On 18 October 1989, Miami‐based Florida Power and Light Company (FPL), Florida′s largest utility, became the first company outside Japan to win the Deming Prize. Awarded annually the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (and since 1986 outside Japan), the Prize recognises outstanding achievement in quality control management. Based on interviews with company representatives and a review of company documents, an explanation is presented of the implementation of a successful quality improvement programme in a service company. Topics discussed include the basic phases of such a programme – policy deployment, quality improvement teams, and quality in daily work – and a review of such a programme′s foundation elements: customer satisfaction, the plan/do/check/act circle, “management by facts”, and “respect for people”. Based on a literature review of other successful and less‐successful programmes, tentative prescriptions for implementing a successful quality circle and total improvement programme are presented, along with suggestions from FPL′s experience on the pitfalls to avoid.
International Journal of Service Industry Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 1990
Keywords: Deming; Quality; Quality control; Service industries