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A comparison of TQM versus Six sigma

Almost every manufacturing company is worried about their quality, no matter what department it is. The reason for this is that your overall quality can actually affect your relationship with your customers and in manufacturing your customers are everything. Basically in manufacturing if your customers are not happy with your quality they are not going to use your company which means you are going to suffer when it comes to sales and overall profits. But if your customers are happy with your quality then they are going to come back over and over again, not to mention refer you to other companies, which can in turn increase your sales and improve your overall profits.

And because so many manufacturing companies are concerned with their quality they decide to implement programs that are designed to help them improve their quality. Two of the major programs that many manufacturing companies use are six sigma and TQM, which stands for total quality management. Both of these programs are designed to help improve a manufacturing companies quality and in fact both of these programs have quite a bit in common. But the problem is that many companies tend to think that you can only use one program or the other, when in fact to get the best results you can actually use both. The reason for this is that TQM is designed as a strategic approach that focuses on maintaining existing quality standards but making small and steady quality improvements. Where as six sigma is designed to give you more detailed results, basically six sigma focuses on one area at a time rather than in a broad sense.

But in order to get a better understanding of what six sigma is we should take a closer look at six sigma. Six Sigma is a method or a set of techniques and in the business world it has become a movement that is focused on business process improvement. Six Sigma is a quality measurement and improvement program that is designed to focus on improving the capability of a company's business processes. Which is the same thing that total quality management is designed for, but six sigma requires you to take a look at one section at a time and to actually look at your quality standards to see if they need to be improved, total quality management only requires that you keep your existing standards.

Here is a look at some of the differences between TQM and six sigma.
- One way that the differ is that TQM helps in improving quality but it often reaches a stage where no further quality improvements can be made. Where as six sigma is different because it focuses on taking quality improvement processes to the next level.
- Another difference is that TQM views quality as conformance to internal requirements while six sigma focuses on improving quality by reducing the number of defects.
- Another thing that is different is that six sigma helps numerous organizations because it reduces the operational costs by focusing on reducing the number of defects that are produced, reducing the cycle time, and cost savings.
- Six sigma is also different because of how it focuses on cost cutting measures that can reduce the value and quality, basically six sigma focuses on getting rid of costs that have no value to the customer.
- TQM focuses on improving individual operations within unrelated business processes, which means it has a broad view compared to six sigma's narrow view, which focuses on improving all operations in a single business process.

But just because the programs have numerous differences that doesn't mean that one is better than the other. What you need to keep in mind is that each program is better suited for certain situations, what this means is that both programs might not work in the same environment.

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