Benefits of Total Quality Management...
Information | Understanding | Best Practice.Total Quality Management aims to optimize the performance of an organization via continual improvement in the products and services provided, the operation of the internal and external processes, equipment, utilities and most of all the people involved in an organization.
The net result is a relentless positive improvement in all aspects of an organization’s performance, for example, product reliability improvements, greater employee motivation, improved operational efficiency, waste reduction achievements, fewer safety incidents and overall organizational profit increases (where profit is an objective of the organization).
Looking at the above virtually all organizations daily strive to achieve such objectives. Total Quality Management is a journey, which will never be fully achieved, however, by understanding TQM and actively implementing many of the TQM tools and techniques, significant performance benefits across an organization can be achieved.
Looking at the benefits of Total Quality Management in some more detail.
Cost reduction.There are a range of cost benefits associated with TQM. As part of the TQM approach, operational processes will need to be defined. Many organizations map their processes and via analytical tools such as brainstorming, cause and effect, etc., examine the performance of processes, identify areas of duplication, uncertainty, over processing and re-map out their processes to improve efficiency.Bottleneck analysis can be performed to identify where hold-ups and delays are arising throughout a process and implement changes to eliminate any such bottlenecks.Cycle time analysis can be performed to understand the % of time, people and equipment are actively involved in value adding activity, versus the % of time spent on non-value adding activity. The net result can be quite significant in terms of cost benefits to the organization.
Customer satisfaction.TQM is about listening to and understanding your customer. This is a critical requirement of TQM. Who are your customers? What are their current requirements and expectations for the future? You need to identify ALL your customers, both internal and external. Then clearly define their needs, expectations and compare to the current product and service provision. What is the gap between current performance and required performance? Once you know the gap, and ideally can measure, then you are in a position to identify plans to address. These plans will be critical to success, and will ensure organizational efforts are directed on a daily basis towards meeting and satisfying the customer. The net result will be increasing customer satisfaction.
Product and Process Quality (including Reliability).Previously we talked about identifying customer needs and expectations. A basic requirement for all organizations is excellent quality and reliability in terms of product or service provision. The quality of a product or service provided needs to meet expectations. External customer expectations may be heavily influenced by price. Customers may expect lower quality when they pay less. However, regardless of price, quality offered, must meet expectations. TQM seeks to continually improve quality, while simultaneously driving down cost to the organization. Quality improvement is achieved via the application of fact based analytical techniques. This may involve performance of process capability analysis, SIPOC, FMEA analysis, etc.. Whatever methods are chosen and applied, there will be continued improvements in product and process quality. This then offers opportunity for the organization to increase market share, or increase product selling price, or increase profits. Such decisions will be based on the strategic direction for the business.
Employee Motivation.Total Quality Management is focused on people. Involving people, listening to and actively encouraging participation in contributing to improving the organization. TQM is focused on building a culture where all staff feel comfortable in identifying failings and suggesting opportunities. Changing culture is a complex and uncertain science, however, there are well understood approaches to encouraging positive open cultures. This may range from regular “town hall” meetings, newsletters, quality improvement teams through to suggestions schemes, employee of the month, etc..
Whatever approach is taken will depend on the organizational management and operating environment, however an improving culture, will create higher levels of employee motivation, lower staff turnover, more active participation and greater success rates for continuous improvement activities.
The above are just a sample of the benefits of Total Quality Management. TQM is a organizational philosophy, to be implement over the long term with strong management commitment. There are however, many TQM techniques which can be applied at a local level, which can in themselves, achieve positive benefits on performance. The decision on which techniques to apply and how to apply resides with the staff involved within such areas.
Total Quality Management Tools and Techniques …
- Continuous improvement utilizing Analytical Techniques.
- 5 why’s analysis
- Process Flow Diagrams/Flowcharts/Process Mapping
- Check sheets /Check Lists
- Run charts
- Scatter Diagrams/Scatter Plot
- Cause and Effect/Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagrams
- Identifying sources & causes of variation
- Control/Shewart Charts/DPU Charts
- Cpk and Ppk Analysis
- Pareto Analysis
- Bottleneck Analysis
- Etc. Etc.
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