Impact of tqm practice to SMEs

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction and Objectives

1. Introduction

In today’s consumer driven world, companies are forced to offer quality products and at the same time also keep the pricing competitive to fight the competition. Today’s consumer is not only aware but also smart to evaluate similar products for its quality. This smart and knowledgeable consumer is pushing the companies to the edge in providing quality products at competitive prices.

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In the 1980s and early 1990s, when many large Japanese companies set up manufacturing operations in North America they suffered from a competitive environment that caused people to think that North American goods were better in quality than Japanese goods. To fight this general consumer perception, Japanese companies sought manufacturing methods to produce goods with a high level of quality so they could penetrate the market at a competitive price. “The Japanese management guru’s come up with a concept that integrates all functions of an organisation such as finance, marketing, engineering and production so that the company can meet the customer requirements and achieve their desired goalsâ€?. This was termed as “Total Quality Management” and till date widely practised by organisation across the globe [TQM, 2007].

What is Total Quality Management (TQM)? TQM is an approach to improving the competitiveness, effectiveness and flexibility throughout the company; it is essentially a way of planning and understanding each activity, depends on each individual at each level (Oakland, John 2005).

TQM helps in improving the organisational efficiency. As we all know most of the companies in the small business sector act as a source of raw-material to large organisations so it’s important to adopt TQM approach in their company, it is extremely difficult for SMEs to accept TQM as whole in their company as compared to large organisation as they always have the problem of finance resources, lack of technical expertise, manpower and some other related issues so it is important for them to revised the TQM approach adopted by large organisations which will help them to be more flexible and move quickly with a change so that they can meet the needs of their customers with good quality products with effective cost.

1.1 Aim of the investigation:

This research paper aim’s to locate the effectiveness of TQM practices in SMEs-specially in manufacturing sector and to discuss the benefits of TQM practices to SMEs.

1.2 Research Objectives & Rationale:

This research will look into TQM and its practices and its involvement in SMEs industry. Nowadays, competitiveness is based on quality for many organisations; hence it will look into ways of integrating organisation activities with TQM practices in SMEs-working within manufacturing sector. On the other hand, this study will explore the link between the SMEs and TQM practice and evaluating the benefits of TQM to SMEs with special reference to the TMD technologies Ltd UK.

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