TQM, six sigma & lean manufacturing

Mar 26, 2010

Total Quality Management Characteristics

TQM is a method of quality management involving many levels of different functions, but requiring an integrated cooperation. Characteristics of TQM can be listed as follows:

1. Target:

In TQM, the most important target to achieve is Quality; Quality policy must be set toward customer. Meeting customer's requirements but not trying to reach some quality standards set before. Never stop innovating - never stop perfecting the quality is one of the most important principles of TQM.

2. Scope:

To ensure the quality of service and product, TQM system requires the extending of production process to suppliers and sub-contractors. Normally, the trading of material in production may account for 70% of final product cost (depend on types of product). Therefore, to ensure the quality of the input material, it is necessary to set up specific standards for each type of material to control its quality. It is also necessary to change the method of placing order to make it suitable with the production process.

3. Form:

In stead of controlling the quality of the finished product (after production), TQM sets up plans and programs to supervise and prevent problems right before the production process. Statistical tools are used to supervise, quantitatively analyze the results as well as factors affecting the quality, consider the reasons and take appropriate prevention methods.

4. Basis of TQM system:

The basis of TQM practice in the company is Human. Talking about quality, people usually think about the product quality. But it is the quality of employees that is the main concern of TQM. Of the three factors of Business, which are hard factor (machines, equipments, money...), Soft factor (methods, secrets, information...) and Human factor, Human is of the first concern to TQM.

The basic principle for implementation of TQM is that the qualification of employees is developed fully and integratedly through training, delegation and assignment.

5. Organization:

TQM system is cross organized and functioned in order to manage, integratedly corporate with different activities of the system and facilitate group working. The implementation of TQM requires the participation of high and middle level managers. A proper organization will help duties to be assigned clearly. Thus, TQM needs new management model, with different characteristics from the previous model.

6. Management skills and tools:

Methods to implement must be based on the principle "do correctly at the very beginning", in researching and designing to minimize economic cost. Strictly apply DEMMING circle (PDCA) to make foundation for the continuous quality improvement.
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