Total Quality Management - The Basics

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 5689 , Published on 30 October 2010

Total Quality management or TQM is a concept in operations management wherein the aim is to reduce errors in the process (manufacturing or service) in order to increase

1) Customer Satisfaction

2) Supply chain management efficiency

3) Modernization

4) Worker’s efficiency and motivation

In TQM implementation, all the members of an organization are involved in bringing out the change in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work.



The teachings of  Philip B. Crosby, W. Edwards Deming, Armand V. Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa and Joseph M. Juran form the basis of TQM. At the core of TQM lies the Deming’s 14 points.

1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.

2. Adopt the new philosophy.

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.

4. End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.

5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service.

6. Institute training on the job.

7. Adopt and institute leadership.

8. Drive out fear.

9. Break down barriers between staff areas.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce.

11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.

12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.

14. Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.


Advantages of TQM

1. Encourages a strategic approach to management at the operational level through involving multiple departments in cross-functional improvements and systemic innovation processes

2. Provides high return on investment through improving efficiency

3. Works equally well for service and manufacturing sectors

4. Allows organizations to take advantage of developments that enable managing operations as cross-functional processes

5. Fits an orientation toward inter-organizational collaboration and strategic alliances through establishing a culture of collaboration among different departments within organization


Barriers to TQM Implementation

Lack of long-term commitment and leadership from management

Insufficient empowerment of workers

Lack of cross-functional, cross-disciplinary efforts

Misdirected focus – emphasis on the trivial problems facing the company rather than a critical few

Emphasis on internal processes to the neglect of external  - customer - focused – results

Lack of focus in training and coaching

Lack of cost-of-quality measurement, performance reporting, and reward/formal recognition systems

Emphasis on quick fixes and low-level reforms, short-term performance at the expense of long-term improvements


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