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Quality in America: How to Implement a Competitive Quality Program.

You've just heard through the management grapevine that your department budget and staff are being considered for serious downsizing. Or, maybe your home office just called and is questioning you--and your future with the firm--on why your clients are taking their business to your prime competitor. These may be indicators that it is time for you and your staff to take a critical look at your performance and determine if you are achieving customer satisfaction. If you are not, then it may be time to apply total quality management (TQM).

The concept of quality management is a continuous process to achieve desired results through improved efforts by everyone involved. Many in security management today are aware of, or actively involved with, one of the programs being adopted. Can this apply to what you do? The answer is a definite yes. The author presents a complete discussion of how quality management can be implemented.

In the first half of the book, author V. Daniel Hunt explains the importance of quality in American business today, acquaints the reader with the language and key concepts of "Quality First," increases the reader's quality awareness, and attempts to develop the reader's personal desire to assume a leadership role in the pursuit of quality.

He describes the Malcolm Baldridge Award, which was established in 1987 to honor American companies, and describes some of the winning companies' approaches to quality improvement. The self-assessment chapter has worksheets containing 215 self-assessment questions from a federal report titled, "Quality and Productivity Self-Assessment Guide." These questions could assist in your organization's own self-evaluation.

The entire book is worthwhile, but since security managers need to maximize their reading time, this review focuses on chapters seven through eleven. Those chapters constitute the "how to" and "what can I do" portion of the book. The emphasis is on completing adequate planning before any action is taken. Americans seem to believe that something is amiss if there is no activity. We need to think about what really must be done and do it right the first time.

Hunt discusses the following ten steps in quality management planning:

* Get senior management commitment to quality.

* Create a vision and philosophy.

* Establish a quality council.

* Identify customer needs.

* Develop your own "Quality First" strategy.

* Select organization(s) to implement strategy.

* Conduct training needs analysis.

* Determine resources for implementation.

* Conduct training.

* Identify performance measures.

Hunt suggests that readers "create a living plan that reflects the continuous improvement of your operations and quality management efforts," and ensure its communication throughout the organization. If your security department is within a larger parent organization, Hunt suggests in his book that you begin to use quality management to improve your services.

Seven steps make up the quality management implementation phase:

* Implement quality philosophy.

* Benchmark all of your products and services.

* Implement continuous process improvement.

* Monitor and evaluate results.

* Recognize success.

* Adjust your quality process.

* Continue to improve.

Chapter ten presents the basics of tools and techniques to implement the improvement process. As Hunt explains, "Tools make it possible for you to accomplish work; make meaningful measurements; and, analyze, visualize, and understand information," and "techniques help you organize and accomplish quality analysis in a structured and systematic manner."

The final chapter encourages readers to begin making improvements, including in personal effectiveness and performance. Three appendixes provide an executive reading list, definitions, and information sources in addition to an extensive index.

Hunt provides a good resource for the quality management novice and professional alike. Readers will come away with specific guidance and a general understanding of how individuals can directly influence an organization's ability to meet its mission.

Reviewer: Paul D. Barnard, CPP, is command security manager for the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Barnard, Paul D.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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