How Total Quality Management (TQM) Theory can be applied to improve the airport passenger handling
Total Quality Management (TQM) specifically deals with work process and people. Implementation of TQM calls for team work and employee involvement. All operations, suppliers, and customers have to be involved. Besides, it also calls for performance measurement. TQM is normally implemented by business organizations to satisfy its customers. It improves organizational performance (Asher, 1996).
Work processes have to be coordinated for continuous improvement in business units to be realized. The underlying reason behind this is meeting customer expectations. TQM endeavors a scenario where quality is enhanced in all facets of an organization while costs are kept at bare minimum. Any organization irrespective of its size can implement TQM especially if it wants to meet the demands of the customers. A major setback has however been the non-compliance of these organizations with the principles and procedures of TQM implementation (Asher, 1996). A number of organizations run TQM as a program that can perform magic by itself. Some organizations have also failed to achieve the customer satisfaction bit because of selective use of the principles.
Leading world airlines have their unique problems with respect to passenger handling. There have always been issues related to luggage loss, cancellation of flights, and diversion of flights due to poor weather conditions, power black-out, and some myriad issues that lead to customer dissatisfaction. All these are summed up into inefficient service delivery. Customers never shy away from expressing their dissatisfaction about the kind of services they are offered. Because of the deregulation of the airline industry airlines have taken to setting fares and service levels based on the market situation. This has sparked competition among industry players. For an airline to gain competitive advantage over the other it has to outshine its rival.
Customer satisfaction is the in-thing in the aviation industry and the industry players are putting in much effort to elbow others out of their territory (Asher, 1996). Quality management is therefore an integral part of the airline's business operation if they endeavor to improve their services to meet customers' expectations. This paper seeks to establish how Total Quality Management (TQM) Theory can be applied to improve the airport passenger handling.
Because TQM philosophy is customer oriented an airline has to develop airlines operations to deal with issues that pertain to operations. This will streamline the airline's operation (Asher, 1996). All employees will have to participate in problem solving process regardless of functional or hierarchical boundaries. The employees will then have a feeling of psychological ownership. They will have some level of freedom when it comes to taking decisions that affect their jobs (Asher, 1996). They will undertake to engage in performing functions like information processing, problem solving and decision making. In the process, both internal and external customer satisfaction get boosted. This creates a flexible environment where innovation thrives. Because TQM incorporates concepts like service quality, process management, quality assertion, and quality perfection (Asher, 1996).
The airline has to take charge of all transformation process that entails operations and services. This has to be done to satisfy the needs of the passengers in the most economical way. Not so much can be achieved without the management accepting the concept of improvement (Andrle, 1994). All the company stakeholders have to come to terms with the fact that the company needs total transformation with regard to the quality of services the airline offers as well as its operations. The management must accept to participate in all improvement. They have to value opinions of others to achieve total quality management and provide total quality operations and services that are appealing to customers.
The management of the airline should be in the frontline when it comes to application of Total Quality Management to their operations and services (Andrle, 1994). Total quality management is based on internal control that is an integral part of the work system, the employees, and services being offered to the passengers of the airline company. TQM, if implemented, can determine problems that are likely to arise and anticipate its occurrences. When the airline pushes the problem solving and decision making responsibilities to the operations and services, the concerned individuals are capable of assessing and taking remedial action so that they deliver…