Please explain to me TQM and its relationship with JIT and lean management.

Total means everything and everybody in the organisation and extends to suppliers. It puts the onus on each individual and group to take responsibility for quality.

Quality has five basic tenets: right first time, zero defects, customer satisfaction, continuous improvement and fit for purpose.

Management is about planning, control and decision-making. If an organisation uses these principles as a basis for planning and control then it is “lean” in the sense that it eradicates waste from all operations and systems.

In applying this to JIT the eradication of inventory is a “waste-saving” lean aspect of manufacturing. Inventory costs money to store and ties up working capital that may be used elsewhere.

This applies at both the input and output stage of the process as JIT is a pull-through system triggered by a customer order.

Everyone in that system must take responsibility for fulfilling that customer order on time and at the specification required.

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