Total Quality Management.

Essay by VDENIS January 2004

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Over the last decade, the goal of organizations has been to provide a high level of quality of products and service at the lowest cost in order to reach customers' satisfaction and to be the most competitive.

Quality has become crucial in the success or failure of organizations.

The increased emphasis on quality has lead many of them to adopt a Total Quality Management Approach.


Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total: Every person in the organization is involved, including customers and suppliers and other stakeholders. Quality is everyone's responsibility.

Quality: Customer requirements are met exactly (Getting a product with no defects, on time and at a competitive price).

Management: Continuous commitment of the top management team.

TQM can be defined as the continuous process of self-improvement that involves everyone in an organization. Its aim is to do things right at the first time.

In other words, TQM is "an evolving system of practices, tools, and training methods for managing companies to provide customer satisfaction in a rapidly changing world".

(Shiba et al:1993)

Characteristics of TQM

-Customers focused: identify who the customer is and adapting the products and service to the needs. Exceeding customers' expectations. Satisfying internal (all the people involved in quality within the organization) and external (user of the product, service) customers.


-Continuous improvement: finding new ways to improve the products and the service.

High expectations and goals. Always strive to be better, to do better, higher quality, directed towards customers. This requires imagination, creativity.

-Prevention: identifying the problems before they arise. Cost savings, Un-quality costs money. Reducing the possibility of mistakes: What could have happened but didn't happen! - We have a problem, we seek a solution, we have the right answer!

-Total involvement: quality is everyone's responsibility. It's important that employees are more involved...