Total Quality Management (TQM) Survey Paper

Total Quality Management (TQM) Survey Paper

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Total Quality Management (TQM) Survey Paper

Total Quality Management (TQM) is seen as the "fix-all" for any company suffering problems with providing quality products or services to their customers. TQM is a system that focuses on the problems at hand and addresses them through employee education and training. It is a long-term solution to the company's problems of low performance. Management is trained to prevent errors before they even occur thus allowing a quality product to be created and sold to the customer. Six Sigma is a way to measure this quality performance and it is used by many companies today as a guidepost. Several sectors of the business world employ TQM to enhance their company's performance and to remain competitive in today's marketplace.
The manufacturing sector is made up of companies "engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products" (Monnot, 2004). Anything that is transformed from random parts into a usable product for the consumer is considered a manufactured product. Wausau Windows is an example of an organization that is a member of the manufacturing business sector. Wausau Windows' main goal is produce quality windows and accompanying products that satisfy their customer's needs. "For more than 45 years, the company and its extended team of manufacturers have worked with architects, building owners, and contractors to design custom windows and wall systems for customers" (Monnot, 2004). Wausau Windows handles everything from the initial design to installation and quality is the key to their success.
Wausau Windows is committed to superior customer service and their achievement is shown in their financial success. They have been able to improve their manufacturing capabilities over the years to remain competitive and provide the quality products that their customers desire. They listen closely to the voice of their customers and try to anticipate their needs. Their efforts focus on achieving better quality at a lower cost. "TQM and Six Sigma provide them with a process that uses fact based analytical tools and methodologies to prevent defects and eliminate unnecessary excess in products, processes, and services. This further reduces cycle times and helps them manage costs, which ultimately allows them to generate a greater value for their customers" (Monnot, 2004).
TQM and Six Sigma have also allowed the contribution of all employees from management on down to machine operators. It is team work that is the key to success and TQM promotes this company wide.

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Employee involvement is also the key to the implementation of new ideas. "Using simple Six Sigma tools promotes out of the box thinking and aids in shifting toward continuous improvement. More project ideas are being generated and more employees are becoming involved on project teams and more tools are being used on everyday jobs to improve all processes" (Monnot, 2004). Leadership is at an all time high as more employees volunteer their services to improve the overall quality of products and services and become yellow, green and black belts in the Six Sigma process. Employees continue to train so they too can lead their own smaller scale projects and promote their knowledge in their specialized area of the company. Continuous improvement is seen at Wausau Windows as leadership roles shift and advance to meet new challenges. The company could not be happier with the change that has occurred with the implementation of TQM and Six Sigma and they look forward to exciting advancements in the future.
The service sector in the world of business is also involved with Total Quality Management. Salt River Project (SRP) is a major water and electric utility serving almost a million customers in Arizona. As competition increases, SRP must offer better service and better power quality to their customers, so they expanded their way of servicing clients by enforcing strict quality control measures. "As their system expands, power quality indices become increasingly accurate and SRP uses the data to address issues that reduce power quality, improve service levels, and raise customer satisfaction levels" (Power Measurement, 2006). Even though many customers may not see a clear distinction between SRP's power quality and that of other power companies with SRP's innovative approach to monitoring and managing power, customers are receiving some of the best power quality available on the market today. If they were to move to another state or were serviced by a new company in the future, they would most definitely realize the lengths SRP achieves to provide maximum service.
Leadership is an important aspect of TQM at SRP as well. When their reliability indices could not explain certain customer satisfaction findings, SRP realized that power quality is unique, and must be dealt with differently for different clients. "They wanted to implement a system that would better meet the needs of their PQ-sensitive customers. They recognized that without accurate data to track the impact of voltage sag events, system improvements cannot be justified, customer damage claims cannot be substantiated, and the trending of power quality levels over time cannot be accomplished" (Power Measurement, 2006). To solve this issue, SRP leaders created new programs to measure indices at key sites, with the goal of obtaining a system-wide monitoring coverage and producing a set of system-wide indices that could be used to effectively measure the quality standards. SRP is using this data to identify and repair conditions within its company networks that have a negative impact on power quality, improving its quality service levels to key customers and raising its customer satisfaction levels.
Total Quality Management can also be seen in the nonprofit sector of the business world. The Kyrene School District is a nonprofit school district that is funded by the state of Arizona for the purpose of providing a public education to its communities surrounding the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Kyrene School District recognizes that the quality of teachers and the programs that they teach are what attract people to their communities and their school district. "Kyrene continues its focus on attracting, developing and retaining top-notch teachers. Deplorably, the State of Arizona ranks second to last nationally in per pupil funding for public education. As a result, Kyrene has found it increasingly difficult to provide competitive compensation and benefits to employees as well as provide quality programs and services that the Kyrene Community has come to expect" (KSD, 2003).
Total Quality Management is a new term and system of management for the Kyrene School District. By using the tools that this system employs, Kyrene will be able to raise the bar and climb out of 50th place on the ranking scale of state school districts from around the country. "The tools and conditions necessary for students to achieve academic standards and to demonstrate proficiency on state assessments of those standards is the presence at all times of a highly qualified teacher in every classroom" (KSD, 2003). The Kyrene School District is extremely committed to teacher quality strategies that will lead to student success. TQM also requires the commitment and contributions of all employees within the district including those outside of the teaching realm.
Leadership is a big part of education. It is from innovative instructors and leaders that success emerges in the classroom. Students are given the ability to take something away with them to their next level of education and use it to expand their horizons. Leaders in schools promote quality within education. Leaders also promote high academic achievement which is a good indicator of a quality education. Innovative leadership can successfully change improve the quality of schools and the education that they provide to their community.
Sectors Strategic Role of
TQM Qualities of Customer
Satisfaction Leadership Qualities
Manufacturing Six Sigma Repeat business and Promotion to others Yellow, Green and Black belts
Service Quality indicators and control measures Continued support and use of the company
Taking care of high maintenance customers
Nonprofit Quality indicators
Testing for students Community commitment to education at district Highly qualified and educated teachers
Although Total Quality Management is seen as the "fix-all" for any company suffering problems with providing quality products or services to their customers, it has yet to be actively practiced by many companies in the service or nonprofit business sectors. There are attempts at providing TQM within each sector but each has its own methods of quality control and leadership capabilities that lead to their ultimate success as an organization. "Total Quality Management is an approach that motivates, supports, and enables quality management in all activities of the organization, focusing on the needs and expectations of internal and external customers" (Lahman, 2006). It contains tools that can be applied to every organization and it can be a long term solution to a company's problems of low performance helping them jump any hurdle the public may place in their path.

References:
Kyrene School District. (2003). District Contract Negotiations Converge on Teacher
Quality, Retrieved June 11, 2006 from www.kyrene.org/ksdnews/2003
Lahman. (2006). BP Glossary, Retrieved June 11, 2006 from
www.searchcio.techtarget.com
Monnot, L. (2004). Small Business: Simple Tools Complicated, Retrieved June 11, 2006
from www.airacad.com/Doc/Simple%20Tools%20
Power Measurement. (1992-2006). Salt River Project Expands Its Power Quality Program, Retrieved June 11, 2006 from www.pwrm.com/solutions/case_studies/salt_river
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