14 April 2010
Introduction to Topic
Total Quality Management (or TQM) is a management concept coined by W. Edwards Deming. The basis of TQM is to reduce the errors produced during the manufacturing or service process, increase customer satisfaction, streamline supply chain management, aim for modernization of equipment and ensure workers have the highest level of training. One of the principal aims of TQM is to limit errors to 1 per 1 million units produced. The application of TQM can vary tremendously from business to business, even across the same industry. Why TQM?
Why should one believe in TQM and why has it come to the forefront over the last 10 years or so? Resources have become scarce and economic times have called for ways to trip costs and improve production. Today's competitive market, in almost every category of products and services, is characterized by accelerating changes, innovation, and massive amounts of new information. Much of this rapid evolution in markets is fueled by changing customer needs. Significant customer behavior and market changes happen almost overnight. Changes in market preference or technology, which used to take years, may now take place in a few short months. For example, the product life cycles for new consumer computer technology and computer printers are estimated to be as little as six months. Computer marketers must carefully plan one or two new product introductions each year, with contingency plans for making design changes with current product lines as they are being manufactured. As the pace of change accelerates, it becomes more difficult to maintain stable relationships with suppliers, customers, brokers, distributors, and even your own company personnel. "Putting out fires" and reacting to new emergencies is unfortunately the norm for many large and small companies caught in the whirlpool of technological change. Are competitors stealing your best...