Total Quality Management is a management technique used by managers in the production chain and who deal with the tactical and operational decisions. The TQM is organised from senior management and implemented by supervisors and employees in the production area. TQM is a process whereby the need to get everything right the first time and to continually improve the business production is required. Getting things right first time is important to ensure that the business focuses on the customer.
The advantages of total quality management is that the company benefits by having a dedicated workforce who strive and achieve in improving the production line. The raw materials would have to be inspected by workers and line managers to ensure that the goods are free from defects which eliminates and reduces wastage. This in turn reduces costs. The TQM method also has the advantage by having a more productive and successful workforce strategy also has better motivation and who know what they are doing. The TQM also works by having quality circles of team members and management where their ideas in improving the decision making process is also accomplished. Employees in quality circles are more motivated in the company in that the
TQM also means that product standards such as International standards have to be adhered to. Every aspect of the business is part of the TQM policy. The focus is on the customer in meeting their needs first. Where goods are ordered and distributed the TQM works by co ordinating deliveries of supplies to times when the business needs it most. This process the goods being over ordered or having shortages of stock and therefore the costs of holding excess or holding too much stock is reduced.
The disadvantages of TQM is that it can lead to bureaucracy where ideas are mentioned and end up being rejected or stifled. The delays by having these inspections and process improvements can also take time to see through and also the money needed to implement TQM principles also adds to costs. By focusing too much on the customers, the production based method might have a cheaper and more faster way of doing business and this method is rejected. Some managers and employee groups might be hesitant to change into a TQM based approach if the company is doing well now. Also the benefits of TQM are not guaranteed to be successful simply based on a complete implementation. Customers themselves along with the market will decide upon the success of the company. Also the costs of inspection of processes as well as Research and development projects might be too costly.