Every business operation cares about customer satisfaction. A defective product can make you lose a customer for life. A manufacturer's job is to be a few steps ahead of the customer in thought. You have to figure out a comprehensive approach to improve quality and performance to meet or exceed customer expectations - This is the purview of Total Quality Management or TQM.
Achieving Total Quality Management is through integrating all functions that have a business with quality across your company. You aim to capture the quality measures your company is implementing, including Quality Control (QC) and maintenance, Quality Design (QD) and development, and Quality Assurance (QA).
Quality management is crucial in manufacturing. Everyone knows and agrees it's futile to keep churning out products and building an army of disappointed and unhappy customers. They might embrace your competition in a way that chokes your business of precious life.
The variables of Total Quality Management include all quality measures existing a tall levels and in which all company employees are participating. For instance, product defects result in a less-desirable customer experience. It's easier to find a needle in a haystack than to find an unhappy consumer with a significant negative experience with your company.
But negative experiences are neither incurable nor avoidable. It goes beyond having good logistics software. The idea of Total Quality Management is to shake up your manufacturing along with other essential elements of your full business model.
What then is Total Quality Management? Without sounding too academic, TQM is a management system. A company adopting Total Quality Management achieves organizational advancement from its commitment to customer requirements. The customer is the nucleus of any Total Quality Management model. Your company will meet those requirements by ensuring that each employee – regardless of department – can maintain high standards and the environment permits continuous improvement.
Quality itself measures whether a product or service is acceptable. With Total Quality Management, your company leverages a framework operating on the zeal and need to maintain quality across your operations.
The Total Quality Management method involves employees and management in the continuous improvement of the production of your goods and services.
Total Quality Management is not exactly new. It has its roots in the 1950s and soared in popularity in the early 1980s.
Total Quality describes the attitude, culture, and organization of a company that aims to offer customers with satisfactory products and services. The culture demands quality in every aspect of the company's operations, performing processes the right way the first time and eliminating defects and waste from operations.
Are there companies that have implemented Total Quality Management? The near endless list includes heavyweights such as Toyota Motor Corp, Phillips Semiconductor, Ford Motor Company, and SGL Carbon.
TQM is, therefore, the management philosophy that integrates all organizational functions – from design to engineering, production, marketing, customer service, and finances, with the aim of meeting customer needs and attaining organizational objectives.
The primary aspect of Total Quality Management principles is to revolve your policies around the buyers of your product or service, aka the customers.
The quality of any product depends primarily on the customers or market for it. If you satisfactorily meet customer expectations or has a far expiration date, customers will happily spend money on it. The reverse is exactly correct too.
Understanding a customer's wants and needs increases the likelihood of figuring out appropriate raw materials, processes, and personnel to attain or exceed these expectations. How can you go about fulfilling this TQM principle?
Why does it matter for manufacturers to focus on the customer? Here are a few benefits of this principle:
All your employees must be on board if your company aims to grow sales, improve processes, or enhance productivity. They are an intrinsic and integral part of the equation.
Employees need to understand the vision and goals you're communicating. Then they need to assume ownership of the vision in addition to receiving sufficient training and resources to fulfill their respective assignments that contribute to achieving the goal.
How can your company implement this Total Management Quality principle?
What are the positives of including engaging maximum employee commitment?
A key element of quality management is a full-on process approach. Processes are essentially systems that promote consistency and speedy production as appropriate steps are taken as and when due.
These are the steps to implement the process TQM principle:
What would you gain by adopting this?
Your manufacturing company is likely not different from any typical one. You likely have several departments, each with a specific function and purpose. Each department and function should interrelate with horizontal processes that exist solely for TQM. However, these departments may often operate independently.
In an integrated system, policies, standards, processes, and objectives should be at the fingertips of every employee in each department. The reason for this is that the company will always be abundant in continual improvements, helping it to succeed where the competition is failing.
So, how do you build an integrated system?
Why does an integrated system matter in manufacturing? You'll be building a brand where excellence is the default, and customers will appreciate that as you strive to meet or exceed their expectations.
When you work towards your company's goals, vision, and mission using strategic and systematic means, you automatically influence how you manage quality. This critical process is known as strategic management or strategic planning. It includes building a playbook to infuse quality throughout the fabric of your manufacturing operation.
The official ISO definition for this principle captures interrelated systems relative to organizational effectiveness and efficiency in attaining objectives.
Efficiency comes about by consolidating multiple developments or production processes into one coherent unit. Implementing this in Total Quality Management involves:
These are the benefits:
Continuous process improvement is essential in Total Quality Management. It drives an organization to be creative and analytical in working out solutions to improve and become more competitive at fulfilling stakeholder expectations.
Total customer satisfaction is a journey rather than a destination. Customer needs and desires are ever-shifting goal posts. Your manufacturing business must adapt by keeping continual improvement as a TQM requirement.
If you were to implement this right away, here are some points to focus on:
These are a few reasons why continuous improvement matters to TQM:
Data on performance measures provide insights into the well-being of any organization. Total Quality Management is a hands-on approach that requires active data-gathering and analysis to achieve three things:
More informed decisions will improve your understanding of your market and your customers. Here are recommendations to implement this principle:
How would this benefit your TQM?
Effective communication is critical when you're revamping your processes. It keeps motivation high within your teams and inspires employees at every level. Three key elements of communications include:
The plans, methods, and strategies for achieving goals should be common knowledge across the plant and offices in your manufacturing firm. A poor communication plan improves the total surface area for failure.
Here's how to implement communications as a Total Quality Management principle:
These are the benefits:
These elements are central to the TQM process. Many organizations define them, and for a manufacturing concern such as yours, there should be little to no debate about implementing them. These implementations are the results of the work of authorities on quality such as Armand V. Feigenbaum, Joseph M. Juran, Kaoru Ishikawa, Philip B. Crosby, and W. Edwards Deming.
It is tempting to compare TQM to Six Sigma, but Six Sigma does not adopt a holistic view of the organizational process in the way that TQM does. In implementing TQM, ensure you pick the right process and leadership to steer it accordingly. Deliberately improving your manufacturing operations will improve customer satisfaction, making way for other benefits to follow.