Technology, like many other tools, also helps the TQM based organization achieve its goals. Over the past few decades, computers and quality management practices have evolved together and have supported each other. This interdependence will continue in the near future as well.
Information Technology is defined as computer technology (either hardware or software) for processing and storing information, as well as communications technology for transmitting information. There are three levels of information technology:
Data are alphanumeric and can be moved about without regard to meaning.
Information is the meaningful arrangement of data that creates patterns and activates meanings in a person’s mind. It exists at the point of human perception.
Knowledge is the value-added content of human thought, derived from perception and intelligent manipulation of information. Therefore it is the basis for intelligent actions.
Computers play an essential role in quality function. They perform very simple operations at fast speeds with an exceptionally high degree of accuracy. A computer must be programmed to execute these simple operations in the correct sequence in order to accomplish a given task.
Computers can be programmed to perform complex calculations to control a process or test, to analyze data, to write reports, and to recall information on command.
The quality functions needs served by computer are data collection, data analysis and reporting, statistical analysis, process control, test and inspection, and system design.
Source: Total Quality Management by Dale H. Besterfield