Total Quality Management And Continuous Quality Improvement

Meaning of Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total quality management (TQM) is defined as “managing the entire organization so that it excels in all dimensions of products and services that are important to the customer.” As the definition states, this philosophy concentrates on quality as a primary component of the organization’s drive for competitive advantage. Marketing decision-making is directly effected by such a system because quality is a component of product/service design and can be an important decision-making criterion employed by potential buyers. The TQM model goes beyond product and service quality, however, and suggests that a highly structured system of management that emphasizes mechanisms like control and punitive action which stifles people and ultimately hinders an organization’s attempt to produce quality products and services. Rather, the organization that views all its employees as critical, creative resources will be much better able to pursue quality in every activity and through every decision.  There are nine common TQM practices such as cross-functional product management,  supplier quality management, product process management, customer participation, customer feedback, committed leadership, strategic planning, cross-functional training, and employee participation.

Meaning of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

Continuous Quality Improvement refers to philosophy of organizational product and service quality. This process leads to systematic analysis of organization for decision making process based on the facts and organization activity. It deals with risks involving the quality of the product and service by improving the communication both internally and externally. Through the systematic procedure of CQI employees and workforce are educated and team work relationship is created among them. CQI creates a structure conducive to never-ending, incremental improvement by developing cooperative workforce-management relations.

There are three main factors or components of CQI i.e. customer satisfaction, scientific approach and team approach.

  1. Customer Satisfaction: The implementation of CQI in the organization requires working on the customer satisfaction by improving the internal system. The customer satisfaction may include customer’s participation, and the participation by employees in the organization performing different functions. Thus, quality can be achieved when the needs and the expectation of the customers are met.
  2. Scientific Approach: The implementation of CQI also requires adopting scientific approach such as data analysis, system thinking, benchmarking and variation. The data analysis allows the management to take decision on the basis of sound proof. Systems thinking involve the process and relationship among the data. Benchmarking is used to identify the beast practice in related and unrelated setting to emulate as process or used as performance targets as results of the benchmarking are important in CQI.
  3. Team Approach: The implementation of CQI process is better done if it is undertaken in team work than done by an individual. Thus, team approach is the main factor of the implementation of CQI and it needs support from the management, employees and other unit of the organization. As a result of team approach people from different departments perform as a team.

Similarities Between Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement

As far as similarities between both approaches are concerned, Continuous Quality Improvement is such management approach which improves maintains the quality by emphasizing the regular internal assessment of causes of quality issues and it is further followed by the undertaken of reducing the quality risk and improving the product quality. Continuous Quality Improvement is the broader term of TQM they share number of similarities such as TQM similar to CQI is such approach which involves planning and implementing continuous improvements in quality. Thus, TQM utterly involves the employees and demands them to realize requirements of customers and client, the use of data-related tool that assesses and improves the quality of the output produced by team. Both approaches share further following similarities:

  • Non-stop improvement.
  • Customer or Client focus.
  • Structured and Systematic processes.
  • Wide participation of Organization.

Importance of TQM and CQI

Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement possess an important role in the organizational management activity. Since, the principle task of these approaches is to ensure the quality of the product and service offered by the organization. These management approaches with goals are implemented and proceeded to achieve the quality issues along with the quality standard present in the organization. With the globalization and increased economic competitive environment high customer’s expectation has been observed. High customer expectation can possibly be met with by controlling the production process in terms of managing and maintaining the quality. Thus, quality management and quality improvement approaches have great importance to organization for a variety of reason.

The importance of continuous Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement can be understood by the following benefits availed by applying them:

  1. Product Quality: Quality management and quality improvement ensure that product is being manufactured by applying standard quality procedure. This may include performance of the product, reliability as well as durability. Thus, through these quality management and improvement organization is able to manage and improve the quality of the product by increasing its performance. In this regard, quality management struggle to produce product efficiency according to stated promises.
  2. Customer Satisfaction: For every organization it is very important to provide customer satisfaction to increase the organizational productivity. Quality management and quality improvement ensure the customer satisfaction by maintaining the quality such as conducting customer survey to understand what customer really want and who are the customers of the product. Thus, organization is able to have insight of competitors and customers. In this regard, customer survey results are used to target the customers for the product or services. The quality management and improvement programs are helpful use methodology to create particular type of product according to customers desire.
  3. Increased Revenues: Quality of products and services maintained with the help of Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement leads to reputation of company. The reputation of company due to quality provides the company with the opportunity to gain more customers and increase the sale of the products. CQI and TQM increase the efficiency of the production system in the company. The efficiency of production system is improved by the removal of inefficiency and defects in production activities that contribute to the quality of the products. For example, if workforce is not consuming much time on production activities to the product’s quality, thus, workers are spending more time in production activity but the company does not increase the salary. The application of Total Quality Management And Continuous Quality Improvement helps the company to re-capture the lost investment caused due to inefficiencies.
  4. Reduce Waste: The implementation of Total Quality Management And Continuous Quality Improvement in the organization allows the management to reduce the waste caused by the inefficient production activity. Company that house inventory pays for the storage, management and tracking of the inventory. The inventory cost of the company increases the price of the product and implementation of CQI and TQM reduces the cost of the inventory. Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement build a systematic approach that keeps the inventory at the affordable level of waste.

Benefits of Implementing Continuous Quality Improvement

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) with a systematic approach achieves continuous improvements in a product or service. The implementation of CQI allows defining the problem, mapping the process, identifying improvement opportunities, implementing the improvements and continually monitoring the outcomes for improvement opportunities. Other benefits of Continuous Quality Improvement are as follows:

  1. Use of Data: The implementation of CQI within the company allows using quantitative information such as output, defects rather than subjective information for improving the production process. The monitoring of the data helps to identify ongoing opportunities for the improvement in the quality process.
  2. Improved Morale: The implementation of CQI allows the management in the organization to focus on the improvement of employee morale without blaming the employee for the problems and defects occur in the business operational system. CQI rather focuses on the problem in the process than focusing on the people performing the process.
  3. Better Customer Service: Since CQI focuses on the continuous improvement in the performance and removal of the problem from the system, and increases and quality of the product and service, through the means of quality this process increase provision of better customer service by improving customer satisfaction.
  4. Increased Productivity: The removal of defects and other problems from the system leads to less waste and repeat of procedure by the employees. Less repetition of activity allows the organization to have increased productivity.
  5. Increased Revenue: The removal of errors and increased customer satisfaction provides the organization with the opportunity to increase the sales of the products and services which increases the revenue of the company.

Benefits of Implementing Total Quality Management

As far as benefits of implementing TQM are concerned commonly it allows the company to build its reputation by removing the faults and leading to zero defects. The management process helps the organization to have good relationship with employees by increasing their morale, team work and involvement in decision making process. As a result of quality control inspections and lower costs to the production process it can result in the following benefits:

  1. Higher Quality Products: TQM emphasizes the importance on the quality of product and as a result company is able to focus on the creation of high level quality production. TQM allows the management to be aware of quality level of products and services being provided by quality assurance product testing which is a key aspect of the Total Quality Management.
  2. Better Reviews from Customers: As a result of assuring the quality level of product and services, customers are more satisfied. Owing to quality assurance testing by TQM the products and services of the organization constantly meet the quality requirement of the customers. Thus, customer satisfaction as a result of high performance of product and service can lead to have good reviews from the customers and increased better reviews from client and customers further increases the sale of the product and business.
  3. Better Production from Employees: TQM stresses on the need to place attention on the fulfillment of employees’ requirements. The satisfaction of employees in the organization causes the company to achieve the objectives of the Total Quality Management. Employee satisfaction can increase the productivity of the organization as it creates motivation for the employees to work harder to achieve the organizational goals.

Implementation of Total Quality Management And Continuous Quality Improvement

There are correlated concerns of many researches between organizational performances; structure and quality control system exist in the organization. Since the purpose of the implementing Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement is to enhance the possibility of the organization to achieve its goals by controlling the quality of information, building standards for evaluation and designing adequate rewards and punishments, the factors of CQI and TQM influence the manufacturing performance system. However, implementing Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement is the most effective and recognizable process to achieve the quality in the organization, the changes proposed for the quality can be analyzed and assessed effectively in terms of quality. Thus, the need for improved quality can be perceived and can be changed effectively.

To measure the effectiveness of Total Quality Management And Continuous Quality Improvement can be the most significant aspect after the implementation of process. Company often employs future strategy to improve the implementation of the approach through scrutinizing the Quality Circle which allows the management to maintain the quality of the products and services offered by the organization.

The advantage of employing the Quality Circle is that it analyzes the goals of the process and helps to understand the accomplishment of the goal by maintaining the specifications. If organization’s aim is to produce an automatic shock absorber the measurement of the accomplished products can easily be made while manufacturing process are adjusted to maintain the specifications.

Moreover, Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement is not just one time event its accreditation visit is periodic. The implementation of quality improvement and management is an ongoing process and it should remain so. The most importantly there should be measurement of accomplishment of mandate events and analysis to continue those mandates there should be positions meetings held by the management with employees and units of organization. This future strategy allows the organization to review mandate and integrate the strategic initiatives goals into single process. This single process conducted by the means of outlined process.