alexa When times get tough, what happens to TQM? Case study.
Business & Management

Business & Management

Journal of Business & Financial Affairs

Author(s): Niven D, Niven D, Niven D, Niven D

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Abstract When Mueller Chemical Company's biggest customer, Ameriton, demanded that MCC install a total quality management system five years ago, the effort seemed worth it. Morale improved dramatically at the German company, as did quality and productivity. But now, in this fictional case study, Ameriton has gone bankrupt. As a result, MCC has had to cut its work force, and senior managers are meeting to decide whether TQM should be part of the downsized MCC. Horst Koblitz, director of TQM, and Division Manager Eva Stichen both vote yes. Stichen's division, which never supplied Ameriton, has turned its process-control system into the company's best thanks to TQM. The division is more cost-efficient, product defects are nearly nonexistent, and its safety record is spotless. As Koblitz notes, Ameriton's failure is no reason to abandon all that MCC has built. Furthermore, shareholders and customers would think that MCC was panicking. MCC just needs to tailor its TQM program to a smaller organization. But CFO Georg Becker doesn't think MCC has the time or resources for fine-tuning. And as he sees it, that might be just as well. The distractions that came with TQM took MCC away from its goal of becoming the chemicals market leader in Europe. While the company organized teams, developed measurement systems, and filled out quality reports, its competitors took away much of the market share MCC was after. TQM was a good long-term approach, but it didn't come with a plan for MCC's current situation. And CEO and Chairman Dieter Mueller won't compromise; TQM must either stay or go.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This article was published in Harv Bus Rev and referenced in Journal of Business & Financial Affairs

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