In order to apply the relevant Deming’s points for quality management, it is important to establish the current issues that need to be addressed at Smitheford Pharmaceuticals. The company started off properly in 1878 by observing crucial business aspects such as methods of improvement and employee satisfaction. It also later adopted TQM philosophies but it has done poorly in implementation of those practices in manufacturing. The other issue is the complication of transportation of partially manufactured products after the introduction of strict FDA guidelines. Drug interactions especially among the elderly who are the main target market of majority of pharmaceutical companies also affects release of new products. The manufacturing equipment in the pharmaceuticals industry has also become obsolete thereby increasing the fixed costs of the company. These problems can be addressed through Deming’s points that enhance implementation of policies in quality management, investing in quality and futuristic manufacturing practices as well as expanding the manufacturing practices to cover larger target market and improve on transportation dynamics.
The first and most important point for Smitheford Pharmaceuticals is to “adopt a new philosophy". In this regard, the company needs to create a new vision embedded on matching and surpassing the industry’s standards in quality, manufacturing practices and customer involvement (Deming, 2000). This will also involve preparations to do business in a new way by the company’s leadership stressing more on leadership rather than management. Prioritizing on this issue as the most important is critical because it sets the company on a new course in almost all issues (Deming & Orsini, 2013). The company is able to discard retrogressive practices and take up new, or revive old and beneficial practices such as TQM with more vigor and vision. In addition, the company can at this stage involve the customers through a survey where they get to suggest improvements and therefore shape the vision and philosophy of the company in line with the current market demands.
In the second year, Smitheford Pharmaceuticals can “create a constant purpose toward improvement”. In this case, the company plans for quality in the long term and resists application of short-term solutions (Deming, 2000). The company also prepares for future challenges and sets the goal of always getting better. According to Deming and Orsini (2013) this is important because it sets the company on the lookout for improvements that it can always make in order to grow and compete effectively. Constant improvements also help the company to handle the increased and evolving demands of the FDA and other regulators of the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, constant improvement creates sustainability and institutionalization of growth strategies rather than having them personalized and dependent on current leadership and management.
The third most important point is to “improve constantly forever”. In this regard, the company plans for continuously improving systems and processes. According to Deming (2000), the use of plan-do-check-act approach would be very suitable. In this point, the company also avoids the need for inspection by industry regulators so as to get suggestions on areas of improvement (Deming & Orsini, 2013). This is important because it opens the opportunities for education and training of staff. It also opens up the company to the adoption of philosophies such as the kaizen thereby reducing wastage in terms of time and resources. This has the overall effect of reducing operational costs and improved production which improves the profitability of the business.
The fourth point that Smitheford Pharmaceuticals would be to “break down barriers between departments”. In this case, the company builds “internal customer” concept whereby departments are interdependent and supportive of each other for the common good of the company (Deming & Orsini, 2013). The departments have a shared vision and use cross-functional team-works to reduce adversarial relationships. This is very important in the case of Smitherford because it helps the stronger departments say the Human Resource to co-work properly with the manufacturing and the transportation departments to overcome the challenges facing them. The company stands to get the best out of every department and this further enhances institutionalization of development within the company which makes growth sustainable and futuristic.
I believe that this methodology of using Deming’s point philosophy would be effective for revamping growth and development at Smitheford Pharmaceuticals. This is so because the method is clear, specific and practical. The 14 points presented by Deming can be reorganized and ordered to follow each other in ways to suit any company facing a crisis. Prior to the implementation of any point it is possible to come with a list of deliverables and evaluation measures which compounds on the effectiveness of the method. The method also gives room for the customization of deliverables expected from each point and as such making it comfortable and practical to be applied in the pharmaceutical industry.
Smitheford Pharmaceuticals, started in 1878 is facing problems such as inability to respond to technology and strict FDA guidelines. These and other problems can be overcome if the company can in the first four years adopt the following points by Deming; Adopt a new philosophy, create a constant purpose toward improvement, Improve constantly forever and break down barriers between departments. I believe that these points applied in this order are practical and can be evaluated conveniently to help the company get back to a growth and development path. The use of the Deming points is also convenient and can be customized in whichever order a company’s management wishes.
Deming, W. E. (2000). Out of the crisis. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Deming, W. E., & Orsini, J. N. (2013). The essential Deming: leadership principles from the father of quality management. New York: McGraw-Hill.