TQM is a process that seeks to improve the quality of services and goods to meet the consumer’s needs. It also entails to the improvement of a product or service that is in conformance to customers’ requirements. TQM involves a long procedure of policies and events that help in its goal attainment. These policies may be developed by organizations or can be borrowed from TQM scholars. It is notable that most of these policies keep on relating to founders or scholars in their implementation. Since early 1920 or after the World War I the governmental organizations started adopting total quality management, while offering their services and products to the public or customers, since then total quality management has evolved into more modernized and applicable. Consequently, nowadays every company must meet international standards and quality requirements, while providing services or products (Besterfield & al, 2003).
TQM process has two types of customers, while coming up with the best implementation strategies; these customers include internal and external. Internal customers involve various departments within the organization. For example, if it is a production company, it may involve the procurement department, production department, and packaging, where each department is the customer of another one. Therefore, through TQM each customer is able to learn from previous mistakes and in the process, there is a continued improvement of the product. External customers are customers who purchase products or receive services provided by the firm and must be considered by total quality management.
Total quality management must have tools for gathering information from customers. These tools involve comment cards, questionnaires, or toll free telephone numbers. The gathered information assists total quality management committee to make decisions and provide quality aspects to the products or services. This allows easier improvement to the product and services for customers’ requirements.
For easier accomplishment of TQM, the strategies should be involved. A strategy looks into the way of accomplishing the task involved in meeting quality requirements, and it must incorporate different aspects, such as human resource and TQM programs. It is the obligation of total quality management committee to oversee the implementation of the process. Therefore, with these aspects to achieve, TQM is easier, because it involves a tedious procedure and is long term in nature. Various strategies for TQM implementation include the following: Japanese total quality approach and Benchmarking work in progress approach.
Starting with the Japanese approach, Japan from mid 19th century it has emerged as one of industrious countries in the world, hence with that Japanese were able to come up with total quality management processes. These processes were adopted or learnt by other developing nations and scholars. A good example of such strategies is the kaizen strategy. Kaizen strategy means modification of the entire process or product into a more appealing format to consumers and a process that must run smoothly from the process to the end. Kaizen means elimination of waste, where it includes time materials weight and labor. Kaizen consists of different aspects that make it so effective in the implementation of total quality management. However, such aspects include encouraging learning of workers at all levels of management and incorporating all programs concerning TQM. Creating awareness of their importance is also a quality enhancement allowing modification to meet future adjustments. As a result, it is able to check and control the quality system to conformance on quality. It is clear that whenever these aspects of kaizen strategy are able to discharge implementation strategy; it is time consuming, however. For example, a company like Pentel uses Kaizen strategy in its deals of stationeries production in Japan. In this company, the department concerned with quality has drafted rules and policies ensuring that the quality needed are attained. Every company policy includes competition that is inventible. Companies that will not improve their quality will be edged out of the market. Therefore, Pentel Company drafted rules that were followed by every employee and departments in the organization (Dawson & Company, 2001).
The first rule is about who is a customer, whether he/she is internal or external. Out of this outline, customers were able to check on each other for quality improvement, as well as making adjustments in problematic areas. It is important that problem alertness and acceptability should always be in the mind of employees in order to detect the problem and help them to improve.
When starting implementation, the management should plan and act in the process, avoiding the overriding of objectives or not achieving the desired purpose of quality. Employees should handle the improvement strategy with diligence and proper handling for easier execution.
Quality control management should identify causes and signs that cause default and manage. This creates a continuous process for quality improvement. Implementation should always uphold different stakeholders for it to acquire a smooth strategic end because it allows different ideas to be incorporated within the system. As a result, there is an achievement of the desired goals. Therefore, such stakeholders include experts in the field of quality management. Benchmarking the quality default by facts and not ideas or trials and errors mode allows proper efficient dilution to the problem concerning the quality experienced by the company. As a result, of the kaizen strategy used by Pentel stationers, it acts as a soft total quality management tool because it involves all company employees. Soft approach usually consists of management’s own designed approach and TQM scholars ideologies in the implementation of their own strategies. Pentel stationers have applied soft version of total quality management in their management processes where they have drafted policies that guide the organization to quality management. The major comparison between hard and soft total quality management is that hard version is guided by the international standards of certification that companies and public sectors must abide in provision of their services and products. The soft version is mainly guided by total quality management team with policies and their own policies as well as borrowing from scholars for their own purpose such as marketing competition (Codling, 1998).
The strategy used for hard version is benchmarking and is worth progress approach. Benchmarking is the process of comparison between two companies, and is considered the best in the industry. It also entails the standards that must be met in performance of the duties concerning the quality management task. The current projects that the company is undertaking are digital controlled and effective use of environmental protection technology. These environmental protection strategies are such as fuel efficiency as well as inelegancy vehicle system in ensuring advanced vehicle safety. Finally, the company is able to predict performance, quality of the car and customers feedback.
The hard version is well explained by Kia motors group that is an automobile manufacture in Asia. They use certification standards in accomplishing the quality management tasks. The workers in this company follow the policy of the look and learn .In the process they are able to pass on the technical knowhow to other workers in the overseas companies. It’s clear that in the process of ensuring hard version total quality management the company emphasizes on team work. There is also zero defects and awareness o quality assurance policies among the workers. The KIA motors workers are provided with an opportunity of ensuring that the take the responsibility of more outcome. This is a reflection of the workers pride in their work as well as quality assurance. It’ is also clear in order to ensure quality four steps among the workers are followed, these includes plan, do, check and action.
KIA motors ensure that it maintains a customer oriented quality control system. This is a situation where customer’s needs as well as feedbacks are received back into the production process. This ensures that there is achievement of a zero defect benchmark.KIA motors has also ventured a lot in research and development that helps the company have a long run perspective.
International standards, rules, and guidelines laid down for companies providing services and products to abide by them when producing the final product. These certification rules became commonly used in companies. Therefore, in order to adopt the certification a company must abide with the market of its product, hence, Kia motors have abided with these standards in their vehicle manufacturing process. Certifications like these include quality management protocols and audit sheets that must be attached to every product when moving from one customer to another through the automobiles manufacture. The above strategy is a hard version of total quality management that entails abiding to international standards laid down globally, but in recent approach of hard and soft ways of total quality, management is still in progress (Lansbury, 2004).