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Total Quality Management

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Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management system that seeks to improve quality and performance in all aspects of the organization. It is the management of procedures and strategies for achieving quality products and services. This system will help the organization exceed customer expectations. The TQM's philosophy take into consideration all quality measures of the company and it involves all employees in the continual improvement process. The philosophy includes customer focus, continuous improvement, employees' empowerment, use of quality tools, product design, process management, and managing supplier quality. Without these philosophies, manufacturers and service providers will face some major hurdles.

Manufacturing organizations produce tangible products that can be seen and touched like computers and cars. A service organization produces intangible products which are measured by the experience. An example of a service product would be the service you receive form a physician or dentist. Another would be your learning experience at a college. Defining the quality of a tangible product is much easier than that of an intangible product. It is easy to say that a HP computer is awesome and performs well; yet, a service can be relayed as awesome in the manner which they took care of you. Moreover, the latter is harder to measure because it is usually based on perception from the customer. A doctor can give the same service to two individuals, but one may perceive it as good and the other bad.

With today's society demanding high quality in both tangible and intangible products, many manufacturers and service providers make quality a top priority. However, without the proper implementation of the TQM, companies will face some major hurdles. Some hurdles that they may face would be the (1) lack of executive management to lead and implement properly; (2) employees not receiving regular training on the methods, procedures and concepts of quality; and (3) financial issues due to the cost of implementing new training processes and the time needed to get it implemented. Let us look at some examples of these hurdles.

For instance, if organizations do not exercise continuous improvement by continuously working towards improving manufacturing and quality procedures, it will fail. For example, on April 4, 2013 at 3:59 p.m. at Plant Bowen one of the Units exploded during a maintenance outage while an employee was preparing to follow a multi-step procedure. The employee did not comply with procedure and led to a mixture of hydrogen gas and air inside the generator. This led to a longer downtime for the plant and several OHSA recordable. Lessons were learned from this and new procedures and process have been put in place as a result.

Another hurdle is the lack of management to lead toward full implementation. In January, 2013, our Engineering department decided



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