In today’s world, a company has to remain competitive in its own industry in order to succeed. Focus has been often put on managing costs, without caring about the customer. But how can a company make profit, if sales do not exceed a certain break-even point? In order to buy, customers have to be satisfied with the purchase and really need it. When companies acknowledged this fact, they started focusing on better quality products, therefore introducing total quality management. TQM is defined by the Oxford dictionary as being “a system of management based on the principle that every member of staff must be committed to maintaining high standards of work in every aspect of a company’s operations.” This project focuses on the implementation of TQM for two companies, Toyota and Xerox, and analyses the benefits and shortfalls according to the overall findings. Total Quality Management
"The way out of the dilemma imposed on businessmen by increasingly demanding customers and by ever-spiralling costs of quality ... was a new kind of quality control, which might be called total quality control" (Armand Feigenbaum) Stated first in the Harvard Business Review, the term total quality management (TQM) has been introduced in 1957 by Armand Feigenbaum (Huggins, 1998). In its earliest form, TQM’s main emphasis was on managing production processes in order to maintain a stable level of quality. However, the signification of the term has changed, as across the years, many innovators contributed to its improvement: Walter Shewhart and Edward Deming developed the concepts of statistical analysis and quality control; Joseph Juran has been the author of “Quality Control Handbook”, the first book introducing this concept, published in 1951; Phillip Crosby, the inventor of the “zero defect” concept, has been the first to emphasize on the positive effects of quality over business costs (ASQ, 2013). Nowadays, total quality management has become essential in order to survive in a competitive industry. Due to the research done along the years, many new concepts and principles are now included in its definition. Most companies’ view changed from product-oriented to customer-oriented, making customer satisfaction one of the main TQM principles. This can only be achieved by producing what the customer needs. Before TQM, quality was emphasized on the product. Now, it is emphasized on the process, therefore involving all departments in a company to comply with pre-set quality control goals. This involves a continuous improvement in most industries. Implementation
Successful implementation of TQM has many positive effects on a company. A research shows that “profits on average had increased by 20.8%; market share had increased 8.6%; productivity had grown by 20%; and errors/defects had reduced by 24.7%” in companies with a successful application (Radovilsky et al, 1996). Also, the costs of achieving quality have decreased in most cases by half. Therefore, good implementation achieves higher profits at lower costs. In order to succeed, the CEO and superiors have to set quality goals based on customer needs and ensure all employees understand these goals and are involved in the quality control process. The implementation of TQM is evaluated based on two frameworks, the ISO9001 standards and the quality awards criteria. A successful application qualifies the company for the ISO9001 designation, which increases the reputation of the business. Furthermore, every year, many awards are handed to the companies that best comply with a set of criteria established by different committees (Kujala et Lillrank, 2004). There are three important quality awards: 1) The Deming award was founded in Japan in 1951 and recognizes quality control excellence in various industries, by evaluating the planning and implementation of total quality management. (Lee et al. 2013); 2) Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established in USA in 1987 with the goal of...