Total quality management (TQM) is not a new concept in today’s growing economy. Several companies now attempt to implement total quality management techniques within their processes and products in order to improve upon the customer satisfaction received.
“Toyota management observed that rework took considerable time and production cost for mass manufacturers like Ford, and rightly thought that doing things right in the very first time as an effective cost cutting measure.” (Subedi and Maheshwari, 2007) Toyota has been active in doing the same where it has completed four tasks in order to attain TQM as follows:
1. It created the concept of an assembly line within its plant where workers were assigned specific tasks or machines.
2. The workers would then be empowered with knowledge about the machines they would be using. The workers were trained to learn about the machines and be able to handle them in all scenarios.
3. The workers were encouraged to fix the machine right then and there if it malfunctioned in order to remove the time lag created when waiting for the engineer to respond to the crisis (since at the time the engineer was the only individual who was competent enough to fix the machine).
4. Workers learnt to create preventive measures and follow them in order to keep their respective machines from being malfunctioned in any manner.
Measurement of Quality and Customer Satisfaction
“The perceived quality depends on the context and the person assessing the product: a software engineer, product manager, marketing representative, or the end user may all have different expectations for the product. Each of these subjective viewpoints is important and should be considered.” (Nokia, 2009) As quality is a very respective and subjective factor to measure, the only possibility of measurement would be by asking the employees’ perspective. Since the workers are knowledgeable and have documented work on their machines, the feedback on the output can be provided. The workers may also be grouped into a Quality Assurance unit where the cars could be checked for any defects by different techniques such as testing the speed of the car, the control of the steering wheel and many more.
The best manner of measuring customer satisfaction would be through any form of surveys which could be sent to the customer for their update. As satisfaction too is a subjective factor, it varies from individual to individual and hence, asking the customer would be the best option. Surveys could be conducted through phone, mail or even by asking them over the counter when the customer may visit for a routine service of the car.