What is TQM
Concept in Japan?
also known as Total Quality Control (TQC), is a management tool for
improving total performance. TQC means organized
Kaizen activities 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
through satisfying such corporate cross-functional goals as
quality, cost, scheduling, manpower development, and
Areas Targeted by
TQM in Japan
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.
8 Key Elements
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
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 quality products.
With TQM quality is not the product but the
process. To institute the process, corporate trainers must bring about a
cultural transformation wherein all employees shed their individualism
for a unified set of
TQM was the brainchild
Dr. W. Edwards Deming. TQM helped Japan with its postwar economic
recovery. That was because it meshed with
culture. The Japanese
sense of responsibility to one's superiors and subordinates made it easier
to accept Deming's message that management's role was to provide the optimal
conditions for the workers to do the best job. The Japanese then extended
Deming's teaching to many dimensions of management.
Cross-functional management (CFM)
manages business processes across the traditional boundaries of the
functional areas. CFM relates to coordinating and
synergizing the activities of
different units for realizing the superordinate cross-functional goals and
policy deployment. It is concerned with
building a better system for achieving such cross-functional goals as
cost, and delivery...
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Education and Training
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.
Radical Improvement (Kaikaku):
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TQC education and training is a
continuous process. Separate courses for different organizational levels are
organized to reach everyone in the company.
To involve employees in
improvement activities, a
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 cost, safety
The Three TQM
Goals at Japan Steel Works
To provide products and
satisfy customer requirements and earn customer trust
To steer the corporation
toward higher profitability through such measures as improved work
procedures, fewer defects, lower costs, lower debt service, and more
advantageous order filling
To help employees fulfill their potential
for achieving the
corporate goal, with particular emphasis on such
areas as policy deployment and voluntary activities
Survey by NPC,
A survey on
quality control circles (QCCs) by
the National Productivity Corporation of Malaysia (MPC) 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
value innovation, and cost optimization.
MPC organizes the ICC Conventions annually in order to promote and sustain
ICC activities. These conventions provide a platform for the industries to
learn best practices of other circles as well as to exchange ideas and
knowledge on ICC activities.