Total Quality Management (TQM) is the continual process of detecting and reducing or eliminating errors in manufacturing, streamlining supply chain management, improving the customer experience, and ensuring that employees are up to speed with training. Total quality management aims to hold all parties involved in the production process accountable for the overall quality of the final product or service. (Investopedia)

BusinessDictionary lists the key principles of TQM as derived from the ISO 9001:2000 standard and they are:

      1. Customer focus: Management should understand (and anticipate) the customers’ needs and requirements, and strive to exceed customer expectations in meeting them
      2. Leadership: Management should establish unity of purpose and direction, and create and maintain an environment in which everyone can participate in achieving the organization’s objectives
      3. Involvement of people: Management should involve all people at all levels so that they willingly contribute their abilities in achieving the organization’s goals
      4. Process approach: Management should recognize that an objective is achieved more efficiently when activities and associated resources are managed together as a process
      5. Systems approach: Management should recognize that identifying and understanding interrelated processes, and managing them as a system, is more efficient and effective in achieving the organization’s objectives
      6. Continual improvement: Management should aim at steady, incremental improvement in the organization’s overall performance as a permanent objective
      7. Factual approach to decision making: Management should base its decisions solely on the analysis of data and information
      8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships: Management should enhance the interdependent relationship with its suppliers for mutual benefit and in creation of value

According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 9001:2000 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable regulatory requirements, and aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable regulatory requirements.

Implementing TQM will require commitment from employees, quality improvement culture, continuous improvement in process, co-operation from employees, focus on customer requirements, and effective control clearly laid out for employees to follow. TQM, Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma, PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act), and Agile are effective tools to enhance quality of products as well as services.

American Society for Quality (ASQ) is a global organization very much like PMI that provides professional training, certifications, and knowledgebase to members. ASQ in a blog titled What is Total Quality Management (TQM)? lists TQM benefits and advantages as follow:

      • Strengthened competitive position
      • Adaptability to changing or emerging market conditions and to environmental and other government regulations
      • Higher productivity
      • Enhanced market image
      • Elimination of defects and waste
      • Reduced costs and better cost management
      • Higher profitability
      • Improved customer focus and satisfaction
      • Increased customer loyalty and retention
      • Increased job security
      • Improved employee morale
      • Enhanced shareholder and stakeholder value
      • Improved and innovative processes

Celia Friedman and Gregory Kochersperger at Oliver Wyman, a global consulting firm putout an informative post titled How Continuous Improvement Methods Contribute To Procurement. The key focus is “to develop a lean mindset in procurement, organizations must align the function with broader, company-wide strategies.” Furthermore, they state that the goal is to optimize productivity by limiting waste and the key factors are as follow:

      • Segmenting
      • Focusing
      • Differentiating
      • Training
      • Motivating
      • Tooling

Inline with TQM, the Oxford College of Procurement & Supply posted A Broader Look At The Five Rights of Procurement. Procurement objectives and analysis of the procurement function are normally set against the five rights of procurement. The five rights of procurement are:

      • Quality – greater need for TQM to promote the theory that quality should permeate every area of an organization and its supply chain
      • Quantity – buyer should buy the right quantity of product or service
      • Price – competitive pricing
      • Place – goods and services being delivered to the right place
      • Time – no longer wait to consider the time of delivery as the only aspect of time that needs to be considered therefore, time and money are often considered together

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