Why should you implement a Total Quality Management (TQM) program to achieve quality assurance? There is one simple answer; when properly planned and implemented TQM will provide substantive financial benefits to your business and add to the bottom line. Let’s consider just two examples of how using Total Quality Management can help your business.
Use TQM to Improve Customer Satisfaction
A primary focus of TQM and most Quality Management Systems is to improve customer satisfaction by having a customer focus and consistently meeting customer expectations. Customers are almost always satisfied when their expectations are met. When they expect a certain product or service, and you delivere it without problems and at a fair price, you’ve built a solid customer relationship. Happy, satisfied customers become repeat customers and they provide word-of-mouth marketing – the most powerful kind.
There are three Total Quality Management components that work toward achieving customer satisfaction:
- it requires that your business understand what customers typically expect in a field, industry, or product line,
- it ensures your business has the expertise and the resources to consistently deliver the expected product or service, and
- it emphasizes the need for your business to clearly communicate to the customers exactly what you will deliver to avoid misunderstandings.
TQM provides the quality assurance that customers will get what they expect, as well as a process for managing unsatisfied customers, make needed corrections and prevent similar reoccurrences.
Every business owner and manager knows the importance of satisfied customers, and how expensive it is to find new customers compared to keeping current customers. Business research clearly shows that there is a direct correlation between satisfied customers and revenue. If your business doesn’t have a clear path to creating satisfied customers, then it can benefit from TQM.
TQM Improves Business Efficiency and Effectiveness
While focusing on the customer is critical to success, it isn’t the only factor. A business can go broke sparing no expense to make customers happy. So not only does a business need to satisfy customers, but it needs to do it in a way that is. A business also has to look within and understand its own operations, another important role of a quality management system.
Total Quality Management places a focus on internal processes, including
- How processes align to produce desired outcomes to satisfy customers
- How consistently processes deliver desired outcomes (effectiveness)
- The productivity of a process compared the resources used (efficiency)
Being able to consistently produce desired outcomes without wasting resources like time, material, and money is critical for a business to make it over the long haul.
TQM Provides Long Term Competitiveness
Being able to satisfy customers while operating effectively and efficiency is truly the recipe for financial success and stability. If you achieve these quality assurance goals that are part of Total Quality Management, then you will likely be in business for a long time to come.
Notice that with TQM, quality is not just about a product or service meeting (somewhat arbitrary) requirements. It is about how the whole organization operates to understand customer expectations and competitively deliver customer satisfaction.
No Easy Task
It is important to remember, however, that TQM takes full commitment from management. Simply tossing the concept down to employees and saying “do this” just adds an extra burden on workers without much benefit from their efforts. Organizational members take their cue about what is important from management.
Only through top management commitment and involvement does TQM take hold and become part of the organization’s culture. Once ingrained as the way of doing things, the business can reap the benefits of TQM – including a healthier bottom line.