Total Quality Management

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, November 1996

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What is Total Quality Management? For many companies the attainment of Total Quality Management is a valuable first step towards improving their overall quality performance. However, the most successful companies are increasingly making a commitment to a quality practice which extends to every aspect of their business. This practice is known as Total Quality Management (TQM). Total Quality Management means organizing your business to improve its effectiveness, flexibility and competitiveness as a whole. It not only provides the satisfaction of doing the job well and efficiently, but is also the most cost effective way of doing so. It is a common sense approach which extends a commitment to quality and the pursuit of excellence not only to satisfying customer needs, but to every aspects of a company's activities and especially to its relationships with suppliers and sub-contractors. TQM focuses on doing the right thing, right, first time.

In general management is unaware of the overall cost to the company of not getting things right first time. This can be estimated and is usually referred to as the Cost of Quality. Typically, it is between 15% and 40% of turnover. Total Quality Management must be implemented on a company-wide basis. To be successful its introduction requires the total commitment of both the chief executive and senior management together with the full involvement of all employees. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a renowned world authority on quality, was asked why companies should make a commitment to Total Quality. His reply was: 'You do not have to do this - survival is not compulsory'. The message is simple - in the longer term you must adopt the TQM philosophy.

Budgetary restraints are forcing surveying managers to look for ways to improve efficiency. Improvements in processes can account...