Total Quality Management Standards and Approaches

An effective total quality management system should be able to meet and satisfy the expectations of a firm’s customers. Quality within an organization can be achieved by instituting effective organizational practices, quality principles, employee motivation, and customer satisfaction. Quality improves a company’s reputation by guaranteeing the performance of its products and their competitiveness.

The costs of quality that management should be aware of include prevention, appraisal, external costs, and internal failures. The ISO 9000 is recognized globally as a quality assurance standard, while the ISO 14000 is a standard that deals with environmental management. Total quality management (TQM) is the drive to achieve quality output in all aspects by a firm to ensure that its customers are satisfied.

TQM needs continuous improvement of operations in a firm. It can be achieved through PDCA (plan, do, check, act) strategy. Six sigma is a plan that helps a firm to save time, to develop quality, and to reduce expenses incurred. Empowerment of employees through delegation helps to improve the quality of output in a firm. Benchmarking helps a firm to set the best quality parameters it seeks for its own internal activities and processes to achieve.

Just in Time (JIT) is a process through which a firm can provide goods or services to clients when they are needed most. Taguchi Concepts help to improve product quality, and they are quality strength, quality loss function, and target oriented quality. Scatter diagrams show the relationship between two measurements in a firm. Cause and effect diagrams are used to find out the genesis of quality problems.

Pareto charts are used to point out the major quality problems that need urgent attention. Flowcharts are diagrams that are used to explain how systems work. Histograms are diagrams that show the values of an object and the duration within which such values occur. Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a process that checks standards, quantifies, and corrects output during production. Inspection is done to ensure that systems within a firm are producing at the expected quality levels.

Source inspection is done at the point of production, while service industry inspections are done at multiple points. Attribute inspections are used to identify items that are either good or faulty. Variable inspections are used to identify if a product meets the set of industry design specifications. TQM in services is done through a comparison with competitors and analysis of customer feedback. Frontline employees can be trained to solve customer problems instantly.