Total Quality Management
Quality is a customer issue. It arises because customers require products and services, which not only meet their performance requirements but are satisfac tory in terms of safety, length of working life and pride of ownership. In a manufacturing organization, therefore, the achievement of quality standards is not restricted to the production departments. It extends to all parts of the business from conceptual design to marketing, from order processing and distribution. A quality product is not just a solidly made item dating from the days when 'Made in Britain' distinguished goods from all the inferior products coming out of the emerging industries of the Far East. It is a product which ranks high against all the criteria which sophisticated consumers now use to evaluate the things they buy. If you agree with the argument that a company is much more likely to produce high quality if all departments are motivated to achieve high quality results then you already have a good understanding of the basic principles of Total Quality Management (TQM). But TQM is not a 'quick fix' or a magic cure. It is a management technique designed to involve all parts of the business in the pursuit of, and commitment to, the highest quality result. By involving everyone from the Chief Executive to the most junior employee in the company's objectives, in a way which means something in their particular job, the company is well on the way to achieving the best results its workforce can achieve.