Total Quality Management-Meaning, Definition, Principles and Implementation

Total Quality Management

To understand the meaning of “Total quality management”,it is first important to understand the meaning of quality.

Quality refers to a parameter which decides the superiority or inferiority of a product or service. Quality can be defined as an attribute which differentiates a product or service from its competitors. Quality plays an essential role in every business. Business marketers need to emphasize on quality of their brands over quantity to survive the cut throat competition.

Total Quality management is defined as a continuous effort by the management as well as employees of a particular organization to ensure long term customer loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Principles of TQM

(i) Customer satisfaction:

TQM’s basic focus is on a customer and his satisfaction. Some of the customer perceptions of quality that correlates with customer’s satisfaction are expected quality, satisfying quality, delightful quality, indifferent quality and worst quality must aim at to preventing customer dissatisfaction and also to meet customer’s expectations.

(ii) Employee Involvement:

Employee involvement is very important in achieving and sustaining high levels of quality. Employees must be encouraged and involved to participate in quality-management by using control tools and techniques and identifying the areas needing improvement. Training and motivation of employees are essential for achieving and sustaining high levels of quality.

(iii) Continuous improvements in quality:

Continuous improvement in quality is a never ending process. The manufacturer must specify quality attributes of the product or service very carefully and try his best to achieve these specifications. The management should focus on identifying and eliminating causes of poor quality. Quality should be made the responsibility of everyone in the organisation.

Besides the above mentioned three principles of Total Quality Management.

The following seven principles have been suggested by Gerald F. Smith, in his book ‘Quality Problem Solving’. These are:

(i) Strive the quality in all things.

(ii) The customer is the criterion of quality.

(iii) Improve the process or system by which products are produced.

(iv) Quality improvement is continuous and never ending activity.

(v) Workers, involvement is essential.

(vi) Ground decisions and actions in knowledge.

(vii) Encourage team work and co-operation.

Implementation of TQM
Edwards Deming has suggested Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle for implementing TQM in any organization. The steps involved in this cycle are shown in fig. below:
1. Plan
a) Lay down objectives and policies for TQM.
b) Decide methods to achieve the TQM objectives
c) Educate and train employees to understand and meet the objectives.
2. Do
a) Execute the changes needed to meet TQM requirements.
b) Monitor the results of changes.
3. Check
a) Analyze the results.
b) Take steps to prevent undesired effects.
4. Act
Introduce measures to improve the results.

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