Successful Implementation of TQM in the Engineering Company
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a concept that evolves in the 1950s and has increasingly become popular in this century (Chase, 2012). Total Quality is an explanation of the culture, attitude, and organization of a company that provides goods and services that satisfy customers.
Cheruiyot & Maru (2013) summarizes TQM as a management system with customer focus by involving all the members of the organization to assist in continual improvement. TQM uses strategy, data, and networking to integrate a disciplined culture that observes quality in the organization.
The concept of quality has undergone a revolution in its meaning in the early 20th century, Statistical samples in the 1940s measure and assess the quality as quality control charts monitor the production process (Baccarani et al. 2013). In the 1960s, quality academicians view quality to encompass the entire organization rather than the production process only (Chase, 2012). It is because all functions are responsible for the quality and share the cost in case of low quality product, since quality is an aspect that affects the entire organization.
In the 1970s, the meaning of quality changes dramatically since academicians view quality as something that demands correction and inspection. In the auto industry, Toyota and Honda succeed as key players in the TQM (Chowdhury, 2014). Since this period, competition that bases on quality grows in importance and generates tremendous interest. Companies during this era and presently focus on improving the quality to remain competitive.
In many businesses, quality excellence is a standard for doing business. The companies that fail to meet the standard for excellence in the quality face extinction. TQM focuses on identifying some of the bottlenecks that hinder quality and rectify them at the origin rather than making inspections after observing the finished product. TQM focuses on the entire organization and emphasizes on the quality (Chuwdhury, 2014). TQM attempts to frame quality in all the aspects of the organization since it focuses on the technical view of the quality.
TQM focuses on the customer satisfaction, in this view; quality meets and exceeds t shifts between the customer expectations. TQM recognizes the perfect production in lieu of the customer’s desire to ensure that quality has customer in mind. For instance, the auto industry has the trend of relative changes that can shift between small cars and sport utility vehicles (Cheruiyot & Maru, 2014). The retail industry has short-lived fashion styles and trends. Companies gather information by using focus groups, market surveys, and customer interviews to identify the ever-changing desire of the customers.
The philosophy of TQM is enshrined in continuous improvement rather than the traditional systems that assume the achievement of the company lies on the initial quality. In a traditional system, academicians assume that, at the attainment of a particular quality, there is no need for extensive improvements (Coleman, 2013). The Japanese believes that the best and lasting changes occur from gradual improvements called kaizen. As manufactures in Japan, strive to acquire more knowledge and learn of better techniques of solving problems.
TQM translates to a management approach that ensures long-term achievement through observing customer satisfaction. Members in the organization strive to improve processes by participating in the entire process so as to improve the culture of their work. In addition to that, TQM encourages overall employee involvement as they work with a common objective. Overall employee involvement seeks to drive away fear in the organization (Cortada, 2013). Involvement of the employment leads to empowerment and a proper environment for management.
High-performance systems in the organization integrate many operations for the work teams in the organization.TQM focuses on process thinking. A process-centered thinking entails taking inputs from suppliers, to transform them to outputs delivered to the customer. A TQM model is an integrative system that works to interconnect all the structures in the organization. Everyone in the hierarchy must understand those guiding principles, quality objectives, as well as the critical processes that ensure success in the organization (Creech, 2008). Continuous change drives the organization where an organization has a thirst for creativity to become better and competitive to meet the customer’s expectation.
The culture of an organization demands quality in all the areas of operations and minimizes wastes. Hoggetts (2011) state that TQM is a method that the management and the employee use to negate continuous improvement in the production of goods and services. TQM combines quality and the management tools to increase business and eliminate wastage practices. Creech (2008) observes thatTQM is a cover for all the people in the organization as they strive to create and improve products to satisfy the customers.
The TQM concept has a strong influence from the Japanese approach of quality management. TQM is an approach that focuses on continuously improving the quality of the product enabled through joint participation of all employees at all levels in the organization. TQM is not only a program but also a business management approach for the entire organization. TQM is a corporate holistic philosophy that reiterates the idea of participation at all levels in the organization (Leornard & Mcadam, 2013). TQM is a comprehensive philosophy in management that focuses on total quality. To achieve TQM, an organization must adhere to improvement in all areas and acquire the required resources for customer service. Some of the factors that influence the success in implementing TQM include the following:
TQM implementation benefits from a committed leadership to achieve positive results. The leadership of the organization is strong drivers of change ensuring all the departments effect that change. Lack of commitment from the top brass can make the process difficult to implement (Hodgetts, 2011). For a successful TQM approach, the top management is completely involved implementing and simulate the TQM approach. The leader of an organization is duly responsible for the service and product offered. Successful implementation of TQM requires effective change in the organization culture that leaders must affect (Paris, 2013). Committed leaders help in the drafting of clear mission statements to build suitable strategies in the support of that mission. The top management reviews the critical success factors and reviews the management structure. Leaders should allocate the appropriate resources to control and monitor the process
Effective communication enables the production of products of high quality standards. The flow of communication between the employees should be clear for them to understand each other. Effective communication can reduce the instances of misunderstandings that can affect the production process. For quality improvement, effective communication between the employer and he employee must exist. According to Ugolini et al. (2014), open communication between the employer and employees translate to a feeling of satisfaction and can lead people working better. Additionally, the communication between the organization and the customers should be clear. It will enable the customer to state well their desire to allow the company to produce in accordance to taste and preferences of the customers. Open communication has both an internal and external approach.
Good Supplier relationship
TQM provides the organization with an opportunity to connect with the suppliers. The philosophy of TQM reiterates the need to establish supplier relationship with the organization. Good supplier relationship enables the company to develop a level of trust and credibility in the working relations (Parris, 2013). Tools used by the company to create a suitable relationship between the supplier and the company include procurement systems. A procurement system streamlines the relationship by making procurement process more efficient. A procurement system allows the firm to make comparisons on other suppliers’ price and performance capabilities. A buyer can identify the best supplier and establish a relationship with the supplier leading to the negotiation of the price (Zairi, 2013). Another tool that the company can use to build a relationship with the supplier includes Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS). This tool performs assessment on the capacity of the plant, customer demand, and the material availability.
Benchmarking involves a continuous process of making comparison of organizations goods and services against those of the competitors. Many companies incorporate this process in lieu of TQM process. Benchmarking provides the company with crucial information such as profitability and growth details. In benchmarking, a company has to identify a world- class competitor in the same market for improving own processes to result in a competitive position (Wagabi, 2013). In the process of benchmarking, managers understand the difference in performance. Once the managers have the information, they can work to improve their own processes to enhance competition. Benchmarking enables an organization to achieve a competitive advantage by monitoring the market and making the necessary adjustments.
For the successful implementation of the TQM, employees need the skills and the techniques. Training and education are essential to providing with the latest practices in the TQM philosophy. Training and education will provide the required change in an organization. Training focuses on building the required skills to effect the change process in the organization. During the training, employees understand product specifications and other operations.
TQM leads to the generation of teamwork in the organization. Teams are efficient in implementing changes and motivating the participation of employees in improving the process (Willig, 2009). Diversity and cohesiveness occur due to application open organization during the implementation of the TQM process. Direct contact between other employees and customers will enable the organization to obtain the necessary information that is crucial in the TQM implementation. Employees should consider customer satisfaction by performing market research, enquiring from other staff, and comparing from other competitors.
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