Three notable examples of companies that successfully implemented TQM are Ford Motor Company, Motorola, and Toyota.
Ford Motor Company
Ford began to practice TQM back in the 1980s. Ford Motor Company had a vision of developing better products, a more stable environment, effective management, and profitability by the 1990s. Art Hyde, Ford’s Chief Engineer, expanded on the Six Sigma methodology a step further by using the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) process to catch and fix problems that previously may not have surfaced until launch.
Ford’s Quality Operating System (QOS) was also critical in identifying and correcting problems within the manufacturing facilities. Six Sigma and QOS were put in place all across Ford to solve issues with defects and quality.
In the late 1970s, Motorola was focused on achieving 10X higher quality to try to catch up with its competitors in Japan. Motorola lacked a standard metric for sharing and comparing improvement initiatives. Six Sigma was introduced into Motorola in 1985 and was used to describe an expected design margin and product quality level.
Following that, a four-stage problem-solving approach: measure, analyze, improve, control (MAIC). These steps became a cornerstone for the Six Sigma process, later called DMAIC. This resulted in Motorola becoming the first company to win the Malcolm Baldrige Award—the United States’ highest presidential honor for performance excellence. Today, Motorola is synonymous with innovation and quality in the world of technology.
Kaizen (“change for the better” or “continuous improvement”) is a Japanese business philosophy employed by Toyota to involve all employees and improve operations. Kaizen sees improvement in productivity as a gradual and methodical process.
Toyota used the Kaizen methodology in the work environment for more efficient and effective production by creating an atmosphere that improves everyday procedures and employee engagement. It also assisted in making jobs more fulfilling, less tiring, and safer.