Total Quality Management: Meaning and Importance

Total Quality Management: Meaning and Importance

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a major topic in the modern product as well as in the service industry. With the increase of the competition for goods and services, the importance of quality plays a major role in capturing a better market share.

Total quality management is a process that happens continuously in a business or a production process to detect, reduce or eliminate the errors and issues that happen in the production or the service process. This helps to streamline the supply chain management process, improve the productivity and the quality of the outcome, increase the speed of the production process, and helps to increase positive customer experiences with the product or the service.

History of Total Quality Management (TQM)

The history of total quality management concepts runs back to the 1920s where the Naval Air Systems Command uses the concept to describe its Japanese-style management approach for the improvement of quality. In the 1930s, Walter A. Shewhart has introduced total quality management in the form of statistical quality control. In the 1950s, the concept of total quality management was developed by W. Edwards Deming, a management consultant who made a major impact on the Japanese manufacturing industry.

The total quality management concept shares many similarities with the Six Sigma improvement process. However, it is identified as a different concept from the Six Sigma improvement process as it focuses on following and ensuring the adherence of internal guidelines of the production process standards with the intention of reducing or eliminating errors.

Importance of Total Quality Management (TQM)

The TQM process is an all-inclusive management approach that spreads horizontally across the organization. It involves all departments in the organization and all employees in the organization to carry out a complete TQM process. Further to that, it extends forward and backward to include any necessary party such as suppliers and customers of the organization to make sure the increase of productivity and to meet the expectation of the organizational goals and objectives.

It aims to keep all the involved parties in the production process accountable for the overall quality of the output. It focuses on continuous quality adherence and improvement through internal practices. The standards for the TQM process are usually set based on the internal goals, objectives, and priorities as well as the industry standards for the said business field.

Total quality management oversees each and every activity in the production process and the tasks that are needed to fulfill at every level of the production process. It is mandatory to achieve and maintain the desired level of excellence and quality for the product or the service to reach the outcome level through the TQM process.

This process includes

  1. Determination and identification of a quality policy – The organization should identify the requirement of a quality policy and what they are expected by implementing a quality management plan in the production process. The expectation of the outcome and the required improvements should be identified at this level.
  2. Creating a quality plan – Based on the identified quality improvement need, the organization should come up with a plan that will help them to improve the product quality, productivity, and outcome status.
  3. Implementing a quality plan – The created quality plan should be implemented across all the departments in the organization and across all the employees.
  4. Quality control – Quality control methods should be put in place to ensure maintaining and improving the quality to the expected level and to increase the productivity of the product or the service
  5. Quality assurance measures – Standard measures should be implemented at each level of the production process to ensure quality assurance and to ensure adherence to the quality plan implemented.

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