TQM stands for Total Quality Management. TQM is based on all members of an organization or business participating in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work” (American Society for Quality).
British Standards Institution went further to describe it as “A management philosophy and company practices that aim to harness the human and material resources of an organization in the most effective way to achieve the objectives of the organization or business.
From both definitions of Total Quality Management, we see that the emphasis is on business owners, employees and everyone involved in the business continuously improving business processes within the business, and also improving the company culture in which they work so that the objective of the business can be achieved and outputs from the business can always ooze Quality! The idea of Total Quality Management is backed by top Quality Gurus such as Crosby, Deming, Feigenbaum, Ishikawa and Joseph Juran
This post aims to enlighten entrepreneurs and small business owners on the 6C’s of TQM and how using them effectively in their business can make them kick butt! ( okay, maybe not butt…literally ).
The 6C’s are:
- Continuous Improvement
- Customer Focus
Control: This is a procedure or set of procedures that are set in your business to ensure that the manufactured products or services rendered by your business adheres to the quality standard set by the client or customer. To break it down some more, it is ensuring that there is an effective control on the quality of outputs ( products / services rendered ) that leaves your business. For my creative business Presidential ideas, I always say that whatever I do for my clients has to be “Presidential”, sometimes I get overwhelmed with jobs and I have to outsource to one of my trusted designers, before I deliver the job to the end client, I always make sure I go through it and it adheres to my “Presidential” standard my clients have always known me for.
Commitment: Almost every business wants “Total Quality” in their businesses but it becomes ‘wishful thinking’ if stakeholders ( people involved in the business ) are not fully committed to achieving this. All stakeholders need to be on the same page and be committed to achieving all round quality.
Culture: If you know me, you know culture is one thing am big on. A recent post of mine “Company Culture – An Instrument To Employee Productivity” where I talked about the importance of a quality company culture, shows that it is not just words of wisdom written on the wall, rather, it is the way of operation within a business and the core values that the business and everyone in it abides by. So, if quality is infused in your company’s culture, achieving total quality within the business will be a breeze because everyone within the business would be used to always achieving and aiming for quality.
Continuous Improvement: This is my favorite. It is an interesting concept when businesses are always looking for better ways to make their current offerings better, improving their processes and inputs which always turns out to create – kick ass products/offerings. This may also include getting feedback from customers to know how the product can be improved on to better serve them.
Cooperation: Team work makes the Dream work! With teamwork and cooperation from stakeholders in the business, there would be “standardizing” in the way things are done in the organization. By “standardizing” I mean, effective standards being in place for the standard of outputs that should come from the business, hence creating a quality business offering.
Customer Focus: This might be the sixth on the list but it is definitely not the least. Matter of fact, it should have been first on the list. Creating a business with all-round total quality requires creating a customer-centric business. Putting the customer first, having systems to collect and process feedback from customers, making use of the feedback to better their experience and at the end, delivering the “right” product and service… by “right” I do mean delivering products and services the customer needs, not products with fancy features that the customer will not use and which is not beneficial to the customer. I wrote a post on how to create a LEAN business and eliminate waste in your business, read Want To Win In Your Business? Be LEAN!
How to Implement Total Quality Management? – Commitment is needed from all stakeholders in the business, A quality improvement Culture, Continuous improvement in processes, Co-operation from all employees, A focus on Customer’s requirements, Effective Control should be laid down.