QUALITY AND SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT: MOTOROLA
QUALITY AND SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT: MOTOROLA
Quality is not a new topic or issue. The Ancient Greeks used the word arête which means excellence in order to define what they most admired physically and mentally in a man. Gradually, quality became connected not just with human appearance and behavior but also with the things that they made. During the Renaissance period, craftsmen used the word in their business which describes their highly finished and intricate jewelry, pottery, furniture silverware and other things (Elearn Limited & Pergamon Flexible Learning 2005).
Quality is considered as “a predictable degree of uniformity and dependability, at low cost and suited to the market.” For instance, an individual buying a container of milk expects the milk to remain fresh at least until the expiration date indicated on the container, and wants to purchase it at the lowest possible price. If the mil spoils before the expiration date, the expectations of the customers won’t have met; he’ll perceive the quality of milk as poor. If this happened repeatedly, the customers will loose confidence over the milk product (Gitlow 2001).
Pursuit of quality requires that organizations optimize their system or interdependent and connected stakeholders. This system includes the important stakeholders – employees, customers, investors, suppliers and subcontractors, regulators, and the entire community. Thus, the organization, which consists of employees as well as investors, must work together with the suppliers and the subcontractors in order to meet and satisfy the needs of all the stakeholders. At one end of the connected stakeholders are the external customers or the market segments. Each of the need of the market segment must be communicated to the organization via the ongoing progress which conveys how the products and services of the organization are performing in the marketplace and what improvements and developments would help to optimize the system of the interdependent stakeholders. At the other end of the system of interdependent stakeholders are the suppliers and the subcontractors of the suppliers. The organization communicates the needs of the customers towards the suppliers and subcontractors in order to them to aid in the pursuit of the quality for all the stakeholders. Employees are the most important and critical stakeholders of any organization (Gitlow 2001).
In terms of quality, Motorola is considered one of the most trusted brands. As a matter of fact, Motorola Corp became one of the first companies to receive the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 1988. This aware strives to identify those excellent firms that are worthy role models for other businesses (Pyzdek n.d.). Currently, Motorola is known worldwide as a quality leader. In order to accomplish its quality and total customer satisfaction goals, Motorola focuses on the different key operational initiatives. At the top of the list is the Six Sigma Quality. It is a statistical measure of variation from a desired result. Six Sigma enables to translate into a target of less than 3.4 defects per million products, customer services included (Quality America Inc. n.d.).
When Quality Assurance first profiled the company, it was very clear that Motorola had a commitment to quality in every aspect of the product development. This can be observed in the three-pronged approach, which includes quality of forethought, quality of workmanship as well as quality of objective self appraisal. Therefore, the quality of program took into account all three stages of pre-production, production as well as post-production. This approach had helped to secure the position of the company in the global market (Sester 2003).
Operational management covers all the operations that pertain on the management of the entire workflow (van der Aalst & van Hee 2004). Operational management perspectives are closely focused on the productivity of the unit. Thus, the influence of operational decisions on other operational units is of marginal interest to the operational manager, predominantly if responses of those impacts affect productivity. However, maintenance of resources requires a careful consideration and balancing of these impacts. Regional management is therefore, in the position that is requires rigorous quantitative information if it is to balance the demands of operational managers against the potential cost of their actions either in terms of degradation or influence on other units of production (McCloy 2006).
All of this can be done by application of different operational management tool. The operational management tool functions for resource-related information are:
- Addition or removal of staff; and
- Input/revision of details about the employees such as name, address, contact details, role, organizational unit, authorization as well as availability.
In addition, operational management tool functions also include:
- Implementation of new workflow definitions; and
- Reconfiguration of the workflow system including the setting of technical system parameters (van der Aalst & van Hee 2004).
On the other hand, functions for performing case-related operational management require the following:
- Inspection of the logistical state of a case; and
- Manipulation of the logistical state of a case due to problems and exceptional circumstances (van der Aalst & van Hee 2004).
With all of this, operational management can help in order to offer ad hoc solutions to problems resulting from system faults as well as bottlenecks in the process (van der Aalst & van Hee 2004).
Strategic objectives relate to four elements of the profile of the business, each of which is a key part of the future strategic profile or vision. This includes – products, customer groups, market segments and geographic markets. It is a concept that comes from the military, which protect or capture (Robert 1998). Motorola is a global communications leaders powered by a passion to invent and an unceasing commitment to advancing the way the world connects. The communication solutions enable the people, business as well as the governments to be more connected and more mobile. With this, the strategic objectives of Motorola focuses on offering high quality products and innovative products and services towards three vital consumers including business, government as well as individual customers. With this, the company offers three important products including enterprise mobility solutions, home and networks mobility and mobile devices.
- Enterprise Mobility Solutions – real-time information is demanded by governments, public safety first responders as well as commercial and industrial enterprises. The Enterprise Mobility Solutions business designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services analog and digital two-way radios, voice and data communication products as well as systems for private networks, wireless broadband systems as well as end-to-end enterprise mobility solutions to a wide range of enterprise markets which include government, public safety agencies as well as retail, energy and utilities, transportation, manufacturing and other commercial customers (Motorola 2010).
- Home and Networks Mobility – currently, consumers demand rich mobile communication and in-home entertainment capabilities, with these, system operators, meet those demands by delivering new services, increasing network throughput as well as system integrity. The home and networks mobility business designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services digital and Internet Protocol (IP) video and broadcast network interactive set-tops, end-to-end video delivery systems, broadband access infrastructure platforms and associated data and voice customer premise equipment to cable television and telecom service providers (Motorola 2010).
- Mobile Devices – as of today, mobile device is considered as the hub of the lives of people, which keep them connected to the Internet, people, digital images, entertainment as well as content. The mobile devices business designs, manufactures, sells as well as services wireless handsets with integrated software and accessory products and licenses intellectual property (Motorola 2010).
With the focused of Motorola towards the demands and needs of the customers, and by focusing on the aspects of quality and motivations, Motorola had been able to focus on its overall organizational objectives. With the help of the Participative Management Program (PMP), the company enables to assess progress towards meeting the quality goals, identify new initiatives and work on the different problems. At the same time, it also enables the company to reward high-quality work, which resulted to motivated employees. Furthermore, the company knows what levels of quality it products must achieve in order to top its competitors. Each of the six major groups and sectors of the company has benchmarking programs which help to analyze the different aspects of the products of the competitors which help to focus on manufacturability, reliability, manufacturing cost as well as performance. The company had been able to measure the product s of some 125 companies against its own standards, which help to verify that many Motorola products rank as the best in their class (Quality America Inc. n.d.).
Six sigma focuses on eliminating variations in quality of raw materials, production conditions, operator behavior as well as other factors which can cause cumulative variation in the quality of the finished product. In Motorola, Six Sigma employs a range of tools to eliminate the causes of variations. These include statistical process control (SPC) in which the natural variation in any process in measured. In addition, computer simulation is also used in order to identify measure as well as eliminate the process bottlenecks and waste, while the short cycle manufacturing (SCM) allows quicker responses towards the customers. In addition, another strategy to extend is Six Sigma principles which suppliers include the standardization of the part designs. Design of experiments (DOE) is a tool that is used in order to improve the processes. In connection, the use and application of statistical processes rather than simply changing one variable at a time demands less material, time as well as effort. The final tool used in Six Sigma is failure mode and effect analysis (FEMA) which enables problems to be anticipated, which will eventually help to avoid or prevent it (Black Belts Save Motorola a Billion 2002).
During the belt training, employees learn three main groups of different tools and techniques that are all divided into team tools, process tools as well as leadership tools. With the knowledge gained, it is important that employees will be capable of adopting and developing the six sigma methodology. Because methodologies changes in every organization, there is no standard methodology, with this, Motorola had been able to show its capability to choose the most appropriate and applicable tools as well as techniques (Pande & Neuman 2000).
The following are the monitoring and audit system used:
- the problem solving methodology which can be either MAIC or DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control); and
- preventive methodology that is known as design for Six Sigma which consists of four stages: identify, design, optimize and validate (IDOV).
These two methodologies have a strong base in the use of statistics; but in most of the cases statistical techniques are used (Banuelas Coronado & Antony 2002).
In addition, Motorola also focuses on the implementation of quality system review or QSR, which is part of Total Quality Management Program. It is an assessment vehicle which enables the company to evaluate the continuing health of the quality system in each of the major business system, together with the suppliers of the company. In addition, it also pertains on identifying the image of how the business should be conducted. Aside from that, it also focuses on the setting of the common goal of perfection that enables to offer an awareness of the quality-system requirements in the entire organization (Craig 1996). Above all, QSR also enables to offer opportunity for the cross-fertilization of various ideas and concept regarding routine refocuses of the organization towards the quality of the products that they are offering towards the customers (Craig 1996).
The main method used in QSR is formally documented using QSR form in order to be used in assessment and procedure review processes. The review team is accountable of handling the entire project which reflects the macro view of the various subjects from the business units and the suppliers (Craig 1996).
Motorola had been able to establish a foundation of doing business founded on Quality Management System (QMS). QMS is considered as the systematic way of ensuring that the company achieves the highest level of quality performance, together with organizational maturity in order to continue to satisfy the customers by delivering high quality products and services towards the customers. With QMS, the company enables to deliver increased productivity and improvements in terms of performance in product s, services, manufacturing and efficiency of key business processes including product life-cycle management, supply chain effectiveness as well as employee teamwork. Therefore, it ensure that the company can gain and sustain the industry quality certification via external audits and site visits, make sure the consistency of operation and motivation continuous cycles of improvement (Six Sigma Zone 2009).
In addition, Motorola also invested in a Quality IQ program which helps to raise the understanding of every employees regarding quality. This enables to offer different quality courses at different levels of complexity and different geared towards a given job functions. The participants in these courses are yet another way that the employees enhance the quality tool belts in order to offer more to the customers and the business (Six Sigma Zone 2009).
In order to monitor the different problems and opportunities for improvement, Motorola focuses on implementation of different evaluation and monitoring systems. The company is implementing different quality-assessment systems, quality-audit systems, together with the international, local and military standards which changes depending on the level of scope, depth as well as the purpose (Craig 1996). Maturity models are commonly a subset of the monitoring system which is designed in order to test the maturity of a given element that is included in the quality model. Furthermore, deployment is also reviewed to identify and decide regarding the scope in which the approach is being implemented – thus, the result will be reviewed in connection with the suitable benchmarks, together with the rates of improvement (Craig 1996).
To do this, the quality-assessment systems are all evaluated ahead of time, which enables the company to consult ahead of time, thus give change to input into the process. With this, the request of the organization will be reviewed based on the request of the comprehensive lists of different strengths as well as opportunities for the improvement that will serve as the outputs of the different processes. Consequently, a reasonable amount of learning will be taken place via the process of assessment (Craig 1996). After the assessment process, the training department will then review the output of the assessment, together with the strategy to be used and applied for training and improvement (Craig 1996).
In connection with the QSR, it is implemented by formal survey which helps to gather information regarding the evaluation of the customers about the quality system, which will help to focus on continuous improvement.
One of the important factors to consider is the reorganization of Motorola. The company has not been able to recreate its organizational structure based on the plan of TQM, which pertains on the overall connection and relationship of the stakeholders of the company, including the internal stakeholders (employees), focusing on the relationship between the upper level and lower level management. With this, it is important to focus on the aspect of leadership and communication.
However, it is important to consider the fact that implementation of change is not an easy task, because it can affect the mentality and perspectives of the employees, which can affect their motivation and loyalty to the customers. With this, it is important to focus on the aspect of communication and leadership. It is also important to remind the employees of the company that the implementation of QSR and TQM is in order for Motorola to survive during the time of intensive competition, where in the company struggled from its competitors due to issue of quality (Cooper & Locke 2000). Therefore, it is important to remind and inform the employees about the importance of this program, and how it can affect the overall position of the company in the market and industry, thus, how it can affect the benefits and advantages that they are having from the company.
In order for the company to implement TQM, it is important to focus on the perceptions and behavior of the employees towards the change. This is because, as have said, in most cases, change can cause negative feedback and image from the employees. It is important to inform the employees that the implementation of TQM can also help to promote unity and teamwork inside the organization, at the same time, help to promote initiatives (Cooper & Locke 2000).
Motorola is indeed, one of the most successful companies in the world in terms of implementing activities and applying approaches in ensuring high quality of products and services to be offered to the market. With this, the company has been able to create an image that is equal to quality, which helps to improve its brand image and customer relationship. Furthermore, Motorola had been able to create history in terms of quality and systems management, because it is the first company that have been able to implement the Six Sigma, which as of now, considered as one of the most used and applied by different organizations in the world, in order to ensure quality of workflow and systems inside the organization. With this, it can be said that Motorola had been able to be successful in implementing changes inside the organization.
However, there are different changes in both internal and external environment that might affect the quality and systems management activities inside the organization, particularly regarding the issue of communication and technology and changes in the needs and demands of the customers as well as employees. With this, it is important for the company to focus on the different activities that will help to focus on research and development, which will help in order to know the different problems, challenges and opportunities that can affect the operation of the company.
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