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Time ripe for companies to focus on quality management: expert

Sunil Thawani (SUPPLIED)

By Shveta Pathak

Companies should use dampened business sentiment as an opportunity for organisations to review their processes and make improvements that help them reduce costs along with improving efficiency through total quality management (TQM) practices, said quality management professionals.

Adopting TQM practices during this phase could actually help businesses differentiate from others and take care of costs without necessarily cutting jobs, said Sunil Thawani, chairman of the continual improvement subgroup of the Dubai Quality Group, who is country counsellor for American Society for Quality in the UAE.

The subgroup is working towards generating awareness among professionals and organisations.

"The need to adopt TQM is very high in the present scenario. An oganisation, be it in manufacturing, trading or services, with customer focus can see continual improvement in services, costs and delivery by adopting these practices. Dubai is ahead of many other countries in applying these practices but the need is to take it ahead. The present scenario presents an opportunity to do that," Thawani told Emirates Business.

In the ongoing situation when organisations face a pressure on costs, the role of quality management professionals, he said, is to have a re-look on the existing processes. Applying techniques like Lean, Kaizen and Six Sigma and deriving value benefits at this time could help organisations offer better services and survive through the recession.

"Here is an opportunity that needs to be tapped. Cost is an outcome of a process so if you renew the processes you can reduce the costs."

By going in for processes that are efficient, organisations would be in a better position to offer value services to customers.

Many organisations are doing it but you need to do it comprehensively, convert benefits into dollars.

If the processes are inefficient, they ought to realise the consequences, the strategies may not get implemented, budgets may get out of control, customers may get poor services, there could be delivery inconsistencies and a lot of other problems, he said.

"Currently, organisations are still absorbing the impact of the severity of the economic turmoil.

"They need to take it as a wake up call and get out of the mindset that it would be costly to differentiate," said Thawani.