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Total Quality Management (TQM) is a lean manufacturing management concept. It is similar to Six Sigma in that the fundamental philosophy of TQM is to reduce production and service defects, increase customer satisfaction with the product, and streamline supply chain management. In addition, TQM ensures that equipment is well maintained and current, and that employees are well trained. Most companies who use Total Quality management also utilize other lean processes such as Kaizen, Kanban and 5S.
The TQM concept was developed by American management consultants, including W. Edwards Deming, Joeseph Juran, and A.V. Feigenbaum. Originally, these consultants did not have much success in the United States, but managers in Japan embraced their ideas.
In TQM, the goal is to limit defects to 1 per million units produced. This is done by ensuring conformance to internal requirements.The main difference between TQM and Six Sigma (a newer concept) is the approach. At its core, TQM is a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction. In a TQM effort, all members of an organization participate in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work.
Though there are numerous concepts, philosophies and processes that go hand in hand with Lean Manufacturing, the one driving force is continuous improvement. In Lean Manufacturing, there is no place for stagnation. You must move forward and you must get better, systematically and in every way. If you are interested in more Lean Manufacturing topics, check out our Lean training videos and Lean manufacturing tools.