Total Quality Management(TQM) is an organisational process that actively involves every function and every employee in satisfying customers needs, both internal and external. TQM works by continuously improving all aspect of work through structured control, improvement and planning activities that are carried out in concern with guiding ideology that focuses on Quality and Customer Satisfaction as the top priorities.
There has been many arguments that TQM succeeds only by incorporating a concern about quality for the customers throughout the organisation. The truth of this statement and those facts that disagree with this statement will be look into and discuss in more detail to achieve the success of TQM. TQM recognises that the Customer is at the center of every activity. The customer may be external or internal. The key is to determine the gap between what the customer needs and what the system delivers. Once the gap is recognised, it would be systematically reduced and results in never-ending improvement in customer satisfaction at every level.
TQM depends on and creates a culture in an organisation which involves everybody in quality improvement. Everyone in the company can affect quality but must first realise this factor and have the techniques and tools which are appropriate for improving quality. Thus TQM includes the marketing and dissemination of quality and methods not only within the organisation and customers but also to suppliers and other partners.
The general view to achieve success in TQM could be summarised as below:
Quality as strength
Quality in all processes
The importance of management
The involvement, commitment and responsibility of everybody Continuous improvement
Focus on prevention rather than inspection
Meeting the needs of target customers
A prerequisite for successful quality improvement is first, to understand how quality is perceived and valued by customers.
Design Quality Technical Quality
Customer Perceived Quality
Figure 1: Gronroos - Gummesson Quality Model (1987)
Gronroos and Gummesson has combined their Customer Perceived Quality' model and the 4 "Q" model to stress the importance of customer. The intergrated model focuses solely for the organisation to achieve customer satisfaction through improving the quality for the customers.
Morup (1992) notes that "quality is the most important and effective factor a company can use in the battle for customers." To be competitive, we must satisfy the customers. In order to be more competitive, we must delight the customers. Quality is here defined as the measure of customer delightment. Kaizen provides the philosophy and driving force for designing the quality. If quality is made the global driving force, then customers will obtain the best value possible and use the product. The concern about quality will optimise the value for customers.
The TQM perspective involves not only quality in relations with external customers but also quality in the internal service chains and in relation to suppliers and other partners.
This "Quality Chain" involves everyone in the process and applied throughout the organisation.
Customer orientation and quality are not just a matter of ensuring that the contents of the product or services satisfies the customer needs. The manner in which the service is delivered and the customers' relations with the company must also meet the customer's expectation.
As the above graph...