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The concept of identifying and controlling the processes that are essential to quality is at the heart of Total Quality Management (TQM) The best path to quality lies in making the product right the first time. Not by sorting out and rejecting the bad, but by reducing the bad by concentrating on the control of the core process where quality is obtained at minimum cost to both the buyer and the seller. The buyer is not protected from loss by inspection and rejection. In the long run he pays for the bad material as well as the good for he has to pay for the entire cost of manufacture. There will be no suppliers or contractors if there is no profit. The cooperation of buyer and seller in the control of the process has been shown to be the optimum method of realizing the benefits of TQM in numerous instances in the revolution in quality in the private sector. While there has been much enthusiasm for Quality, Quality Assurance, and even for Total Quality Management in the construction field, the changes necessary to achieve real progress are so difficult that most transportation agencies will not even give serious consideration to them. Transportation agencies are not faced with decisions that mean life or death to their organizations that is part of everyday life in the private sector and can afford a more relaxed attitude toward their problems. The benefits and cost reductions which have been shown to follow the introduction of Total Quality Management in the private sector should be an incentive to transportation agencies to undertake the difficult organizational changes required to realize TQM.
quality, management, total quality management, customer satisfaction, statistical probability, statistical methods, precision, testing, sampling, acceptance, top management leadership, continual improvement, knowledge, research, cooperation, teamwork, process control, training, benchmarking, strategic planning, profitability, reduced costs
Engineering Consultant, Pittsburgh, PA