Total quality management is a collection of management practices within the organization meant to ensure consistent achievement of organizations goals (Pekar, 1995). It emphasizes on the control of resources including personnel and competitive activities aimed at promoting the company as a way of acquiring and retaining customers and achieving other company objectives such as employee welfare. It is based on the premise that every one involved in the creation and consumption of a good is responsible for its quality and processing, for example, the management, workers, suppliers and customers (Hakes, 1991).
Evolution of Total Quality Management
Before the ideas and concept regarding Total quality Management were formalized, several scholars did much work in the previous days leading to formulation of the current concepts (Pekar, 1995). The group of people with the information “gurus” moved all over Europe and Asia passing the information to other people, they included, Deming, an American who emphasized on responsibility and management as the basis of production and claimed that management is responsible for over 94% quality production and came up with fourteen point plans for improving production (Hakes, 1991).
Similarly, Juran, developed quality trilogy and claimed that good quality management requires planned action with maximum control of a skilled worker to avoid deterioration of quality in production he therefore designed ten steps to be followed for quality production(Pekar, 1995).
Principles of Total Quality Management
The principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) are based on practicing business activities aimed at benefiting the customer, supplier as well as continuous improvement of the business processes (Hakes, 1991). To the customers, the company puts forward all the resources in order to ensure their satisfaction by producing goods or services worth their money since they want to acquire the goods worth their money.
In addition, the company’s philosophy ensures the customers get what they require hence reduces the complaints making them frequent the business as they feel valued (Pekar, 1995). Internal customers also considered, these are people supplied with a product or a service within the organization such as supervisors and are likely to influence the wage a worker receives if well served with high quality product hence the worker develops a mind-set of satisfying internal customers so as to keep his job or get promotion(Hakes, 1991).
The second principle is aimed at satisfying the supplier which is the organization or individual providing the company with resources used in creation of goods and services or from whom they are purchased(Hakes, 1991). The company is bound to provide clear instruction to the external supplier on the requirements of the company as well as paying them fairly and on time so as to enable the supplier to provide the company with high quality resources, goods or services that are supplied to the customers(Hakes, 1991).
To the internal suppliers, in charge of the labor supply, the supervisor has to create good working conditions and good pay to boost the morale of workers thus enabling them carry out their duties happily resulting to high quality production of goods or services(Pekar, 1995).
Thirdly, Total Quality Management has a principle of continuous improvement aiming at improving the methods of production in order match the high market competition (Hakes, 1991). The company applies theories meant to improve the level and quality of production by encouraging the workers to “work smatter and not harder “and improving the status of the machines and other factors of production (Pekar, 1995).
The principle requires the management to consider the suggestions of the workers in an attempt to improve their labor and commitment to work and also improving the quality of production by introducing new methods such as just-in-time production that helps reduce wastes (Hakes, 1991).
Differences between traditional and modern methods of TQM
The differences between traditional and modern methods of Total Quality Management are reflected in various ways. To start with, traditional methods focused on internal activities in determining the quality of the products by assuming that all the products of the organization are produced at best while the modern methods rely on the customer as the best quality decider claiming that the best product is that which gives the consumer utmost happiness and fulfillment (Pekar, 1995).
Secondly, traditional methods were based on the premise that bad quality products result from poor performance of the workers which is the responsibility of the middle level management while the modern methods emphasize on team work hence making all workers responsible for the product of the company (Hakes, 1991). Similarly, the modern methods use facts and figures making it easier to identify and correct mistakes that could not be identified on the use of traditional methods (Pekar, 1995).
In conclusion, Total Quality Management is therefore a collection of management practices meant to improve the quality of produce in a company or business organization. The practices evolved through series of stages resulting to the best methods applied by companies to improve production and satisfaction of customers (Hakes, 1991).
Hakes, C. (1991). Total quality management: the key to business improvement. Loss Angeles: Prentice Hall.
Pekar, J. (1995). Total quality management: guiding principles for application. New York: Harvard University Press.