Introduction to TQM: Building a Foundation for Quality Excellence 

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a comprehensive approach that aims to achieve organizational excellence through a commitment to quality, applying it to all aspects of a business organization. 

As a philosophy, it infiltrates every level of an organization or an enterprise and underlines the significance of quality, such as products, services, and other processes.  

In this article, we will delve into the core concepts of TQM, its historical development, and the evolution of its fundamental principles. 

What Is Total Quality Management (TQM)? 

TQM is defined as the continuous process in which errors in manufacturing are reduced or eliminated, if possible. It improves supply chain management and customer satisfaction, in addition to employee training.  

TQM ensures all the parties involved (employees, managers, other members, etc.) in the manufacturing process share responsibility and are accountable for both their actions and the overall quality of the services or products. 

Historical Development of TQM 

TQM emerged initially as a made-up term that was used to describe the Japanese approach to quality management and improvement. The developmental periods of TQM can be divided into four main periods. 

US Industry in the 1920s

In the 1920s, the first basic principles of scientific management appeared in the U.S. At that time, businesses drew a clear line between planning and execution processes. Walter Shewhart conducted modern quality control experiments.  

His work ‘Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product’ was published in 1931 and is still considered as one of the foundational principles of quality control

Toward the 1960s 

After the developments and contributions of Shewhart, Joseph Juran published “What Is Total Quality Control? The Japanese Way” decades later.  

His work outlined the new standards in quality management and was based on his own experiences when he worked in Japan with Japanese experts. 

Similar to Juran, Edwards Deming was also involved in the work of a union called The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).  

During his career, Deming contributed to the production of several works about TQM frameworks. 

Japan’s Approach to Quality Control and Today 

At the time when the quality management system emerged, the Japanese had named their approach to quality assessment as “companywide quality control.” 

Today, TQM is the widely accepted term for the philosophy and systematic approach to quality management.  

Additionally, quality standards such as the ISO 9000 were created, and quality awards such as the Deming Prize further solidified the concepts and principles that form TQM

Fundamental Concepts of TQM Fundamental Concepts of TQM - Blog İçi

As a customer-oriented process, Total Quality Management focuses on the continuous improvement of business management.  

It ensures that all parties and employees involved in business operations work toward the common goal of success, which is improving the quality of services and products. 

Focus on Customers 

Customers judge products by their quality. Therefore, it is important to consider customer input. Additionally, inputs guide businesses to have a better understanding of the requirements of the manufacturing process. 

Employee Commitment 

Employees must be an integral part of the TQM system; otherwise, failure would be inevitable. To make TQM successful, departments and managers must stay in communication and discuss the set expectations, needs, and goals of the enterprise

Additionally, a company must train employees to have them complete their respective tasks on time by giving them sufficient time and resources. This way, knowledgeable employees can be maintained. 

Data Utilization and Decision-Making 

As a systematic approach, Total Quality Management relies on data and its statistical evaluation, in addition to the decision-making process, to function at peak conditions.  

This approach ensures that enterprises make informed decisions based on objective information and available data.  

Feedback must be thoroughly evaluated to maintain the flow of the manufacturing process and the efficiency of employees. Therefore, proper planning and documentation are required to analyze and utilize data management

Management of Processes 

As mentioned earlier, TQM puts a strong emphasis on the importance of careful planning of processes for efficiency concerns.  

The use of charts, diagrams, action plans, and documentation of processes form the backbone of TQM as a systematic approach.  

All the workers in manufacturing must fulfill their respective duties accordingly and ensure that appropriate actions are taken on time. 

Seeking Perpetual Improvement 

Another important concept of TQM is continuous improvement. Enterprises that adopt TQM must seek approaches for the betterment of ongoing processes, services, and products

Furthermore, they must devise and utilize strategies that align with the needs of customers and market trends and dynamics. This concept will also help enterprises to fulfill market expectations and strive to compete with their rivals. 

System Integration 

Integrating systems requires the utilization of data, and to make this possible, different departments must provide each other with valuable information.  

In this way, data and input will be shared among every member of an enterprise, keeping them updated on the progress of ongoing processes. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of TQM 

The proper implementation of TQM allows an enterprise to lower its production costs and become adaptable to changing circumstances.  

Companies whose systems align with the TQM principles produce goods of high quality, resulting in customer satisfaction and ultimately loyalty

On the other hand, implementing these principles in every department requires a high degree of commitment. This conversion process often results in using substantial amounts of financial power. 

Additionally, employees should be able to adopt these changes. Otherwise, they may leave their positions if they feel their skill set is not compatible with the plans of the company. 

Industries Using Total Quality Management (TQM) TodayWhich Industries Use TQM Today - Blog İçi

Although TQM was initially introduced in the manufacturing industry, its key concepts are still applicable to and in use in different industries.  

It continues to provide valuable aid and offers a larger vision for long-term planning. Hence, techniques developed thanks to TQM can have major roles in all departments of an enterprise.  

Through collaboration between departments, TQM ensures that employees are making contributions to the ultimate goal of success and making efforts for further self-improvement

Management, marketing, production, and employee training are examples of these departments. 

In conclusion, Total Quality Management (TQM) is a detailed systematic approach with a focus on achieving quality excellence in a business organization.  

As a continuous process, it takes place in all departments of an enterprise, aiming to alleviate flaws that can arise during the manufacturing process through detailed planning, documentation, and communication. 

Although it was initially devised for manufacturing, its application is widely accepted in other industries as well. By applying its principles, businesses can work toward the goal of success, and significantly improve the quality of their products or services.



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