As globalization of the economy and competition increased with time, quality management of products and services became so important in order for industries to remain in the market. Quality is defined as the production of goods or delivering services that are accepted in terms of cost and performance (Shores, 2001). Increased competition resulted in the introduction and evolution of new methods of management to the current concept of total quality management (TQM).
Evolution of quality management began in Japan in 1970s and then spread to other parts of the world. Senior management involved the use of quality control. This method was inspection oriented whereby statistical techniques and post production auditing were employed. In this method sampling of the finished product was done and the quality was assessed which represented all products produced within a certain period of time. Another approach to quality management was the traditional quality management where inspection points were located throughout the production process and then samples drawn and tested for quality. If the sample was rejected, either the whole amount of product would be tested or the sample taken for further auditing (Shores, 2001).
Total quality management is a more advanced method of quality management that mainly involves three principles; employee empowerment, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. What has made this method more strategic is the strong focus put into statistical quality control and the overall process of data measurement. Also, TQM has been the best method since it is based on customer’s view-point and the effective implementation of PDCA cycle (plan, do, check and act). The process also involves all the stakeholders in the production line (Shores, 2001).
In conclusion, the evolution of quality management was a result of improving the design, improved process design and clear definition of customer specification. It also involves the collaboration of all the stakeholders involved in the production of the product.
Shores, A. R. (2001). Survival of the fittest: total quality control and management evolution. Milwaukee, Wis.: ASQC Quality Press.
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