Keywords: quality programs, forward management, competitiveness, TQM, total quality management
Competing through modern quality principles: a forward management approach
Cost efficiency is no longer the sole principle for competing in global markets. The authors of this paper have shown in many of their individual as well as joint publications that quality plays an important role in the competitiveness equation. However, quality in and by itself cannot achieve the synergistic results that many organisations hope to achieve when they embrace and implement quality programs. Timeliness and responsiveness to customer needs as well as the agility of the manufacturing processes have become the main ingredients of the competitiveness equation. It is necessary, therefore, that management should abandon many of their traditional approaches to managing quality and unlearn many of the old practices. The next generation manufacturing companies who want to survive, advance, and thrive in the next century will have to think proactively and embrace what we define here as "forward management". In this paper, the authors offer a simple model of forward management. The model, examines the performance at the strategic and operational levels. The former is labelled "forward management", while the latter is labelled "forward engineering". The components of the two dimensions of our model are also depicted.. Finally, the model shows the impact of better performance on satisfying the needs of three important constituencies: customers, shareholders and employees.