Sample Research Paper on Quality Management Training Manual in Japan


Quality management has existed from as early as the 1920s when scientific
management was introduced. In this decade, the Hawthorne experiments were conducted to
show how employee participation improves productivity. During the 1930s, Shewhart Walter
introduced statistical analyses in quality control. The 1950s were highly significant as they
involved Edward Deming’s and Joseph Juran’s findings. The former introduced quality
control and statistical analysis in quality improvement. Concepts of total quality control and
zero defects were adopted too. Total quality management started in Japan and was adopted
elsewhere. Currently, quality standards like the Malcolm Bridge, ISO 9000 and Deming Prize
are used. Quality management is needed in order to improve performance both holistically
and sustainably.
Strategic quality management is increasingly adopting elements from the quality
revolution in Japan. This means that the US, UK and other western countries are embracing
these principles. Another approach is focus on organizational context prior to and during the
adoption of a quality management tool; culture and the problem being addressed as well as
the industry matter.
This training manual targets Head, which is a sports equipment and sportswear
organization. The firm was started in Baltimore, US but grew to be an international firm. It
makes and sales ski equipment, tennis rackets, tennis shoes, skates, and diving material.
Other manufacturers of clothing equipment, bicycle makers and watch makers also use the
firm’s brand.
Deming and Six Sigma as well as other programs have been replaced overtime owing
to insignificant contributions to the bottom-line but some helped in improving product

quality. Quality circles failed in the US even after working in Japan. Total quality
management worked due to the holistic approach but focused on departments rather than
entire businesses. Six Sigma emphasized statistical tools even when basic improvement was
sufficient. However customer focus, root cause analysis, and other tenets make it appealing.

The Role of Leadership

Senior management plays the role of vision and objective setting during the quality
improvement program. For instance, Lockheed Martin Missiles won a quality excellence
award in 2012 because its senior managers set the direction for their quality management
efforts. Likewise, they are the key decision makers, who should strive to use facts to make
those decisions. Finally, they should promote continuous commitment and teamwork in the
group. Sutter Davis Hospital embodied these principles by involving the laboratory,
radiology, casualty, and other departments in its quality improvement processes (National
Institute of Standards and Technology, 2016).
The key role for senior managers in such large scale quality improvement programs is
decision making. First, they make the decision to adopt a quality improvement program, and
then they decide what the objectives will be. This role continues when they determine the
internal and external needs of the organization that ought to be made. Likewise, they decide
which areas require empowerment of employees so that they can solve quality problems
closest to them. The cheerleader is also crucial since senior managers need to maintain
continuous commitment to their quality programs. Resource providers are also paramount
since they ensure that the quality program has sufficient backing. They also act as role
models by implementing quality principles in their own work (Tagues, 2004).
These roles are crucial because they determine the extent to which quality initiatives
blend with organization culture. The roles also ascertain that the intervention has the right

resources and support required. Failure to adopt these roles may cause firms to invest much in
a quality program but they may not yield results (Nedeliakova & Panak, 2015).
Senior and middle managers can get performance metrics based on the level of order
management. They may also use the effectiveness of workflow equipment in the supply
chains. It is also possible to use the corrective actions requests. This records the number of
corrective actions that occur in the logistics department.

General Quality Strategies and Tools
Definitions Risks Value


This refers to the
process of outlining
what customers
require and need with
regard to quality. It
involves all
components of the
business like
delivery, production,
pricing, and product

Customers are not
the only stakeholders
in a business and too
much focus on them
could compromise
employees’, or
regulators’ needs.
(Novack & Thomas,

It leads to repeat
customers since their
needs are always
being met. Many
refer friends and
cause the business to

Designing quality This refers to the fit
between customers’
needs and product
design specifications.
Anderson &
Sedatole, 2003).

There could be
resistance to change
alterations in
customer demand

Quality failures are
less likely to occur
with designing
quality and this will
eliminate losses
brought by those


may lead to increases
in costs, which may
not be met because of


Defining metrics This refers to the
process of defining
the data that will be
used to measure
quality indicators in
the supply chain,
financially or even in
customer service.

Most times, quality
metrics are
implemented on the
basis of industry
standards or past
records. The problem
with this approach is
that it confines
organizations to the
past rather than their
future capabilities.
(Fernandes, 2014).

It helps companies
know whether their
quality efforts are
working or not and
illuminates the areas
that require
improvement. It also
assists in asking
questions that matter.

Mistake proofing This refers to the use
of a method or device
that either makes it
impossible for a
mistake to occur or
points it out
whenever it happens.

It is resource-
intensive and may be
too costly for
organizations with
few human errors.
Some mistakes are

This helps in
processes that are
susceptible to human
error especially those
that require attention
to detail and
experience. It is also
helpful in instances

where minor errors
can get worse with
time or lead to
expensive and even

Kaizen This is a Japanese
philosophy that refers
to continuous

It requires a holistic
application of all
Kaizen steps or else
the results will be

It empowers
employees who are
best-placed to make
changes. It can be
applied anywhere
and hence boost all
aspects of business

Six Sigma A quality
approach in which
businesses improve
their services or
products through
defect elimination
and streamlining

It does not focus on
innovation and new
products or services.
It works for large
companies but not
small or medium-
sized ones.

It is systematic and
often leads to
positive quality
outcomes. It has
accreditation and is
hence credible (Amer
et. al., 2008)

Quality Tactics & the Logistics and Supply Chain Function

Lean six sigma is the improvement model for internal application. It is an approach
that combines elements of lean thinking and six sigma to the firm’s strategic goals. It highly
depends on support by senior leaders who prepare a strategy for the staff and define long term
objectives. Additionally, employees are crucial in this model because their engagement can
either lead to success or failure of the intervention. This tool is based on the reduction of
waste and error by quick changes and ominous learning (Majerčák and Majerčáková, 2014).
There are a number of characteristics that are synonymous with Lean Six and these
include having long term strategies that fall anywhere between 1 and 3 years. Improving
performance is the basic system and reducing costs through an increment of quality as
supported by cost efficiency statistics. It also relies on use of other improvement tools like
DMAIC. Not only will this approach improve the supply chain and logistics process, it will
increase productivity, efficiency, and minimize cost (Pyzdek & Keller, 2013).
For external use, the tool of choice is Total quality management from the ISO9001.
This is driven by eight principles, including leadership, factual decision making, customer
focus and beneficial supplier relationships. In the entire supply chain, each player should
thoroughly understand their customer’s (buyer’s) needs and seek to satisfy them. A quality
function deployment tool is helpful (Leonard and McAdam, 2002).
Factual decision-making can be implemented through the use of data. This data
should be collected and then used for optimal decision-making. Beneficial supplier
relationships in this tool work by collaborating with suppliers so as to ensure they deliver
quality raw materials. Quality teams may be sent out by the firm in order to consult with
vendors and determine ways that they can improve each other’s work processes to achieve
quality goals. A lot of information sharing is needed and so is conformity to specific quality


This new quality improvement process involves three major components including a
communication plan, a training sequence, and stakeholder definition. The communication
plan is critical since it determines how effectively the quality processes are understood and
implemented. It will have a point of contact lost with all the suppliers, vendors, transporters,
and other stakeholders. It will also have their contact information and responsibilities.
Likewise, there should be a pre-rollout meeting, in which the stakeholders meet and define
the quality control procedures and policies. Expectations on results of the quality program
should also be outlined (Deros et. al., 2008).
The quality control program requires regular and formal control meetings that should
occur on a weekly meeting. The supply chain and logistics stakeholders will communicate
some of their concerns and statistics solutions; they will also review action lists. When there
is a new task, the quality manager should have preparatory meetings. Finally, there ought to
be records of inspection tests, audits, and performance reports of the product.
In preparing the participants for the quality program, they will first undergo ISO 9001
and Lean Six training. These should occur sequentially so that they do not confuse one
system with another. They should also learn about other crucial components of training
quality like the use of technology, communication, and purchasing. These latter components
will follow one another successively. Employees include those that work in the personnel as
well as transportation staff (Head, 2015).
The stakeholders in this quality management program include employees who will
undergo training, implement, and continue improving the logistics and supply chain
department. They also include suppliers who provide raw materials; they are part of the
vendor base. Suppliers ensure that costs are low, production units are timely, and that no
extra machining is needed for additional refining due to poor quality input. Customers are
crucial in this intervention since their needs drive quality improvement. Quality control

trainers and auditors are important as they will enable checking and control. Third party
companies that provide supply chain services are also involved.


Amer, Y., Luong, L., Lee, S. H., & Ashraf, M. A. (2008). Optimizing Order Fulfillment
Using Design for Six Sigma and Fuzzy Logic. International Journal of Management
Science and Engineering Management, 3(2), 83-99.
Anderson, S. W. & K. Sedatole (2003). Designing Quality into Products: The Use of
Accounting Data in New Product Development. Accounting Horizons, 3, 213-233.
Deros, B., Nizam, M., Ghani, J., Wahab, D. & Khamis, N. (2008). Role of Senior
Management in TQM Implementation in Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises.
The Institution of Engineers, 72(3), 15-21.
Fernandes, A. (2014). Quality Management and Supply Chain Management Integration.
Retrieved from
Head (2015, March). Annual Report 2014. Retrieved from
Leonard, D. & McAdam R. (2002). The Strategic Impact and Implementation of TQM. The
TQM Magazine, 14(1), 51-60.
Majerčák, P. & Majerčáková, E. (2014). The Aim of Distribution Logistics in the Supply
Chain, in SCIECONF 2014, Proceedings in Scientific Conference, University of
Žilina, pp. 520–523.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (2016, Aug. 25). Baldridge FAQs. Retrieved
Nedeliakova, E. & Panak, M. (2015). New Trends in Process-Oriented Quality Management.
Procedia Economics and Finance, 34(4), 172-179.
Novack, R. A., & Thomas, D. J. (2004). The Challenges of Implementing the Perfect Order
Concept. Transportation Journal, 8, 5-16.
Pyzdek, T. & Keller, P. (2013). The Handbook for Quality Management. A Complete Guide

to Operational Excellence. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., USA.
Tagues, N. (2004). The Quality Toolbox, Second Edition. NY: ASQ Quality