Earlier this year, there was a lot of interest in our webinar about digitizing quality management. In this blog post you will find a summary, which will tell you all about Total Quality Management, the similarities with Experience Management and the conditions for a successful implementation.
What is Total Quality Management?
What does it mean, Total Quality Management? The essence of TQM is to ‘get things right' the first time. By eliminating all possible errors, you can work more efficiently as a company and save costs. Total Quality Management originated in 1954 in the Japanese manufacturing industry, 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 processes.
Total Quality Management
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a organization-wide management stream that aims to continuously improve business processes based on data. The ultimate goal is to foster customer loyalty and it requires consistent feedback from employees and customers.
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, whereby results 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 checks whether your customer experiences the effect of the effort you put into quality. Because of that, it has many similarities with Experience Management.
The similarities between Total Quality Management and Experience Management
We can see that TQM has many similarities with Experience Management, which has placed the traditional customer satisfaction research in a broader context. Where Total Quality Management has a broader view than just quality, XM has a broader scope than just customer satisfaction. Both principles are aimed at continuous improvement based on insights and data, whereby the end goal is always the customer.
Implementing Total Quality Management
What is needed for the implementation of Total Quality Management? Based on the above introduction, we can define three conditions for a successful TQM process:
- TQM is data-driven
- TQM is a continuous process
- TQM requires customer feedback
Let's take a look at these three points individually.
1. TQM is data-driven
To make data-driven decisions consistent input is essential. This means that every quality measurement must be completed the same. You can only achieve this if you digitize all measurements. Entering data 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.
Another important condition for data-driven Total Quality Management is combining data. As a quality manager, you are responsible for multiple audits, multiple databases, and perhaps even multiple locations. And, you want to be able to compare the results of all measurements across all locations, without having to fill in the background variables, such as location data, for each audit. By combining data from different sources, you can automatically link background variables to the results of every (new) audit. And when these change, they are automatically adjusted everywhere.
2. Total Quality Management is a continuous process
To be able to implement quality improvements continuously, it is not only important to continuously collect insights, but also to report relevant insights. Relevant means: information that is interesting at that moment. This could be an overview of aggregated results, but it could also be an individual report per location or focus area. And if a measurement is taken today, you don’t want to wait until tomorrow for the results. Real-time is another requirement.
Are measurements deviating from the standard? Then as a responsible person, you would want to know about this immediately. Activate the organization by automatically creating a task and assigning it to the right person or send out trigger emails.
3. TQM requires customer feedback
As mentioned above, the ultimate goal of Total Quality Management is to promote customer loyalty. A distinction is made between two types of customers:
- External customers: End customers who experience the end result of the quality system
- Internal customers: Employees who have to work with the quality system in order to deliver the end result
Total Quality Management requires cooperation with the HR department for employee feedback and Marketing (or in larger organizations, Customer Experience) for customer feedback. Both customers and employees provide very valuable information for your quality system.
How CYS can help
It doesn't matter whether you are responsible for Total Quality Management or Experience Management. In the end, the goal is the same: happy customers and employees. Wouldn't it be great if you had one environment where all three areas (Voice of Business, Voice of Customer, and Voice of Employee) come together? In this way, you can see at a glance to what extent your quality improvements influence (internal) customer satisfaction.
The CYS software is such a system. Of course, you can start small with one project, for example digitizing your quality measurements, and expand from there. Moreover, the software offers the possibility to collect feedback from customers and employees and to combine this with your quality measurements and ultimately allows you to visualize the data.
Want to know more about CYS? Schedule a 30-minute demo, without any obligation.
Total Quality Management (TQM) puts quality in a broader perspective than we are used to from more 'traditional' quality management, which is often the responsibility of one department. TQM involves the entire organization in improving quality and is much more focused on the customer. A successful TQM system is data-driven, a continuous process and requires feedback from customers.