As a small manufacturing company specializing in non-ferrous metal forming for the national construction industry Copperform Pty Ltd was caught out by the recent major boom in the industry. A highly successful sales department brought massive annual growth, but the manufacturing and project management area of the business struggled to keep up. This occurrence is not uncommon: “companies aiming to achieve high quality standards will find the pursuing high productivity at the same time can be in direct conflict with their first goal” (profits) (1987).
Application of quality management principles has evolved over the past decade from leaders such as Henry Ford who in the early 1900’s developed fundamentals which we call now “total quality practices”’ (Evans & Lindsay 2002) to the system we know today as Total Quality Management (TQM) embracing as a subcomponent Continuous Improvement (CI). These systems share characteristics of clear goal definitions and specified roles within a structured environment, encouraging a philosophy toward change (Davig et al. 2003).
Analysis of historical data from past company projects highlighted the errors that required rectification. Once problems had been identified, systems were designed to correct them. Through progressive implementation in projects, an evaluation of their effectiveness was made.
Implementing the first generation of a quality system in the project management division produced demonstrable improvements such as decrease in downtime, an improvement in monthly progress claim profit, less wasted materials.
These early and agreeable results suggest that implementing the system in Queensland and interstate project management divisions should proceed.