Total Quality Management


Pradeep Raj.S
MBA Student
AMC Engineering College

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." 
                                                                                                        - Aristotle 384BC-322BC


Total quality management is an integrated effort designed to improve quality performance at every level of the organization .This article is a study on the importance of TQM in management for the process of understanding and successful implementation and application of TQM philosophy, principles and identify the tools and techniques to solve quality related problems.

Dr.Kaoru Ishikawa's contributions to total quality concept and his emphasis on the human side of quality, the Ishikawa diagram and the assembly and the use of the "seven basic tools of quality" are discussed in this article.

The business success of Indian companies and their success story in form of case studies are briefly summarized in this article. Further an attempt in made to apply the TQM concepts and tools and techniques to improve the quality performance to enable companies to compete with the global markets and international firms by analyzing the importance of process management .

Keywords:  TQM philosophy & principles, Ishikawa diagram, process management, critical
Critical success factors, key performance indicators.etc


After globalization Indian markets are completely opened up to the international competition today's powerful business strategy means gaining competitive advantages by achieving market superiority over its competitors.  In order to gain competitive advantage the company should provide value to its customers that the competitors are unable to  do so therefore the dynamic challenges of total quality management provides strong competitive advantage to improve product quality, increase speed of delivery of service, eliminate unproductive labour, ensures consistency, better management practices, increases the learning curve of an organization, delights the customers by providing total customer service and complete satisfaction which ultimately leads towards customers business firms development with increase in its market share.


" A system of management based on a commitment to the customer's total satisfaction understanding and improving the organizations processes, employee involvement and data based decision making" MARK D.HANN

TQM can be  defined as " an organization wide effort to develop systems, tools, techniques, skills and the mindset to establish a quality assurance system that is responsive to the emerging market needs" B.MAHADEVAN


In 1920's statistical theory began to be applied effectively to the quality control concept later in 1924 shewhart made the first sketch of a modern control chart.  His works was later developed by process control .After the World War II Japan's industrial system was having a poor image of imitation of products and having an illiterate workforce.

The Japanese recognized these problems and their values concerned with quality and continuous improvement the total quality management become popular in 1950's as it tried to recover Japanese economy from the spoils of World War II .During the 1980's japans' exports into the USA and Europe increased significantly due to its cheaper, higher quality products, compared to the western countries.

Formation of TQM in India

In the early 1980's, confederation of Indian industries (CII) took the initiatives to set up TQM practices in India in 1982 quality circles were introduced for first time in India.  The companies under which the quality circles were launched are Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bangalore and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Trichy.  In 1986 CII invited professor Ishikawa to India, to address Indian Industry about quality.  In 1987, a TQM division was set up the CII this division had 21 companies agreed to contribute resources to it and formed the National committee on quality"

In February 1991 an Indian company with assistance of the CII, obtained the first ISO 9000 certification in India.  In 1996, the Govt. of India announced the setting up of quality council of India and a national agency for quality certification was setup as a part of WTO agreement.

TQM Five main advantages:

1. Encourages a strategic approach to management at the operational level through involving multiple departments' across functional improvement and systemic innovation processes.

2. Provides high return on investment through improved efficiency.

3. Works equally well for service and manufacturing sectors

4. Allows organizations to take advantage of developments that enable managing operations as  cross-functional processes

5. Fits an orientation toward inter-organizational collaboration and strategic alliances through  establishing a culture of collaboration among different departments within organization.


The specific concepts that make up the philosophy of TQM are:

1. Customer Focus:

Quality is defined as meeting or exceeding customer expectations.  The goal of management should be to identity and meet the customers' needs.  Therefore quality is customer driven.  Customer focus keeps the business competitive in every level of market change.

2. Continuous Improvement:

One of the powerful TQM philosophy is the focus on continuous improvement.  Continuous improvement is called kaizen by the Japanese which make the company continuously to learn and to be problem solving.  Because we can never achieve perfection we must always evaluate our performance and take measures to improve it.  The two approach that helps in continuous improvement are PDSA cycle and benchmarking.

3. Employee Empowerment:

TQM philosophy is to empower all employees to seek out quality problems and correct them.  Today workers are empowered with decision making power to decide quality in the production process, their contributions are highly valued and workers suggestions to improve quality are implemented.  This employee empowerment can be made through team approach have quality circle where a team of volunteer production employees and their supervisors who meet regularly to solve quality problems.

4. Use of Quality Tools

For Identification of quality related issues employees should be trained with the quality tools to identify the possible issues and to correct problems. These are often called the 'seven tools of quality control' they are:

1. Cause and effect diagrams.
2. Flow charts.
3. Checklists
4. Control charts.
5. Scatter Diagrams.
6. Pareto Analysis
7. Histograms.
5. Product Design

To Build a quality the company's product design must meet customer's expectation and quality function deployment is a tool used to translate the preferences of the customer into specific technical requirements, it enables us to view the relationships among the variables involved in the design of a product, such as technical versus customer requirements.

6. Process Management:

Under TQM quality of a product comes through continuous quality process.  Therefore quality at the source is the belief that it is far better to uncover the source of quality problems and correct it than to discard defective items after production.  The new concept of quality focuses on identifying quality problems at the source and correcting them.

7. Managing Supplier Quality:

The philosophy of TQM extends the concept of quality to suppliers and ensures that they engage in the same quality practices.  If suppliers meet preset quality standards, materials do not have to be inspected upon arrival.  Today many companies have a representative residing at their supplier's location, there by involving the supplier in every stage from product design to final production.


TQM principles and philosophy is a managerial methodology therefore it is a frame work of principles as well as a systems approach.  The principles of TQM are:

1. Quality Integration

Dr. Ishikawa captures the spirit of TQM by saying "Quality means quality of work, quality of service, quality of information, quality of process,quality of divisions, quality of people including workers, engineers, managers and executives, quality of objectives, briefly speaking it is Total Quality, or companywide quality".  The above definition show quality is integrated with various activities.

2. Quality First

"Deming gives a strong statement saying "Productivity increases with improvement of quality" therefore giving primary importance to quality the firm or company gain competitive advantage, increase market share and achieves its sales target ensuring customer confidence.

3. Customer Orientation:

Customers are most important asset of the organization customers are both outside customers who are clientele and within the organization they are employees therefore Dr. Ishikawa proposes that manufacturers must study the requirements of consumers and to consider their opinions when they design and develop a product.

Example- Motorola has a successfully working TQM process. Motorola's fundamental objective

(Everyone's overriding responsibility) is Total Customer Satisfaction. They have won the Baldrige award and are corporate leaders in TQM. They will tell you that implementing TQM was a sound business decision and a matter of survival for them. Similar cases are available from other large corporations. They require a working TQM process of all contractors doing work for them

4. Prevention rather than Inspection:

One of the core principle of TQM is a do it right the first time. So modern approach argues to stop problems at the beginning rather than at ending their Deming says ' inspection is too late, ineffective and costly'.  The TQM approach is to do it right the first time rather than to react after the problem happened, problem prevention can be assured by controlling are process discovering problems, identifying their root causes then improving the process in order to avoid the problems.

5. Factual Based Decisions:

Dr. Ishikawa proposes the following steps for conducting factual based decision in order to ensure that any analysis has the right basis for decision making:

1. Clearly recognizing facts, then

2. Expressing those facts with accurate data and finally,

3. Utilizing statistical methods to analyze the data.

Dr.Kaoru Ishikawa

Dr. Ishikawa suggests seven tools and he believed these tools should be known widely as 'seven basic tools of quality' they are:

1. Pareto analysis

Pareto analysis is designed by Alfredo pareto.  The pareto diagram is a form of bar chart with the items arranged in descending order so that one can identify the highest contributing factors to a problem.  This technique prioritises the types or sources of problems.

2. Stratification

The main objective of stratification is to grasp a problem or to analyze its causes by looking at possible and under standable factors or items.  Eg: Data collected of a single population is divided by time, work force, machinery working methods, raw materials, so on in to a number of stratums to find certain characteristics among the date or they are same or similar.

3. Histograms

A histogram is a graphical representation of the variation in a set of data.  Histograms are another form of bar chart in which measurement are grouped into bins, in this case each bin represent a range of values of some parameter. It shows the frequency or number of observations of a particular value or with n as specified group.

4. Scatter Diagrams

A scatter Diagrams examines the relationship between paired data, scatter diagrams are mainly used in quality circles when it wants to establish the relationship between cause and effect, the relationship between one cause and another Eg. Relationship between an ingredient and the hardness of a product, relationship between the speed of cutting and the variation in the length of parts cut.

5. Process Control charts:

Process control charts are the most complicated of the seven basic tools of TQM.  These tools are part of statistical process control; the charts are made by plotting in sequence the measured value of samples taken from a process.

6. Check sheet:

Check sheet are forms used to collect data in an organized manner.  They are used to validate   problems or causes or to check progress during implementation of solutions.  Check sheets come in several types, depending on the objective for collection data.  Some of the types are:

1. Recording check sheet

2. Location check sheet

3. Checklist check sheet

7. Cause and Effect Diagram

The cause and effect diagram is the brilliant scientific diagram by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa who pioneered quality management processes and became one of the founding  father of modern quality management.

The Cause and Effect diagram is used to identify all the potential causes that result in a single effect.  Firstly all causes are arranged on the basics of their level of importance and resulting in a depiction of relationships and hierarchy of events by this the root cause is identified the areas of occurrence of problems is found with the use of Ishikawa diagram.

When there is a team approach to problem solving the Ishikawa diagram is the powerful tool to capture different ideas and stimulate the team's brainstorming to diagram is also called fish bone diagram or cause and effect diagram.

The fishbone diagram expresses the various causes to specific problem and its effect if a quantitative data is available it is a comprehensive tool for in-depth analysis.


Organizations achieve success when they implement certain quality standards in their practice .let us discuss ISO and its standards to improve total quality. The International organization for standardization was founded in 1946 in Geneva, Switzerland; ISO has more than 90 member countries.  The ISO had the Technical committee of 176 developed an improved international standards for quality system in 1987.

The ISO 9000 series of standards are designed in such a way that it can be tailored to fit any such a way that it can be tailored to fit any organization's needs, it can be applied to all small medium enterprise, manufacturing unit or a service organization.

The ISO 9000 series of standards can be applied to construction, engineering, healthcare, and other professional services.  The ISO 9000: 2000 standards focus on developing, documenting and implementing procedures to ensure consistency of operations and performance in production and service delivery processes for continuous improvement supported by fundamental principles of TQM.  The standards consist three documents:

1. ISO 9000:2000 Quality Management Systems (fundamentals and vocabulary) this part discusses the fundamental concepts related to the quality management systems it gives definitions of key terms of other two standards

2. ISO 9001:2000 Quality management systems -this part provides the standards used for registration by demonstration conformity of the QMS to customers, regulators and the organizations own requirements.

3. ISO 9004:2000 QMS: guidelines for performance -this part provide guidelines that an organization can use to establish a QMS focused on improving performance and quality standards.

ISO Standards in India

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has prepared an Indian standard and Quality Management

1. ISO 10002:2004 quality management customer satisfaction Guidelines for complaints handing in organizations.

2. ISO 10019:2005 Guidelines for the selection of quality management system consultants and use of their services.

3. ISO 15650:2006 Quality management systems Guidelines for implementation of ISO.

4. ISO/IEC 17021:2006 conformity assessment requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.

5. IS/ISO/IEC 17040:2005 conformity assessment general requirements for peer assessment of  conformity assessment bodies and accreditation Bodies.


Total quality in an organization can be achieved only through team based approach. Deming urged 'leaders to abandon competition and to seek co-operation' team work helps various departments of the organization to work together in meeting customers demand.

When Dr.Ishikawa promoted the concept of companywide quality he developed "quality control circles"

Quality Control Circles

A team of small number of volunteer workers from the units of an organization form a group called the quality circle.  It is led by any person; it can be a supervisor or a worker.  The circle conduct regular meetings and discusses how to solve the quality related problem that has effected in their operational domain they develop possible solution and implement their own ideas and on any lack of resources they approach the management and give necessary suggestions and take corrective actions.

Types of Total Quality Teams

Some common types of teams are:

  • Steering committees
  • Problem solving teams
  • Natural work teams
  • Self managed teams
  • Virtual teams
  • Project teams


Quality leadership is the responsibility of top management.  Senior leaders must set directions, create a customer orientation, clear quality values, and achieve high expectations that address the needs of all stake holders, and build them into the way the company operates.  The principles and practices of TQM may differ among firms and industries, but leadership is important for successful implementation of TQM.  Those companies who succeeded in total quality work are able to do so because of strong leadership (Juran, 1989).

According to Schmidt and Finnegan (1992) there are twelve behaviors that successful quality leader demonstrate and which leads to effective quality leadership.

D1 - Giving priority attention to the needs of external And internal customers

D2 - They empower rather than control

D3 - They emphasize improvement rather than Maintenance

D4 - They emphasize prevention rather than correction

D5 - They encourage collaboration rather than Competition

D6 - They train and coach, rather than direct and Supervise

D 7 - They learn from problems

D8 - They continually try to improve communications

D9 - They continually demonstrate their commitment to quality

D10 - They have Creativeness or innovativeness

D11 - They establish organizational systems to support the quality effort.

D12 - They encourage and recognize team effort


The sustainable TQM can be achieved through the following concepts they are:

1. The Concept of Continuous Improvement by TQM

TQM is mainly concerned with continuous improvement in all work in all aspects of work as a result of continuously improving capabilities, people, processes, technology and machine capabilities there to avoid mistakes and prevent defect can lead to quality standards.

Khurrram Hashmi says capability to improve produces better results to improve quality in the future and there are five major areas of focus for capability improvement they are:

1.  Demand generation
2. Supply generation
3. Technology
4. Operations
5. People capability

The continuous improvement is more effective when root cause of such areas where mistakes occurs can be identified and eliminated a through practice leads towards quality.

Major Mechanisms of Prevention:

1. Preventing mistakes from occurring (proofing or poka-yoko).
2. Where mistakes are unavoidable, detecting them early to prevent them being passed down the value added chain.
3. Where mistakes or defects occur, stopping production until the process can be corrected, to prevent the production of more defects.

2.  Kaizen - core of Japanese production management and embodiment of organizational learning.

The Automation Technology and the automation system at Toyota are example of organizational learning processes through transfer of knowledge and technology.  Knowledge linked to technology enable Japanese firm to continuously adopt companywide and cross companywide process of continuous improvement called kaizen.

Japanese firm achieve the kaizen goals like:

1. The Endeavour to achieve a zero fault strategy in Japanese production plans.
2. All production workers design engineers marketing experts participate and identify and Analyze cause and effect of problems and find solutions and develop technology to eliminate performance gap.3. Lastly there is a high degree of standardization in the formal management system of Japanese companies


Understanding of process and improvement of that process form the life blood of quality organizations.  The processes of organizations transforms the actions, methods and operations of production system into outputs therefore these output should satisfy expectations of their customers.

3.1 Process Classification Framework:

When managing processes the identification of a good process and classification is important.  The process classification frame work was developed by the American productivity and quality center (APQC).

3.2 Six steps for process improvement:

The six step methodology for process improvement is:

1. Process selection- It involves selecting small and achievable number of processes, which influence achievement of organizations goals and its objectives.

2. Process understanding: It involves covering the scope of the process where it starts and ends, what is included and excluded; the key sub-processes and accountabilities of the process must be thoroughly is understood.

3. Process performance: It involves recording and detailing historical performance of the process, evaluating the current and past performance of customers and supplier defining required performance of future improvement through, observation, workshops etc.

4. Process Review: This involves collecting data and facts using cause and effect, pareto analyses force field analysis to review the performance of process.

5. Process change: This involves developing integrated programme of continuous improvement Eg, Kaizen and process redesign activity developing project plans, performance measures to implement change in the organization.

6. Process redesign and business transformation:

The business process redesign or reengineering refers to the radical change to a business  process and the aim of BPR is to make, major improvement to redesign the process to implement change.


The Implementation stage integrates and adopts all the processes, tools, philosophy, team work and other model for successful results to achieve objectives in a company. It starts with vision, goals and strategies and mission shared in business. The mission depends upon the critical success factors which are to be identified and linked with key performance indicators to indicate whether the CSF's are being achieved once CSF's and KPI's are identified the organizations core processes are understood the process analysis, self-assessment and benchmarking are used to make improvements in opportunities and develop people to support for the continuous improvement when continuous improvement or redesign are done the performance measurement are used to evaluate the results.


TQM is powerful concept to achieve quality excellence but yet there are limitations to it.

The TQM Tools, concepts are limited and ineffective when:

1. When it does not meet its specifications.
2. It does not fit into the use which the customer expects or anticipates
3. The cost of operation and implementation are high and relative benefits are low.
4. It does not have flexibility to change and to meet the needs of its customers etc

TQM is focused on quality; presumably a concern of both management and workers, and methods improvements should eliminate wasteful bureaucratic activities, save money, and make more human resources available for core activities, specifically client service as above all concepts discussed the implementation of TQM in small and medium size enterprise should not be a problem further TQM principles and tools must be tailored to meet the quality needs of each country since most of the Asian countries production management and manufacturing process is different from those of European and American countries


Auto Ignition Ltd.

Mr. R.K. Sarine belongs to the latter category.  An electrical engineer from pilani BITS(1958), the zealous personality worked for thirteen years in the electrical segment in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi, USA, and with the experience gained founded Auto Ignition Ltd. In 1971.

It manufactures plethora of heavy-duty auto electric components, gear reduction starter motors, compact alternators, dynamos and dynast arts, vacuum pump alternators, drives, field coils, rotors, starters, voltage regulators, rectifiers and list goes on.

They emphasize on the superlative quality of their products, the ISO/TS 16949:2002 certification is a result of our quality endeavors.  Quality is non-negotiable at Auto Ignition.  All the products go through rigorous quality control procedures as per industry norms and specifications like DIN, BS, SAE, IS, JIS, etc.  Special testing equipments are used to check performance, durability, and other parameters.  Quality control starts right from the procurement of raw materials to the manufacturing process and final dispatch, monitored by expert quality control professionals.

Uniline Energy Systems Pvt, Ltd.

Mr.R.K Bansal, the founder and managing director of Uniline Energy Systems Pvt, Ltd widely manufacture their products under ISO 9000 AND 14000 certified facilities and in conjunction with experienced engineers, they maintain quality control and exceeded international standards. Mr.R.K Bansal for is continuous efforts for quality excellence in his organizations is awarded with National Quality Gold Star Award,Udyog Patra Award,Laghu Udyog Bharti Excellence Award,Udyog Pragati Award.


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Pradeep Raj.S
MBA Student
AMC Engineering College

Source: E-mail October 24, 2010




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