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Total Quality Management (TQM): How does it help businesses?

According to Myra Golden: “If the customer gets their needs met, the company is easy to do business with, and the customer enjoys the experience, the customer is likely to be loyal. Not only are they loyal, but they are likely to share their experience with a friend, colleague, or family member.”

When it comes to businesses, customer experience is key and so is the quality of a company’s product. So how do you create a system that includes these key elements and more? Total Quality Management (TQM) is a great way to create an all-inclusive system. This article would explain what TQM is and how it benefits businesses. First off, what is quality?

What is Quality?

Quality is simply the entirety of components and attributes of a service or product that contributes to its ability to satisfy given needs.

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Quality separates a product from that of its competitors. Brand marketers emphasize the quality of their products over quantity and over that of their competitors. This explains why a customer would patronize you, even when your competitors offer the same product. The quality of a brand sets it apart from the rest.

That being said, let’s take a look at TQM and what entails.

What is TQM?

TQM means total quality management. It is the continual process of ensuring customer satisfaction and improving the experience by the management and employees of an organization. It is a structured management system that ensures all teams, departments are trained and involved in the process of creating a customer-oriented business through research and feedback.

A business that expects consumer or customer loyalty has to give something extra in return. TQM provides a premise to give that “extra” service.

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Principles of TQM

Like every management model, there are principles that guide Total Quality Management, they are:

  • Customer focus: A company’s customers are the ultimate determinants of the quality level of their products. A company can do its best to enhance quality improvement, by either training its employees or even updating and upgrading its computers and software. The customer’s satisfaction determines if the effort was worth it.
  • Employee Involvement: Teamwork makes the dream work. To contribute to the goals of a company, every employee must be committed to the “course”. How does a company achieve this? By creating the right workplace atmosphere and empowering their employees. An example of empowerment is creating self-managed work teams.
  • Centralized on Process: A process refers to actions or steps taken to achieve an expected end. To achieve a goal the actions and steps required are defined and measured against specific metrics, which are constantly monitored in order to detect unpredicted variations or deviations.
  • System Integration: This could be a bespoke set of laws or codes that all departments have to abide by. If a bespoke system is not possible, you could use a system based on a standard such as the ISO 9001. Having a standard ensures effective management.
  • Strategic and Systematic approach: This approach includes formulating a blueprint that incorporates quality as a fundamental ingredient. Hence, to achieve set out goals, visions and missions of an organisation, strategic planning is key.
  • Communication: Adjustments or changes would surface in an organisation. At times like this it is very important that employees are aware of these changes, the timelines or reasons for the change. Communicating effectively plays a huge role in preserving employee morale and motivating employees at all levels in an organisation.
  • Decisions based on facts: Data showing performance are vital metrics that help an organisation make decisions. This data provides facts that ensure proper decision making.
  • Continuous Improvement: The foundation of TQM is continuous improvement. Continous improvement births innovation and creativity, it drives an organisation to be better and more effective thus meeting or exceeding the expectation of their stakeholders.

These are the principles of total quality management and as seen each plays a role in the total output of the organization.

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Benefits of TQM

Some of the benefits of total quality management include:

  • It enables the organisation to adapt to changes that emerge in the business market.
  • It brings about high productivity and profitability.
  • It ensures customer focus and satisfaction.
  • It ensures customer loyalty and retention.
  • It boosts employee morale, motivating to stick with a system that works.
  • It boosts the confidence of stakeholders and shareholders in their investment.
  • It creates a better understanding of market trends, thus giving organisations a competitive edge.

Remember that one satisfied customer can bring ten customers to your product but one disappointed customer can cause your business to shut down as he spreads bad words thus chasing potential customers away. Invest in a TQM that sets your business apart from the competition and makes your clients loyal customers.

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