What is TQM Concept in Japan?
TQM, also known as Total Quality
(TQC), is a management tool for improving total
TQC means organized
involving everyone in a company – managers and workers – in a totally
systemic and integrated effort toward improving performance at every level.
It is to lead to increased
customer satisfaction through satisfying such
corporate cross-functional goals as quality, cost, scheduling, manpower
development, and new product development.
In Japan, TQC activities are not limited to quality control
only. Elaborate system of Kaizen strategies has been developed as management
tools within the TQC approach. TQC in Kaizen is a movement aimed at
improvement of managerial performance at all levels.
According to the Japan Industrial
Standards, "implementing quality control effectively necessitates the
cooperation of all people in the company, including top management,
managers, supervisors, and workers in all areas of corporate activities such
as market research and development, product planning, design, preparation
for production, purchasing, vendor management, manufacturing, inspection,
sales and after-sale services, as well as financial control, personnel
administration, and training & education. Quality control carried out in this manner
is called company-wide quality control or total quality control (TQC)."
Quality control in Japan deals with quality of
people. It is the fundamental concept of the Kaizen-style TQC. Building
quality into its people brings a company a half-way towards producing
Successful Implementation of Kaizen: 7
of the most difficult aspects of introducing and implementing
strategy is assuring its continuity.
When a company introduces something new,
total quality management (TQM), it experiences some initial success,
but soon such success disappear like fireworks on summer night and after
a while nothing is left, and management keeps looking for a new flavor
of the month.
This if because the company lacks the first
most important conditions
for the successful introduction and implementation of Kaizen strategy...
Quick and Easy Kaizen
Easy Kaizen (or Mini-Kaizen)
helps eliminate or reduce wastes, promotes personal growth of employees and
the company, provides guidance for employees, and serves as a barometer of
may be small, but the cumulative effect is
The quick and easy kaizen process works as
The employee notices a problem or an
opportunity for improvement...
Canon plants, the foremen are
told to set aside the half-hour as
Kaizen time – time to do nothing but thinking improvement in the
workshop. The foremen use this period to identify problems and work
on Kaizen programs. Factories are advised not to hold meetings
during this 30-minute period, and foremen should not even answer the
14 TQM Slogans at Pentel
Pentel is a Japanese firm manufacturing stationary
products. The following is a list of 14 Pentel's slogans for
explaining Total Quality Management (TQM) and
Quick and Easy Kaizen philosophy to its employees.
Three Stages of the
1. Encouragement. In the first stage,
management should make every effort to help the workers provide suggestions,
no matter how primitive, for the betterment of the worker's job and the
workshop. This will help the workers look at the way they are doing their
As a natural follow-up to the concept of
building quality into people, TQC starts with education and training of
managers and workers. The major aim of these awareness and training programs
is to implant TQC thinking in all employees.
TQC education and training is a continuous
process. Separate courses for different organizational levels are organized
to reach everyone in the company.
Case in Point
Principles of Toyota Production System
Production System (TPS)
Quality at the Source:
To eliminate product defects, they must
be discovered and corrected as soon as possible. Since workers
are at the best position to discover a defect and to immediately fix
it, they are assigned this responsibility. If a defect cannot be
readily fixed, any worker can halt the entire line by pulling a cord
Quality Control Circles
To involve employees in
productivity and efficiency
improvement activities, a
team-based environment must be developed in which they can participate
actively in improving their process, product, or service performance. One
such employee participation program is quality control circles (QCCs).
QC-circle activities are usually directed
towards improvements in the workplace. They focus on such areas as:
8 Rules for Quality Management
Case in Point
Production System (CPS)
Canon Production System (CPS) includes:
Staff participation (quality circles,
suggestion boxes, improvement
proposals), and workshop dynamism...
Survey by NPC, Malaysia
A recent survey on
quality control circles (QCCs) by
the National Productivity Corporation (NPC) of Malaysia revealed that the
majority of the respondents were from the manufacturing (42.0%) and service
(31.0%) sectors. Most of the projects undertaken were related to members'
own workplaces, work processes, service delivery, and product development.
The vast majority (95.1%) of the respondents said that QCC activities had
helped reduce operational costs, with savings reported ranging from
US$125.00 to US$2 million, with the median of US$50,000.
In 2004, the NPC launched the Innovative and
Creative Circle (ICC) Program, which expanded the QCC approach to focus on
innovation. It aims at promoting
innovation for value creation, and cost optimization. 1