Principa. All Rights Reserved.
Total Quality Management inManufacturing
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a philosophy, not just a process or program. Those who make a sincere effort, adopt it as a wayof making all internal and external relationships work more effectively.Most manufacturers begin thinking about TQM because their customers demand it, or because they are losing market share tocompetitors producing higher quality products at lower cost. Under either of these scenarios, it is necessary to change the company’senvironment, and part of that change might involve the use of TQM. It means educating people in the company and changing the philosophy under which they perform their jobs. One of its key requirements is to get everyone working together to find improvedways to get the work done.
The Problem-Solving Process
TQM is a problem-solving process that everyone in the company follows. For example, Xerox uses a six-step approach:1.Identify the problem. Many companies address symptoms instead ofcauses, and this usually results in a recurrence of the problem.2.Analyze the problem. Gather data and validate the magnitude of the problem. Companies normally have standards to meetand realize they are missing them. They must identify the gap between the standard and what is actually produced and beginto identify reasons the standards are not being met.3.Generate multiple solutions. A common error is to let the strongest personality, the boss, or the “silver bullet consultant,” present the solution, but in reality you must identify multiple solutions and approaches to these problems. Some might befinancially sound but not easily implemented. Some may be technically eloquent but notmanufacturable. By generatingmultiple solutions, you obtain insight into ways to attack the problem.4.Plan the implementation for the solution you settled on. Avoid the difficulty of members not “buying-into” to the solutions.5.Proceed with the implementation.6.Evaluate solutions. The first five steps involve a lot of people, a lot of input, and a lot of analysis, but that isn’t enough. Youshould confirm that you have closed the gap and then you can begin to operate at the standards you have targeted. Whenyou have closed the gap sufficiently or significantly, you will start the whole cycle again.Most organizations that implement TQM use a common problem-solving process such as we have just described.
The Quality-Improvement Process
TQM requires an extreme customer focus, both external and internal, recognizing that almost everyone in the company serves acustomer, and almost everyone is someone else’s customer. No oneworks in a vacuum.The quality-improvement process starts with identifying the customers (internal and external) and what their requirements are asopposed to what you think you are doing for them, and translating those customer requirements into supplier specifications. Thisis anarea that frequently should involve the marketing department, sales organization, and other functional units. It is essential toreally getto know the internal and external customers and their requirements. When you have translated those requirements into supplier specifications in the language of manufacturing, you can examinethe steps in your work process and determine what you are actuallydelivering to the internal or external customer. Inspection of the work product should take place during the process not only after completion. Success requires the selection of some measurements “in process” to determine if they are affecting the product qualityand the process capability. If you are wise in selecting these measurements, they can later become the control points for your process.