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The importance of Total Quality Management (TQM) is best understood when viewed as the 'teamwork' ethos that drives sports franchises to win year after year. Every player has a role to play, proper equipment and training, and, ultimately, a goal to rise to the top and be part of a winning culture.
For businesses, the equivalent goals are to: 1) win a share of the market; 2) grow that share over time; and 3) create a winning culture around their success.
A Total Quality Management system encompasses both the philosophy and the playbook for company success.
In this article we will focus on the importance of Total Quality Management, and offer four essential steps for successfully implementing a TQM system.
Total Quality Management is a unified approach to managing and continuously improving all aspects of production, such as raw material sourcing, fabrication, distribution, and sales.
Developed in the second half of the 20th century, the idea of Total Quality Management continues to be relevant today because of its compelling emphasis on detailed supply chain monitoring and continuous reevaluation of its processes, all in an effort to:
At its core, TQM's impetus is sustainable customer satisfaction, achieved through continuous improvement. The process of implementing a successful TQM system should reflect this.
Sustainable customer satisfaction and continuous improvement should be behind every step of a successful implementation of TQM.
Here are four important steps for businesses looking to implement Total Quality Management principles in their operations:
Comprehensive quality efforts must be initiated by the management, but require dedicated effort and buy-in at every level. Your first step is to garner commitment to the company vision among your employees. Your company’s vision can be communicated through your mission statement, company standards, and expectations -- but it’s even more important that you practice what you preach. Words without actions behind them won’t get you far.
Furthermore, you should be able to provide your teams and suppliers with all necessary training tools and materials, which will give them the skills and knowledge to bring your vision to life. Committed suppliers with a complete understanding of your standards and best practices will gain confidence in your company as a reliable business partner, and in their ability to continuously improve their operations.
Through the implementation of the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) method at every phase of production and distribution, on-site managers can take performance improvement into their own hands.
An ongoing feedback loop relying on analysis and iterative action is an effective way to adjust to the evolving market conditions, drive continuous improvement, as well as discover breakthrough methods that could really enhance quality and efficiency.
If you think customers only care about cheap products, then you may make a sale -- but making a sale is not the endpoint of your journey. For thriving businesses, each new sale is a potential beginning of a long relationship with a loyal consumer, one that will bring you repeat business and, ideally, promote your brand through valuable word-of-mouth advertising.
To win such loyalty, you need to remember that many of today’s consumers are willing to spend a little extra for product quality, on-time delivery, and, increasingly, proven ethical production practices. Achieving TQM’s ultimate goal of sustainable consumer satisfaction requires incorporating these customer requirements into your standards and processes -- and using the principles of TQM to ensure they are met.
Technically, delivering customer satisfaction over the short term is possible even without effective TQM. However, if you want your business to continue operating at a profit, your goal should be to establish efficient production practices that will enable you to deliver products of consistently high quality, drive innovation, and become more competitive.
Regular quality control inspections are instrumental for maintaining and improving product quality. Furthermore, all relevant quality data points should be captured in real time, stored, consolidated, and analyzed to pinpoint present and future problem areas, as well as opportunities for improving production methods.
At QIMA, we understand the important of Total Quality Management, and know that being the leader of a winning business team requires vision, execution, and communication.
Through real-time communication, powerful quality control inspection features and readily available training tools, you can empower every link of your supply chain to deliver high-quality products consistently, efficiently, and transparently.
Our software enables complete supply chain mapping for a detailed, 360-degree view of all supply chain functions, locations, and performance levels, allowing you to better understand how to help your sourcing partners meet your standards and customer expectations.
Ready to establish a winning business culture through successful Total Quality Management?