lean manufacturing concepts explained

Definition of total quality management (TQM)

There are many definitions of total quality management around. Some define total quality management in a way different to some others. But in general definition of total quality management should contain the following characteristics.

TQM is a customer focused approach
Aims at satisfying the customer or delighting them
Provides best quality product at lowest possible price
It is company wide strategy
Involves everyone in the organization
Prevention of defects is the way and the target is zero defects
Total quality management is methodical
It makes moves based on information
It is a continuous process

If I am to put all these in a single sentence, I will define total quality management as follows

TQM is a process and philosophy of achieving best possible outcomes from the inputs, by using them effectively and efficiently in order to deliver best value for the customer, while achieving long term objectives of the organization

Please note I define total quality management (TQM) here only to give you some understanding about the subject. If you want more accurate and well known definitions you can refer books written by TQM Gurus.

It is a well known fact that TQM movements and lean manufacturing had a close relationship. In fact in some cases we can not differentiate between lean manufacturing and TQM techniques. Understanding Total Quality Management is therefore very important in the attempt of understanding lean manufacturing.

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