What Are the Benefits of Total Quality Management?

Nick Mann

For businesses that practice total quality management (TQM), the main goal is to improve the quality level of products and optimize overall functioning. Usually this is accomplished by analyzing collected data in order to find solutions to problems. Applying this philosophy often helps businesses to improve because of the four main benefits of total quality management. These include cost savings, happier employees, better organization and increased customer satisfaction.

Total quality management helps ensure happy, productive employees.
Total quality management helps ensure happy, productive employees.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of total quality management is the money that it saves. Since this practice aims at improving and creating ideal products, it cuts down on inefficient product creation methods. In turn, TQM creates more successful products which generate higher profit margins. Total quality management also reduces unnecessary and unproductive tasks, which means employee duties can be altered to reduce wasteful spending.

Employee performance is an essential element of total quality management.
Employee performance is an essential element of total quality management.

Another positive result of TQM is happier employees. By analyzing employee data, a business will be able to understand the strengths of each employee and capitalize on them. Understanding this information will make it possible for managers to place employees in appropriate positions to maximize their skills.

This usually makes for happier employees because they are treated as individuals and not merely as tools for mass production. When employees feel like they are playing a serious part in their company, then morale typically improves. As a result, the overall quality of their work and the products they make is likely to improve as well.

Better organization within a business is another benefit of total quality management. Attempting to understand all aspects of a business through analyzing available data should result in optimized communication between departments. In turn, this means that a business becomes more efficient and works more like a well-oiled machine. This is because different departments can more efficiently share information with one another and keep everyone on the same page.

An additional advantage of TQM is the increased level of customer satisfaction that comes with this practice. All of the other benefits of total quality management should result in a more positive customer experience, which is essential for creating a thriving business. For example, optimizing employee skills means the quality of products is also optimized. This results in the best quality products ending up in the hands of customers. It's only natural that this breeds satisfied customers who are likely to spread the word to others, improving the business's reputation and success.

Total quality management techniques can be used to improve performance within a division or an entire organization.
Total quality management techniques can be used to improve performance within a division or an entire organization.

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Discussion Comments


@SZapper - It sounds like your office is in dire need of some quality management regarding employee-management relations! If you're that sure your boss wouldn't listen to your suggestions, I think that's a problem.

And if you feel undervalued in the work place, I doubt you are capable of doing your job as well as you could. That's a shame.


@nony - I agree with your assessment of a software companies total quality management needs. I know I usually wait to buy new software or gadgets until they've been out for awhile so other people can be the guinea pigs. Maybe if I had more faith in some technology companies I would purchase faster!

My office also suffers from a lack of total quality management. To be fair, we contract with a larger company and sell their products, so it's not all us. But I can see thing every day that we could improve upon to become more efficient.

Too bad my boss won't listen to me though. Maybe eventually he'll come across this idea on his own and implement it.


@SkyWhisperer - I work at a software company. The products we produce are software programs; they aren’t made in a manufacturing plant or on assembly lines somewhere. New software that gets rolled out is done over a matter of years, and it’s a very labor intensive process.

If you ask me what a quality management system would involve with our product, I would say it would have to involve extensive software testing.

We have no shortage of programmers; we do have a shortage of testers, meaning that we don’t have any. The boss says that it’s the programmer’s job to be the tester, but I argue that the programmer doesn’t have the time to put the software through its paces.

What ends up happening is that the customers wind up being the testers, and they don’t usually like being guinea pigs. So my two cents is that a total quality management system for the software industry should include dedicated testers.


I agree that you can’t define total quality management separately from taking into account how you treat your employees.

One of the most frustrating things for me is when I work for a company and I am underutilized, or pushed off to the sidelines where I am being less productive than I could be.

Sometimes I’ve seen people hired from the outside to do the jobs that I know that I could – and have made clear that I want – to do. It will never make sense, and while you could argue that a certain degree of politics exists which causes these situations to take place, an observant and effective manager would pick up on what was going on and take steps to fix the problem.

Believe it or not, most employees don’t necessarily leave for more money; they leave for better job satisfaction.

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