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Introduction

Total quality management (TQM) is an ordered system for managing processes, resources, products or services of an organization to satisfy its clients. The clients are the customer or its suppliers. The organization should strive to maintain its clients through continuously improving its operations. This is achieved through systematic problem solving methods and sustaining of excellent results (George, et al 2004). There is standard procedure in the implementation of TQM; each company can practice it in a method that suits its operations. Nevertheless, each company's application of the TQM programs should be structured and standardized to suit its particular procedures. The management therefore has the responsibility of structuring TQM programs to be practiced within the organization.

Many companies adopt the already established TQM model. The established standards include the ''Deming Application Prize'', ''the ISO Series of Standards'' or ''the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence''. In order to design and construct a project that meets quality requirements established by the TQM. The projects' quality management program should be developed. It should have four main components the four components are planning, quality control, quality improvement and quality assurance. The quality management committee uses the four components to ensure the provision of quality products and services. The principles of TQM are proved by various organizations to be effective. The teachings of leaders like Deming, Drucker, Juran and Ishikawa led to the development of TQM. Deming laid down 14 points management practices that could assist organizations increase quality and production.

The set of management practices has had a long-term success and customer satisfaction feedback. The main points that he put forth included creating constancy of purpose to improve productivity. Employees should not depend on inspection to produce quality goods. Minimizing cost through working with one supplier. Planning and production should be constantly improved. Employees should be trained further to improve on their skills. Instituting leadership, this will drive out fear among the employees.

Total quality management involves activities that continuously improve quality of products and services (George, et al 2004). Achievement of TQM goals demands that everyone involved in creation of goods and services be involved. Stakeholders such as the management, employees, suppliers and consumers work hand in hand to continuously imp-rove the quality of products. There are several common practices in TQM. They include functional product design, process management programs, supplier quality management, customer involvement at every step of the process, clear information feedback routes, leadership committed to quality, purposeful planning, cross-functional guidance, and employee involvement. At an organization level, TQM involves establishing quality production within a competitive environment (Womack & Jones 2003). Managers can break down the above practices into a few steps for ease of application. These include breaking down of barriers within departments, taking their role of leadership more seriously by continuously improving in it and establishing education and self-improvement programs in the organization.

Within an organization management personnel should perform a number of functions to ensure that the desired quality is achieved. The four basic functions that they should perform include providing  a clear definition of the scope, which should include goals  and  objective of the particular program, a presentation of the methods that will be  used in the improvement activities, an outline of the program must also be created and developing of an  oversight committee that will provide guidance  the program. Each of these goals should be directed towards establishing the required quality. This can be achieved if a teamwork spirit is encouraged and provided with the required resources. The performance should be evaluated continuously.

TQM find wide application in various companies around the globe. One of such companies is the Takenaka Corporation. Takenaka Corporation is in the building industry and specializes in architectural work. The company contributes to the society by creating environmentally- conscious people friendly architecture. The increasing diversified within the building industry caused the company to apply TQM programs to mitigate this challenge.   The goals and objective of TQM in this company is focused on improving provision of innovative architecture. TQM provides administrative simplification, and an ongoing system of monitoring performance indicators. The indicators can be based on information from customer satisfaction surveys or on problem prone areas. Results are evaluated with reference to the established goals followed with actions that promote improvements.

The company was established as a general building contractor with an aim of providing the society with the best works. This involves providing the society with the environmental space that it desires. Takenaka Corporation uses architecture as a tool for conserving life and wealth. The other aim of the company is to transmit culture from one generation to another using architectural work. The company views architecture as a complete and an integral solution to the production of each of its work.  It ensures that its designs and buildings are the very best.

The following indicators are used to define the quality of all its building. Each building should have an attractive quality that fulfills the needs of the generation. The building should maintain functionality, artistry and economic viability from generation to generation. Building-in quality is a process that includes first gaining a clear picture of what the customer needs. These needs should be reflected in quality designs. After drawing specifics according to the needs of the client, a building-in quality of design should follow. When this is completed, quality assurance activities are put in place. Quality assurance team guarantees quality constantly. This is the only way that customer satisfaction is achieved.  The customers and building owners are put first every time. the vision of Takenaka Corporation is geared towards implementing management activities over along period of time. TQM activities assist in the promotion of vision management and in the improvement of quality assurance.

The quality assurance approach

Quality assurance activities enable customers to place an order with trusting that the company will deliver the best work of guaranteed quality (Womack & Jones 2003). The client therefore remains assured and satisfied of the best job. Throughout the various stages, which begin from planning to completion, quality of each project is checked. The company stipulates "Job-specific Quality Assurance System" as the standard for procedures in each work. The procedures assure quality in individual works. Takenaka Corporations' engineering division receives ISO awards annually because of the internationalization of quality control. The company persists in applying the excellent aspects of ISO in its quality assurance system.

The company strives towards achieving customer satisfaction in terms of Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety and Environment. It desires to respond accurately to the rapidly changing environment. Takenaka Corporation introduced the application of TQM in 1976. It integrated TQM activities within its operations to make it a concrete part of the firm. The introduction was followed by inauguration of central promotion committee and TQM advisory board. In 1977, the company enacted quality assurance manual as the beginning of the TQM circle of activities.

Since the enactment, Takenaka Corporation has consistently improved its level of quality assurance. In 1979, the company was awarded the Deming Prize. The company has also received several prizes such as the Japan Quality Control Medal, Takenaka Quality Control Prize and the ISO9001 certification in 1998. The company revised basic policy for the promotion of TQM activities. This is consistent with the goals of the company, which is to improve the quality of management and to promote vision management. If this is achieved, it will result in quality products, services and operation.

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