Introduction In a competitive market place, the ability of companies to gain efficiencies through product or process improvements provides the edge to gain market share and increase profits. The need to improve efficiency led to the study of quality management as a discipline essential for the successful business. “Total Quality Management” is one methodology that has key principles to outline methods to improve quality. “Six Sigma” is another methodology created with the goal to increase efficiency and improve quality. Examination of these two methodologies will show two different approaches and principles used to integrate rigorous quality measurement into a management system.
Modern quality management can be traced
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Additional principles include continuous improvement, company culture and employee involvement. This brief list of principles provides a brief overview of TQM. Implementation of these TQM principles depends on the product or service of the company and there are many more quality principles that can be referenced in a more through study of TQM. The overall goal of these principles is to meet the higher expectations of the modern competitive market. While higher expectations in manufacturing are associated with manufactured products, TQM principles can now apply to all sectors including the service industry. TQM applies a variety of tools, techniques and methodologies to serve as drivers for organizational change. This integrated approach leads to continuous improvement.
Six Sigma Six Sigma is another quality improvement initiative focused on reducing defects in the end product. It is a business strategy used to identify and eliminate causes of errors or defects by focusing on outputs critical to customers. The statistical definition of Six Sigma is 3.4 defects per million opportunities (Antony). This can apply to a defective product in a manufacturing process or anything that does not meet customer expectations in a service process. Six Sigma is a measure of quality that strives for near elimination of defects using the application of statistical methods. The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma