Total Quality Management Cartoon
Total Quality Management, or TQM, has been around on a widespread basis for more than 40 years now and is perhaps the most commonly cited philosophy or program-focused approach for overall business or what is sometimes also called process improvement. As a philosophy, TQM has survived the test of time by focusing heavily on the needs and expectations of the internal and external customer, and then worked backwards to make sure that a given organization is doing everything it can to properly meet those customer needs.
This whole concept of “better meeting customer needs” might include greater product/service innovation, superior marketing and sales effort, improved support for the customer, more efficient delivery systems or more effective payment methods. However, whatever the area of focus, the aim is to drive a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization and to optimize all processes as much as possible (from a cost, efficiency and effectiveness perspective).
In a general sense, Total Quality Management (TQM) can ultimately be seen as a continuously evolved management system, consisting of values, methodologies and tools. The aim of the system is to increase external and internal satisfaction with a reduced amount of resources. This is mainly achieved by redesigning tasks and processes so that they can deliver consistent results in the most optimal way.