TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT(TQM)
KAIZEN & ITS WASTES
Total Quality Management
WHAT IS TQM?
TQM is an integrated organizational approach in delighting customers
(both external and internal) by meeting their expectations on a
continuous basis through everyone involved with the organizational
working on continuous improvement in all products/processes along with
proper problem solving methodology.
“TO DELIVER HIGHEST VALUE AT LOWEST COST” is
the main objective of TQM
Significance of the TQM
• Total - The responsibility for achieving Quality rests with
everyone a business no matter what their function. It recognizes the
necessity to develop processes across the business, that together
lead to the reliable delivery of exact, agreed customer requirements.
This will achieve the most competitive cost position and a higher
return on investment.
• Quality- The prime task of any business is to understand the
needs of the customer, then deliver the product or service at the
agreed time, place and price, on every occasion. This will retain
current customers, assist in acquiring new ones and lead to a
subsequent increase in market share.
• Management- Top management lead the drive to achieve
quality for customers, by communicating the business vision and
values to all employees; ensuring the right business processes are in
place; introducing and maintaining a continuous improvement
Principles of TQM
1. To satisfy the customer
If the user of the product is different than the purchaser, then both the
user and the customer must be satisfied, although the person who pays
gets it properly
Company Philosophy –
A company that seeks to satisfy the customer by providing them the
value for what they buy and the quality the expect will get more repeat
business, referral business , and reduced complaints and services
expenses. Some top companies not only provide quality product, but they
also give extra service to make their customer feel important and valued.
Internal customers –
Within a company; a worker provides a product or service to his
supervisors. If the person has any influence on the wages the workers
receives, that person can be thought of as nan internal customer. A
worker should have the mind-set of satisfying internal customers in order
to keep his or her job and to get a raise or promotion.
Chain of customers –
Often in a company, there is a chain of customers, each improving a
product and passing it along until it is finally sold to the external
customer. Each worker must not seek to satisfy the immediate internal
customer, but he or she must look up the chain to try to satisfy the
2. Satisfy the supplier
External supplier –
A company must look to satisfy their external suppliers by providing
them with clear instructions and requirements and then paying them
fairly and on time. It is only in the company’s best interest that its
suppliers provide it with quality goods and services, if the company
hopes to provide quality good or services to its external customers.
Internal Suppliers –
A supervisor must try to keep his or her workers happy and productive by
providing good task instructions, the tools they need to do their job and
good working conditions. The supervisor must also reward the workers
with praise and good pay.
Get better work –
The reason to do this is to get more productivity out of workers, as well
as to keep the good workers. An effective supervisor with a good team of
workers will certainly satisfy his or her internal customers.
3. Continuous Improvement –
Working smarter and not harder –
Some companies have tried to improve by making employees work
harder. This may be counter-productive, especially if the process itself is
flawed. For example, trying to increase worker out put on a defective
machine may result in more defective parts.
Work Suggestions –Workers are often a source of continuous
improvements. They can provide suggestions on how to improve a
process and eliminate the wastes or unnecessary work.
Lean Thinking is a manufacturing phenomenon that seeks to "maximize
the work effort of a company's number one resource, the People." Lean is
therefore ‘a way of thinking’: to adapt to change, to eliminate waste and
continuously improve. There are a number of tools and techniques, to be
used in concert, to achieve maximization of the effort of the workforce
and to operate as a Lean enterprise.
There are many reasons to introduce Lean techniques in an
organization because it may contribute substantially to cutting costs
and providing competitive advantages. Lean benefits include
reduced work-in-process, increased inventory turns, increased
capacity, cycle-time reduction and improved customer satisfaction.
According to a recent survey of 40 companies that had adopted LM,
typical improvements are visible in three areas. These improvement
areas are: operational improvements (reduction of lead time, increase
in productivity, reduction in work-in-process inventory, etc.),
administrative improvements (reduction in order processing errors,
streamlining of customer service functions so that customers are no
longer placed on hold, etc.) and strategic improvements (reduced
Despite the several success stories associated with the Lean concept,
it does have some shortcomings. Examples of shortcomings that
can be found in the literature on the subject are the followings:
The Lean organization may become very susceptible to the impact of
The Leanness in itself leads to reduced flexibility and less ability to
react to new conditions and circumstances.
JIT deliveries cause congestion in the supply chain that lead to delays,
pollution, shortage of workers and so on summarize, Lean requires a
stable platform from which scale efficiency can be maximized. Highly
dynamic conditions cannot be dealt with because there is no room for
flexibility due to the focus on perfection, which is always a function
of particular market conditions at a certain period of time.
• Masaaki Imai is known as the developer of Kaizen.
• 改 ('kai') KAI means 'change' or 'the action to correct'.
• 善 ('zen') ZEN means 'good'
• So basically kaizen is small incremental changes made for improving
productivity and minimizing waste.
Features Of Kaizen
• Widely applicable–
Can be used in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing environments
• Highly effective & results oriented -
Kaizen events will generate quick results, Measurable results, Establish
the baseline, and measure the change.
• A Learning Experience-
Every member of a Kaizen Team will walk away from the event learning
• Team based & cross functional -
Team members can be from various functions of the business. Top
management participation is encouraged.
Wastes of Kaizen
• Meaning -
It is a Japanese word that means ‘waste’. Here we refer to waste in
activities within processes and not really waste in its physical form. That
heap of material sitting as defects/ scrap on the shop-floor is not really
referred to as Muda (waste). Muda in this case will be the wasteful
activities involved in ‘inspecting’ the production to find the defects or the
rework that follows defect detection. So ‘rework’, ‘inspection’, here are
the Muda’s (wasteful activities). These activities are performed by
people; it costs money to perform, consumes resources, but adds NO
value. Activity that costs money; but adds no value to the customer
(internal or external) is Muda.
• Causes -
Muda is classically seen in eight forms:–
1. Unnecessary material transportation,
2. Unnecessary motion of people… hands, feet, eyes!
3. Rework/ inspection due to defects,
4. People, material or machines waiting for each other
5. Unnecessary processing – over kill!
6. Unnecessary production – producing more or faster than required
7. Unnecessary inventory – in any form raw, work in progress or
8. Finally the killer – unused human skills/ potential
• Meaning –
Mura means Variation. Variation means deviation from a set standard or
expected outcome. Mura - Variation from expectations is a rampant
virus, inflicting all processes and work activities. Variation results in
waste in the form of scrap, reworking or reprocessing. For e.g.; Two cups
of coffee may not taste the same or have the same temperature, though it
is coming from the same vending machine at the same point of time, thus
it may require reheating – which is a clear waste (not to mention reheated
Coffee may be totally rejected by some of us) Coming to business, there
is variation in business processes, products, materials, skills, output etc.
In spite of advancements in machines and in process technology,
variation do occur and it is the management’s duty to IDENTIFY,
MEASURE, ELIMINATE and keep out all variation from the processes.
Standard Deviation (SD) and it is a statistical measure of variation or
variability. It is denoted by Greek letter ‘σ’ (Sigma). In the western
world, the state which is almost variation free is termed at Six Sigma. It
is important to note that Mura results in Muda – that is, variation results
in waste (in form of rework/ redoing)
• Causes –
When the outcome expected does not happen, one can safely say that
there is some Mura (variation) in the process. Symptoms, is in the form
of either variations in quantity of output, or quality of the output or
delays. Say, when a business process like processing of payments
(payables) has a variation, either the number of payments expected to be
processed in given unit of time will greatly vary or the payments
processed have errors and omissions. Let us look at another simple case,
like liquid filing (for say for Milk or Shampoo), if each bottle coming out
of the line has more or less than the required volume, it means that there
is variation in the filling line (this can be a costly variation for the
company). Most organizations prefer to build numerous checks,
counterchecks and inspections into the process to ‘catch’ variation.
Catching is hardly a solution, as it is done after the damage is already
• Meaning –
Muri means avoidable physical strain/ burden on people and machines/
equipment’s at work. Same strain (within defined & safe limits) is to be
expected at work, but when the strain becomes excessive, it becomes a
burden It results in accidents, injury, leading to poor output or quality
errors. A person, who in working in extreme conditions caused due to
excess noise, temperature, fumes, etc, experiences Muri / burden. Muri
(overburden) on equipment means machines that are operating over its
safe limits or set performance limits. Overloading, abuse, poor
maintenance etc, causes Muri. It results in the equipment breaking down
or performing under its expected output and quality limits.
• Causes –
Excess strain or Muri on an operator is to be measured through on site
observations and trails. Of course at times someone sweating profusely or
his strained posture while doing a job is a symptom by itself.
Management must recognize it and fix it. Otherwise Muri will result in
Mura – variation.Strain/ Muri on equipment’s can be easier to identify.
Machines will shudder, squeak, leak, stop, produce defects and finally
protest and STOP! .
We have learned about the various techniques used for the improvement
of quality and have seen the types, effects and the problems associated
with each of the techniques. Deciding upon the “BEST” technique is next
to impossible as they cannot be compared and each has its own
advantages and limitations. Firms can utilize a combination of techniques
which would garner better results in the future.
Thus, we conclude that adoption of such techniques are crucial for any
firm which wants to capture the market and gain consumer loyalty. Also,
there is the fact of maintenance of this quality level; otherwise the
goodwill of the firm will be lost. To keep the quality standard up to
expectations, the firm should engage in inspection from time to time.