesses are defined by strong processes that meet all the standards required to enable workers execute all opportunities in trying to meet customer expectations.
The entire process of quality management involves improvement of quality in both product and services, as well as in the channels or mediums used to deliver those requirements to consumers. Most of these strategies are prominently featured in the modern Total Quality Management approaches, such as ‘Six Sigma’ among other concepts.
For effective implementation of good quality management policies and standards, organizations should first of all understand all the consumer expectations as observed from the market and try to meet them accordingly, in a manner which ensures that both external and internal customers are fully satisfied.
Apart from effective leadership and management guidance, which is of great requirement here, people from all levels of an institution also do play a significant role in the implementation of the concept. Complete involvement of each individual within an institution is likely to facilitate huge benefits, through combined reasoning and effort. Through this approaches, Sony Corporation has managed to maintain its outstanding business stability in the global markets ahead of its competitors.
Sony Corporation Quality Management Systems
Sony is a corporate group based in Japan, whose primary focus in business is on electronics, entertainment, game and financial services. The group is made up of various sectors which include Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Sony Financial Holdings among other subsidiaries.
Ever since the year 1945, when the company foundations were laid in Tokyo by Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita, the company has over the years transformed into a leading manufacturer and assessor of many electronic products. Through the power of innovation, which has seen the company introduce many products and standards over the years, Sony has always maintained their reputation in the global arena, as a reliable innovative company of all times (Lee and Whang 296).
These achievements have continued to place Sony at the front-line, in the most competitive industry of electronics, where it competes with other big companies such as Panasonic, SANYO, LG and Phillips. However, among the factors that have continued to place Sony Corporation in a strong competitive advantage against its rivals is their effective quality management systems. The company has been promoting a constant, decisive effort in enhancing the quality of their products and in reinforcing its quality management framework.
Sony Corporation have recently reviewed and reconfigured their strong quality management system in all mechanisms and processes. This strategic approach would see the company come up with significant improvements in various areas, ranging from design and manufacturing, to sales and services. The intervention would also see the company come introduce strong guidelines that would guarantee for appropriate levels of quality which matches the current technological changes.
Sony’s Management and technical systems
The company’s strong management systems are well defined by its organizational structure, which is made up of high qualified leadership posts and personnel. Changes directed to improvement of quality management systems in the company have impacted serious changes on the company’s management systems. This has seen the company make big changes in all its operational units to meet the new quality requirements.
For example, Quality officers have been appointed in each business unit to oversee and spearhead quality matters of products and services. Sony have also acquired certification under ISO 9001for all departments that deal with the manufacture of electronic products. More importantly, the company has religiously held quality strategic meetings involving top management, to discuss and make necessary suggestions regarding product quality.
The company has also formulated quality standards applicable to all their products and services, through effective criteria such as product performance and safety, as well as performance, services and labeling of products. As if this was not enough, Sony has also strengthened rules globally, since the year 2006, to enable customer report promptly to relevant departments in the company, incase they sense risk of danger from using the company products.
Apart from the management systems, the company has also made significant approaches in its technical side, to ensure that their customers continue enjoying the best products and services from the company. One way of achieving this goal is through the company’s establishment of customer information centers in many regions, to receive customers’ feedback on products. The company makes active use of the feedback from customers to modify its products and services, thus enhancing product and service quality.
There has been redesigning of products in the past few years to improve features and usability of parts, like in the case of video cameras and digital cameras recently.
Other key modifications have also been made on product user manuals, where technical language has been replaced with easy simpler language and guides that are understandable by all users. As another part of their constant effort to improve the quality of their products, the company also seeks suggestions and advice regarding the safety of products from external medical experts, before developing new product.
Currently, there are many ways and efforts apart the ones described above, through which Sony has responded to quality issues in all their operations, thus ensuring efficient customer satisfaction. Based on all these modifications on quality systems, the company has successfully made a big effort in the marketing of all its products to the international markets.
Six-Sigma Quality Management
Six-Sigma is a hot management topic in the contemporary business world. Indeed, this is the next trend in the evolution of quality management. This simply refers to a measure of quality which services for near perfection, as it is applied by many organizations today. This system inherits from Total Quality Management and it applies much the same concepts. The approach is defined through two main characteristics that distinguish it from TQM and other aspects.
The two characteristics are; a focus towards the reduction of variation to very low levels and Six Sigma Black Belts, which involves experts in quality statistical process control and process improvement. Six-Sigma’s statistical representation describes the performance of a process through quantitative approaches. However, the fundamental goal of this methodology is to implement a measurement strategy which aims in the reduction of variation through effective application of Six Sigma improvement projects.
By using Six-Sigma methodology in their quality management strategies, Sony stands to face far-reaching benefits as well as challenges. For one, the company will come to realize full improvement of processes, services and products by constantly addressing and minimizing defects. Apart from attracting and retaining customers through quality, Six-Sigma also plays a significant role in streamlining operations within organizations (Klefsj and Wiklund 34).
More importantly, the methodology would enable the organization to sustain its competitive strength in the market, by utilizing their knowledge in project management and statistics. However, the challenges of successfully implementing the methodology are immense and are just what the Sony cannot escape, by implementing the concept in their quality management program. One of the major challenges with Six-Sigma is that, it is hard to manage owing to its complex procedures.
To ensure long-term sustainability of the concept, Sony will have to dedicate a lot of valuable time and attention to it and would have to utilize its concepts and tools constantly for positive outcomes in the long run. Additionally, Sony may not have full understanding of the concept, which requires integrated training and this may lead to failure of the company in its operations.
In conclusion, Six Sigma may be a significant initiative that could be used to improve the process of quality management. However, efforts should be made to integrate the concept with other existing concepts in the field, to make it more attractive to the many business organizations in the world that are yet to adopt its policies.
Evans, James, and Lindsay, William. The Management and Control of Quality, South Western: Thomson Publishing Company, 2008. Print.
Klefsj, Bengt and Wiklund, Hakan. “Six Sigma Seen as a Methodology for Total Quality Management.” Measuring Business Excellence 5.1 (2001): 31-35. Print.
Lee, Hau and Whang, Seungjin. “Higher Supply Chain Security with Lower Cost: Lessons from Total Quality Management.” International Journal of Production Economics 96. 3 (2005): 289-300. Print.
Moody, Daniel and Shanks, Graeme. “Improving the Quality of Data Models: Empirical Validation of a Quality Management Framework.” Information Systems 28. 6 (2003): 619-650. Print.