By Ranjit Singh Malhi, Ph.D.
In an increasingly globalized and highly competitive business world, more and more companies are seeking competitive advantage by providing higher quality products and services which meet or exceed customer requirements at minimum cost. With regard to the public sector, governmental organizations need to provide higher quality services to meet the increasing expectations of the citizenry. Most organizations that have been successful with their quality improvement efforts have adopted an integrated approach commonly referred to as Total Quality Management.
High Self EsteemWhat is Total Quality Management?
Total Quality Management (TQM) is the systematic and integrated approach of attaining customer satisfaction at minimum cost through continuous improvements in all areas of an organization’s operations, products and services. According to M. Sashkin and K. J. Kiser, TQM means that the organization’s culture is defined by and supports the constant attainment of customer satisfaction through an integrated system of tools, techniques and training. This involves the continuous improvement of organizational processes, resulting in high quality products and services.1
The main features of TQM are:
Who is a Customer?
In the context of quality management, a customer can be defined as the recipient of one’s product, service or information. There are two types of customers: external customers and internal customers. An external customer is the ultimate receiver of the product or service. He or she is not a member of the organization that produces the product or service. A good example of an external customer is the consumer or client that purchases the product or service. An internal customer is the next person or stage in producing the final product or service. He is a member of the organization that produces the product or service. For a worker on the production line, the person after him in the line is his internal customer. For a typist, the superior officer is the internal customer.
Benefits of TQM
Research shows that the Malcolm Baldrige National quality award winners outperformed the S&P 500 by greater than 4-to-1, achieving a 248.7% return on investment, compared with 58.5% for the S&P 500.2
TQM has numerous benefits. It enables organizations to:
Fifteen Maxims on Quality Improvement
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