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Total Quality Management

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Business Studies

The more you hardwire a company on total quality management, the more it is going to hurt breakthrough innovation."

- Vijay Govindarajan

With that being said, the implementation of total quality management (TQM) can have several advantages for a business. TQM is a process that can be integrated into a business's operations to improve overall product and service quality. Let's take a look at how organisations can use this theory to achieve overall business goals and objectives.

Total Quality Management Definition and Examples

Total quality management (TQM) is a process that makes sure that all the work targets a mutual objective to improve product/service quality. TQM improves the manufacturing processes or processes to deliver services. Nonetheless, in TQM the insistence remains on fact-based decision making which employs performance metrics to evaluate progress.

Healthcare organisations are aiming to grow their revenues at all levels of hospitals. The emphasis is put on TQM for the development of the system. TQM is the need for public and private hospitals in order to gain a growing percentage globally. TQM will help to lower costs, create a high level of efficiency and deliver greater quality care to its patients.

The most significant element is customer satisfaction and in healthcare customers can be crucial in several ways, to achieve a reasonable sum of profit. A healthcare organisation must review all aspects in order for its customers and the organisation itself to benefit from a higher market share.

Total quality management has profited Apple from several angles. It has aided the leadership to comprehend the requirements of the employees and satisfy their needs in the finest way. When an employee feels that they are valued as an essential pillar in an organisation and their work is acknowledged in one form or the other, they begin to contemplate ways to give back to the organisation. This was the case with Apple. Its employees are trying to give their best and contribute in the interest of the organisation.

Healthcare, Unsplash.com

In addition, another element of the use of total quality management at Apple is that it had a powerful and persuasive leader like Steve Jobs for a substantial span of time. What is needed by TQM is to have a leader who sets an example and has faith in the objectives of the organisation beyond anyone else, and Steve Jobs has led by example. Another principle of TQM promotes proper training of employees. Apple had several training programs and huge developer resources for the use of its employees. It offers training at all levels which, therefore, contributes to the quality of its workforce.

Total Quality Management Practices

As with the majority of management procedures and practices, execution and success will differ from one organisation to another. Whilst there is no particular approved approach, the most general total quality management definitions include the following principles:

Customer focus

The primary focus of TQM is on the customers who buy the product/service because it is the customer who decides on the quality of the product. If a product meets the needs and works for a longer period of time than expected by the customer then they know they bought a quality product. If an organisation understands what its customers need then it will result in more sales, increasing revenues and market share.

Dedication of employees

The productivity, process, or even sales cannot be increased without the dedication from all the employees. Employees must understand the objectives of the organisation which are communicated to them. They also need to be adequately trained and provided with appropriate resources to accomplish their tasks in order to be dedicated to achieving the goals at the right time. Employees take pride and responsibility for their work and therefore increase employee retention.

Approach towards the process

Abiding by processes is crucial in quality management. Processes make sure that appropriate steps are taken at the correct time to guarantee continuity and speed up production. The advantage of the process approach is higher consistency and foreseeable outcomes and an emphasis on continuous improvement.

Cohesive systems

In a cohesive system, everyone in each department should have full insight into policies, aims, standards, and procedures. Cohesive systems support the organisation to look for continuous improvement so that it can attain an edge over its rivals.

Continuous improvement

In order to apply this principle of total quality management, an organisation should execute policies to develop products, procedures, and system improvements. An organisation should recognize and promote innovation to enhance processes. In this manner, the organisation will have more knowledge and competence to improve performance.

Communication

Everyone in the organisation should understand the objectives, strategies, and processes that will be implemented to accomplish goals. The organisation can develop an official line of communication that keeps all the employees up to date regarding the policies and changes. This will encourage the employees when they understand how they contribute in order for the organisation to accomplish its objectives.

Total Quality Management Advantages and Disadvantages

As with most business processes, total quality management has both advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look.

Advantages of total quality management

  • It lowers costs in the infrastructure and organisation. It assists various departments to communicate their problems and requirements with each other, in order to find a workable solution that will reduce costs in the supply chain, distribution, shipments, and other departments without lower productivity.

  • It helps to improve reputation for not just the product but also the organisation.

  • It results in better products being produced as the emphasis is on utilizing higher quality information to enhance.

Disadvantages of total quality management

Employees may think that their jobs in the organisation are at risk with the implementation of the TQM program across the board and therefore, resulting in resistance to needed change for the TQM program to work efficiently.

  • There is a high cost to implement the TQM program.

  • It may take many years for the full implementation of the program before results and advantages are seen.

  • TQM needs a company-wide dedication for the improvement of quality as any lack of effort will weaken the success of the TQM program.

Stages of Total Quality Management

The four phases of total quality management are:

1. The planning stage

In this stage, the employees should find the issues faced by them in the general operations and try to find the root cause of these problems. For this, detailed research is done by the employees in order to gather appropriate data, with the understanding to find answers for their problems.

2. The doing stage

In this stage, employees try to discover solutions to the problems in the first phase. Strategies are developed and implemented in order to resolve the problems being faced at work. In addition, the assessment of the effectiveness of strategies and solutions is also completed in this stage.

3. The checking stage

The performance is evaluated with the help of a comparison from the data collected before and after, for supporting the efficiency of the processes and determining the outcome.

4. The acting stage

At this stage, the documentation of the result of the process is done, and the employees prepare to face other challenges.

Total Quality Management - Key Takeaways

  • TQM improves the manufacturing processes or processes to deliver services.

  • Management procedures and practices, execution, and success will differ from one organisation to another.

  • Some of the practices of TQM include customer focus, the dedication of employees, approach towards the process, cohesive systems, continuous improvement, and communication.

  • TQM results in better products as the emphasis is on high-quality information.

  • TQM helps to improve the reputation of not just the product but also the organisation.

  • Implementation of the TQM program may make the employees less secure about their job.

  • Implementation of the TQM program requires a company-wide dedication.

  • TQM has four stages: planning, doing, checking, and acting phases.

Total Quality Management

Total quality management is a process that makes sure that all the work targets a mutual objective to improve product/service quality.

TQM lowers costs in the infrastructure and organisation. It assists various departments to communicate their problems and requirements from each other. It helps to offer better quality products/services. It improves the reputation of the organisation.


Total quality management is recognized as a customer-focused process that emphasizes constantly improving the operations in the organisation.


 Some of the ways to improve TQM are:

  •  Employees need to understand that their activities are linked to the organisation’s strategy and goals.

  • Have critical success factors which will assist an organisation to emphasize the things that will help it achieve the goals.

  • The organisation should get feedback from its customers because the only way to know if they are meeting customer requirements is by getting feedback.

The principles include customer focus, the dedication of employees, approach towards the process, cohesive systems, continuous improvement, and communication.

Final Total Quality Management Quiz

Question

What does TQM stand for?

Show answer

Answer

 It stands for Total quality management.

Show question

Question

Define TQM.


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Answer

Total quality management is a process that makes sure that all the work targets a mutual objective to improve product/service quality.

Show question

Question

Is TQM used only for improving the product in an organization?

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Answer

No, TQM is used for the improvement of not just the products but also for better delivery of services.

Show question

Question

How has TQM helped Apple Inc. to improve its product?


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Answer

TQM has helped the leadership comprehend the requirements of the employees and satisfy their needs in the finest way. This makes them feel like an integral part of the organization so they are motivated to deliver their best. TQM also promotes training and Apple has developed several training programs for its employees.

Show question

Question

Why are customers one of the main focuses of TQM?


Show answer

Answer

The primary focus is on the customers because they are the ones who buy the product/service and decide about the quality. If an organization understands what its customers need then it will result in more sales, increasing revenues and market share.

Show question

Question

Why is the dedication of employees so essential for TQM?


Show answer

Answer

It is important that the employees understand the objectives of the organization. The productivity, process, or even sales cannot be increased without the dedication from all the employees.

Show question

Question

What is the importance of communication in TQM?


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Answer

It is important to communicate the goals and objectives of the organization in detail throughout the workforce. The organization can develop an official line of communication that keeps all the employees up to date regarding the policies and changes.

Show question

Question

What should an organization do for continuous improvement?


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Answer

An organization should recognize and promote innovation to enhance processes. In this manner, the organization will have more knowledge and competence to improve performance.

Show question

Question

List one advantage of TQM?


Show answer

Answer

Better products are being produced as the emphasis is on utilizing higher quality information to enhance.

Show question

Question

List one disadvantage of TQM?


Show answer

Answer

It may take many years for the full implementation of the program before results and advantages are seen.

Show question

Question

What are the four stages of TQM?


Show answer

Answer

1. The planning stage. 2. The doing stage. 3. The checking stage. The acting stage.

Show question

Question

What is needed for the planning stage?


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Answer

For this, detailed research is done by the employees in order to gather appropriate data, with the understanding to find answers for their problems.

Show question

Question

What happens in the ‘doing stage’’’ of TQM?


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Answer

In this stage, employees try to discover solutions to the problems in the first phase. Strategies are developed and implemented in order to resolve the problems being faced at work. In addition, the assessment of the effectiveness of strategies and solutions is also completed in this stage.

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