1. Satisfy the customer:
The first and major TQM principle is to satisfy the customer—the person who pays for the product or service. Customers want to get their money’s worth from a product or service they purchase.
A focus on the customer:
(i) Focus on product and service attributes
(ii) Extend beyond meeting specification
(iii) Anticipate customer needs
Within a company, a worker provides a product or service to his or her supervisors. If the person has any influence on the wages the worker receives, that person can be thought of as an internal customer.
A worker should have the mind-set of satisfying internal customers in order to keep his or her job and to get a raise or promotion.
Chain of customers:
Often in a company, there is a chain of customers, each improving a product and passing it along until it is finally sold to the external customer each worker must not only seek to satisfy the immediate internal customer, but he or she must look up the chain to try to satisfy the ultimate customer.
2. Satisfy the supplier:
A second TQM principle is to satisfy the supplier, which is the person or organization from whom you are purchasing goods or services.
A company must look to satisfy their external suppliers by providing them with clear instructions and requirements and then paying them fairly and on time.
It is only in the company’s best interest that its suppliers provide it with quality goods or services, if the company hopes to provide quality goods or services to its external customers.
A supervisor must try to keep his or her workers happy and productive by providing good task instructions, the tools they need to do their job and good working conditions. The supervisor must also reward the workers with praise and good pay.
Obtain customer feedback:
A company that seeks to satisfy the customer by providing them value for what they buy and the quality they expect will get more repeat business, referral business, and reduced complaints and service expenses.
Some top companies not only provide quality products, but they also give extra service to make their customers feel important and valued.
Participation and teamwork:
(i) Train employees to think creatively
Get better work
The reason to do this is to get more productivity out of the workers, as well as to keep the good workers. An effective supervisor with a good team of workers will certainly satisfy his or her internal customers.
(ii) Reward good suggestions
Workers are often a source of continuous improvements. They can provide suggestions on how to improve a process and eliminate waste or unnecessary work.
(iii) Empower employees
One area of satisfying the internal suppler is by empowering the workers. This means to allow them to make decisions on things that they can control.
This not only takes the burden off the supervisor, but it also motivates these internal suppliers to do better work.
(iv) Quality Circle
(v) cross-functional team—horizontal interactions
3. Continuous improvement:
The third principle of TQM is continuous improvement. We can never be satisfied with the method used, because there always can be improvements.
Certainly, the competition is improving, so it is very necessary to strive to keep ahead of the game.
(i) Provide improved service and products
(ii) Reduce errors, defects, and waste
There are also many quality methods, such as just-in-time production and variability reduction that can improve processes and reduce waste.
(iii) Improve productivity and effectiveness
(iv) Improve responsiveness and cycle time
(v) Working smarter, not harder
Some companies have tried to improve by making employees work harder. This may be counter-productive, especially if the process itself is flawed.
For example, trying to increase worker output on a defective machine may result in more defective parts.
Examining the source of problems and delays and then improving them is what is needed. Often the process has bottlenecks that are the real cause of the problem. These must be removed.
Infrastructure of TQM:
(i) Leadership: Plan, review performance and serve on teams
(ii) Strategic Planning: Identify customers, mission, principle, and long and short-range goals
(iii) Data and information management: Data for customer needs, various performances, and market assessments
(iv) Process management: Design and improve the process
(v) Supplier management: Convey requirements and expectations
(vi) Human resources management: Train well-qualified and committed employees