toFromExcellenceQualityIntroductionTQM is theway of managing for the future, and is far wider in its application than just assuring product orservice quality – it is a way of managing people and business processes to ensure complete customersatisfaction at every stage, internally and externally. TQM, combined with effective leadership, results in anorganisation doing the right things right, first time.The core of TQM is the customer-supplierinterfaces, both externally and internally, and at each interfacelie a number of processes. This core must be surrounded by commitmentto quality, communicationofthe quality message, and recognition of the need to change the cultureof the organisation to create totalquality. These are the foundations of TQM, and they are supported by the key management functions ofpeople, processesand systemsin the organisation. This section discusses each of these elements that, together, can make a total quality organisation. Othersections explain people, processes and systems in greater detail, all having the essential themes ofcommitment, culture and communication running through them. Total Quality Management (TQM)CustomerSupplierCultureCommitmentCommunicationSystemsPeopleProcessespage 1 of 5
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toFromExcellenceQualityWhat is quality?A frequently used definition of quality is “Delighting the customer by fully meeting their needs andexpectations”. These may include performance, appearance, availability, delivery, reliability, maintainability,cost effectiveness and price. It is, therefore, imperative that the organisation knows what these needs andexpectations are. In addition, having identified them, the organisation must understand them, and measureits own ability to meet them.Quality starts with market research – to establish the true requirements for the product or service and thetrue needs of the customers. However, for an organisation to be really effective, quality must span allfunctions, all people, all departments and all activities and be a common language for improvement. Thecooperation of everyone at every interface is necessary to achieve a total quality organisation, in the sameway that the Japanese achieve this with company wide quality control.Customers and suppliersThere exists in each department, each office, each home, a series of customers, suppliers and customer-supplier interfaces. These are “the quality chains”, and they can be broken at any point by one person orone piece of equipment not meeting the requirements of the customer, internal or external. The failureusually finds its way to the interface between the organisation and its external customer, or in the worstcase, actually to the external customer.
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