THE effective use of TQM provides a much higher quality ERP implementation that function properly upon first time, with less cost and more overall value. More importantly, TQM ensures satisfaction of all participants, including ERP vendors, service providers, system integrators, team members who implement the software and the company that purchased the software.
Characteristics of TQM are fundamentally common to all different types of business process flows and ERP functional modules.
The important characteristics of TQM include customer-driven quality, top management leadership and commitment, continuous improvement, fast response, actions based on facts, employee participation and a TQM culture.
TQM has a customer-first orientation. The customer, not internal activities and constrains, comes first. Customer satisfaction is seen as the company's highest priority. The company believes it will only be successful if customers are satisfied. The company that implements TQM is sensitive to customer requirements' goes beyond defect and error reduction, and merely meeting specifications or reducing customer complaints.
The concept of requirements is expanded to take in not only product and service attributes that meet basic requirements, but also those that enhance and differentiate them for competitive advantage.
Each part of the company is involved in total quality, operating as a customer to some functions and as a supplier to others. The engineering department is a supplier to downstream function such as manufacturing and field service, and has to treat these internal customers with the same sensitivity and responsiveness as it would external customers.
TQM is a way of life for a company. It has to be introduced and led by top management. This is a key point. Attempts to implement TQM often fail because top management does not lead and get committed but just delegates and pays lip service.
Commitment and personal involvement is required from top management in creating and deploying clear quality values and goals consistent with the objectives of the company and in creating and deploying well-defined systems, methods and performance measures for achieving those goals.
These systems and methods guide all quality activities and encourage participation by all employees. The development and use of performance indicators is linked, directly or indirectly, to customer requirements and satisfaction, and to management and employee remuneration.
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