Difference Between TQM and TQC


Quality can be considered as an important concept to every organization. It can be expressed as a measurement which is used to estimate the standard of a particular product or service. In 1950, Father of quality management Doctor Edward Deming defined quality as something which fits for the purpose. Both TQM and TQC are directly linked with quality. TQM stands for Total Quality Management and TQC stands for Total Quality Control. However, there is a difference between TQM and TQC.

What is TQM (Total Quality Management)?

TQM is a continuous process of increasing the quality of the output by eliminating waste and the non-value adding activities in the system. In organizational perspective, a quality product comes within a quality process, which means that quality should be built into the process. Therefore, the process needs to be managed in order to have quality output. TQM comprises of some key elements as continuous improvement, customer focus, employee empowerment, use of quality tools, product design, process management and managing supplier quality.

One of the key features of TQM is the company’s focus on its customers. The goal is first to identify and then meet the customer requirements. Even the product with unique features is not valuable if it is not what the customer required. Therefore, it indicates that the quality is customer driven. With the impact of globalization, it is very difficult to determine exactly what the customer wants as with the varying perceptions of the customers.

Another concept of TQM philosophy is the focus on continuous improvement (Kaizen). Kaizen is a Japanese concept, and it ensures the continuous improvements in products and processes. It includes periodical evaluation of the performance standards of excellence criteria set previously and recommends improvements where needed. It ensures continuous improvements of productivity, effectiveness and efficiency of all processes in the organization.

Difference Between TQM and TQC

There are various kaizen programmes integrated into the work environment in organizations. These programmes consist of 5S, Kaizen Suggested System, Quality Control Circle, Total Quality Control, Total Productive Maintenance, Just in time purchasing and production, etc.

Another concept of TQM is employee empowerment, which means that employees are given the chance of making decisions and encouraged to take initiatives. Their contribution is considered vital while maintaining high quality within the organization. When concerning the quality tools that is used in the organizations, there are seven types of tools that are being used as cause and effect diagram, flow chart, checklists, control charts, scatter diagrams, pareto analysis and histograms.

What is TQC (Total Quality Control)?

TQC is about application of the quality management principles to the business processes from the designing stage to delivery of goods to the end users. It includes various Japanese techniques related with quality management such as Kaizen, Kaikaku, Kakushin, 5S, Genbashugi which expresses various ways of increasing the productivity of the organization.

5S is a very popular productivity improvement program in Japan and 5Ss stands for Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. Seiri is the sorting out and discarding of unnecessary items at workplace. Seiton is the arrangement of necessary items into good order so that they can be easily selected for use. Seiso is cleaning up one’s work place completely so that there is no dust on floors, machines or equipments. Seiketsu is maintaining one’s workplace so that it is productive and comfortable. Shitsuke is training people to follow good work habits and the strict observation of workplace rules.

After the spirit and practice of a good 5S is installed as a platform, a company can then develop and implement a super 5S program which requires a higher level of creativeness and kaizen approaches. When the productivity improves by implementing the above programmes, the unnecessary cost incurring for reworks, delays, snags is reduced and ultimately the quality of production increases.

Genbashugi is considered as a shop floor oriented principle or operation centered principle. When a problem happens in the operation work floor, workers know the best of it and how it has happened. They may not know how to solve it, but have some hints for solution. Therefore, managers or engineers must go down to the shop floor to see the actual work piece or machine and solve the problem based on the facts or data. These factors need to be considered in order to increase the productivity of the organization.


• Both these are concepts related with quality.

• Both these concepts explain about various techniques that can be used in maintaining the quality standards throughout the systems.

• TQM expresses about continuous improvement in the processes while TQC is about maintaining the quality standards throughout the process.


Photos By: dan paluska (CC BY 2.0)


1. Armstrong, M. (2001). A Handbook of Management Techniques. London: Kogan Page Ltd.