What is Total Quality Management (TQM)? TQM is a management strategy that attempts to maximize the competitiveness of a organization through continual improvement of quality in its products and services. The ultimate goal is to increase customer satisfaction. They premise in this method is that everyone involved is the responsibility of everyone involved in the process; this includes management, workforce, suppliers and even customers. [ (Wikipedia, 2012) ] We will examine two test cases and examine how TQM can help them improve.
We will examine their failures and examine how TQM would help them overcome them. In the book “Out of the Crisis”, by Dr Deming he points out fourteen points that manager must use in order to follow a successful TQM strategy. They are: 1) Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service. Management must change from a preoccupation with the short run to building for the long run. This requires dedication to innovation in all areas to best meet the needs of citizens or clients. 2) Adopt the new philosophy.
Americans have been too tolerant to poor performance and sullen service. We need a new philosophy in which mistakes and negativism is unacceptable. 3) Cease dependence on mass inspection. Inspection is equivalent to planning for defects; it comes too late, and it is ineffective and costly. Instead, processes must be improved. 4) End the practice of awarding contracts on the basis of price tag. Purchasing departments customarily operate on orders to seek the lowest-priced vendor. Frequently, this leads to supplies or services of low quality.
Instead, they should seek the best quality and work to achieve it with a single supplier for any one item in a long-term relationship. 5) Improve constantly and forever the system of operations and service. Improvement is not a one-time effort. Management and employees are obligated to continually look for ways to reduce waste and improve quality. 6) Institute modern methods of training on the job. Too often, employees learn their jobs from other employees who were never trained properly. They are forced to follow unintelligible instructions. They cannot do their jobs because no one tells them how. ) Institute modern methods of leadership. Lower-level managers must be empowered to inform upper management about conditions that need correction; once informed, management must take action. Barriers (such as reserved parking places for top management) that prevent employees from doing their jobs with pride must be removed. 8) Drive out fear. Many employees are afraid to ask questions or to take a position, even when they do not understand what the job is or what is right or wrong. People will continue to do things the wrong way or to not do them at all. The economic loss from fear is appalling.
It is necessary for better quality and productivity that people feel secure. 9) Break down barriers between staff areas. Often staff areas, departments, units, and so on are competing with each other or have goals that conflict. They do not work as a team so they can solve or foresee problems. Worse, one department’s goals may cause trouble for another. Each discipline must stop optimizing its own work and instead work together as a team for the company as a whole. Multidisciplinary quality control circles can help improve design, service, quality and costs. 0) Eliminate slogans, exhortations, numerical goals and targets for the work force. These never helped anybody do a good job. Let people put up their own slogans. Although workers should not be given numerical goals, the organization itself must have a goal: never ending improvement. 11) Eliminate work standards and quotas. Quotas focus on quantity not quality. They are usually a guarantee of inefficiency and high cost. To hold a job, a person meets quotas at any cost, without regard to damage to the organization. 12) Remove barriers to pride of workmanship.
People are eager to do a good job and distressed when they cannot. Too often, misguided managers, faulty equipment, and defective material stand in the way. These barriers must be removed. 13) Institute a vigorous program of education and training. Because quality and productivity improvements change the number of people needed in some areas and the jobs required, people must be continually trained and retrained. All training must include basic statistical techniques. 14) Create a structure in top management that will push every day on the above 13 points. (Demings, 2000)
The Nightmare on Telecom Street In our first test case James Harrington attempts to make a flight reservation by calling a major airline. His experience is an excellent example of a company trying to be so efficient that they alienate their customers. Efficiency is very important to a company, but not at the cost of losing customers. The service failures started even before the phone was answered; the phone rang five times before the auto attendant answered. From there the customer was given an endless amount of choices to get routed to the right department.
Once there she was on hold before a live person finally answered the phone. This person asked the caller for the same information they just provided to the auto attendant. Once the caller was verified, the person tells them they have reached the wrong department and gives them another phone number to call so they can start the process all over again. In order for this airline to solve their service failures they need to think of their customers. It is okay to have an auto attendant to direct traffic in the right direction, but maybe only one or two choices before reaching a live person.
They also need to give the option of pressing zero and speaking to an operator that would forward the call to the right department. The airline must realize that people like to speak with people, not computers. The phone call is the first impression that the potential client will have of the airline. They need to make this phone call as enjoyable as possible so they will not hang up and call a competitor. The State University Experience The second case study is about a student that is very excited to go to a certain State University and his enthusiasm is diminished by the universities actions.
This case is another example where there the customer is an afterthought. In this case it is obvious that there was no thought given to the customer experience. There were difficulties starting with the campus tour and throughout the entire enrollment process. The service failures started the school tour. It is obvious that the university just paid any student to take potential enrollees on a tour of the school; they did not provide them any formal training on what to say or design a specific tour of the school that highlights the schools best features.
They did not even make sure that the lights in all the buildings on the tour were on during the tour. It only went downhill from there. The enrollment process was painful, the student kept having to send in the same documentation; the university kept losing stuff. The student sent in everything requested several times and they still ended up enrolling him into the wrong program. A total disaster! This case study is an example of a program that has to be revamped from the beginning. They need to start with meeting and exceeding customer satisfaction.
If the tour is going to be in the middle of the summer, they need to make sure that the tour does not spend too much time outside; you need to make sure that people are comfortable. The tour guide needs to go through training on the message the university wants potential students to hear. Finally, the enrollment process has to be more efficient. They need to use technology to make their enrollment process smoother. He should not have to send in the same documents more than once. Conclusion In both test cases you see examples of potential clients being really let down.
In today’s competitive environment firms have to make sure that potential clients have a good overall experience. In does not take many unhappy clients to post on their facebook page before you have a nightmare. I believe companies can use the 14 points to improve their TQM and improve their customer experience. Works Cited Demings, W. E. (2000). Out of the Crisis. The MIT Press. Wikipedia. (2012, 3 4). Total quality management. Retrieved 2012, from Wikipedia: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Total_quality_management