Abdulla (2010) article mainly focuses on the understanding of various practices of Total Quality Management, commonly referred to as TQM, in the Malaysian small to medium sized enterprises and the differences in the incorporated features at both lower and high levels of SMEs. This term, just like UK, USA, Japan, China and Korea is defined in terms of the number of employees and output quantity. However, the idea of TQM in SMEs has been an issue of consideration in various Malaysian plans from the sixth to ninth plan. In these plans, SMEs have been given good attention following their major contribution in the Malaysian economy in the sense that they dominate the manufacturing establishments, manufacturing outputs and employment opportunities. However, much weight was given to it in the ninth plan (2006- 2009) in which technology was also given a priority in the TQM to bring improved effectiveness and efficiency in customers services, excellence in operations and improved human integration.
Consequently the effort would greatly help the country realize its vision 2020 mission which would ensure that Malaysia achieves greater economic impacts and global competitiveness. For the global competitiveness to be achieved, SMEs have to consider the concept of ‘First class' and adopt various quality and productivity programs like the TQM and TPM, ISO 900 and participate in various quality awards programs through the efforts of government. Based on the research carried on eight SMEs business; it is evident that award-winners companies have higher scores in TQM perception, more effective TQM implementation and more TQM benefits compared with the non-award winners companies in the sense that they adopted better business strategies and TQM integration.
According to Abdulla (2010) the implementation of TQM helps SMEs to achieve effectiveness, efficiency, increased profits and sustainability in the various business objectives. These are realized in areas like customer services, excellence in operations and human resource integration where the right things would be done in the preferred procedures. With all the three successes, SMEs would realize higher quality performance through practices of total quality control, total quality assurance and total quality management (Abdulla, 2010). This is due to the fact that proper implementation of TQM results in fewer defects on the products, increased productivity and reduced costs contributed by wastes (Abdulla, 2010).
In the case of fewer defects, a properly implemented TQM would ensure that proper inspection procedures are followed during the manufacturing process to minimize the final defects on finished products (Abdulla, 2010). In this regard, various methods and systems are normally used for self inspection just like tools and techniques. Moreover QC considers continuous perfection on the products by adopting systematic planning which would prevent the occurrence of errors at the root cause (Abdulla, 2010).
Similarly, this inspection is done before goods are delivered to the customers thus reducing the return rates. In other words it would mean enhanced quality performance which would in turn leads to higher productivity and reduced wastage costs (Abdulla, 2010). In this sense, it can be seen that reduced costs would brings about increased profits and sustainability of the business. At managerial levels, it is seen that when managers are actively involved in TQM implementation, they would adopt new ways of doing work. Since TQM implementation requires the integration of various approaches to managing the business, there is greater participation which would be realized among the company managers (Abdulla, 2010). On this note, human resources manager would find it quite logical to select the right people to work on a given task through the use better and formalized selection methods. Consequently, there would be increased productivity and efficiency (Abdulla, 2010).
In addition, in the management of performance measures, TQM implementation would encourage the use of systems approach (Abdulla, 2010). Consequently, this approach would ensure that customers are given exactly what they need thus leading to improved customer satisfaction (Abdulla, 2010). This is because quality is the primary consideration when measuring performance. This can be linked with improved performance witnessed among the suppliers as chain models would not operate with zero-product defects. In this regard, implementation of TQM ensures that poor supplier qualities are filtered out before their defects could be transmitted to the customers (Abdulla, 2010). Consequently, this helps the business to realize reduced average failure value on product quality. Similarly, such filtering-out activity would ensure that the business register low failure rates on delivery and cost quality of the products (Abdulla, 2010). As a result these would facilitate on-time dispatch of quality products to the customers. All these benefits are realized since proper implementation of TQM normally links the business activities with business strategies and encourages cross-functional of business processes (Abdulla, 2010).
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