Characteristics of TQM

by Luke Arthur; Updated September 26, 2017

Total quality management (TQM) is a discipline used to manage a business effectively and efficiently. This approach comes from Japan, and it is commonly used in businesses around the world today. Total quality management is made up of several characteristics, such as customer-driven quality and leadership from top management.

Prevention

Prevention is one of the primary aspects of total quality management. The idea behind this is that it is much more efficient to prevent faulty products than to go back and fix them later. By implementing total quality management in a business, you will need to spend time examining your production process. If you do not produce products, you can prevent problems by spending extra time on the front end and analyzing your business model.

Leadership

Total quality management depends on positive leadership from upper management. Total quality management is a discipline that only works when the entire company embraces it. This means that upper management in the company has to embody the principles of total quality management if they want it to work. Leading by example is one of the key components of total quality management. For example, if you want your employees to avoid making personal phone calls, you need to do the same. Managers cannot expect employees to follow rules that they are not willing to follow themselves.

Customer Satisfaction

Another important aspect of total quality management is customer satisfaction. Every activity that a company engages in needs to be with the customer in mind. For this process to work, you have to put the customer first in every aspect of your business. When developing products, you have to look at them through the eyes of your customers. Find out how your products and services can help your customers and then you will ultimately be more successful as a business. Companies that use total quality management regularly check with customers to gauge their satisfaction levels through surveys and other means.

Adaptability

Another key component of total quality management is adaptability. Any business that practices this management discipline has to be able to adapt to the changing market. Every product market changes rapidly, and you have to be able to change your business practices to keep up. If you cannot change your business model proactively while sticking to your core objectives, you will inevitably go out of business. You need to be able to adapt so that you can meet the customer's needs on a regular basis.

About the Author

Luke Arthur has been writing professionally since 2004 on a number of different subjects. In addition to writing informative articles, he published a book, "Modern Day Parables," in 2008. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Missouri State University.

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