Overview | Total Quality Management (TQM) is a systematic approach to quality improvement that marries product and service specifi cations to customer performance. TQM then aims to produce these specifi cations with zero defects. This creates a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement that boosts production, customer satisfaction, and profits.

Methodology | In order to succeed, TQM programs require managers to:
Assess customer requirements
• Understand present and future customer needs
• Design products and services that cost-effectively meet or exceed those needs
Deliver quality
• Identify the key problem areas in the process and work on them until they approach zero-defect levels
• Train employees to use the new processes
• Develop effective measures of product and service quality
• Create incentives linked to quality goals
• Promote a zero-defect philosophy across all activities
• Encourage management to lead by example
• Develop feedback mechanisms to ensure continuous improvement

Application | TQM improves profitability by focusing on quality improvement and addressing associated challenges within an organization. TQM can be used to:
• Increase productivity
• Lower waste and rework costs
• Improve product reliability
• Decrease time-to-market cycles
• Decrease customer service problems
• Increase competitive advantage