According to reports larger organisations still look to TQM for the best business model

Actually top executives at ford say tqm was a light

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Actually, top executives at Ford say TQM was a “light-bulb” idea from Henry Ford who improved on his assembly line practices to manufacture even more vehicles, while keeping quality levels high. With their entrance into the Six Sigma methodology, the slogan has changed again at Ford—“We’ve got a better idea!” Image Credit ( Wikimedia Commons ) All of these organizations are companies that benefited from TQM. Although some may have moved on to practices such as the 5S Methodology and Six Sigma and even Lean Six Sigma , quality products was the goal for all three of these giants; and by using TQM, they were indeed successful. Companies use kaizen to improve It used to take 34 steps to open a checking account at Great Western Bank. Now, it's down to 24 steps. The company pulled apart the process, analyzing each action and evaluating what to change. "There's always a reason why, but when you start to determine which steps the customer cares about, it was amazing how many steps were unnecessary and added to the cost and the time," said Ken Karels, the bank's president CEO. "By improving our process, we provide better service at a lower cost," Karels said. "And it's imperative for us to be a survivor in the financial industry that we do that as quickly as possible." As businesses in many industries try to remain competitive and profitable, they're seeking to streamline operations. Great Western and several others are using a tool called kaizen as a way to improve efficiency. Developed in Japan after World War II, kaizen is the Japanese word to describe the idea of continuous improvement. It involves analyzing business processes and tweaking them to optimize value and productivity. Great Western became involved in it through its parent company, National Australia Bank Ltd., which has used kaizen for several years. "The misnomer about kaizen is that it's about cutting costs," Karels said. "It's about providing better service to our customers." Starting a lean journey Kaizen is considered the building block of lean production methods, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which offers information on it along with overall lean thinking and methods. While the concept started in manufacturing, other industries have embraced it, including health care and the public sector. Consultant Dee Dee Raap said she has noticed an increase in clients asking about continuous improvement. "Kaizen is really about simplicity," she said. "How do you make it simpler to do business with us? Where do we confuse the customer, where do we make the customer duplicate efforts, where are we asking unnecessary questions?" Kaizen is built around teams of employees representing different levels and parts of the organization. The teams work to improve processes and address problems, often by mapping them and identifying waste. The work is done in kaizen events, and the resulting strategies are implemented quickly – often within days of the event.
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