Why are the Principles of TQM (total quality management) Important in the Efficient Running of an Organisation?
Organizational behavior and management theorists are sometimes accused of creating ideas that have no place in the real world. There readily dismissed by many decision-makers as being academic puff pieces that are useless because they are almost impossible to implement. Skepticism is understandable, but not everything developed is worthless. Total Quality Management, TQM, has a basis in efficiency that an organization cannot ignore.
The Fundamentals of TQM
The precepts of TQM are really not difficult to understand. To be effective in the working world an organization has to please the customer, satisfy its suppliers, and always seek to find ways of improving how business is done.
The customer is not necessarily on the outside. Internal customers can be any person who has influence over merit raises. An employee is therefore servicing an internal customer, i.e. his or her manager, by providing work to achieve performance goals objectives. Within the organization there is a progression of internal customers until the final product is submitted to the marketplace. Ultimately, every person has responsibility to provide the very best for the outside buyer. The supplier is also internal and external. The internal suppliers are employees that a manager supervises, and that decision-maker must see to it that the staff receives proper instructions and what is necessary to complete jobs. The external supplier receives service by getting clear instructions on what is necessary, and being paid promptly. The continuous improvement aspect of TQM is to always look for ways in which what is being done can be done better.
Looking at the Focus
Many companies concentrate on the external customers in the marketplace alone. TQM asks the organization to also be aware of the internal market place with its customers and suppliers. The bottom line is that if the internal marketplace is running satisfactorily, concentrating on pleasing customers and encouraging suppliers, what finally goes to the outside is that much better. The internal work not only creates high-quality service and products, but the workforce is committed to constantly seeking to improve things. Employees are empowered to make decisions and that can take a burden off of management’s shoulders. Something to keep in mind about TQM is it asks everyone within the organization to work smarter. Using intellectual power to seek improvement can remove a lot of organizational bottlenecks because problems are being reviewed and not ignored.
Small Business Can Benefit
A small business establishment needs a way to grow at the same time deal with competition in the marketplace. These companies have small workforces and limited resources. TQM can benefit a small business by first asking the decision-makers to concentrate on fully identifying external customers. With that information, a small business owner can then create an internal market that is proactive and efficient. Policies and procedures that encourage employee input can help a small company harness intellectual power. It also creates an environment where every single person is committed to satisfy the internal market and consequently the external customers. The continuous improvement required by TQM will make any small business that much more competitive.
Overall, TQM is something that will that fit well in the highly competitive global economy. Developing an organizational culture in which employees are committed to satisfy internal an extra customers, as well as suppliers, is a definite corporate positive. TQM is not something that can be put into place overnight and a lot of coaching and communicating will be required. Once it is up and running, TQM is going to enable the kind of efficiency needed for company to be very successful.