Feigenbaum’s Views and Contribution to TQM

Feigenbaum's Views and Contribution to TQM

TQM was first introduced by Feigenbaum in 1957 in the USA. He was the first to define a systems engineering approach to quality. He is known to be the first quality expert to talk about the “cost of quality.”

Feigenbaum’s Approach to Quality

He advanced a manufacturing quality control methodology, theories, and practical techniques for improved quality. According to him, TQM is “an effective system for integrating the quality development, quality maintenance, and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization to enable production and service at the most economical levels, which allow for full customer satisfaction.”

Cost of Quality and Quality in Products

He put forward arguments in favor of bringing quality into products and services while addressing the cost of quality. According to him, this is cheaper than correcting errors later. He suggested the categorization of quality costs and their separate management.

Categorization of Quality Costs

He recommended three types of quality costs such as failure costs, appraisal costs, and prevention costs. Failure costs are scraps, reworking of a defective component, fire-fighting, etc. Appraisal costs are incurred due to inspection, audits, etc. Prevention costs arise from measures undertaken to prevent any kind of defect in the production process.

Total Quality Control Concept

His approach to quality management is known as, in his words, total quality control. When working at General Electric Company as its top quality expert, he developed the belief that “quality management is more than a tool for managers to use; it is rather a way of managing.

Quality as Everyone’s Job

He developed the principle that quality is everyone’s job. According to him, getting quality results is not a short-term way to improve competitiveness; implementing TQM requires hands-on, continuous leadership.

Pervasive Improvement and the Hidden Plant

He suggests pervasive improvement throughout the organization. He further maintains that a certain “hidden” and non-productive plant exists to rework and repair defects, and if quality is improved, this hidden plant would be available for increased productivity.

Total Approach to Quality

Feigenbaum advocates a total approach to quality. He views that everybody in the organization should be involved in the process and emphasizes quality-mindedness in each of the employees from the top to the bottom of the organization.

Employee Empowerment and Involvement

His contribution to propagating the necessity of the concept of “employee empowerment and involvement” is worth remembering.