TQM or Total Quality Management it is a business philosophy through which the appropriate strategy, processes, training, motivation, commitment, tools and resources leads to the success of the company, which is resulting in full satisfaction of the customer. Total quality management is also described as an integrated organizational effort designed to improve quality at every level. Motto of TQM is continuous improvement of operations. TQM focuses not only just on quality but also on long, medium or short term process which can improve efficiency of an organization’s business while reducing or eliminating any wasteful processes.
Considering the practices of TQM as discussed in six empirical studies researchers identified the nine common TQM practices as cross-functional product design, process management, supplier quality management, customer involvement, information and feedback, committed leadership, strategic planning, cross-functional training, and employee involvement TQM involves everyone in the organization and includes its every function: administration, communications, distribution, manufacturing, marketing, planning, training, etc. n order to meet or exceed customer expectations. The methodology for getting TQM implemented is motivation and seeking to satisfy the internal and external customers and to continuously improve process by working smarter and using special quality methods. There are two types of customer, internal and external. Internal customer can be someone within the organization for example someone at customer service or any staff employed by the company. It is someone who helps the organization serve the end customer.
The external customer is someone who isn’t part of organization; it is someone who receives service or product from it. They have choice and if they don’t like the product or service they take the business elsewhere and they can find another company that offers better product or services. When customer was promised delivery of goods at specific and the delivery was late because of the problems in production, it will automatically lead to unsatisfied customer which might not want to use the company’s service anymore. External customer looses trust because nternal customer isn’t providing the accurate information. TQM is engaged with ensuring excellent level of service to the customers hence its application improves customer retention and profitability of business. The two primary objectives in Total Quality Management are zero defects and 100% customer satisfaction. Zero defects mean that everyone should do things right first time. This phrase was coined by Philip Crosby in his 1979 book titled ‘Quality is free’. [i] The idea is that by with a philosophy of zero defects you can improve quality and reduce cost.
To allow this to happen, a process, method or system of working has to be established which will ensure achievement of zero defects. Customer satisfaction refers to extent to which customers are happy with their products and services provided by business. Customer satisfaction levels can be measured by doing questionnaires survey or by asking them personally. The most common method for collecting information if customer is happy with service they get is survey which very brief, few questions taking no longer than few minutes.
Gathered information is very helpful, it tells us what customers like, what they want and need and based on this information organization can improve their service and quality. The main principles of Total Quality Management are: • Prevention – Prevention is better than the cure. In the long run, it is less costly to identify risks related to production and mitigate them than pay for rework • Zero Defects – The aim is no (zero) defects. Getting things right first time – Ensure the highest level of compliance with processes and procedures leading to excellent product or service quality • Quality involves everyone – Quality is not just the concern, it involves everyone within the organization • Continuous improvement – Business should always be looking for ways to help and improve quality • Employee involvement – Those involved in production and operations have a vital role to play in improvement for quality and in identifying quality problems. [ii]
According to TQM a quality product comes from a quality process. This means that quality should be built into the process. Quality at the source is the belief that it is far better to uncover the source of quality problems and correct it than to discard defective items after production. If the source of the problem is not corrected, the problem will continue. Total Quality Management is essential for companies seeking to provide quality goods and services to their customers. The end result is that they will enjoy long term growth.
In order to compete in global economy, our products, systems and services must be of a higher quality than our competition. Increasing Quality is the priority which every organization is following to achieve the goal. There are many methods for quality improvement; examples of them are Six Sigma and Lean. These cover product improvement, process improvement and people based improvement. World-class organizations such as General Electric and Motorola attribute their success to having one of the best quality management programs in the world. These companies were some of the ? st to implement Six Sigma, where the level of defects is reduced to approximately 3. 4 parts per million.
To achieve this, everyone in the company is trained in quality. Quality affects all aspects of the organization and has dramatic cost implications. The most obvious consequence occurs when poor quality creates dissatis? ed customers and eventually leads to loss of business. However, quality has many other costs, which can be divided into two categories. The ? rst category consists of costs necessary for achieving high quality, which are called quality control costs.
These are of two types: prevention costs and appraisal costs. The second category consists of the cost consequences of poor quality, which are called quality failure costs. Part of the TQM philosophy is to empower all employees to seek out quality problems and correct them. With the old concept of quality, employees were afraid to identify problems for fear that they would be reprimanded. Often poor quality was passed on to someone else, in order to make it “someone else’s problem. ” The new concept of quality, TQM, provides incentives for employees to identify quality problems.
Employees are rewarded for uncovering quality problems, not punished. Workers are empowered to make decisions relative to quality in the production process. They are considered a vital element of the effort to achieve high quality. Their contributions are highly valued, and their suggestions are implemented. In order to perform this function, employees are given continual and extensive training in quality measurement tools, ie Black Belt training in Six Sigma. Total Quality Management tools and techniques are a subject of research and various theories for past 60 years.
These tools and techniques are used to identify the potential problems, frequency of their occurrences, and method to control these problems and to adopt world best class practices. It is estimated that more than 100 TQM tools are being used so far. But in different books, different tools are described. Following are some of the most commonly used tools and techniques:
• Benchmarking is method of comparing company’s practices with the practices of best in class organization in the areas of quality, productivity, Human Resources and cost etc. Total productive Maintenance (TPM) is a new way of carrying maintenance activities and invented by Japanese. • Brainstorming is method of looking for problem solution by a group of people. • Quality Management System (ISO 9001) is set of standards for Quality Management system for any organization by International Organization for Standardization (ISO). • Kaizen is a Japanese tool for small but incremental changes in daily business life. In current business environment Kaizen would be defined as continuous improvement blitz event.
Statistics tools like (among others): Pie Chart and Bar Graph, Histogram, Pareto Analysis, Cause & Effect/Fish Bone/Ishikawa Diagram, Flow Charts/Flow Diagram, Scatter Diagram, Plan Do Check Act (PDCA). [iii] In conclusion Total Quality Management is a powerful tool that is designed to make an organization faster, flexible, focused, and friendly. It leads to a structured system that focuses each employee on the customer. It encourages teamwork which creates a better product or service. It creates an environment that allows organization-wide participation in planning and implementing a continuous improvement process to meet customer needs.
The concept of TQM can be expressed as achieving success through delighting our customers. The decision to implement total quality management concepts throughout the company is strategic in nature. It sets the direction for the ? rm and the level of commitment. Virtually every aspect of the operations function must change to support the commitment toward total quality management. Successful companies understand the powerful impact customer-de? ned quality can have on business. For this reason many competitive ? rms continually increase their quality standards.