APPENDIX D
TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

Total quality management (TQM) is a complete management philosophy that permeates every aspect of a company and places quality as a strategic issue. It is accomplished through an integrated effort between all levels of a company to increase customer satisfaction by continuously improving current performance. Developed in a manufacturing mass production setting, TQM is an effective, comprehensive management technique that has proven successful both overseas and in the U.S., in services and in construction,32 notwithstanding the fact that construction is a one-time process. Japanese construction companies began implementing TQM during the 1970s, and the industry in that nation has embraced the TQM concepts. Since the mid-1970s, three Japanese contractors have been awarded the coveted Deming Prize for quality improvement.33

32  

The Quality Management Task Force, op. cit.

33  

Deming, W.E., 1986. Out of the Crisis, MIT CAES, Cambridge.



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Inspection and Other Strategies for Assuring Quality in Government Construction APPENDIX D TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT Total quality management (TQM) is a complete management philosophy that permeates every aspect of a company and places quality as a strategic issue. It is accomplished through an integrated effort between all levels of a company to increase customer satisfaction by continuously improving current performance. Developed in a manufacturing mass production setting, TQM is an effective, comprehensive management technique that has proven successful both overseas and in the U.S., in services and in construction,32 notwithstanding the fact that construction is a one-time process. Japanese construction companies began implementing TQM during the 1970s, and the industry in that nation has embraced the TQM concepts. Since the mid-1970s, three Japanese contractors have been awarded the coveted Deming Prize for quality improvement.33 32   The Quality Management Task Force, op. cit. 33   Deming, W.E., 1986. Out of the Crisis, MIT CAES, Cambridge.

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Inspection and Other Strategies for Assuring Quality in Government Construction Every party in a production process is seen to have three roles: supplier, processor, and customer. Juran, a principal proponent of the TQM approach, defines this as the ''triple role'' concept.34 This concept can be illustrated for construction with the architect/engineer (A/E) being a customer of the owner, a processor of the design, and a supplier of plans and specifications to the contractor. The contractor is a customer for the A/E's plans and specifications, a processor of the construction, and a supplier of the completed structure to the owner. Customer satisfaction is a key goal, whether customers are internal or external to the company. For engineering, the products are plans and specifications and the customers are the construction organization and the owner. For construction, the product is the completed facility and the customer is the final user of the facility. In design and construction organizations, internal customers receive products and information from other groups or individuals within their organization. Satisfying the needs of these internal customers is an essential part of the process of supplying the ultimate external customer with a quality product. Under TQM, management has two primary functions directed toward continual improvement of the production process and subsequent increase in customer satisfaction. The first step is maintaining and incrementally improving current methods and procedures through process control. Then, efforts are turned toward achieving, through innovation, major technological advances in the production, i.e., engineering and construction, processes. Most quality assurance and control experts define seven fundamental elements of TQM:35 34   Juran, J.M., 1988. Juran on Planning for Quality, The Free Press, New York. 35   Matthews, M.F., and J. L. Burati, July, 1989. Quality Management Organizations and Techniques, A Report to the Construction Industry Institute, CII Source Document No. 29, The University of Texas at Austin.

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Inspection and Other Strategies for Assuring Quality in Government Construction Management Commitment and Leadership Training Teamwork Statistical Methods Cost of Quality Supplier Involvement Customer Service. TQM is felt by some people in the industry to be an essential element in recovery of U. S. construction productivity and competitiveness in international markets. According to the Construction Industry Institute, companies which do not implement Total Quality Management will not be competitive in the national and international market within the next 5–10 years.36 36   The Quality Management Task Force, op cit.

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