The company that wants to make the transition to total quality manage­ment must do these things:

1. Recognize that quality can be defined and evaluated only by the external consumer client.

2. Analyze the processes that collectively comprise the products and services of the company.

3. Identify the steps within each process.

4. Scrutinize each step for problems and incrementally improve each step and each process.

5. Enlist the recognition by every employee that he or she is working to serve and satisfy the customer.

6. Identify to all employees their dual roles as a provider of materials or services within a process and as an internal customer with the right to expect the input from other providers to be complete and ready for use.

7. Empower all employees to respond directly to clients’ questions and concerns.

8. Listen to employees as the most important source of suggestions for the process improvements.

9. When processes are changed, evaluate them first, then train all involved employees and require their commitment to the new method.

10. Establish measurement tools, such as questionnaires or follow­up phone calls, to determine customer reaction to the company’s products.

11. Recognize that TQM is a management method that is continuous and self-renewing.

12. Recognize that employees must accept and participate fully in TQM. If, after explanations and training are given, an employee is unable or unwilling to accept the management philosophy, the employee should be separated from the company.


The meaning of quality has changed from a standard measured by a company at the completion of its production or service to one defined by the customer. The role of every one of the company’s employees is to perform his or her job in a way that contributes to the quality satisfac­tion of the consumer client. When company management and employ­ees understand the total quality management philosophy, they accept that the company has both internal and external customers. The tradi­tional external customer is the consumer who pays the bill. The internal customers are the employees themselves. Each worker is a provider of services or materials needed by another employee working within the company.

All processes of the company must be analyzed and the steps within each process identified. Then flaws, duplications, or omissions can be identified and corrected, and training given to the employees. If, after evaluation, the new technique proves correct, all employees should be trained and expected to follow the new procedure.

Total quality management requires a company to incrementally improve its products, services, and organization continuously. The objective is to satisfy the requirements of its customers and to exceed their expectations.


1. Define the following terms

a. quality (the new meaning)

b. total quality management

c. internal customers

d. external customers

e. incremental improvements

2. What is meant by employee empowerment?

3. Outline the steps in a TQM program

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figure 41. Austrian Pine—Diplodia Twig figure 42. Pine Needle Scale.


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