What is TQM? Total Quality Management (or TQM) is a management concept introduced by W. Edwards Deming. TQM was developed to reduce the errors produced during the manufacturing or service process, increase customer satisfaction, streamline supply chain management, plan for innovation of tools and make certain 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. Total Quality Management is often associated with the development, deployment, and maintenance of organizational systems that are required for various business processes. (1) Ford Motor Company, Phillips Semiconductor, SGL Carbon, Motorola and Toyota Motor Company are just a few of the companies who have implemented TQM in their business practices. What is TQM’s history and background? The roots of Total Quality Management (TQM) can be traced back to the early 1920s when statistical theory was first applied to product quality control. This concept was further developed in Japan in the 40s led by Americans, such as Deming, Juran and Feigenbaum. The focus widened from quality of products to quality of all issues within an organization – the start of TQM. In the 1980s to the 1990s, a new phase of quality control and management began. This new phase became known as Total Quality Management. Having observed Japan’s success of employing quality issues, western companies started to introduce their own quality initiatives. TQM developed into a catchall phrase for the broad spectrum of quality-focused strategies, programs and techniques during this period. For the western quality movement, TQM became the center of focus. (2) TQM has taken on many meanings, but at its core it’s a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction. The concept is to continue to make better services, products, and improve the culture that the employees work in to make the customer pleased. In a TQM effort, all members of an organization participate in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work. The methods for implementing this approach come from the teachings of such quality leaders as Philip B. Crosby, W. Edwards Deming, Armand V. Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa and Joseph M. Juran. (2) A core concept in implementing TQM is Deming’s 14 points, a set of management practices to help companies increase their quality and productivity: 1.
Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services. 2.
Adopt the new philosophy.
Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier. 5.
Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service. 6.
Institute training on the job.
Adopt and institute leadership.
Drive out fear.
Break down barriers between staff areas.
Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce. 11.
Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management. 12.
Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system. 13.
Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone. 14.
Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation. (3) A typical definition of TQM includes phrases such as: customer focus, the involvement of all employees, continuous improvement and the integration of quality management into the total organization. Although the definitions were all similar, there was confusion. It was not clear what sort of practices, policies, and activities needed to be implemented to fit the TQM definition. (2) The modern history of post-industrial management could be said to begin with the work of W. Edwards Deming in the 1950's. Deming was an extraordinary teacher who, although he was first well-received in Japan, eventually influenced...
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