Pressure from world-wide competitors, stricter government regulations, conformance to quality system standards such as ISO 9000, and other market conditions are requiring companies to look for better ways to address the quality of products and services and become more flexible and efficient in satisfying their customers' needs. U.S. companies are introducing or perhaps re-introducing Total Quality Management (TQM) concepts to respond to these changing conditions in the market environment. A fundamental element required for the successful implementation of a TQM system is formal documentation. Documentation is the corner stone of all quality systems. Without documentation, a quality system really does not exist. This paper will discuss how documentation and TQM are interwoven concepts, the immediate benefits of documentation, and what is involved in documenting an organization's quality system.
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