Total Quality Management (TQM)




VadiK teachings Vadim Kotelnikov

Japanese Customer-focused TQM

as opposed to manufacturing-focused TQM

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo VadiK

Inventor Business e-Coach

Author Innoball

Founder Innompic Games icon



Customer-oriented TQM means that one should always satisfy and never inconvenience the people in the next process because they are customers.

  Japanese-style customer-focused Total Quality Management (TQM)



“Market-In” Strategy

In Japan, 'product-out' is an antonym to 'market-in'. It is used to indicate a priority on producing goods without paying sufficient attention to customer requirements.

TQM in Japan is referred to as “market-in” because it is customer-focused.

TQM activities shifted their emphasis from maintaining quality throughout the production process to building quality into the customer value created by the firm by designing and developing products that meet or exceed customer requirements and expectations.


Customer's Perspective of Quality

Cross-functional Customer Service

TQM Practices in Japan and the West

14 TQM Slogans at Pentel

Barriers to TQM





People In the Next Process are Your Customers

If quality is to be maintained and improved in the production process, care must be taken to build cohesion throughout every stage of work. There must be smooth communication and cooperation among all the people at every stage of the manufacturing process.

Customer-oriented TQM means that one should always satisfy and never inconvenience the people in the next process because they are customers. TQM concept rests on the premise that assuring quality to each customer at each stage will assure quality of the finished product.

The concept “The next process is the customer” led to the formal commitment never to send defective parts to those in the following process and was later institutionalized as the kamban system.

Design engineers treat manufacturing people as their customers and try to satisfy them when they work on a new product.


Competitive Advantage of Japanese Firms

Lean Manufacturing

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)


Kaizen Mindset

Kaizen Culture

Kaizen and TQM

Value Chain Innovation

Passion for Customers

Customer-focused Culture






Learn from Great Firms




Konosuke Matsushita advice quotes

Company's vision must be driven by the aspirations of its customers.

Konosuke Matsushita



Akio Morita advice quotes Sony

I believe people work for satisfaction. People need money, but they also want to be happy in their work and proud of it.

Akio Morita


Soichiro Honda quotes

For the customer who receives a defective product, the product is 100% defective. For him, the product is 100% a failure.

Soichiro Honda




Komatsu, a world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, defines its TQM goal as “Satisfying Komatsu’s worldwide customers through rational, cost-conscious research, development, sales, and servicing.”

At Komatsu, cross-functional management committees are placed under the TQM committee and divided into the three areas:

1. profit management;

2. quality assurance; and

3. quality management.

The quality assurance committee is intended to improve the system of quality assurance from product planning to sales and services.

14 TQM Slogans at Pentel

1. People in the next process are your customers. If you stick to the product-out concept, our company's name will not even be listed in the phone book after a while... More

Toyota Way: 14 Principles

5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time... More