As a business owner, you make quality a priority in all aspects of your enterprise. The TQM process, as well as other quality protocols, are well-described in materials available from the American Society for Quality, a national organization dedicated to quality in all phases of business. The US government requires companies with which it does business to comply with the standards prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization.


Customer satisfaction and feedback are the cornerstone and driving force behind a total quality management program. If customers find that your widgets are just a tad undersized, the TQM philosophy dictates you find a way to widen the widget. If they only lasted a little longer or came in different colors, TQM protocols allow you to apply fact-based customer responses to building a better product for a greater profit


The International Organization for Standards develops standards worldwide. Its name is not an acronym; rather it’s a contraction of isos, the Greek word meaning “equal,” chosen by its founders because the organization’s goal is to provide equal standards on which to base management standards, practices and procedures. Each standard has a number, preceded by the organization’s name. Examples include ISO 9000, which deals with quality management; ISO 22000, the standards for food safety management; and ISO 50001 -- the standard for energy management.


The greatest difference between TQM and ISO is that one is a method, while the other is an international organization. Some organizations say they are ISO-Certified."This means that a representative of a third-party inspection service has examined the policies and processes used by the firm and found the business to comply with the ISO standards that apply. For example, the standard ISO 9001:2008 published by the ISO includes references to the total quality management method. The standard relates to quality management systems used in the automotive industry.

Quality Resources

Savvy business owners know that quality can mean more profits, so you implement a quality management program. Other organizations, such as the Lean Enterprise Institute, offer materials and information that you may find beneficial.