In the late 70s and early 80s, countries around the world took notice of the predecessor to Total Quality Management (TQM). Japan’s leadership in producing high-quality goods and services at a competitive price was inspiring on a global level and set the stage for the next big business strategy.
Other nations aimed to understand how Japan was achieving such success, and they uncovered a set of principles laid out by Dr. W. Edwards Deming. The principles are what we know now as the foundation of TQM: Better product design, Uniform product quality, Improved product testing, and Greater global market sales.
In this post, we'll define TQM, explain its benefits, outline its fundamental principles, and share real-life examples that sales leaders like you can incorporate into your strategy.
What is Total Quality Management (TQM)?
Total Quality Management is a managerial framework that improves customer experience and product value through complete company buy-in and a streamlined organizational process.
The definition of TQM comes from each word in its name — Total Quality Management. First, Total describes the process as it involves all organization members, from order fulfillment to marketing to sales. Everyone is working towards the same goal, and all teams are accountable for results.
Quality represents the overall goal of TQM: an increase in product quality and the value it can provide to customers.
Management stems from managers and executives overseeing the process, identifying errors to be fixed, and improving efficiency.
Total Quality Management Benefits:
This managerial process can provide a variety of benefits to businesses that choose to employ the strategy:
Increased productivity. The whole team understands what is expected of them and how their tasks contribute to overall company success.
Greater employee morale. Team members work with confidence to fulfill their job duties.
Streamlined business processes. Managers create a framework with proven TQM methods so that day-to-day tasks aren’t unorganized.
TQM is essential to increasing customer satisfaction because business processes are developed specifically to provide higher quality goods as the first priority. In turn, this increases the company's value to its customers which justifies a higher price point for products and services. All of this ultimately leads to higher profits for the business.