Quality has been and will always be the focus of any business industry or public service and it’s been a subject of contention over the years. Total Quality Management was initially developed by Deming and Juran who are recognized as pioneers of the TQM approach. Deming and Juran believed that quality and productivity were issues that could be achieved and were not conflicting objectives and the basic proposition was that all production processes were vulnerable to quality problems caused by variations.
The approach focuses on the minimisation of variation levels in order to improve output quality.
According to Goetsch (2001) TQM process begins with the customer and ends with the customer as illustrated in the diagram below. The process takes specific inputs and thus customers’ wants, needs and expectations and transforms or processes the inputs within the organisation to produce goods or services that, in turn, satisfy the customer and that’s an output. The above diagram also shows the initial basic purposes of TQM, which was to increase the quality and efficiency, therefore having less waste and achieve higher productivity in order to satisfy all the customers.
This is supported by Atkinson (1990) who urged that TQM is an organisation-wide commitment to getting things right and should affect every level inside the organisation. Quality should constitute the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears upon its ability to satisfy given needs (EOQ 2005). This applies to any public sector and it is disturbing and one would wonder whether CSC staff are trained and work according to the organisational processing policy especially when you call at different times and get different information on the requirements and processes.
The contradictory information could be used to measure the organisational services and it could be assumed that there is lack of training or it could be competency issues or lack of standardisation with staff at CSC. While we don’t have empirical evidence to back up this assumption, our telephone calls to CSC processing unit on different intervals, speaking to different call centre agents asking for the same information, but getting different responses indicates a gap within the system. In retrospect, the overall service quality of the organization could be infringed significantly.
This gap could be closed given the Deming proposal to combine relevant resources and skills of quality teams within each department to develop and design processes to improve quality. The literature shows that Quality Management have become proactive, making plans to bring about continuous quality improvement and to achieve a more desirable future. The aim is to get rid of poor quality from the product rather than get rid of poor quality product, therefore the gurus of Quality Management suggests that quality is progressed by establishing proactively rather than reactive management.
There are many quality tools that can be used in the CSC operational process and Six Sigma according to Basu and Wright (2003) has to be incontrovertibly applicable to service industry given its objectives that is to gain significant breakthroughs and improved results by doing things better, faster and cheaper. On the other hand Lean Six Sigma achieves quality without waste and focuses on using the minimum amount of resources (people, materials, and capital) to produce solutions and deliver them on time to customers. The process, however, does not have the discipline to deliver results predictably.
The application of the two techniques in our view could enhance the CSC services since Lean Sigma is the application of lean techniques to increase speed and reduce waste, while Six Sigma improves quality and focuses on the voice of the Customer. The diagram below illustrates how and what savings and ease of implementation could be applied to CSC processes. However Basu and Wright (2003) urges that FIT ? is more than cost savings, but strengthens the organization’s knowledge base, stabilize processes and procedures and breaks down cross-functional barriers.
Using the selection process diagram above, we noted that some of the processing activities fall into top selected plot as they are easy to implement. The concept is based on Six Sigma as it is a strategic approach to organizational improvement by integrating strategic thinking with technology, tools and techniques and people. The selected elements are further discussed in the following discussion with a focus on efficiency and elimination of non value adding activities.