If we had only listened, things would probably be different today. How many times have we heard this statement, or even said it our self. Well that is what a lot of American managers, business owners and politicians have come to realize "If we had only listened."After World War II, a gentleman by the name of W. Edwards Deming introduced a new concept in management, but American's had no need for a new concept. If it isn't broke, you don't need to fix it. The American mentality was that we are the leaders of the world, what could you possibly tell us. People were readily accepting inferior products believing that this was the best that could be done and managers were convinced that if they were to concentrate on quality rather than production, it would increase their cost and decrease production.
Japan, on the other hand was not a country with such an ego.
They had lost the war, and their country was in ruins. They were ready to listen, and they not only listened but they acted as well! They implemented Deming's Total Quality management concept within their manufacturing process and found that it actually reduced their cost as well as increased their production. The rest of the story is in the history and we know what the consequences were to America.
So now that we are ready to listen, just what exactly does Total Quality Management (TQM) involve? TQM focuses on what the customer wants and try's to meet their needs and expectations. This approach requires quality values throughout every activity within the company utilizing four significant elements of quality management. These elements are employee involvement, focus on the customer, benchmarking, and continuous improvement. A TQM company will have all employees focused on the customer. They will...