B. G. Dale, M. Papalexi, D. Bamford A. van der Wiele
In today's global competitive marketplace the demands of customers are gradually increasing as they require improved quality of services and products. Also, in some markets there is an increasing supply of competitively priced products and services from low labour cost countries such as those in the Far East, the former Eastern bloc, China, Vietnam and India. TQM and Strategic Process Improvement does not appear to have reached maturity in many BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies (Moosa and Cardak 2006). This presents an opportunity, as well as a challenge, for TQM practitioners. Continuous improvement in total business activities with a focus on the customer throughout the entire organization and an emphasis on flexibility and quality is one of the main means by which companies face up to these competitive threats. For this reason, many organizations are looking for quality management and strategic process improvement in order to survive in increasingly aggressive markets and maintain a competitive edge over their rivals (Bamford et al. 2015). As a result of the efforts made by organizations to respond to these marketplace demands the quality of products, services and processes has increased considerably during the last two decades. Oakland (2014) states that:
Total Quality has always been a key strategic factor for business success but it is ...