Total Quality Management

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Customers nowadays have become more and more concerned in buying products of good quality. But before one can begin to understand what Total Quality Management is, one must first know what quality is. Quality is the ability to satisfy, or even exceed, the needs and expectations of the customers. Quality is vital for a company to grow, survive and prosper. Nowadays, more and more organizations are placing greater emphasis on quality in order for them to prosper and become successful in their markets.

In this essay I will be explaining the different concepts of quality, which are established by different people and then compare these concepts. The First theory to be explained will be Total Quality Management (TQM). Philosophers of TQM are W. Edwards Deming, Philip B. Crosby, and Joseph M. Juran. Throughout the twentieth century, these men have integrated new systems for improvements in the quality system for practically any organization. The first most well known of these philosophers is W. Edwards Deming.

Deming first became known to the public when he was credited with assisting the Japanese after World War II and helping to elevate the Japanese industry. Deming stresses that the most important part of quality is the role of management. TQM is an “integrated management system for creating and implementing a continuous improvement process”. Such process will lead to producing results that exceed customer expectations. TQM places the responsibilities related to quality problems with upper management levels rather than on the workers. The objective of TQM is to have a continuous improvement in the processes.

TQM achieves its objective through data collection and analysis, flow charts, cause and effect diagrams, and other tools which are used to understand and improve processes of any organization. TQM has been around for several years now. The concept is being applied to business and industry processes for the purpose of quality improvement in their departments. Many businesses feel that TQM is only for large manufacturing type businesses or major industries. TQM can be used for company with managers and employees, and certainly for everyone involved with customer service.

It is important to recognize that TQM is made up of identifiable and measurable components. Proper understanding of the TQM philosophy, team development, problem solving techniques, and statistical process control must be the mission of everyone in any organization. For example, customers in the last century have become more concerned about the quality in the products they purchase. Individual have insisted that the products one buys must be, ones of quality. Meaning that the product or service must perform it functions, for which it was designed, in an efficient and reliable manner.

TQM has become associated with assuring its customers that the quality is not only created, but that it is well maintained. To be the best requires a company’s total commitment, beginning with upper level management. Expected results include increased repeated business and shorter project completion times. The benefits of quality to an organization are: Customer satisfaction resulting in customer loyalty and repeated business, lower production costs and higher productivity, improved cash flow and return on investment, have the ability to charge higher prices, reduced service calls.

These benefits lead directly to increased market share and improved profitability. Theory of Constraints (TOC) The Theory of Constraints comes from the work achieved by Eli Goldratt’s, on “how to think”. It is the Thinking Processes and their applications. By knowing how to think, one can better understand the world around them. By understanding the environment one works in, one can make improvements. Cause and Effect is Central to the concept of TOC. The Thinking Processes of TOC give us a series of steps which combines cause-effect and our experience to gain knowledge.

With knowledge, one can make improvements. One major benefit of the Thinking Processes is that it provides the ability to recognize the Paradigm shifts which occur when times change but our assumptions and rules don’t. We cannot constantly monitor every assumption to be sure we are in line with constantly evolving reality. Those who continue their usual patterns of operation, regardless of the changes in reality, will suffer when the effects of their actions are not those that they expect.

A constraint is anything that exists in an organization that limits it from moving towards its goal, assuming that a goal has been defined. For most business organizations the goal is to make money. There are two basic types of constraints: physical constraints and non-physical constraints. A physical constraint is something like the physical capacity of a machine. A non-physical constraint might be something like demand for a product, or a corporate procedure. The steps in applying TOC are as follows: 1. Identify the system’s constraints.

Decide how to exploit the system’s constraints. 3. Subordinate everything else to the above decision in Step 2. Since the constraints are keeping us from moving toward our goal, we apply all of the resources that we can to assist in breaking them. 4. Elevate the system’s constraints. If we continue to work toward breaking a constraint at some point the constraint will no longer be a constraint. 5. If the constraint is broken, return to Step 1. When that happens, there will be another constraint, somewhere else in the system that is limiting progress to the goal.

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