While many organization leaders recognize the importance of quality control, it’s rare that proper measures for that are in place across the entire company. More often than not, quality is only put to a real test towards the end of the production cycle, before the product is delivered to the market. And looking back through history, that rarely leads to good results. On the other hand, running the company in a way that everyone is always striving to produce high quality results can lead to great improvements on every level.
This is where Total Quality Management – or TQM for short – comes in, and the sooner you familiarize yourself with the core principles behind it, the better results you’re going to see in the long run. Implementing TQM in an existing organization is rarely a complicated task, but it does require attention to detail and knowledge of the company’s internal processes on a deep level.
Involving Everyone on an Equal Level
One of the most important things about a successful TQM implementation is that everyone in the company must be equally concerned with the quality of the overall work being done. From the high-level executives, down to every employee on the ground floor, quality control has to be propagated correctly from one level to the next in order to get good results.
How exactly you’re going to go about this depends on the specific structure and style of work of your company, plus its size will be relevant too. Naturally, larger organizations are going to face a bigger challenge in this, but it ultimately comes down to having a well-structured approach and getting everyone involved in the implementation of TQM.
Prioritizing Customer Satisfaction
Considering that TQM is a results-driven approach, it makes sense that the strongest criteria in determining the success of its implementation should be customer satisfaction. Indeed, every organization that implements TQM should prioritize their ability to meet the current demands of the market, and align all of their work with that goal.
This may sound trivial, but a surprising number of companies seem to realize the importance of this factor all too late. When too much work goes into the initial setup of the company and working on tasks that ultimately don’t improve the quality of the final output, the company finds itself starved of the resources that it needs to fulfill its primary goal. And by the time this happens, and the leadership realizes that they need to re-prioritize, it’s often too late to change its course in such a major way and everyone ends up affected negatively.
Adapting to Change
The biggest change that will occur from one period to the next is the current set of demands of the market as a whole. A successful implementation of TQM should include a control structure for verifying that the current goals of the company are properly aligned. In other words, if your customers want something different this year, your company shouldn’t be pursuing the same goals as in the last one, and you should reevaluate your current direction.
Again, the exact implementation of this idea is highly dependent on the company and the way it works, but every industry seems to have a somewhat standardized way of evaluating its current market conditions and determining the main requirements of its customers. Figure out what the applicable measurement points are for your specific field, and build your system according to that. You may need to tweak it a little of course, but those needs will present themselves along the way.
Implementing TQM in your organization can lead to huge benefits in the long run, and if you’re also able to evaluate the current market condition accurately, you’re pretty much all set in terms of ensuring that you’re always pursuing the right goals. Considering the relatively low complexity of implementing TQM, it makes no sense to go on for too long without having it as a major part of your company’s infrastructure and style of work.