Total Quality Management

In today's competitive environment, in order to survive, companies are focusing their entire organization on customer satisfaction. The approach followed for ensuring customer satisfaction is known as Total Quality Management (TQM). The challenge is to manage so that the total quality is experienced in an effective manner. This approach dates back to 1916. The beginning of TQM is during the 1940s, when such figures as W. E. Deming took an active role. In subsequent years, the

TQM approach was more widely practiced in Japan than anywhere else. In 1951, the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers introduced a prize, named after W. E. Deming, for the organization that implemented the most successful quality policies. On similar lines, in 1987, the USA government introduced an award related to TQM.

The consideration of quality in design begins during the specification-writing phase. Many factors contribute to the success of the quality consideration in engineering or mechanical design. Quality cannot be inspected out of a product; it must be built in. TQM is a useful tool for application during the design phase. Deming's approach to TQM involves the following fourteen-point approach:

1. Establish consistency of purpose for improving services.

2. Adopt the new philosophy for making the accepted levels of defects, delays, or mistakes unwanted.

3. Stop reliance on mass inspection as it neither improves nor guarantees quality. Remember that teamwork between the firm and its suppliers is the way for the process of improvement.

4. Stop awarding business with respect to the price.

5. Discover problems. Management must work continually to improve the system.

6. Take advantage of modem methods used for training. In developing a training program, take into consideration such items as:

• Identification of company objectives

• Identification of the training goals

• Understanding of goals by everyone involved

• Orientation of new employees

• Training of supervisors in statistical thinking

• Team-building

• Analysis of the teaching need

7. Institute modem supervision approaches.

8. Eradicate fear so that everyone involved may work to their full capacity.

9. Tear down department barriers so that everyone can work as a team member.

10. Eliminate items such as goals, posters, and slogans that call for new productivity levels without the improvement of methods.

11. Make your organization free of work standards prescribing numeric quotas.

12. Eliminate factors that inhibit employee workmanship pride.

13. Establish an effective education and training program.

14. Develop a program that will push the above 13 points every day for never-ending improvement.

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