It is important to understand the definition of the term quality before discussing the total quality management, which is a much more broader term.
Definition of Quality
There is no single definition of the term quality. Quality means different to different people such as:
1. Customer-Based: Fitness for use, meeting customer expectations.
2. Manufacturing-Based: Conforming to design, specifications, or requirements. Having no defects.Quality [means] conformance to requirements. Quality is the degree to which a specific product conforms to a design or specification
3. Product-Based: The product has something that other similar products do not that adds value in other words quality refers to the amounts of the unpriced attributes contained in each unit of the priced attribute
4. Value-Based: The product is the best combination of price and features or quality means best for certain customer conditions. These conditions are (a) the actual use and (b) the selling price of the product.”
5. Transcendent: It is not clear what it is, but it is something good or it may also be defined as quality is neither mind nor matter, but a third entity independent of the two…even through Quality cannot be defined, you know what it is.”
Definition of Total Quality Management
TQM is the enhancement to the traditional way of doing business.
It is a proven technique to guarantee survival in the world-class competition.
TQM is for the most part common sense. Analyzing three words (TQM), we have:
Total—Made up of the whole
Quality—Degree of excellence a product or service provides
Management—Act, art, or manner of handling, controlling, directing, etc.
Therefore, TQM is the art of managing the whole to achieve the excellence.
TQM is defined as both philosophy and a set of guiding principles that represents the foundation of a continuously improving organization.
It is the application of quantitative methods and human resources to improve all the processes within an organization and exceed customer needs now and in future.
TQM integrates fundamental management techniques, existing improvement efforts, and technical tools under disciplined approach.