Analysis Of Deming's Total Quality Management And Its Effectiveness In Service Quality Assurance Of Boeing

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Quality management is a very sensitive factor to consider in every industry because it is the determining factor of the quality of the products being manufactured in those organizations. Tahla (2004) mentions that, quality is a determinant factor in the success or failure of an industry because it is what is used to gauge them against their competitors in the market place. He further states that industries should strive to give the best of their efforts in production so that they can provide the best quality of products to their customers.

After watching the YouTube video of Deming at Pontiach and reading about his thoughts on total quality management, it is notable that Deming Edward was one character who valued quality more than anything else. For the time that he was in Pontiach, he transformed every department and sector of the industry and they experienced a great change that saw them transform the industry positively. Deming’s character was confrontational and he did not hesitate to confront anyone about something that he thought otherwise. He empowered his employees so that everyone felt responsible for the company’s product and cultivated a feeling of ownership among them.

Since then, his work has been as reference point for many of the industries who have gone ahead to apply Deming’s philosophy of management in their companies in a bid to produce the best quality of their products. In this paper, we analyze the Boeing’s case study as it is recorded in Managing and Using Information Systems” by Pearlson, Saunders, and Galletta, (2016). Then we will use the Deming’s strategy to look at the possible philosophies that could have been used to help the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to realize its dream of building a new aircraft which was thought to be more economical and cheap.

Boeing’s Case Study Questions

Why did Boeing adopt the radical change approach for designing and developing the 787 Dreamliner? What were the risks? In your opinion, was it a good move? Defend your choice.

Boeing adopted the radical change to build its own aircraft because they wanted to produce the best aircrafts in the industry that could have been more economical on fuel and it would have taken them a relatively shorter time period to build according to their plan. They say that, it would have reduced the 1500 aluminum sheets that are normally used in the aircraft manufacturing, as well as 50,000 fasteners as they are always required. In addition to these, the plane would also be lighter as compared to the normal weight as they will use less but lighter and modern materials to build it.

Although Boeing’s ideal idea was to build a modern aircraft using a unique design, they did not consider the risks that would come along with their radical change of process that they normally use. The idea of changing the process is because they thought the current supply chain was not ideal and so they decided to go for other suppliers who were scattered all over the world in 103 countries. Each of these suppliers had a specific part to deliver as per the order of the company. However, the risks in this case is that suppliers may deliver substandard materials or those that are not ideal for the aircraft parts while other may bring different from the ordered goods.

The first dreamliner aircraft could not last more than two years in service yet their main goal for building the 787 dreamliner was that it would reduce the out-of-service time that is used on maintenance. Apparently, the first dreamliner was launched in 2013 and was grounded in 2013 where the batteries were reported to be having problems of overheating which subsequently led to burning. These are the risks that the Boeing 787 dreamliner failed to identify before going for their project.

In my opinion, I don’t think the dreamliner’s move was a good move because they had not considered all the factors that would make their project successful. They should have tried building one aircraft first as a pilot case then after confirming that all factors have worked as expected, they would then the main project when they are sure of what they want to produce for their customers.

Using the silo perspective versus business process perspective, analyze the Dreamliner program. Silo perspective is the way in which a company is organized in functional units so that every department has a specific function that they deal with. These departments may fall under accounting, finance, engineering, sales, marketing, and human resource among others. In dreamliner, the silo perspective is not utilized at all because all the activities are run by employees in an overall manner. In the case study, there is no mention of departments as it only refers to teams that contributed to the employees who were working on the project. Unlike the organized manner in which silo perspective advocates, the Boeing Dreamliner case study did not give the comprehensive departments that deal with the assembling of the aircraft parts, the team that is responsible for making the payments, the team that awards tenders to the suppliers. In my opinion, I think this perspective was not utilized in the Boeing 787 dreamliner aircraft manufacturing.

On the other hand, the business process perspective is the view of business from the processes of business that are performed in a manufacturing industry. It is typically used for cross-functional processes that go beyond departmental and disciplinary boundaries and functions while it looks at the bigger picture of the organization. This perspective is the one that has been properly utilized in the Boeing’s Dreamliner case study.

Although this could be economical for the company, it is hard to find someone who is a generalist in that he/she is gifted in all areas/departments of the aircraft manufacturing. The project did not focus on the need to distribute duties and responsibilities to small departments who would then work towards the main goal of the company. These departments would all work solely towards accomplishing the big desired picture of the company.

Looking at the problems that were encountered in the first dreamliner aircraft, the batteries were not of good quality that is why they could not last for more than two years while when they went back to the drawing board to build other crafts, they encountered uncountable number of problems and these could be associated with the approach they used in the manufacturing of the product.

Had they used the silo perspective, maybe the problems would have been less because the responsible departments would double and cross-check if the materials from the suppliers before they take them in. besides, the unmatched networks as witnessed in the aircraft testing which is associated to the nose of the aircraft not being in the right positions could be associated with the generalization of the activities in the manufacturing. This could have been done by a person who is not a specialist in the area or someone who is not very experienced so as to do this right.

However, each of these perspectives has its benefits and it is recorded by Pearlson, Saunders, and Galletta, (2016), silo perspective is important because it gives the company a chance to recognize and develop core competencies and functional efficiencies which will make the work of the company easy and efficient while production of quality products is very high.

For the process perspective, the communication gap and work duplication is eliminated which fosters companies effectiveness because clients and employees do not have to repeat themselves when they want help from the company. This is because the person who will have to get to handle the problem at first will have to deal with it till it is solved unlike in silo where if one department is not able to solve a problem, they push it to the next department where the customer will have to repeat his/herself all over again when explaining their problem.

What are your conclusions about the design of the integrated supply chain? Give some specific ideas about what could have been done to integrate it better.

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In the Boeing’s case study, we have noted that the major problem lies in the supply of the required materials for the manufacture of the 787 dreamliner. First we see this affecting the company because just after two years of being in service, dreamliner 787 needed other batteries to be able to continue working because the first batteries had started failing in that there were allegations that they were overheating which could lead to burning. This means that the supply of the batteries was not of the required quality and so they need to relook into their supply chain management to ensure that they get quality building materials.

The main aim of the Boeing was to produce quality, cheap and unique design which would get into the market in the shortest time possible. However, that did not happen because they kept encountering one problem after the other. This made them to go for a radical change where they decided to root the building materials from different suppliers who would bring the specific ordered parts of the plane. In my understanding, this is where the rain started beating the company’s dream of building the aircraft. Although this idea meant well for the project, it proved them otherwise because some of the suppliers left the supply chain team and the company could not secure the parts or rather had limited supply as compared to what they needed.

Shen (2007) discusses different supply chain design models that can be used by companies to either supply their products or in getting the supply of the require materials for their products. From the many supply chain designs discussed, I think model with service considerations would be the most appropriate for the Boeing Company in that it would have allowed them to look at the cost of their supplies against the cost of their final product which will in turn help them go for quality materials for a better quality product.

In this design, the clients are considered to be the determinants of the decisions made in the manufacturing. This means that the services that the company seeks to provide for their clients takes the lead in ensuring that the required standards are met. If this was applied in the Boeing’s 787 dreamliner manufacturing, the team would not have gone for cheap materials which cost them a big deal later and affected their dream of getting to produce a unique design, cheap, economical and modern.

If you were the program manager, what would you have done differently to avoid the problems faced by the Dreamliner program?

Dreamliner problems started with the idea of building an economical aircraft. Although that was a good idea to start with, it led the team in the wrong direction because they ended up procuring substandard quality of building materials. Besides, the team did not have a proper protocol to follow in their company because no departments were mentioned nor any duties assigned to different people at different times. Although this business perspective can work in certain organizations, it could not be applied in the building of the craft because it is a complicated machine that needs a lot of carefulness. Having have gone through the case study and identified some gaps that would have been sealed to solve the problem, if I were the manager at Boeing I would have done things differently.

First, I would identify and assign employees tasks in relation to their area of specification or in the areas that they are well versed. For instance, all of the team members may be engineers but one may be well versed with the cover body than the engine, another one may be a better performer in fixing the seats than IT sector. These considerations to me would be important to ensure that issue such as the network mismatch and lack of detection as seen in the aircraft testing is not encountered. I believe this can be eliminated if the right people get to do and fix these parts as expected.

In addition, I would have every department to perform a specific task for instance, the procurement of aircraft parts and the assembling should be done in the procurement department in conjunction with finance department to ensure that quality products are brought on board so that problems such as the batteries failure as it was encountered by Boeing within the first two years are solved or prevented from happening.

Just like they did earlier, I would not have gone for a radical change in supplies because having a supplier who understands and supplies more than one aircraft part is more likely to be loyal to the company and is least expected to leave the company when it is in need of them. Similarly, the suppliers who are loyal are likely to bring quality products to the company and they can even play part in problem solving whenever one arises. This will make them feel as being part of the project and in that way they will work together to produce the desired product.

Lastly, I would come up with a training program for management and the employees to ensure that they are well skilled in all areas of aircraft building. However, in this training, all the members will have a chance to learn all the parts and how to do fixing of all parts of the aircraft but they will have to specify later so that they have a major area of specification even though they can perform on other areas. This will make my employees to work together as a team and they can always help one another in problem solving.

Application of Deming’s Philosophy

How Deming and TQM would have dealt with problems at Boeing

Deming was a very straightforward and had a character of working directly with his employees. He advocated for effective communication between client/customers and employees where he says that effective communication leads to employee motivation and subsequently good results. In the Boeing case, Deming would have used the suppliers to solve or avoid any problem that would have arose by inviting over to the company and letting go through the process of assembling and fixation of the supplies. This way, they get to know how their materials are used and they can give suggestion son what can be done to get better results or to get better materials. This would have solved the problems of issue such as battery failure because the supplier would not want a scenario where their material can be the cause for an off-service-time for maintenance.

In his place, Deming would empower employees by cultivating a sense of belonging in them so that they work as if they own the company and in this way, the production would improve to be of high quality

How TQM looks like in IT department

In an IT department, Total Quality Management would ensure that all that is installed is of high quality and that which will meet the minimum requirements of the company. For instance, the IT department in the Boeing Company would have use the TQM philosophy as it is put forward by Deming on his 14 points. It would state and direct the employees in the department to work as a team and help them install workable programs which perfectly will fit into the program and function as they are expected.

In an IT department, training and coaching should be done regularly to ensure that IT personnel are equipped with modern emerging new trends which are often in the IT sector because technology keeps changing every now and then. Therefore, by having them get new skills as they come, they will know how to handle and install IT materials in a better way.

How IT would have Total Quality at Boeing

Total Quality at Boeing would be installed in the IT department because that is where the latest failure occurred and this could mean that it is required to prevent any such events in the future. Total quality is also gauged in the scale of a global view and not only on national or known competitor companies. With this view, the company should strive to improve their products everyday by doing better jobs today than yesterday and if this is done, a company can be sure that it will remain in the market place for long.

Boeing’s IT department should install its total quality management by adopting the Deming’s 14 points and philosophy of running organizations to ensure that there is minimal total cost and not price tag. According o Goetsch and Davis (2014), total quality management ensures that there is customer focus, obsession with quality, team work, and unity of purpose among employees. It is in this spirit that the employees in the IT department of the Boeing Company will focus on so as to provide the best of quality products for their customers.

From the readings and the Deming’s YouTube video (Decugi, 2014), it is inevitable that quality management plays a big role in ensuring that quality products and services are provided for the customers and clients of different organizations. Deming came up with the fourteen guiding points that have been applied globally by different organizations who are trying their best to remain in the market place by producing quality products. Deming says that improved quality will definitely result in quality productivity which will help in getting into the market with lower price for the customers and it will ensure that company stays in business for long.

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