3.0 The TQM Model

(Total Quality Management Excellence Model)

3.1 INTRODUCTION: The Need for a Model in TQM

At the century close, the creation of the global market, international orientation of management that sweeps national boundaries, introduction of new technologies, and shift towards customer focused strategies, make the competition stronger than ever. The criteria for success in this global, internationally oriented market have been changing rapidly. In order to expand business, enter new markets, and set realistic, competitive long-term objectives, excellence became an imperative. Management's effort has been directed towards discovering what makes a company excellent.

To achieve excellence, companies must develop a corporate culture of treating people as their most important asset and provide a consistent level of high quality products and services in every market in which they operate. Such an environment has supported the wide acceptance of Total Quality Management (TQM) which emerged recently as a new, challenging, marketable philosophy. It involves three spheres of changes in an organisation -- people, technology and structure.

There is also a need for a systematic approach so that each element of TQMEX can be bonded together smoothly. Oakland [1989] originated the idea of a 3-cornerstone model. The proposed 4-pillar model (Figure 3.1) brings the customer's requirement into the system. This makes the approach to TQM more complete. The additional pillar -- satisfying customers -- is vital because it explicitly addresses customers requirements. Without it TQM would have no objective.

Fig. 3.1 The Four Pillars of TQM

The role of top management in implementation of total quality is crucial and its input on people far-reaching. TQM, therefore, should be understood as management of the system through systems thinking, which means understanding all the elements in the company and putting them to work together towards the common goal. The TQMEX Model advocates an integrated approach in order to support the transition to systems management which is an ongoing process of continuous improvement that begins when the company commits itself to managing by quality. The Model illuminates the elements that form a base to the understanding of TQM philosophy and implementation of the process company-wide.

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3.2 The Structure of TQMEX

Fig. 3.2 The TQMEX Model

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3.3 The Logic of TQMEX

In order to have a systematic approach to TQM, it is necessary to develop a conceptual model. Generally, a model is a sequence of steps arranged logically to serve as a guideline for implementation of a process in order to achieve the ultimate goal. The model should be simple, logical and yet comprehensive enough for TQM implementation. It also has to sustain the changes in business environment of the new era. The Model also reflects teachings of the contemporary quality gurus. The idea was to develop a universally applicable step-by-step guideline by including recognised practices in TQM: As Osada pointed out, 5-S is the key to total quality environment. Therefore, it should be the first step. BPR is concerned with re-defining and designing your business process in order to meet the needs of your customers effectively. It is more concerned with the business objectives and systems, and should follow as Step 2. QCCs are concerned with encouraging the employees to participate in continuous improvement and guide them through. They improve human resources capability to achieve the business objectives. Therefore, this should be Step 3. ISO 9000 is to develop a quality management system based on the good practices in the previous three steps. TPM is a result of applying 5-S to equipment based on a sound quality management system. In fact ISO 9001 requires procedures for process control and inspection and testing equipment which are part of TPM. Therefore TPM should be implemented in Step 5.

If the above five steps have been implemented successfully, the organisation is already very close towards achieving TQM.

TQMEX is a sequential model which is easy to remember and simple to implement. This is in line with the quality principle of Keep It Short and Simple (KISS), although it is not simple to make a model simple!

Companies starting to implement TQM should follow TQMEX step-by-step. Companies which have already gone through some degree of improvement using some of the steps should review what have not been done and do it as their next step of improvement. In order to maximise your benefits from TQMEX, you have to start early too.

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