Total Quality Management Six Sigma

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The Total Quality Management (TQM) Six Sigma evolved as a more efficient, highly structured, and collaborative concept of doing business. TQM is defined as both a philosophy and a set of guiding principles critical to a continuously improving organization. 

Previous to the adoption of TQM, operating any business was product-oriented, and the decisions were taken considering the short-term goals. However, TQM Six Sigma brought about a cultural change in the business and, once implemented, increased productivity and reduced the cost of operations. The table below explains the old way of doing business and the change TQM brought.

Total Quality Management Six Sigma
Quality Parameter Previous wayThe TQM way
DefinitionProduct-OrientedCustomer Oriented
PrioritiesProduct first, services and cost secondEqual priorities to all
Decision makingShort termLong term
Quality focusDetectionPrevention
AccountabilityQuality Control TeamEveryone
SuppliersAdversaryPartner
ManagerPlan, instruct, enforce and evaluateDelegate, guide, motivate and team building
   

The methodology of TQM Six Sigma can be divided into two major areas:
1. Principles and practices for cultural change
2. Tools and techniques to implement the principles.

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PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES – TQM SIX SIGMA

The so-called ‘gurus’ of TQM Six Sigma, such as Walter A Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming, Kaoru Ishikawa, Genichi Taguchi, etc., derived six basic concepts that later became an integral part of TQM Six Sigma philosophy across all industries. They were:

1. A committed and proactive management at all levels of the organization to provide a top to bottom support keeping in mind the long-term goals.

2. A customer focussed approach-An inherent commitment to both internal and external customers.

3. A culture of a highly engaged workforce.

4. Never ending improvements in business and manufacturing processes.

5. Consider vendors as partners in your business and make decisions that are beneficial for both.

6. Use statistical analysis to establish performance measures for the processes.
One of the most important concepts of Total Quality Management Six Sigma is to have an unwavering focus on all the internal and external customers linked with the process. We often focus on our external customers, such as the customer directly paying for the product we are manufacturing. Still, we hardly pay any attention to the internal customers who are paying us indirectly. Such as our managers or a colleague from another department whose efforts will not make any difference to the overall quality of the product (which the external customer is buying) unless you contribute your part by helping him with his project.

Another important concept of Total Quality Management Six Sigma is defining and establishing performance measures for each functional area, such as uptime, degree of non-conformance, statistical variation in the process, Capability of the process, and preventive maintenance. Previous to the TQM era, different departments in a company operated as separate autonomous entities. They were always focussed on short-term goals and were unwilling to link with the other ones. However, Total Quality Management Six Sigma focuses on clubbing them for a common goal that is customer focussed and performance-oriented. Effective leadership, customer satisfaction, employee involvement, and supplier partnership are the key pillars on which the principles of TQM grow.

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TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES TO IMPLEMENT THE TQM PRINCIPLES

The tools and techniques of the TQM methodology are:

1. Benchmarking:
It is a systematic approach to analyzing a company’s existing quality measures and customer-oriented parameters against the best industry practices. It encourages better performance from a team by providing a framework for learning how the ‘best in class’ do things and which practices can be adopted to gain a competitive advantage.

2. Quality management system:
It is a structured method of deciding all the department’s roles and responsibilities so that a cycle of continuous improvement can be established. A periodic review system with all the stakeholders and appreciation wherever new practices have been put into place are key actions that should be taken in the collaborative concept of doing business.

TQM is defined as both a philosophy and a set of guiding principles critical to a continuously improving organization. Previous to the adoption of TQM, operating any business was product-oriented, and the decisions were taken considering the short-term goals. However, TQM Six Sigma brought about a cultural change in the business and, once implemented, increased productivity and reduced the cost of operations. The table below explains the old way of doing business and the change TQM brought.

3. Quality function deployment:
It is a planning tool used to define the customers’ voice and fulfill their expectations. QFD is employed to translate a customer’s expectations in terms of engineering and technical characteristics and then put in place the appropriate directions and actions to fulfill them through product planning, part development, process planning, production planning, and after-sales services.

A typical QFD team deploys a house of the quality matrix to address the ‘WHATs’ and ‘HOWs’ and accordingly allot numbers from 9 being the strong and one being the weak. A sample house of quality is attached here for your reference:

4. Statistical Process Control (SPC):
Statistical process control is a set of techniques used to study a particular process, understand its trend concerning quality and capacity and take appropriate measures to control or reduce any deviation that might creep in. It includes seven techniques: the Pareto diagram, Process flow diagram, Cause, and effect diagram, Check sheets, Histogram, control charts, and run charts. The first three techniques are useful to determine the area of deviation and the high frequency, while the last three focus on measuring the deviation, the capacity of the process, and ways to control it.

The concept of TQM Six Sigma is so effective that it is used to shape productivity, profitability, and sustainability across almost all industries. Case study at point Total quality management: three case studies from around the world – European CEO

Multiple firms are providing TQM Six Sigma training in India as it is one of the most sought certifications among recruiters of automobile companies. Several TQM consultants are field experts and are hired by these manufacturing giants to implement the concepts of TQM for Cost Reduction, major impact projects, and TQM training of their young recruits.

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