1. Read the scenario description, goal, and learning objectives below.
  2. Notice that under “Simulation”, there is an image of each executive team member, with information next to them that can be accessed through reading text or listening to an audio file. For each member of the executive team, read or listen to their thoughts and dialogue in the meeting about the scenario.
  3. After learning about each executive team member’s thoughts and dialogue, see if you can answer the essay question at the bottom of the page.
  4. After answering the essay question, use the menu at the left to navigate to the Module Completion Page for debriefing and to complete the module.

In this scenario, Ms. Saver is leading a meeting of the Executive Team in 2013, and calling upon the Executive Team to work with her to develop a company-wide strategy with regard to inventory turnover. Efforts implemented after their 2010 meeting increased turnover significantly, and now, Ms. Saver wants the group to brainstorm a way to set up a long-term strategy to keep turnover high.

Ms. Saver encouraged the team to visit this web site, which presents a generic strategy model for implementing TQM (with 12 steps), along with five different strategies for implementing TQM. Ms. Saver also presented the following slide.

Ms. Saver praised the group for increasing inventory turnover, and said that other metrics that are associated with high inventory turnover are number of passengers, passenger load factor, and number of aircraft.

Suggest a strategy for implementing TQM that will keep inventory turnover high. Explain how the strategy would be implemented using the generic strategy model and one of the five implementation strategies, and provide a rationale as to why you think the strategy would work for keeping turnover high.

At the end of this scenario, the learner should be able to:

  • Name one of the five TQM implementation strategies, describe it, and give an example of a way to implement it in a real company to improve a particular quality metric.
  • Select and describe one of the 12 steps in the generic strategy model for implementing TQM systems, and explain how you would complete this step when implementing TQM to improve quality at a real company.
  • Thinking of the five TQM implementation strategies, name the one you think is least likely to be successful, name the one you think is most likely to be successful, and provide rationales for both your answers.

Human Relations Department

Chief of Staff, Human Relations
Mr. Hari/Chief of Staff


Ms. Saver is really intellectual. These charts are amazing! I’m so impressed with how clearly she thinks. I’m not quite as academic as she is. I’m more emotionally intelligent – and that’s important, too! But it means that I’m not very good at this assignment, I think! I just know from my role here is that if you keep people happy – employees, vendors, customers, and partners – everything is better. And I know people are happier if they own their own space and ideas. When passengers are happy, they fly more often, filling up our planes, and buying our inventory. So I will answer on the basis of this!

Statement in Meeting

“I’m a novice here, but let me throw out a suggestion of Strategy 3: The Organization model approach. The reason I like that one is that we can get help from individuals on all teams in all of our departments to tell us ways to improve how we treat passengers so they use our airlines more often – which means they will buy more of our inventory in the process. I know that Lady Goodflight’s department always has exemplary performance – my department could visit hers and see what we can implement on our end. In terms of the steps in the generic model, I feel like we are doing number 5 right now – identifying priorities. That’s great! But I think we should hurry and get to step 7, which is forming teams for improvement efforts. If we make teams of employees, they can report back to us ways to improve all these measurements at once, and recommend ways to connect with other teams to share ideas.”

Finance Department

Chief of Finance, Finance Department
Ms. Saver/Chief of Finance


I’m glad that my complicated analysis went over well so far! No one seems caught up in the weeds. I’m so relieved to have this team, because my question is honest – I really do not know what to do. I don’t know which strategy should guide us, and I’m having trouble imagining how to implement the steps. I will throw something out just to encourage the team and do my part – but they will easily see why I asked for help and guidance from them!

Statement in Meeting

“You all make me feel good, the way you “ooh” and “aah” over my charts. Unfortunately, I am out of ideas when it comes to strategy. I lean toward what the web page calls Strategy 4: The Japanese total quality approach, which is basically to study other places that do a better job than we do, and copy what they did. I think we could do something like that – maybe hire consultants to help us find the right model to copy. Step 4 says we should develop a master plan for our TQM implementation – I feel like before that, in step 2, we should hire consultants to help us with assessing current culture, customer satisfaction, and quality management systems so we can do a better job of the master plan. What do you all think of this idea?”

Operations Department

Chief of Operations, Operations Department
Ms. Logistics/Chief of Operations


To me, this seems simplest if we keep close to the TQM theory by using Strategy 1: The TQM element approach. What we should do is work together to figure out the processes in each of our departments related to inventory turnover. I’m not sure exactly what those are for everyone, but we could figure it out. Then, we’d just focus on improving the quality of those processes in our own departments. Seems pretty straightforward to me!

Statement in Meeting

“I’m going to strongly recommend Strategy 1: The TQM element approach. Mr. Hari is right – Ms. Saver helped us complete step 5 by setting priorities. But we have to think about how we are going to do the other steps, and I think step 6 is critical. This is where we are supposed to map out the critical processes through which we meet customer needs – in this case, we should focus on inventory turnover. Once we have those critical processes, we can figure out which part of those processes are in each of our departments. Then in step 7, we can form intradepartmental teams just to improve the quality of those identified processes. Isn’t that easy? Piece of cake! Any takers?”

Engineering Department

Chief of Engineering, Engineering Department
Dr. Tinker/Chief of Engineering


I know the people on my team are always motivated by a contest! That’s why I immediately love Strategy 5: The award criteria approach. I know if I put up a challenge to my team – say, whoever successfully troubleshoots this problem gets some sort of work-related prize – they really get down to business. But I’m used to dealing with a bunch of engineers and inventors. I don’t know how that would work with other work roles. Would customer service people get into it like engineers? Or people who work in HR? I just don’t know.

Statement in Meeting

“I am just going to start by saying I know a lot about engineers, and not much about everyone else. That being said, my engineers love friendly competitions, so I naturally gravitate toward Strategy 5 – the award criteria approach. But I’m not sure how we’d actually implement it. We might have to make the challenge be different depending upon the department. In step 6, we are supposed to map the critical processes, and then in step 7, form teams. Maybe we could create a challenge around one critical process in each department, and make the teams compete. I guess I didn’t really think it through that well – but I’m just brainstorming anyway.”

Customer Service Department

Chief of Customer Service, Customer Service Department
Lady Goodflight/Chief of Customer Service


Sometimes I think these strategies are too sophisticated for me. I think we should all just look to people who are the experts. That’s why when I look at these strategies, I think we should choose Strategy 2: The Guru Approach. I’m not sure which “guru” to choose to follow – there are so many great business philosophers. Maybe someone on the team could recommend the right guru to follow.

Statement in Meeting

“I think we should do Strategy 2: The Guru Approach. We should select a business philosopher in the quality area whose ideas we should follow. I feel strongly that we should do this because we are not as smart as someone who is an expert in this – and if we follow this person’s ideas, we will definitely succeed. I do not know who we should choose – we can all discuss this. But that person needs to be an expert at TQM so they can help us get through the steps. How do you do step 4 – develop a “master plan” based on steps 1 through 3 – to maintain high turnover? And how exactly are we supposed to “map critical processes” in step 6? Having a guru lead us will eliminate these questions and make it so we actually succeed at our strategy, I think.”

FSU Students: Please submit your essay on Blackboard per your professor’s instructions.

In 2013, British Airways was doing well – making a profit and having a high passenger load without a large number of employees (see Table 1 of the case study). Part of their success was that they were able to keep their inventory turnover high, which they found was closely associated with a high passenger load factor and a larger number of aircraft. What TQM strategy would you recommend using to keep inventory turnover high at British Airways? What is your rationale for choosing this strategy? Which TQM steps do you think would be most impacted by this strategy, and why?

Component Maximum Points
Recommended TQM strategy and provided rationale. 2
Described which TQM steps would be most impacted by choosing that strategy and provided a rationale. 2
200 to 300 words 1
Clear, cohesive writing with proper grammar. 1
Appears to have integrated the concepts of applied TQM in answer. 1
Total 7

Updated September 22, 2019