Total Quality Management (TQM) is the continual process of identifying and minimizing or eliminating errors in a manufacturing process.
Quality improvement initiatives will result in change. Larger changes involve a longer timeline for completion while consuming more resources leading to a higher risk. Continuous improvement overcomes this by identifying small, scalable, and repeatable areas for sustained improvement. This allows for incremental yet consistent improvements that are less risky to manage and course correct when required. It follows a four-step process called PDCA (plan-do-check-act). Continuous Improvement is based on kaizen – a Japanese quality concept.
Another variant of continuous improvement is continual Improvement. Here between successive course correction steps, time is allowed for maturity of the change implemented and to understand its effectiveness. Each of these processes has its merits and can be applied based on its relevance.
TQM initiatives make the manufacturing process efficient. It improves quality, reduces waste, and delivers higher cost savings. Initiatives like Lean have a direct impact on profitability. The whole concept of TQM is built around delivering maximum customer value which results in customer satisfaction. With higher efficiency, improved quality, better profitability and growth in revenue, TQM delivers sustainable competitive advantage for manufacturing businesses.