Port Security through Total Quality Management –

Comment, Maritime Education and Training, Ports & Terminals, Safety and Security — By on November 20, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Nikos K. Deniozos

Port Security through Total Quality Management
-A Primitive Approach- by Nikos K. Deniozos M.Sc. Ph.D., Commodore H.C.G. (ret)

The shipping industry being one of the largest economic activities all over the world, ‘sweeps’, as is quite natural, in a dynamic evolution the whole range of functions and operations of the port services sector. A sector where  the level of its productivity plays an important role in attracting cargoes, passengers and other direct or indirect activities, the so- called agglomeration economies, ultimately revealing its comparative advantage in the hinterland  and sea routes as well. 

Nevertheless thorough and continuous investigation is necessary, to help  determine the degree of effectiveness of a port facility and especially how it could be optimised, spreading its effects on competitiveness. This component of effectiveness is the quality level of security services provided at the port installation. The historical development of the ports as sites of economic and social activity has created to a large extent the need for adequate and efficient provision of security services, making it synonymous with orderly operation.

The adoption of Total Quality Management (TQM) by the ports authorities can be an appropriate mechanism or effective tool, aiming at the  optimisation  of the operation in the field of  security services in the area- of port facilities. In order to be achieved this aim is essential to be combined in a number of factors that ultimately affect the efficiency and quality of security services to port users.

The first step in the implementation of TQM requires the following factors:

• The legal authority of the competent governing bodies, arising from the existence of an appropriate institutional framework.
• The cooperation between coast guard agencies or port police and port authorities.
• Appropriate infrastructure and superstructure.
• Adequate and appropriate equipment of port authorities with means and staffing with well trained personnel.
• Developing and managing information and intelligence network.
•  Confidence among ports users that they are not likely to suffer any damage, loss or accident.
• Ability to recover from any accidents or damage incurred in a port complex- installation.

Moreover, the above factors are also quality criteria for users of port facilities who assess them in relation to the services that ultimately they receive. The criteria in question can be classified into two major categories:
1. Criteria as far as the “production”- supply of the security service (technical quality) concerned
2. Criteria relating to the provision of security services (functional quality or quality supply)

The objective of TQM in providing security services at ports is to “do it right, the right things, at the first attempt”, because the nature of the public good in “security” includes features and characteristics which, if not taken into account in all their dimensions, risk tragic negligence, omission or failure that may cost losses in terms of equipment and  people. This fact has serious consequences concerning the philosophy of management applied nowadays, where traditionally, the best dominant culture focuses on the concept: “to put things in their proper place after they have gone wrong, ” and in the  worst case:, “to hide wrong things  in order to show that everything has gone better.

Thus emerges another very important component of TQM: a necessary and sufficient condition to be implemented is this.  The condition in question is  Organisational Learning. What is this exactly? The following two definitions of Organisational Learning, confirm the existence of a significant relationship between it and TQM.
a) “Organizational learning is the process of improving actions through better knowledge and understanding» (Fiol et al 1985)
b) “Organizational Learning is the main process by which innovation is achieved by sharing ideas, concepts and knowledge» (Stata 1989)
All this suggests  that the Total Quality and Organisational Learning include two common objectives: to improve the operations and innovation. Moreover, Total Quality and Organisational Learning are inspired by the Japanese concept of «Kaizen», namely a commitment to work aiming at stable and continuous improvement.

This idea is expressed by an organisational culture which may well be applied by the provision of security services at port facilities as well. The elements of this work culture are the following:
1.  Obvious personal commitment by all, for  quality.
2. The leadership in practice supports and facilitates learning at individual and collective level, adopting in parallel  practices  encouraging self-development, accountability and cooperation.
3. The management differs from the usual one, oriented to the rules and the way of administrative behaviour (management by rules) as well as espoused by the administration values (management by values).
4. Encouraging working groups where in a climate of confidence and cooperation  are utilised personal abilities, knowledge and skills of security personnel in a clear and common vision for all.
5. Measuring the effectiveness of performance at an individual and collective level, assessment of the achievements and communicating  of these throughout the organisation and reward.

When embracing all the above, TQM becomes more penetrating  and internal as change, paying particular attention to the way of cooperation of personnel , the way of communication, and finally achieving collective learning, aiming at capacity building of lasting organisational transformation depending on the effects and operational functional needs of the port on security issues. In this way the effectiveness of the program of total quality in the governing body of the port, in order to achieve high levels of security in port facilities,   has as a  result the following benefits:
1. Consistency. Users can rely on the service at any time in the expectation that the service they receive will be continually improved.
2. Focusing. The focus of each organisation or entity on TQM in every operating procedure, ensures that the needs and wants  of users are met through consistent service provision.
3. Knowledge. Through the application of  quality, each entity acquires self-knowledge of its capabilities and reinforces  its business commitment in favour of rapid  and efficient    service provided.
4. Education. Staff must be appropriately trained so as to transmit the message of quality.
5. Collaborative work. The application of quality service helps each employee to help others, thus countering occupational introversion.
6. Checking. The entity which is oriented to quality, controls its operating procedures more effectively and therefore deals with fewer problems and gains increased occupational satisfaction.

To develop a holistic approach of TQM as far as  port security services are concerned, there is a methodology that meets this requirement. This is quality function deployment (QFD).  According to this methodology the requirements of the users of the port for security services,  are converted to to a level that provides great satisfaction. The whole mechanism of QFD based on a process where the use of a series of matrices and diagrams that contain the requirements and needs of the users of the port, extends from the stage of planning and design of security service, to ultimate supply.

The QFD concerning this matter, is divided into two main sections. The first section identifies the needs and requirements of the port facilities user from the concrete  service and “translates” them into defined standards such as:
• Adequate space and equipment for checking passengers, baggage and cargoes
• Infrastructure and vehicle control procedures
• Port space separation according to the activity carried out in order to   avoid conflict of uses (e.g. passenger areas as against freight etc).
• Control Centre
• Perimeter Security
• Restricted Areas
• Communications Systems
• Presence of authorised security personnel.

The second part is essentially a framework that determines internal requirements of providers of security services, aiming at dealing effectively with the demands of the users of the port, of which are indicative:
• The size and composition of the security force
• Level of basic training
• Specialised training of staff
• Training programs
• Equipment, Communications etc

The above sections form the House of Quality (Hauser & Clausing 1988) which is nothing more than two matrices combining the HOW of the first part with WHAT of the second. With the above “collective work”   we can effectively prioritise the needs of the user, as the last are interpreted   into a hierarchical definition of the processes that is necessary in the context of the function of the organisation of security services. This in turn helps in the development and supply of  an adequate and qualitative port security “product”, without delay and at the lowest possible cost. It is underlined (James 1996) … that the first matrix of QFD serves as a base for any and each of the subsequent phases thereof. The supply of information in this first phase is used to identify specific design requirements to meet the needs of users of port services. These design requirements are in other words, the standards that should be set by the statutory provider of security (types of equipment floating-land-air, number of employees mandated to perform a specific task and supply of the personnel with the necessary operating equipment, etc.). The culmination of all this strategy ultimately has the comparative advantage of an emerging prevention culture, which combats potentialg problems at birth.

In the process of production and supply of security services in port facilities, the establishment and operation of  Circles ofQuality should be seriously taken up. These are nothing more than a method of group and collective activity in the workplace, serving to finding the most effective process to achieve the objectives.

The essential characteristics of circles of quality are:
• The power of of  ideas and work of staff involved to achieve the best possible result.
• Ensuring process of the team, under certain rules.
• The energy of the team members

The way each quality circle works is unique. Each Director should assist in the development of quality circles and create favourable conditions for their creation. The steps undertaken by the group in order to deal with the various problems that arise are:
1. Collection of information
2. Analysis of the causes of problems
3. Processing of  potential solutions
4. Evaluation of alternatives
5. Selecting a solution
6. Implementation of the chosen solution
7. Monitoring the impact of the chosen solution

The methods that such a group can use during its operation are:
1. Brainstorming
2. Method 6-3-5.
3. Method PARETO
4. Cause and Effect diagram (method known as Ishikawa).

In conclusion, the shift towards Total Quality marks two major changes: first it puts the focus where it belongs, i.e. the user’s port; and secondly it places great importance in realising the potentiality  of  human resources  of  the port operator responsible for security services. Thus TQM contributes to the development of the relationship between society and port. It specifies the needs of citizens and strives to meet them. The relationship between users of the port facilities and stakeholders tends to become stable through quality, eliminating internal pressures, tends to eliminate the causes of defects and errors, and ultimately yields a qualitative outcome in terms of security services provision.


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