Customers as a Goal of Total Quality Management

Table of Content

Total Quality Management(TQM) is an organisational process that activelyinvolves every function and every employee in satisfying customers needs, bothinternal and external. TQM works by continuously improving all aspect of workthrough structured control, improvement and planning activities that are carriedout in concern with guiding ideology that focuses on Quality and CustomerSatisfaction as the top priorities.

There has been many arguments that TQM succeeds only by incorporating aconcern about quality for the customers throughout the organisation. The truthof this statement and those facts that disagree with this statement will be lookinto and discuss in more detail to achieve the success of TQM.

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TQM recognises that the Customer is at the center of every activity. Thecustomer may be external or internal. The key is to determine the gap betweenwhat the customer needs and what the system delivers. Once the gap isrecognised, it would be systematically reduced and results in never-endingimprovement in customer satisfaction at every level.

TQM depends on and creates a culture in an organisation which involveseverybody in quality improvement. Everyone in the company can affect quality butmust first realise this factor and have the techniques and tools which areappropriate for improving quality. Thus TQM includes the marketing anddissemination of quality and methods not only within the organisation andcustomers but also to suppliers and other partners.

The general view to achieve success in TQM could be summarised as below:Quality as strengthQuality in all processesThe importance of managementThe involvement, commitment and responsibility of everybodyContinuous improvementZero defectsFocus on prevention rather than inspectionMeeting the needs of target customersRecoveryBenchmarkingA prerequisite for successful quality improvement is first, to understand howquality is perceived and valued by customers.

4 Q’Design Quality Technical QualityProduction QualityDelivery QualityFunctional QualityRelational QualityImageExperiencesExpectationCustomer Perceived Quality =Customer SatisfactionFigure 1: Gronroos – Gummesson Quality Model (1987)Gronroos and Gummesson has combined their Customer Perceived Quality’model and the 4 Q model to stress the importance of customer. The intergratedmodel focuses solely for the organisation to achieve customer satisfactionthrough improving the quality for the customers.

Morup (1992) notes that quality is the most important and effective factora company can use in the battle for customers. To be competitive, we mustsatisfy the customers. In order to be more competitive, we must delight thecustomers. Quality is here defined as the measure of customer delightment.

Kaizen provides the philosophy and driving force for designing the quality.

If quality is made the global driving force, then customers will obtain the bestvalue possible and use the product. The concern about quality will optimise thevalue for customers.

The TQM perspective involves not only quality in relations with externalcustomers but also quality in the internal service chains and in relation tosuppliers and other partners.

This Quality Chain involves everyone in the process and appliedthroughout the organisation.

Customer orientation and quality are not just a matter of ensuring that thecontents of the product or services satisfies the customer needs. The manner inwhich the service is delivered and the customers’ relations with the companymust also meet the customer’s expectation.

Sales Customer SatisfactionQuality ImprovementAs the above graph indicates the sales increases directly with an increasein customer satisfaction. Customers are satisfied with improvement in quality.

The more quality improves, the faster sales will increase because customersatisfaction carries its own acceleration. When the quality reputation grows,marketing can emphasize increasing customer satisfaction as a major element inadvertising and the other promotions.

As Deming wrote in his book Out of the Crisis,” it will not suffice tohave customers that are merely satisfied. An unhappy customer will switch.

Unfortunately a satisfied customer may also switch, on the theory that he couldnot lose much and might gain. Profit in business comes from repeat customers,customers that can boast about your product and service, and that bring friendswith them. He further stated that we should stay ahead of the customers. Thiscould be achieved through constant quality improvement and innovations.

Why Do Companies Lose Customers:Death of Customer1%Customer Moving Residence3%Lower Price Elsewhere5%Unsatisfactory Handling of Complaints14%Suppliers’ Lack of Interest68%As shown in the above graph above TQM’s success includes the incorporationon quality of the after sales service and follow up. The quality needed inmaintaining a customer will be less as compare to gaining a new customer. TQMsuccess would therefore not only focus on gaining new customers but maintainingthe current customers, through improvement in quality for customers.

Even though the main concern about TQM is highly focused on the customers,the focus on internal process cannot be left out. TQM’s success may not lie onlyon the quality for the customer but the quality of the organisation as a whole.

The core concept is discussed below:Right First Time / Zero DefectsTQM stress of the importance of zero defects and achieving the right targetthe first and everytime. Variances in product are not acceptable and methodssuch as the Statistical Process Control (SPC) is use to achieve the objective.

Zero defects is the result of an emphasis on prevention and diligent use ofmeasurement, process control and the data driven elimination of waste and error.

As Crosby said, The purpose of quality management is to set up a system and amanagement discipline that prevents defects from happening in the company’sperformance cycle.

Cost of QualityThis is the cost incurred in achieving a quality product or services. These maybe prevention cost, appraisal cost, internal failure cost, external failure cost,the cost of exceeding customer’s requirement and the cost of lost opportunities.

Competitive BenchmarkingComparing with competitors is another reflex of TQM. This is a continuousmanagement process that helps firms access their competition and themselves andto use that knowledge in designing a practical plan to achieve marketsuperiority. When done correctly, benchmarking produces the hard facts needed toplan and execute effective business strategies.

Involvement of EveryoneIn TQM everyone is involved in the process of making the company a successfulbusiness. Everyone in the company is responsible for producing quality goods andservices and reducing the cost of quality.

Synergy in Team WorkIn Japan, there is no status difference as they believe in synergy. Thereforethey consider themselves as partners depending on each other for effectivemanagement and success. Ownership and the Elements of Self-ManagementTotal quality programmes are founded on the principal that people want to ownthe problems, the process, the solution and ultimately the success associatedwith the quality improvement. Psychologically, the ownership advocated by TQMties in the development in organisational design away from traditional models ofimposing management control over employees’ behaviour.

Recognition and RewardsTQM system considers the rewards and recognition to be critical to a company’sprogramme, particularly when greater involvement of staff is required. Positivereinforcement through recognition and rewards is essential to maintainachievement and continuous improvement through participative problem-solvingprojects.

The Quality Delivery ProcessTQM is not just the awareness of quality for the customers. It demands theimplementation of a new system.

Finally, the main objective of TQM may put the customer at the center of everyactivity and consider the process as customer driven, but all other factorswhich do not involve the customers have to be taken into consideration for thesuccessful implementation of TQM. Category: English

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Customers as a Goal of Total Quality Management. (2019, May 17). Retrieved from

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