This study is aimed to assess and compare the status of quality management (QM) practices in the manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia and the UK, and to develop better insights into the use of and benefits from such QM practices. Furthermore, the intention was to identify the trends for adoption of advanced QM practices such as Lean and Six Sigma. A similar survey instrument was designed and tested in the two countries and data were analysed using SPSS and excel worksheet. The findings confirm that the adoption of Six Sigma is quite slow in Australian and the UK SMEs. ISO 9000 is the most popular QM initiatives in SMEs followed by the recent trend to implement Lean for streamlining business processes. Leadership is critical to the success of any QM practices such as Lean and Six Sigma. Networking with government bodies and academic institutions, and fact-based decision-making emerged as the two new critical success factors for implementing QM in SMEs. Significant improvement in performance metrics was observed in the UK SMEs after implementation of quality initiatives, though similar result was not replicated in the Australian sample.
Kumar, M., Khurshid, K. K., & Waddell, D. (2014). Status of Quality Management practices in manufacturing SMEs: A comparative study between Australia and the UK. International Journal of Production Research, 52(21), 6482 - 6495. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2014.948574