- Management structures have to be more consultative and less hierarchical.
- Workers have to be empowered to be able to make decisions at all levels of the organisation.
- Workers have to be trained and involved in the building of the philosophy.
- Communication links between workers and management and between the business and all aspects of the supply chain must be excellent.
- Commitment to TQM must be backed by action, which the customer can see, and experience.
- Commitment to the process must be led by the senior management of the business - paying 'lip service' will invariably end up in failure.
- A policy of zero defects - any problems in the production process are filtered out before they get anywhere near the customer.
- Quality chains - each stage of the production process is seen as being a link in the chain right down to the relationship between one worker in the process and another.
- Quality circles - meetings of those directly involved in the production process to discuss and solve problems and make improvements to the production process.
- Statistical monitoring - the use of data and statistics to monitor and evaluate production processes and quality.
- Consumer feedback - using market research and focus groups to identify consumer needs and experiences and to build these into the process.
- Changing production methods - many businesses, where appropriate, have looked at the layout of their production processes - it could be the move to open plan offices, the development of teams or the use of cell production to improve worker commitment to the philosophy.
- Read this case study relating to a firm attempting to gain accreditation within the ISO 9000 family. .
- In groups, discuss the approach that a business might take to gaining certification. Consider the costs, benefits, obstacles and challenges that might face a business in seeking to gain the standard.
- Produce a short report or presentation outlining your ideas to present to the rest of the group.
- Discuss the different issues raised by each group in the activity. What does this tell you about TQM as a business philosophy?
Related Web sites for research
- ISO Web site
- A simplified TQM diagnostic model from a practitioner in the field
- Excerpts and links to information about TQM
- TQM tutorial and help page
- Quality Management Systems - From BSI Education
- Try to have some type of business in mind - it could be one you have visited or a business that someone works for. Failing that, use a business that everyone is familiar with - for example, a supermarket, take away restaurant and so on.
- When thinking about the approach, consider the way in which the business might introduce the idea to its workforce that they will be seeking certification - will it depend for example on the current commitment to TQM processes already, on the management and organisation structure of the business, on the layout of the business, whether it is a small business or a large multi-national one and so on?
- The case study highlights a number of the issues you will need to think about - try to identify from your reading the key points it makes and think about how this would relate to your business.
- The costs might involve not only the physical and human costs but also the time that will need to be invested. Time is money so they say, will the time spent and the cost of that time be recouped by the benefits that the firm might expect to receive and is their a way of being able to quantify such benefits?
- There are likely to be many challenges, but what are the most significant challenges for the business you are looking at and why? It may be getting the staff on board, it may be the sheer weight of the organisation that will be needed, it could be the cost of getting the resources needed to be able to meet the standard effectively