Americans did not adopt TQM methods until nearly two decades after the war, when Ford Motor Company used the system after it had operating losses of $3.3 billion between 1980 and 1982. TQM helped turn the company around to where it had one of the most popular selling cars, the Ford Taurus, purchased by Americans. Other early dxamples of TQM ruccess were Xerox, which has started to regain its market share in copiers from the Japanese; Florida Power and Light, which reduced customer complaints by 60 percent and improved reliability of electric services to customers by 40 percent in 1983; and the remittance banking or lock-box business, which helped First Chicago improve its accuracy rate to nearly three times that of the industry average.
Typically, the culture in American is characterized by rugged individualism, and the success of a company often depends on bringing in an ace performer to turn things around (Schlenker). Quality control, on the other hand, is based on survival of the organization being contingent on the effectiveness of the organization. In quality management, there is the 85/15 rule, which says that 85 percent of the problems with a company lie in its organization and only 15 percent with the employees. Traditional MBO management, with its hierarchy of objectives and standards passed down through a chain of command, and quality philosophy, with the shift in focus from internal results to customer expectations are two opposing ideas in management techniques. Simply installing an elaborate quality control system in the traditional management system does not work. Implementing TQM needs commitment from the top down, and involves changes in management organization. The present organization must be understood so that the change can be implemented in the most effective way.
TQM, then, is a systematic approach to managing a company that uses facts through observation, analysis, and measurable goals, according to...
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