What is TQM? Total Quality Management, Meaning, Definition, Principles

Total Quality Management, TQM is an approach of management to achieve long-term success by focusing on customer satisfaction.

Here in this article, we have discussed What is TQM? its Meaning, Definition, Objective, Importance, Benefits, and Principles of TQM for the organization.

► What is TQM? (Total Quality Management)

Total Quality Management is a unique approach for managing and simultaneously improving all aspects of production, such as raw material, fabrication, distribution, and sales of goods and services.

TQM is a notion that seeks to improve quality by removing causes of product defects and by making quality the responsibility of everyone in the organization. Organizations keep working on steady improvement in their quality at all stages of production.

◉ TQM Meaning

The full form of TQM is Total Quality Management and it is a widely popular quality control approach in organizations.

  • Total: It involves the entire organization’s product life cycle and supply chain.
  • Quality: The standard of something as measured against other things of an alike kind; it is basically the degree of excellence of something.
  • Management: It is the system of managing with steps like Planning, Organising, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling.

Total quality management (TQM) is a standard practice where each employee in an organization continuously analyzes the production processes for the improvement of the manufacturing quality of products and services for enhanced customer satisfaction.

It involves hosting management training and applying analytical methods to identify and remove problem areas in business operations.

Definitions of TQM

  • Total Quality Management has been defined as an integrated organized effort designed to improve quality at every level.
  • TQM refers to a process to produce a quality product by a series of measures requires an organized effort by an entire company to prevent or eliminate errors at every stage in production is called total quality management.

According to the international organization for standardization (ISO),

  • TQM can be defined as “A management approach for an organization, centered on quality based on the participation of all its member and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction and benefit to all members of the organization and to the society”.

History of TQM

TQM was developed in the 2nd half of the 20th century. Particularly, the need for product quality improvement started in the 1980s and at that time it became apparent that the United States was logging behind some industrial countries, most notably Japan, in the area of product quality.

  • Japan introduced many tools and techniques of quality control that were used to identify quality problems and take corrective action.
  • The exact origin of the term Total Quality Management is uncertain. The purpose of TQM is to improve the overall quality of the product.

The ideas of Total Quality Management continue to be relevant by today also because of its compelling importance on detailed supply chain tracking and continuous evaluation of its processes, all these efforts are made for:

  • Defects reduction.
  • Minimizing production wastage, and
  • Discover potential areas for innovation and improvement.

At the core, TQM’s impulsion is sustainable customer satisfaction, achieved by continuous improvement.

► Concepts of TQM

While there are some dissimilarities in total quality management principles and their approaches to executing the basic concept of total quality management are common.

  • Continuous up-gradation of quality.
  • Focus on the customer.
  • Operations up-gradation.
  • Human resources.
  • TQM leadership.

► Objective of TQM

Total Quality Management(TQM) is an organizational process that involves every function and every employee in satisfying customers’ needs, both internally and externally.

TQM works for continuous improvement of all aspects of work through strategic control, improvement, and planning activities that are carried out in concern with a guiding ideology that focuses on Quality and Customer Satisfaction as the top priorities.

  • Full customer satisfaction
  • Totality of functions
  • The total range of products and services
  • Addressing all aspects of dimensions of quality
  • Addressing the quality feature in everything – products, services, processes, people, resources, and interactions.
  • Satisfying all the customers – internally as well as externally.
  • Addressing the total organizational issue of keeping up with customers.
  • Increasing profits, as well as making new business for the future.
  • Involving everyone in the organization in achieving the said objective.
  • Demanding total commitment from all in the organization towards achieving the goal.

► Feature & Characteristics of TQM

  • Committed management.
  • Adopting and communicating about total quality management.
  • Closer customer relations.
  • Closer provider relations.
  • Benchmarking.
  • Increased training
  • Open organization
  • Employee empowerment.
  • Flexible production.
  • Process improvement.
  • Process measuring.

► Importance of TQM

  • Make the organization adaptable to change itself
  • Motivates people for producing better quality
  • Encourage Innovation
  • Integrates the business operations
  • Better Relation between Customer and Supplier
  • Ensure product quality (in terms of performance, reliability, and durability)
  • Increase Production Efficiency
  • It helps in cost reduction
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction

► Advantages of TQM (Benefits)

Some advantages/benefits of TQM are as follows:

  • Improved quality.
  • Employee participation.
  • Teamwork.
  • Working relationships.
  • Customer satisfaction.
  • Employee satisfaction.
  • Productivity.
  • Communication.
  • Profitability.
  • Market share.

► Limitations of TQM (Disadvantages)

An organization implements the Total Quality Management system in an attempt to improve quality across the board, and in all levels of employment. The theory is designed for increasing efficiency, reducing wastage, and improving overall competence. Alike any other system, there are drawbacks that must be recognized and overcome for the system to work.

  • Pulls away from the Manpower.
  • Cost in Time and Money.
  • People Fear Change.
  • Depletion in Innovation.
  • Top-notch quality is expensive.
  • Takes a long period of time to show the results.
  • Sometimes it discourages creativity.
  • Demands Time, planning, and resources.

► Elements of TQM

The key elements of TQM consist of the following things:

  1. Recognition.
  2. Training.
  3. Teamwork.
  4. Leadership.
  5. Ethics, Integrity, and Trust.

These key elements can be divided into four groups according to their functions. the groups are as follows:

  1. Foundation — It includes Ethics, Integrity, and Trust.
  2. Building bricks —It includes: Training, Teamwork, and Leadership.
  3. Binding Mortar — It includes Recognition.

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► Principles of TQM

  1. Customer-Centric
  2. Full Employee Involvement
  3. Unsegregated System
  4. Process-focused Approach
  5. Well structured Flow
  6. Continuous Efforts
  7. Facts related Decision-Making
  8. Relationship Management

Now let’s discuss all these principles in detail.

✔ 1. Customer-Centric

Every organization seeks to serve only one purpose, i.e., customer satisfaction through quality products and services. Hence, the first among all the principles of the total quality management principles is customer focus. It means the finished product must meet the demands and needs of the customers.

✔ 2. Full Employee Involvement

While executing TQM, organizations need to create a scenario where their employees will feel empowered and strengthened. Along with management they, become responsible for retrieving the best quality of the products and services at their levels.

✔ 3. Unsegregated System

Having an unsegregated system is very important for an organization to execute a TQM strategy that helps to produce quality products and services. It will lead to a meeting or increasing consumer expectations as well.

✔ 4. Process-focused Approach

After passing different levels the product and services arrive at the market. It means it is observed and assessed at each level of production and not only at the final stage. Process-focused thinking is a sign of effective TQM.

✔ 5. Well structured Flow

TQM is all about systematic planning to achieve top-notch quality and business goals. Thus, considering a structured flow would make sure that the products and services are arriving through every stage in the quality production process.

✔ 6. Continuous Efforts

Quality improvement should always be a continuous process in any organization. Once done and then left out would only mean gradual contamination in the manufacturing standards of the organization. For the TQM approach to prove effective, people at every level and stage need to be alert in being regular with checking quality.

✔ 7. Facts related to Decision-Making

The organization should make fact-related decisions because every employee is taking part in quality up-gradation. Auditing the organizational performance using performance data, such as sales, profit, and customer retention can result in more precise decision-making.

✔ 8. Relationship Management

A nicely developed relationship with stakeholders like customers and employees will make sure proper quality control procedures and genuine feedback. With the help of TQM, organizations can generate effective communication with all of them and implement result-oriented changes accordingly.

► Tools and Techniques of TQM

  1. Value-Added Analysis.
  2. Benchmarking.
  3. Responsiveness.
  4. Outsourcing.
  5. Reducing Cycle Time.
  6. Quality Circles.
  7. Six Sigma.
  8. Kaizen.
  9. Pareto Analysis.
  10. Fish-bone Diagrams.
  11. Control Chart.
  12. Flow Chart.
  13. ISO 9000.
  14. Statistical Quality Control.
  15. Training.
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