The terms fit for purpose, safe in the sense service provided satisfies customer needs can be subjective to most people.
In an attempt to define these terms in such a way that can be readily understood by most individuals the British Standard Quality Award BS EN certification assessment criteria has become the benchmark standard.
The weakness of such assessment is the lack of external measure of customer satisfaction. The primary determinants’ to assess a particular operation quality are the systems and processes that link customer demand to the product service on offer.
There are numerous models available for example European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model ethos is; results for customers, employees, and society are realised through leadership, policy and strategy.
In essence an input, control, regulator, output process. FEFQM model has nine criteria elements to appraise an organisations progress towards total quality management. The model is divided into five and four element split. The first five are termed enablers the focus is upon how the operation achieves results. The remaining four are termed results this section attention is focused on what the organisation has achieved. The models overall objective is to illustrate the dynamic nature of innovation and learning that needs to take place between the two segments and do so in a way that enables the operation to appraise and improve itself in turn adopt relevant strategies to achieve improvements.
The British model original methodology emphasised supplier appropriateness assessment this has evolved to include the following from a hospitality prospective.
· Quality system procedures – all functions must be covered.
· Auditing the system – it must be audited internally.
· Management responsibility – policy, objectives, identification of key personnel.
Product supplier material control and traceability – supplies must be traceable.
· Non-conformity – ensuring that faulty products/service do not reach the customer.
· Corrective action – identifying reasons for faults, measures taken to correct them and records to be kept.
· After-sales service – procedures for monitoring quality of after-sales service.
· Documentation and records – records of checks and inspections, action taken, audit reports
· Personnel and training – identification of needs, provision and verification of training.
· Product safety and liability – procedures for handling, storing and processing materials. For example foods.
The benefits of accreditation are the operation can verify their suppliers operate to a quality standard, accreditation is a perquisite to tendering for external work, such an accreditation is evidence of due diligence in the event of a Food Safety Act 1990 prosecution case. Certification is a differentiation to a competitor offering.
Total quality management offers an organisational framework an ethos for customer service a methodology for delivery of product service. The downside it costly to attain nevertheless those who attain the standard suggest its cost effective.