Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent. It has four main components: quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality improvement. Quality management is focused not only on product and service quality, but also on the means to achieve it. Quality management, therefore, uses quality assurance and control of processes as well as products to achieve more consistent quality.
What is ‘Quality Management’
Quality management is the act of overseeing all activities and tasks needed to maintain a desired level of excellence. This includes the determination of a quality policy, creating and implementing quality planning and assurance, and quality control and quality improvement. It is also referred to as total quality management (TQM).
Explaining ‘Quality Management’
At its core, quality management (TQM) is a business philosophy that champions the idea that the long-term success of a company comes from customer satisfaction. TQM requires that all stakeholders in a business work together to improve processes, products, services and the culture of the company itself.
The Origins of Quality Management
While TQM seems like an intuitive process, it came about as a revolutionary idea. The 1920s saw the rise in a reliance on statistics and statistical theory in business, and the first-ever known control chart was made in 1924. People began to build on theories of statistics and ended up collectively creating the theory of statistical process control (SPC). However, it wasn’t successfully implemented in a business setting until the 1950s.
An Example of Quality Management
The most famous example of TQM is Toyota’s implementation of the Kanban system. A kanban is a physical signal that creates a chain reaction, resulting in a specific action. Toyota used this idea to implement its just-in-time (JIT) inventory process. To make its assembly line more efficient, the company decided to keep just enough inventory on hand to fill customer orders as they were generated.
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