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Operations Management: An Integrated Approach, 5th Edition by Nada R. Sanders, R. Dan Reid

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THE PHILOSOPHY OF TQM

images images What characterizes TQM is the focus on identifying root causes of quality problems and correcting them at the source, as opposed to inspecting the product after it has been made. Not only does TQM encompass the entire organization but it stresses that quality is customer driven. TQM attempts to embed quality in every aspect of the organization. It is concerned with the technical aspects of quality as well as the involvement of people in quality, such as customers, company employees, and suppliers. Here we look at the specific concepts that make up the philosophy of TQM. These concepts and their main ideas are summarized in Table 5-3.

Customer Focus

The first, and overriding, feature of TQM is the company's focus on its customers. Quality is defined as meeting or exceeding customer expectations. The goal is to first identify and then meet customer needs. TQM recognizes that a perfectly produced product has little value if it is not what the customer wants. Therefore, we can say that quality is customer driven. However, it is not always easy to determine what the customer wants because tastes and preferences change. Also, customer expectations often vary from one customer to the next. For example, in the auto industry trends change relatively quickly, from small ...

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