Many companies in the service industry are implementing Total Quality Management (TQM). Last week, I saw the evidence at a busy restaurant where I had lunch. As I left the men’s room, I noticed a clipboard—attached to the back of the door—that contained a check sheet, which is defined as any type of form used for recording data. It is employed by the Chicago eatery to assure that employees clean the restroom at least once every hour.
Given the pervasiveness of food borne illnesses, maintaining hygienic restroom facilities is of paramount importance. Clean surfaces retard the growth of bacteria thereby reducing the likelihood that food preparers contaminate the cuisine. Also, in terms of customer satisfaction, a sparkling restroom gives customers a positive impression, namely, that management values quality.
Originally developed for just-in-time manufacturing environments, the check sheet is one of the 7 quality assurance tools standardized on by the Japanese Scientists and Engineers (Juice) in 1977. It enables management to collect data, which is a key requirement of six sigma quality management, a current incarnation of TQM.
As shown in the picture on the right, the check sheet’s headings are written in Spanish. Presumably, the employees who clean the lavatory are predominately Hispanic. Any documentation pertaining to a procedure should be tailored to the individuals who are performing the work. Thus, having the instructions in Spanish helps to assure that the cleaning processes are both understood and followed. It is amazing how this simple quality assurance tool has migrated from the manufacturing to the service industry.
What tools, procedures and forms do you use in your business to assure that your firm satisfies the needs of its customers?