Categories: auditsPublished On: August 18th, 2020
Total Quality Management

What is Total Quality Management?

What does that mean, Total Quality Management? The essence of TQM is to ‘do business activities right the first time’. By eliminating possible errors, you can work more efficiently as a company and save costs. Total Quality Management originated in 1954 in the industrial sector in Japan, but it can be applied within any organization.

‘Total’ emphasizes that the entire organization is involved. Each department is expected to make proposals for improvement for their own processes.

Traditional quality management vs. Total Quality Management

TQM puts quality in a broader perspective than we are used to from the more ‘traditional’ quality management, which is often the responsibility of one department. Traditionally, quality measurements and audits are performed periodically, the results of which are determined by the criteria of the measurement.

Total Quality Management involves the entire organization in improving quality and is much more focused on the customer. It continuously tests whether the customer notices the effect of the measures that have been implemented. Here we see many similarities with Experience Management.

The Similarities Between Total Quality Management and Experience Management

At TQM we see many similarities with Experience Management, which has placed traditional customer satisfaction research in a broader context. Where Total Quality Management looks broader than just quality, XM looks broader than just customer satisfaction. Both principles are aimed at continuous improvement based on insights and data, whereby the end goal is always the customer.

Implement Total Quality Management

What is required for the implementation of Total Quality Management? Based on the above introduction, we can define three conditions for a successful TQM trajectory:

  • TQM is data driven
  • TQM is a continuous process
  • TQM requires customer feedback

Let’s look at these three points separately.

1. TQM is data driven

Consistent input
To be able to make data-driven decisions, consistent input is essential. This means that every quality measurement must be completed in exactly the same way. You can only achieve that if you digitize all measurements. Filling in manually or using Excel is very error-prone and also takes a lot of time. Digitizing audits and checks is a precondition for being able to rely on your data.

Combine dates
Another important condition for data-driven Total Quality Management is bringing data together. As a quality manager you have to deal with multiple audits, multiple databases and maybe even multiple