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What Does a Total Quality Management Consultant Do?

T. Carrier
T. Carrier

Quality is a chief consideration in business transactions. A total quality management (TQM) consultant helps businesses deliver high-quality products and services to clients without compromising effective business operations. General obligations might thus include determining client needs, troubleshooting problem areas for quality control, and considering costs and effectiveness of proposed business plans. More specific tasks range from feasibility studies to auditing.

A primary series of early steps in a TQM consultant’s job involves systems analysis. Determination of client wants and concerns are included in this process, usually via interviews, observations, and surveys. Another important variable involves feasibility studies that will consider economic, social, and technological factors in implementing a product or idea. In a more general sense, this process helps a business define a new venture and determine the components needed to make it successful. Systems analysis may be used to improve an already existing product or service as well.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Several total quality management tools help TQM consultants achieve their goals. Quality tests may be designed to determine the ability of a product or service to withstand potential hindrances. Crash tests for cars represent one such example. Consultants may also measure successes and failures via statistical measurements, or they may tabulate and incorporate client feedback like surveys. Auditing — or checking quality and reliability via inspections — is therefore a common duty of a total quality management consultant.

In addition, a total quality management consultant works to foster positive employee relations. A consultant might, for example, help an employer communicate the aims and goals of the company to employees. Training might also be offered for employees that lack certain needed skills. Since employees will be responsible for the final output, a consultant might make employee satisfaction a top priority.

Certain skill sets and personality traits are used daily by a total quality management consultant. Effective communication and teamwork-oriented personalities are vital, as consultants interact with a wide array of individuals in order to determine and implement a course of action. The sheer amount of analysis and planning involved in this profession also necessitates that an individual possess a problem-solving mindset. In fact, real-world case studies are a common component of interviews at consultation firms. Familiarity with various technologies would also serve a prospect well.

Individuals working as a total quality management consultant may either seek employment at consulting firms or open an independent freelance business. Both modes of employment often work by an hourly charge. Regardless of the particular course an individual chooses, a TQM consultant can provide general consultations or specialize in specific industries like computer manufacturing. In general, a master's degree in business administration is the frequent educational background of TQM consultants.

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