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Total Quality Management Paper

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Total Quality Management Paper

Producing a quality product, whether a tangible item or a service, is the goal of all organizations, how this goal is achieved will be the challenge. Quality of the end product has been an obstacle in America for decades. In the post World War II era as production of products in America rose, the quality of those products diminished. At the same time other countries such as Japan were not experiencing the same quality issues.

The secret to successful quality control was in the method of product management the Japanese were using. The Japanese organizations used an approach, which motivated all employees and organizational functions to provide a consistently high quality product. America took some time in developing the same dedication to quality control. The slow response of American businesses was due to the initial excuse making phase, and the inability to clearly define what Total Quality Management (TQM) meant.

Until 1990 there was not a clear definition of what Total Quality Management (TQM) truly meant. In an effort to provide a single definition that would include the entire process of TQM the SEMATECH (Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Consortium), developed a definition that cannot be challenged. The definition is represented as, "Total Quality Management is a business management methodology that aligns the activities of all employees in an organization with the common focus of customer satisfaction through continuous improvement in the quality of all activities, goods, and services", (Burrill & Ledolter, 1999).

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) has established another definition of TQM as a "term first coined by the Naval Air Command to describe the Japanese style of management to quality improvement" (AQS, 2006). A simplistic view of TQM is, "a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction, based upon the participation of all members of an organization in improving processes, products, services, and the culture in which they work", (AQS, 2006). Both of these definitions clearly demonstrate the philosophy behind TQM as a dedication and alignment of all resources of an organization to producing a high quality product, which will represent the business.

The introduction of the Internet has broadened the horizon of commerce. Several countries now compete for the same consumers and a larger portion of the market. Should an organization aim to compete in the given product market, a high standard for quality will need to be the primary focus. Consumers are looking for quality in the products they purchase, therefore should the quality decline they will begin looking for a provider with the quality of product desired. As the quality of products improve, each organization will have to step up their own quality control measures in order to remain competitive in the global market. Some organizations may find the expense of instituting TQM measures too high. Compromising quality of the product could definitely put the product at a disadvantage when compared to products from other organizations and countries.

As manufacturing progressed through the decades there was a shift in quality control. Originally the individual producing the product established the quality of a product. Usually the individual was the creator or the patent holder of the product. As demand for the product increased, so did the need to speed the production of the product. With the increased production of the item, organizations established productions lines with supervisors overseeing the production and quality of the product. Often in this scenario the quality of the product was compromised as a result of too many products to inspect, poor materials, job boredom, and poor quality of work by individual employees.

Quality Focused Management is the development of a process involving the entire organization toward the production of a high quality product. The focus upon producing a quality product begins



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