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The relationship between quality...

The relationship between quality... - The current issue and...

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The relationship between quality management and the speed of new product development Hongyi Sun, Yangyang Zhao and Hon Keung Yau Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Abstract Purpose – The speed of new product development (NPD) has been a key factor in a firm’s degree of competitiveness. The tools and philosophy of quality management have been widely used to improve and control product quality. However, there is a lack of literature on the relationship between quality management and NPD. This paper aims to report on a study that investigates the influence of quality management on the speed of NPD. Design/methodology/approach – The philosophy of quality management refers to total quality management (TQM). Tools for quality management include teamwork, continuous improvement (CI), value analysis (VA) and quality function deployment (QFD). This study begins by comparing literature in concurrent engineering (CE) and TQM, which leads to several common principles and five hypotheses. The hypotheses are tested using survey data from 700 manufacturing companies in 20 countries. Findings – The research reveals that TQM, Team, VA and QFD are positively correlated with the speed of NPD, meaning that the tools and philosophy of quality management have a positive influence on the speed of NPD. However, no relationship is found between CI and the speed of NPD. Research limitations/implications – This paper tests hypotheses using survey data. It reveals the empirical relationship between quality management and the speed of NPD but does not provide details regarding the mechanism of influence between the two. Consequently, case studies should be conducted in the future to probe into the details. Additionally, new quality methods like Six Sigma can also be included in a future study, since Six Sigma covers both quality and NPD. Practical implications – This study proposes that companies that have implemented TQM and other quality management tools will have a better foundation for implementing new NPD approaches like CE and design for manufacturing and assembly. This is especially encouraging for those original engineering manufacturing (OEM) firms that would like to change from OEM to original design manufacturing/original brand manufacturing (ODM/OBM). OEM companies typically implement TQM but invest very little in NPD. Originality/value – This paper fills the gap in research exploring the links between quality management and NPD. It addresses the concern over whether quality management may hinder NPD. The critical issues for implementing quality management such as culture change, learning, change management, and team building can all be applied to implementing NPD methods such as CE. The result also supports the concept of “design the quality into products”. It is beneficial for employees in quality and NPD to share and work together.
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