Total Quality Management (TQM) is an evolving system of practices, tools, and training methods for managing companies to provide customer satisfaction in a rapidly changing world. Total Quality Management improves the performance of companies in several areas: eliminating product defects, enhancing attractiveness of product design, speeding service delivery, and reducing cost, among others. TQM's primary focus is on satisfying customer needs. This goal is achieved by continuous improvement of processes, which leads to higher quality products and services. Every employee, at every level, in every function, is totally involved with continuous improvements and focused on customer satisfaction. We learn from each other, our co-workers, our customers and suppliers, and even competitors.
Annual Quality Festivals are held to recognize and reward the teams for their efforts. It is a day long event, at which stories are presented, and speakers, such as Ray Stata, Analog's company founder and the driving force behind TQM, come together to share success stories.
Management Leadership of TQM
Management leads the commitment and the organization's total effort to ensure that our goals are achieved. Management leadership means focusing on the vital few goals, aligning of activities, maintaining constancy of purpose, and creating an environment where employees are not fearful of exposing weaknesses. Managers show by example that TQM is supported in daily activities.
Respect for People
One of the major principles of TQM is to have and demonstrate respect for other people. Respect for people, which applies to everyone in the company, has several important aspects. We listen to each other and trust the members of the team to do their jobs.
Both daily work and improvement work often require several people within a work group, or among work groups, to work in teams. The most important quality problems, such as performance, cost, and delivery of products and services, inevitably require teamwork across organizational boundaries. No single daily work group can do enough to assure performance, cost, or delivery, if groups elsewhere in the company are not involved. Thus, one of the most important aspects of TQM is the use of practices that enable teamwork and cross-functional problem solving.
Satisfying Customer Needs
Several "voice of the customer" techniques have been developed for learning from our customers. Analog Devices' methods include benchmarking, customer visits, user surveys, company-wide metrics, focus group meetings, on-site time at the customer's location, product beta tests, and field failure analysis. All of these sources of data are used for improvement and for developing customer requirements. Learning from customers, and their end customers, helps us to learn about our weaknesses and to continuously improve. It also elicits the information necessary to satisfy the needs of current and future customers.
An important characteristic of our TQM program is societal learning. Societal learning can be viewed as the network of learning within and between companies, customers, suppliers, and others who are trying to improve their quality practices. It is too limiting for each company to discover the organizational means of developing TQM by itself. A guest storyboard exchange program with other companies and all ADI sites has been incorporated, whereas several stories are exchanged to display the work of our partners at prominent locations within each facility. In addition, we regularly loan stories or provide presenting teams to those interested in learning about TQM.
Analog Devices continues to be committed to the long-term adoption of TQM into our overall organizational culture. We believe that TQM is a major means to achieving our business objectives. The involvement of all Analog employees has been critical to meeting our goals and will continue to be essential in the 21st century.