What is Total Quality Management & How 3M could enhance innovation by using it?

Economic globalization brings challenges and opportunities for all businesses across the world. Companies should be able to create conditions that support them both in the domestic and international markets. Both adopting and implementing a set of operations management practices was one of many ways to win the competition in the marketplace. There are many management practices to help businesses overcome these challenges and Total Quality Management (TQM) has received great attention in the last two decades (Jung and Wang, 2006).

In the growing business competitiveness TQM (Total Quality Management) and TM (Technology Management) practices have become important for organizational success. TQM fosters business excellence while TM helps to deal with process and product related technological challenges.*

The customer-focused organisation is an important part of continuous improvement and Total Quality Management (TQM). A TQM organisation consists of a number of interdependent internal stakeholders or customers. These individuals, groups, departments and units supply to, and rely on, another individual, group, department or unit within that same organisation. These internal customers combine to improve quality throughout all processes and create better quality output for the end-users; the external customers. 3M is a great example of using TQM in order to enhance innovation and productivity.

This philosophy of 3M applies equally to internal customers, demonstrated through the interdependence of its 45 technology platforms and diverse global operations; as well as to external customers.

Each of the two broad categories of innovation applies to 3M.

1. Innovation in goods and services occurs when new and improved goods and services are developed or where new uses are found for existing goods or services.

2. Innovation in operational processes occurs when organisations implement signifcant positive change in their methods of production of goods and/or services. 3M describes the four fundamental reasons driving innovation as; personal satisfaction, competitiveness, growth and survival.

A primary focus of TQM and most Quality Management Systems is to improve customer satisfaction by having a customer focus and consistently meeting customer expectations. ... It emphasizes the need for your business to clearly communicate to the customers exactly what you will deliver to avoid misunderstandings.*

Designing and implementing Total Quality Management could be a long and costly process, however, it will pay off in long run if it set up and executed well.

For next step consider what sections of your organisation can integrate this system and how it benefit from it?




*Financial Review Case Studies; Innovation, ideas and solutions 3M

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