Who is Bill Gaw?
And why should we listen to him?

Lean Enterprise Articles

Lean Manufacturing Principles and Techniques 

Bill Gaw's Triple-Step, World Class, Lean Manufacturing Training Program
World Class Manufacturing

Increase the effectiveness of your
Lean Manufacturing Training Program

Lean Manufacturing Simulation Game 

Zero Quality Control vs TQM
Part 1 of 6

privacy policy

Contact Us

 To review our training 
 options, click on 
  the links below: 

e-Training Packages:

Lean manufacturing

Performance Management

Quality Mgmt. System

Inventory Management

Lean Six Sigma

Strategic Planning

     Other Options:   

Lean Manufacturing
Simulation Game

Training Program

Thinking Outside 
the Box Principles 

Production Planning Principles and

Management Training

Thinking Outside 
the Box Principles 

The Kaizen Blitz

Lean Manufacturing Implementation

Lean Six Sigma

Supply Chain

Strategic Planning

Total Quality

Production Planning
and Control

Lean Manufacturing
Principles and

Total Quality Management (TQM) is defined in the APICS Dictionary as an "interfunctional approach to quality man­agement, developed by Joseph Juran, involving marketing, engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, etc. Defects should be defined through examining customer expectations. The focus is on prevention, detection, and elimination of sources of defects. The Juran total quality management trilogy is quality control, quality planning, and quality projects."[l]
Another definition of Total Quality Management is offered by Saylor. "Total means the involvement of everyone and everything in the organization in a continuous improve­ment effort. Quality is the total customer satisfaction. Management is the leadership of an organization." [2]

TQM has different meanings to different people. Any concept left open to individual interpretation is bounded in excitability by that individual's knowledge and capabil­ity. Therein lies part of the problem with TQM. Zero Quality Control (ZQC) leaves no avenue open for individual interpretation, since its objective is clear and the proposed methodology is technical. However, these differences in interpretation are not a basis for abandoning TQM.

Zero Quality Control (ZQC) is the achievement of zero defects with near zero inspection costs. This goal can be achieved with near zero investment, although there are instances where major investments are required, espe­cially if the capability of the equipment used in production is incongruent with customer expectations. ZQC is more focused on the actual production of the work being done, while TQM attempts to drive an appropriate management philosophy toward continuous improvement.

The purpose of this paper is not to disparage TQM. Both TQM and ZQC have been developed by our predecessors and it is our responsibility to isolate the pertinent advan­tages of each and improve upon them. During the course of this presentation there will be some seemingly biased comments against TQM. This is due to the abstract nature of TQM and, as stated earlier, some implementations of TQM have been misguided due to the multiple interpreta­tions it invites.

The four essentials of TQM are 1) continuous improve­ment, 2) people orientation, 3) quantitative methods, and 4) customer focus. [2]. Continuous improvement is not a new idea. Henry Ford said over fifty years ago, "......year
after year, the pressure was, and still is, to improve and refine and make better, with an increasing reduction in price." [3] Continuous improvement is an innate activity in any successful business organization. If it is not, the wheel or an enclosed cozy fireplace would not have yet been invented.

People orientation should also be innate in any manage­ment philosophy, as people are the most valuable asset in any organization. Since management and workers arepeople, it is inappropriate for any exclusion on people orientation in any business. It is the people who do the work. There is no difference between TQM and ZQC with respect to any concepts regarding people orientation.
Quantitative methods are a major point of contention with respect to the application of TQM. The late Shigeo Shingo agrees statistics have added value in the pursuit of improv­ing quality. However, he states some have gone overboard, when they proclaim, "if it doesn't use statistics, it is not quality control. Even today, certain people show the after­effects of this malady." Shingo recognized the limitations of statistics when his client, Mr. Tokizane of Matsushita Electric, said zero defects was the only goal. [4] Apparently, Mr. Tokizane does not consider six sigma quality as a worthy goal.

The excessive focus on statistical methods has introduced some disadvantages. Statistics can be over-emphasized to the extent that the true quality control function is forgot­ten. Statistics can encourage non-zero defect production, such as the acceptance of six sigma quality. Conversely, statistics are a basic requirement for establishing stan­dards within the confines of equipment or process capabil­ity. In effect statistics are not counter-productive, but the use of statistics must be placed in proper perspective and priority. [5]

TQM has received considerable press during the past few years, of which, quite a bit has been negative. According to Dr. P. Ranganath Nayak of Arthur D. Little, only 36% of Fortune 500 executives believed their company's TQM efforts have favorably contributed to an improved competi­tive position in the market place. There have been other unfavorable comments in the press regarding the benefits of TQM. Therefore, it is likely that little movement toward zero defects has been achieved through the implementation ofTQM.[6]

To be Continued


To stay current on manufacturing competitive knowledge, please subscribe to our weekly bulletin, "Manufacturing. Basics and Best Practices (MBBP)."  Simply fill in the below form and click on the " subscribe button." 

We'll also send you our Special Report, "6-Change Initiatives for Personal and Company Success."  

All at no cost of course. 

First Name:
Your E-Mail:

 Your personal information will never 
be disclosed to any third party.

privacy policy

Here's what one of our subscribers said about the MBBP Bulletin:

"Great articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects where they can integrate points into their individual areas of responsibilities. Thanks again."

               Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC

"Back to Basics" Training for anyone ... anywhere ... anytime

Business Basics, LLC
6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
West Coast: 760-945-5596

© 2001-2007 Business Basics, LLC