Total quality Management24th December 2020
Total quality management (TQM) consists of organization-wide efforts to “install and make permanent climate where employees continuously improve their ability to provide on demand products and services that customers will find of particular value.” “Total” emphasizes that departments in addition to production (for example sales and marketing, accounting and finance, engineering and design) are obligated to improve their operations; “management” emphasizes that executives are obligated to actively manage quality through funding, training, staffing, and goal setting.
Total Quality management is defined as a continuous effort by the management as well as employees of a particular organization to ensure long term customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. Remember, one happy and satisfied customer brings ten new customers along with him whereas one disappointed individual will spread bad word of mouth and spoil several of your existing as well as potential customers.
You need to give something extra to your customers to expect loyalty in return. Quality can be measured in terms of durability, reliability, usage and so on. Total quality management is a structured effort by employees to continuously improve the quality of their products and services through proper feedbacks and research. Ensuring superior quality of a product or service is not the responsibility of a single member.
Every individual who receives his/her paycheck from the organization has to contribute equally to design foolproof processes and systems which would eventually ensure superior quality of products and services. Total Quality management is indeed a joint effort of management, staff members, workforce, suppliers in order to meet and exceed customer satisfaction level. You can’t just blame one person for not adhering to quality measures. The responsibility lies on the shoulder of everyone who is even remotely associated with the organization.
While there is no widely agreed-upon approach, TQM efforts typically draw heavily on the previously developed tools and techniques of quality control. TQM enjoyed widespread attention during the late 1980s and early 1990s before being overshadowed by ISO 9000, Lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma.
The key concepts in the TQM effort undertaken by the Navy in the 1980s include:
- “Quality is defined by customers’ requirements.”
- “Top management has direct responsibility for quality improvement.”
- “Increased quality comes from systematic analysis and improvement of work processes.”
- “Quality improvement is a continuous effort and conducted throughout the organization.”
Total Quality management can be divided into four categories:
Planning is the most crucial phase of total quality management. In this phase employees have to come up with their problems and queries which need to be addressed. They need to come up with the various challenges they face in their day-to-day operations and also analyze the problem’s root cause. Employees are required to do necessary research and collect relevant data which would help them find solutions to all the problems.
In the doing phase, employees develop a solution for the problems defined in planning phase. Strategies are devised and implemented to overcome the challenges faced by employees. The effectiveness of solutions and strategies is also measured in this stage.
Checking phase is the stage where people actually do a comparison analysis of before and after data to confirm the effectiveness of the processes and measure the results.
In this phase employees document their results and prepare themselves to address other problems.
Important principles of Total Quality Management as a foundation for all activities.
- Quality can and must be managed
Many companies have wallowed in a repetitive cycle of chaos and customer complaints. They believe that their operations are simply too large to effectively manage the level of quality. The first step in the TQM process, then, is to realize there is a problem and that it can be controlled.
- Processes, not people, are the problem
If your process is causing problems, it won’t matter how many times you hire new employees or how many training sessions you put them through. Correct the process and then train your people on these new procedures.
- Don’t treat symptoms, look for the cure
If you just patch over the underlying problems in the process, you will never be able to fully reach your potential. If, for example, your shipping department is falling behind, you may find that it is because of holdups in manufacturing. Go for the source to correct the problem.
- Every employee is responsible for quality
Everyone in the company, from the workers on the line to the upper management, must realize that they have an important part to play in ensuring high levels of quality in their products and services. Everyone has a customer to delight, and they must all step up and take responsibility for them.
- Quality must be measurable
A quality management system is only effective when you can quantify the results. You need to see how the process is implemented and if it is having the desired effect. This will help you set your goals for the future and ensure that every department is working toward the same result.
- Quality improvements must be continuous
Total Quality Management is not something that can be done once and then forgotten. It’s not a management “phase” that will end after a problem has been corrected. Real improvements must occur frequently and continually in order to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Quality is a long-term investment
Quality management is not a quick fix. You can purchase QMS software that will help you get things started, but you should understand that real results won’t occur immediately. TQM is a long-term investment, and it is designed to help you find long-term success.
Before you start looking for any kind of quality management software, it is important to make sure you are capable of implementing these fundamental principles throughout the company. This kind of management style can be a huge culture change in some companies, and sometimes the shift can come with some growing pains, but if you build on a foundation of quality principles, you will be equipped to make this change and start working toward real long-term success.
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