The concept of strategic quality management is a very dynamic and vital one. Companies struggle to ensure that quality management is availed so that optimization on the resources as well as the realization of the goals and theobjectives ofthese companies are met. The application of a specific quality management strategy is very differentiated among different companies. However, the goals of using quality strategic management is very unilateral; that of attainment of the companies goals and objectives through t he increment in the level of revenue. In marketing, theincrement in the level ofrevenues often means that the customer base has to be increased (Hansson. 2003, p. 9).
The competitiveness of man y companies in the world today means that each and every one of these companies have to come up with strategies that are aimed at ensuring that the competiveness of these companies is maintained. The improvement of quality of the products and the servicesthat these companies offer is considered tobe one of the best strategies that these companies could apply to stay afloat in the market (Al-Sarket, 2003.P. 6).
Several scholars (Line, nd, P. 1; Pheng,& Hong, 2005. P. 37andGregory, Lumpkin& Taylor, 2005) agree with Al-Sarket, (2003) and they continue to add that this concept of strategic quality management should not be underrated. This paper aims to add into this research conducted on the strategic management front.
In so doing, the paper will take a close examination of the concept of strategic management. It will also give an outlook into a company purported to have quality strategic management and assess the advantages that the company has gained from such.
Strategic quality management
There has been a lot of debate as to whether strategic quality management offers any form of benefit to the companies that employ it. To be able to understand whether there are any benefits accruing to a company after the adoption and practice of strategic quality management measures, it is important to first understand what this concept means and what is entailed in it.
By definition, strategic quality management is a process that involves the analysis, decision making, and taking actions an organization with an aim of creating and sustaining competitive advantages (Gregory, Lumpkin & Taylor, 2005).
Srinidhi, (1998, p. 52) defines this concept of strategic quality management as a process thatanalyzes the actions, duties and initiatives that the management of a particular company has on behalf of the owners or the shareholders. These initiatives encompass both intrinsic as well as external factors. The internal factors include the specification of the company’s mission, vision, objectives, goals, policies, plans and the projected implementation strategy. The resources that this company has are also taken into consideration in the evaluation of the capability to meet its goals and objectives as outlined in the company’s mission and vision statement. The way these resources are allocated is also important as has a great impact on the implementation of the policies, plans, projects and programs of the company.
Once this definition has been sought out, the next step would be to analyze why there is so much interest generates in this topic. Basically, the application of the concept of strategic management is meant to increase the level of efficiency in a firm. Strategic management involves a number of procedures, the organizing,resourcing and change management. These procedures are described in the following discussion.
The application concept of strategic management may lead to some changes in the organizational structure of the company. Some of these changes include the creation of new units or departments in the company, the merging of existing departments or even the switch, or swap from a particular geographical structure, form, or locality to another. It should be made clear that a particular project’s strategic plan will have an impact on the organization in a number of ways. These ways should be well identified and cushion measures applied.
The application of a particular strategic plan many require the allocation and outlay of significant amounts of resources. This could lead to shifts in the budget and in the process capital expenditure and human resources affected in a significant manner. Before the implementation of a particular strategy, the level of impact on the financial and non financial resources of the company should be established well beforehand.
The implementation of a specific management strategy may lead to a number of changes in a company. If these changes are not precipitated and taken care of before the strategy is implemented, they could lead to disruptions that are costly time loss. To avoid these disruptions, the effect on management change expected with the implementation of these strategies should be addressed. One way in which this ripple caused by the change in management could be mitigated is by the appointment of an individual to address these changes and offer the best solution for the transition to the new level of the strategies implementation.
The link between Strategy and quality
Production of quality produce or provision of quality service is the struggle that each company is faced with today. The association of a company to quality products or services is always a sure win for the company because the clients will feel comfortable dealing with this company. To ensure that these companies keep providing quality products so that they can retain their clients, it is vital for them to come up with innovative ideas and strategies that are garnered towards the improvement of quality of their products or services. From the discussion of strategic quality management above, the linkage between strategy and quality can be identified from the following discussion.
Strategy quality management is geared towards the improvement of quality of a product or service. For a company to have quality products and quality services, it must employ a number of strategic measures that enable it to achieve the desired results(LuísMaría R. Calingo, 1996, p. 42). For example, the strategy of control of the production process or the overhaul of management is designed to ensure that the quality of the products is improved alongside the improvement in the quantity of production.
Hence there is a definite link between the strategies that a company employs and the quality of products that they produce.
Case study: Corning glass management strategies
Brief background information
Corning Glass multinational organization that deals with the production of glass and glass related products. The company, being a global scale company has developed an increasing emphasis on high-value, technologically-specialized products, many of which are now part of joint-venture programs and developments. This part will discuss how Corning glass employs strategic management to steer the growth and development of the company.
Corning glass strategy
The company has employed a number of strategies to ensure that it stays ahead and retains its competitiveness as a major manufacture and supplier of glass and other related products. The major strategy that the company has adopted is the strategy of continuous innovation. The company encourages innovations from its employees that ensure that it stays on top of its game through constantly coming up with new products to serve the demands of the market.
To be able to achieve this, the company has invested heavily into research and design. The engineers are constantly researching and coming up new ways and methods of creating increased presence in the market. Notably, one of these ways they do this is the increased utilization and the deviation into more complicated technology in their production of glass and glass related products. This new technology is hard for other companies to duplicate.
Another strategy that the company is employing is the strategy of merging with other big companies. Corning has had a number of mergers with a number of companies that are reputable and acknowledged as being leaders in their field. The companies that Corning has joined hands with are notably technological based companies. These companies also engage in a lot of research and innovations. The mixture of these pool of highly qualified personnel often results into the production of very high quality products that meet and even exceed the expectations of the clients.
The company has also adopted a learning – with others strategy. This strategy has ensured that the company is kept abreast of the happenings in the technology world and in other sectors by the different companies that it relates with. This update has assisted this company in ensuring that it is not left behind as other companies advance. Knowledge of the happenings in the market is always an advantage in that a company can be able to focus and be wary of any impending issues that could lead to its failure.
Challenges that Corning has faced in implementing its strategies
The implementation of various strategies in a company sometimes comes with a price. The major challenge that Corning glass company has had is the challenge of letting go of the old ways of manufacture of glass and other products that the company had adopted for a long time in favor of new modern and more technologically indulging ways. The company has been in operation for quite some time. To convince the top management that it was best if new technology was better in the maintenance of the competitiveness of the company has been a hard task. The transition from the comfort zone that these employees had gotten used to in the old style to the adoption of a fast and modern style that fully embraces technology in production has not been easy.
Another challenge that the company has faced is the challenge of resource allocation for the R&D department. The engineers and other experts in the company are always in the struggle to ensure that the products the company develops are always ahead of the competition. To do this, they have embarked into full time research and designing. This concept of R&D requires a lot resources. The company has made sure that the resources that the R&D team require are availed to them because the benefits that have been realized from the products designed by this team are much welcome.
From the above discussion, it has been made evident that strategic quality management is a key concept that many companies apply in theie day to day activities. Some companies use the concept sparingly and hence just about manage to survive. Others employ the strategic management process and concept throughout the conduct of their activities. The benefits that accrue to these two companies is different. One definitely acquires more than the other. The one that applies the concept of strategic quality management full time has more benefits compared to the other company which does the same on a sparingly extent.
From the corning glass case study, it has been observed that the employment of strategic management has brought the company many advantages including pushing its markets far and wide. The adoption of the strategic quality management in this company has seen the company become a global competitor in the glass manufacturing market.
In conclusion, this paper has observed that the usage of strategic quality management in a company has positive returns depending on how these strategies are applied in the company.