TQM looks at the whole business and how what is happening in each section your business can integrate to deliver a quality product that matches customer requirements. The total in TQM is in respect of making all your employees realize that whatever it is they are doing ads to the quality of the final approach. The quality in TQM refers to the total customer experience. It is not enough to deliver a great product, but it should be delivered on time, to the right place and at the right cost. Total quality does not just happen. The management in TQM has to communicate the business vision and values to all employees and form a culture that promotes input from your team members towards continuous improvement of work practices. By improving the culture through an increase of employee responsibility and input, there will a series of small, incremental gains in quality and productivity resulting from daily attention to enhancing how work is done. Owners and managers can educate staff on business operations, industry developments and market trends, giving them a broader perspective on what it takes to make the company successful. TQM should not be seen as a program, but a strategic approach, which recognizes that the customer and the consumer have differing needs and expectations. A quality organization is one that ‘totally’ satisfies the customer/consumer in terms of quality, price, reliability, service, flexibility and speed. (Nwabueze 2013)
Small businesses have an advantage over larger companies in implementing a TQM program with employees. There are fewer people to communicate with, and the CEO, who is normally in charge of implementing TQM, can make timely decisions about the TQM process. Companies who have initiated a TQM analysis have more often than not experienced an improved understanding of their customers’ needs, an overall increase in customer satisfaction, simplified communication within their organization and better problem solving. Plus, TQM has enabled many businesses to unify their workforce through enhanced levels of motivation – a key reward many hope to accomplish as a result of the process. If you have the right people with the right mindset, your staff is the only true unique resource you may have to beat the competition. Everything else can be imitated by your competition, but no one can beat a highly motivated, involved staff.
For the majority of small companies, the secret of continued business success in competing against larger companies is to do everything a little bit better than your competition. Creating a new product or technique that will provide a competitive edge for your business may be few and far between, but the chance to make small improvements is there almost every day. Nwabueze (2013) states that small businesses can survive and flourish over the long-term if the service they provide is more seamless and cheaper than that of the competition and by offering a 100% customer/consumer satisfaction.” Small businesses should not