Monday, February 3, 2014

How to overcome barriers in Total Quality Management?

Total quality management (TQM) can be defined as an effort to build up a climate in which an organization continuously improves its ability to produce high-quality products or services to customers[1] from the moment its raw materials arrive to the moment its finished products leave.[2] 
TQM aims at conforming to a customer's requirements. According to the European Foundation for Quality Management, TQM strategies are[3]:
• The excellence of all managerial, operational and administrative processes.
• A culture of continuous improvement in all aspects of the business.
• An understanding that quality improvement results in cost advantages and better profit potential.
• The creation of more intensive relationships with customers and suppliers.
• The involvement of all personnel.
• Market-oriented organizational practices.

If implemented well, a company can benefit from TQM since it improves competitiveness and management communication, increases profits, productivity, customer loyalty and adaptability to global markets, eliminates defects and reduces waste and quality costs.

However, lack of management commitment, inability to change organizational structure, improper planning, lack of continuous training, isolated individuals/departments leading to lack of communication, paying inadequate attention to internal and external customers, insufficient use of empowerment and teamwork, failure to continually improve might pose threats to TQM implementation.

Motivation of the employees and development of a strategic plan are the required actions before TQM is put into practice. Otherwise, how can the companies become successful in their TQM programs unless their employees are unaware and insensitive to obstacles concerning implementation, particularly the ones related to organizational structure?

[1] “Total Quality Managament”. Web. 01/30/2014. <>.
[2] “Total Quality Managament”. Web. 01/30/2014. <>
[3] Ibid.

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