A total quality management model represents a series of steps or processes a company implements into its operations. In addition to process management and improvement, the classic model requires a company to integrate a customer focus, planning process, and total participation. Other models include leadership, strategic planning, flexibility, or social responsibility along with the traditional processes. Companies may have the ability to pick and choose which attributes to place in their total quality management models. The model may also have specific characteristics based on the country in which businesses are located.
Rather than a physical construct, total quality management may be more of a mind-set or theoretical background. Owners and executives are often responsible for selecting which total quality management model to use. A review of the company is necessary first to define which areas need improvement. The company can then select a model that will provide the best improvements. While a standard model will no doubt exist in the business environment, it typically has some flexibility for implementation.
The purpose for the total quality management model should typically be a huge factor in the selection process. For example, a company looking to become the brand leader may focus on leadership, company vision, and strategic planning as model characteristics. A business that desires a strong customer focus will often require characteristics such as customer or market focus, organizational structure, and consistent production quality. In some cases, a model may already exist for these different aspects. Other times, a company may need to mold two or more models together in order to create the one that works best for the company.
A company may also select a total quality management model from a different country for its operations. Though a bit daunting at first, another country’s model may be more in line with the company’s focus. Again, a review of the specific characteristics in another country’s total quality management model is necessary prior to selecting one to implement. Companies may experience problems with characteristics that do not match their home country’s workplace. This can lead to confusion as to why the model is not a complete success.
When making significant changes to their business operations, companies need to expect and plan for negative feedback. Negative feedback may come from employees, customers, or other stakeholders. This often bubbles up when employees do not understand the purpose of change. Customers may have negative feedback because the company changes its products or internal processes. This can create difficulty for those looking for help or answers from the company.