Entrepreneurs nowadays are discovering the increasing importance of being management engineers in sustaining the growth and development of a small business. Part of this revolution can be attributed to the rise of various business concepts, such as Six Sigma, whose main principle lies in the application of Quality Management and Control. The basis of every product or service offered by any company or business is its quality. Without the high quality that customers and consumers expect, a business’ product or service is effectively useless. The process of creating a quality product, and then ensuring that quality is maintained, is called quality control. More products sold means more profits, and that is in the best interests of any company!
What is Quality Management?
In essence, quality management refers to the overall management of various processes to ensure value control and minimum errors in each phase of a firm’s operation, regardless of the firm’s business activities. It requires a more decentralized approach in managing workflow processes as opposed to the traditional notion of management, wherein the leaders are responsible for all decisions and employees just unilaterally follow policies and rules. In the past, it used to be associated only to manufacturing firms. At present, principles of quality management are now being applied in a wide variety of business enterprises.
What are the basic principles involved?
There are many basic principles that can be applied by small businesses. Although small-scale enterprises tend to have fewer employees and low-key operations, these can still benefit from the application of a few business practices related to quality control and management. For instance, having a customer-centered approach helps and encourages the group to understand customer perceptions beyond the latest trends, resulting in improved products and services that really cater to their needs. A decentralized workflow process also empowers the employees and allows them to provide their valuable insights as front liners for the company.
How can entrepreneurs benefit from it?
Entrepreneurs, as the leaders of their companies, can greatly benefit from having a more democratic and integrative operation where “products, people, and processes” work together toward quality improvement. The main benefits of applying quality management principles include a less hostile environment, more productive employees, minimal errors (for services) and defects (for products), as well as growth and development that is achieved by the entrepreneur, the employee, and the firm itself. In addition, applying these practices sustain such development by ensuring the delivery of high value products and services that guarantee continued patronage from clients.
While quality control and management had its roots in technical manufacturing industries, the core principles can be adapted to any kind of business structure and organization.