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The total quality management, often abbreviated as TQM refers to the holistic management of an organization, so that it can excel in every aspect of its products and services that are valuable for the customer. The concept of TQM revolves around the participation of all the stakeholders, from suppliers to customers of the organization to create more value. Thus, the improvement of quality is not just a function of the product development team, but it involves every functional department and also the participation of the customers. Total quality management has enabled organizations to constantly improve its product and service experience for its customers. In this article we have discussed about total quality management, how it is beneficial for an organization and how it is implemented to achieve organizational wide excellence in performance. This can be quite beneficial in helping you with your professional essay writing on operations management.

Implementing Total Quality Management

Total quality management can be defined as a management system which involves every functional department to create a customer-focused organization. Organizations with TQM are highly committed to the overall quality of experience of the customers and are able to foster higher customer satisfaction and brand preference. In the following sections, we have covered the seven key concepts of an effective total quality management program. It is important for you to have a good understanding of these concept if you are to implement them in your college essay. So here are the seven concepts that forms the total quality management.

Continuous Improvement

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The total quality management involves a continuous process of improvement of the operational activities of an organization. In this pursuit, a simple four step cyclic model has been developed by Walter Shewhart, called the PDCA cycle. These four steps of the PDCA cycle are: Plan, Do, Check and Act. The Plan stage involves identifying the problem and making a plan based on the identified problem. The Do stage involves testing the plan. In the Check stage, the effectiveness of the plan is tested. Finally, in the Act stage, the plan is implemented. It should be noted that the PDCA model is cycling in nature. Therefore, after the final stage of implementing the plan, the organization again starts looking for new problems in the operations, thus continuing the process perpetually. This concept of unending improvement is often termed as Kaizen, in Japan. Kaizen approach allows the organizations to set and achieve goals which are higher than the previous one, thus driving them to continuously improve their business operations.

Six Sigma

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The discipline of six sigma is a data driven, statistics-based approach and a continuous improvement methodology which is aimed at removing defects in a product, service or process. The aim is to reduce the chance of defects or deviation so that the yield rate is as high as possible. The sigma determines the standard deviation from process mean, where at sigma level 6, the yield rate become extremely close to a hundred percent, with a defect rate of only 3.4 per million. Six Sigma is based on 5 key principles which are:

  • Customer focus approach
  • Accurate value stream measurement and problem identification
  • Eliminating variations for continuous improvement
  • Involving all stakeholders
  • Ensuring organizational flexibility

Six Sigma has been successfully implemented by many organizations including some of the well-established firms such as General Electric, Motorola, Du Pont, and many more.

Employee Empowerment

The concept of employee empowerment refers to involving the employees in every stages of the production process. It has been revealed that the majority of quality issues come from materials and process drawback rather than from employee performance. Therefore, it is imperative for the organization to create a better equipment and processes though higher employee involvement. The employees who deal with the production and service processes, are closely aware of its issues and can easily identify the areas of improvement. Involving all of these employees in the development process can be quite beneficial, as they can help in achieving improvements, exactly where they are needed.

While writing papers in college you should have a clear understanding of how an organization can foster employee empowerment. Here are some of the key techniques that can you should keep in mind:

  • Designing communication systems that involve the employees
  • Training supervisors to be more supportive and open to new ideas and changes
  • Distributing responsibilities to production employees
  • Building an organizational culture that boosts employee morale
  • Creating quality circles withing the organizational structure

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the practice of selecting a standardized level of performance which is considered to be the very best for the given process or activity. It presents the best practice that the organization thrives to achieve. The central idea behind benchmarking is create a performance target that the organization can use as a standard to compare its own performance and develop strategies and processes to achieve that standard. Five key steps in developing benchmarks are as follows:

  • Determine which activity or process to benchmark
  • Build a benchmarking team
  • Determine the benchmarking partners
  • Gather benchmarking data for analysis
  • Take necessary action to meet or exceed the benchmark

Typically, when you write essay on TQM, you can use some of the most commonly used benchmarking which are cost per units or orders, rate of defects, processing time, response time for service delivery, rate of customer satisfaction, return on investments, etc.

Just-In-Time

Just-In-Time (JIT) is one of the most popular approach of continuous improvement, which seeks to improve performance through enforced problem solving. A system built on JIT principles can produce and deliver products and services, just as they are required in the market. This as a result eliminates the issues involving over-production and under-production.

For your assignment help, we have identified three ways in which JIT can help in achieving total quality management:

Reduction in Cost: Implementation of JIT can help a company to cut cost of quality. It should be noted that costs related to reworking, scraps, inventory management and damage are directly associated with the inventory at hand. Since, JIT leads to less inventory at hand, therefore these costs can be lowered significantly. Moreover, higher amounts of inventory hide the imperfections in the production process and the supply chain. Lower inventory volume can help expose those issues, which can be easily identified and fixed.

Quality Improvement: JIT helps in reducing lead time and also reduces the number of potential sources of errors. Since, JIT enables organizations to source materials and initiate processes only as they are required, thereby it reduces a lot of unwanted activities which can cause additional issues in the system.

JIT Drives Consistency in Quality: Typically, firms tend to stock up on inventories in order to counteract poor production rates and unreliable quality. Since, JIT reduces inventory, therefore it also drives the company to maintain a consistent performance level, while reducing the cost of inventory.

Taguchi Concepts

According to Genichi Taguchi, the majority of all quality problems arise from sub-standard product and process design. In order improve these two aspects, he has developed three core concepts which are: quality robustness, target-oriented quality and quality loss function. Let us now look at each of them.

A product which is robust in quality can be manufactured while maintaining quality even in adverse situation and environmental conditions. The aim is to remove the effect of uncertainty and environmental factors, instead of fighting with the sources. Moreover, it has been also suggested that eliminating the effects can prove to be much cheaper as compared to removing the sources of the issues. The target-oriented quality is based on the principle where an organization is expected to deliver a product exactly on target. In order to achieve such precision, organizations need to focus on continuous quality improvements. Finally, the quality loss function, helps in estimating the incurred resulting from deviating from the target value.This allows the company to determine the losses that it may suffer from defects and deviations.

Total Quality Management Tools

In order to foster employee empowerment and to enable the workforce to commit towards continuous quality improvement, they must be well-trained on tools and techniques of TQM. Here are some of the most commonly used tools that you can implement in your own online essays.

  • Tools for Idea Generation: Check Sheets, Scatter Diagram and Cause and Effect Diagram
  • Tools for Data Organization: Flowchart and Pareto Chart
  • Tools for Problem Identification: Histogram and Process Control Chart

Summarizing it All

Total quality management or TQM is an operational practice which involves every stakeholder of the organization in order to achieve organizational excellence, that is reflected in the customer experience. In order to implement TQM in an organization seven key concepts need to be followed which are continuous improvement, six sigma, employee empowerment, benchmarking, just-in-time, Taguchi concepts and TQM tools. Each of these concepts form the heart of TQM practice and can help in achieving better performance.

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