TQM (Total Quality Management)

TQM (Total Quality Management) is a management approach that focuses on improving the quality of an organization’s products and services through continuous improvement of all processes and systems.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a comprehensive approach to management that focuses on continuous quality improvement in all aspects of an organization. The goal of TQM is to achieve lasting customer satisfaction through continuous improvement of products, services, processes and corporate culture.

Unlike traditional approaches to quality management, which focus on control and inspection, TQM emphasizes prevention and avoidance of defects. This is achieved by involving all employees in the improvement process and creating an environment where innovation and creativity are encouraged.

Key principles of TQM:

  • Customer focus: TQM puts the customer first and all activities are aimed at meeting their expectations and needs.
  • Total participation: every employee, regardless of their position, is involved in the quality improvement process.
  • Continuous improvement: TQM is a continuous process that never ends. The organisation is constantly striving to improve its products, services, processes and corporate culture.
  • Preventive measures: TQM focuses on preventing mistakes before they occur, rather than solving them afterwards.
  • Evidence-based management: TQM is driven by data and information. Quality improvement decisions are based on data analysis and process measurement.

TQM implementation

The implementation of TQM requires a long-term commitment from the organisation’s management and the involvement of all employees.TQM must be adapted to the specific needs and objectives of each organisation.

Practical application of TQM in production

Reducing defects: TQM emphasises the prevention of defects before they occur. By implementing various tools and methods such as root cause and effect analysis (RCA), statistical process control (SPC) and Poka-Yoke, the causes of errors are identified and eliminated, thereby preventing them from occurring in the first place.

Increase productivity: TQM promotes more efficient processes and eliminates waste, thereby increasing productivity.By implementing methods such as Value Stream Mapping (VSM), 5S and Kaizen, processes are visualised and analysed, unnecessary steps are eliminated and a system of workplace organisation and housekeeping is implemented, thereby streamlining work and increasing productivity.

Increasing employee satisfaction: TQM promotes employee engagement and motivation, thereby increasing employee satisfaction. By implementing methods such as quality circles, empowerment and recognition programmes, employees are involved in the quality improvement process, given more responsibility and rewarded for their contribution, leading to higher employee satisfaction and motivation.

History of TQM

TQM has its roots in post-World War II Japan, where companies sought to rebuild the economy and improve product quality. Inspired by the work of American experts such as W. Edwards Deming, they developed their own approaches to quality management, such as Total Quality Control (TQC) and Companywide Quality Control (CWQC), which focused on involving all employees and the overall organization in the quality improvement process. TQM spread worldwide in the 1980s and became a popular approach to quality management in various industries, including manufacturing. To this day, TQM is still relevant and can help manufacturing companies achieve excellence in quality. TQM is a complex and long-term process that requires the effort and focus of the entire management of an organization. However, by implementing TQM principles and using a variety of tools and methods, manufacturing firms can achieve significant benefits in quality, productivity and employee satisfaction, making them more competitive and successful in the marketplace.

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