Total Quality Management (TQM) is a business management approach that was formulated in the year 1950 and gained steady popularity over the years and most specifically in the year 1980 (Lee, et al., 2013, p279). This was the year when it was greatly employed in various companies to aid in the management of organizations. TQM mostly describes the culture, organization and the attitude of companies that seeks to satisfy the needs of the customers through the provision of suitable goods and services. Although there is no general approach on the application of the TQM, it borrows heavily on the techniques and tools of quality management that were developed before the 1950s. The tools and techniques greatly helped in the management of quality and improving the performance of companies through the introduction of policies, standards and procedures aimed at fulfilling organizational objectives and satisfaction of customers needs. TQM enjoyed widespread popularity in the 1980s and 1990s before the introduction of ISO 9000, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing (Lee, et al., 2013, p280).
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is the process of analyzing and redesigning enterprises and identifying the inefficiencies of workflows in such enterprises. Much focus is put in the end-to-end process where any ineffectiveness in such processes are optimized and automation of non-value-added tasks is done. BPR being developed in the 1990s, it aimed at carrying out holistic analysis of businesses and organizations to help create an overhaul of business processes (Psomas et al., 2014, p431). In a more general sense, the objectives of BPR are to cut operational costs, improve customer service and optimize customer satisfaction and help companies to become world-class competitors. In the mid-1990s, 60 percent of companies in the globe proved to have initiated the BPR procedure otherwise planned to initiate such procedures. Such gestures proved the effectiveness of BPR in business organizations as the results of implementing BPR was evident in the running of business organizations and the improvement in the performance of such organizations.
There have been wide debates on the effectiveness of both TQM and BPR in the running of businesses in the modern society. This is because both business processes have their own benefits and disadvantages to the business organization and there is therefore the need to analyze both business processes to identify the most suitable business process to employ in an organization (Ho, 2015, p172). While TQM puts great focus on gradual improvement of the business processes and incremental change in an organization, BPR suggests that the main way to ensure improvement of efficiency in business organizations is to enact radical redesign and drastic improvement of business processes. Although TQM and BPR have various benefits to business organizations, TQM proves to be having greater benefits to business organizations and this makes it to be friendlier to business organizations in the modern society. Comparison between TQM and BPR proves that implementation of TQM and continuous improvement in businesses is much easier and that in improves the performance of business organizations.
The idea that proper implementation of TQM and continuous improvement is more beneficial to business organizations proves to be true and this is evident in the easy application of TQM in the business processes. One of the benefits of TQM over BPR is that it is easy to apply in business organizations and that it does not require any radical changes in the business organizations in businesses (Ahmad et al., 2012, p186). There are difficulties that emerge due to the implementation of BPR in businesses and this requires that business leaders must acquire suitable skills that enable them to implement BPR effectively. In contrast, TQM does not require special skills or special conditions that BPR call for. This makes it easier for business managers to implement TQM even without limited resources in the business organizations. Above all, TQM does not lead to financial strains to businesses, an issue common during the implementation of BPR.
The second benefit of TQM over BPR is that it puts much focus on the need of the customers and the satisfaction of the customers; this enables organizations to enact minimal variations on the existing business processes. Since businesses focus on the maximization of profits through satisfaction of customers and provision of customers needs, TQM helps greatly in fulfilling business objectives as opposed to BPR. On the contrary, BPR puts great focus on overhauling business processes which might or might not lead to the fulfillment of business objectives or the growth of businesses (Lee, et al., 2013, p280). TQM therefore helps in maximization of profits because it can be implemented only through specific departments therefore not affecting all business processes. On the contrary, BPR involves cross-functional teams in the business organizations some of which are not directly related to the business processes.
The third advantage of TQM over BPR is that it does not require skilled personnel to enact. This is because it mainly requires the analysis of the business processes with the view of improving customer service and efficiency in the whole organization which is possible even among the semi-skilled personnel in the organization. However, the enactment of BPR in a business organization requires that the personnel takes a detailed study of the business organizations and understands the business processes thereof. In most cases, BPR requires that organizations employ business experts to ensure that the reengineering processes become successful (Psomas et al., 2014, p433). The fact that the enactment of TQM in business organization involves the employees in the organizations, it helps in improving the efficiency of the workers and that helps in improving the effectiveness of the employees. This motivates the employees to take part in the management of the business and to ensure that the business goals are fulfilled.
The fourth advantage of TQM over BPR is that is entrenches the values such as teamwork, empowerment of the employees and participative decision making in an organization. In contrast, BPR only puts focus on the redesigning of the business processes which the employees only follow with the aim of improving the business processes. TQM therefore proves to be a better business process than BPR since it encourages the employees to acquire skills that help them in continuously improving the performance of businesses in the society (Ho, 2015, p173). Moreover, TQM is mainly based on genuine reasoning by the use of statistical data which serves to ensure that the existing business system is not wholly wrong but that only some parts of the business organization requires reviews. This makes it much easier to improve on the performance of an organization through changing specific parts than changing the whole business process.
BPR therefore requires more time as opposed to TQM and this is because of the various business processes that are required to be changed. The longer time required for TQM affects the profit margins and the manufacturing processes of business. Moreover, the processes of reengineering the businesses affect the confidence of the customers as it involves rebranding and repackaging of the products. This also requires that the businesses carry out fervent advertisement activities that help in maintaining the confidence of the customers and informing them on the new changes in the products that the businesses offer (Ahmad et al., 2012, p187). The advertisement processes involved during BPR reduces the profit margins of businesses and this affects the performance of businesses in the modern competitive society. Therefore TQM proves to be a better option in comparison to BPR in the running of business organizations, the challenges that may result from the enactment of BPR in businesses might result in the premature closure of businesses.
Since TQM requires that the employees in the businesses be trained to conform them with the trending business practices. The training of the employees enables them to acquire special skills in the business world and this serves to ensure that they have the ability to tackle the challenges that come with the dynamics of the business environment. Periodic training of the employees and the refresher courses that they get during the enactment of TQM in businesses gives the opportunity for the managers and the employees to bond and acquire a common mindset for the future of the business organizations (Lee, et al., 2013, p281). TQM is based on the assumption that the systems of the business organizations are right are useful only that they require a bit of improvement, however, BPR assumes that the business systems are useless justifying the need to start over the whole process. Therefore, BPR aims at dramatic results in organizations that may not be met, this is because of the dynamics of the business environment in the modern society. Therefore, a company might spend huge resources, capital and human efforts to implement BPR but results still prove futile.
The fifth advantage of TQM is that it focuses on the involvement of all the stakeholders in the businesses including suppliers and customers. This ensures that the businesses organizations get the views of the customers and the suppliers regarding the operations of the organizations where they invite the views of the customers and suppliers regarding improvement of business operations (Psomas et al., 2014, p436). This is a sure way of improving business practices and a sure way of fulfilling business objectives. On the contrary, BPR mainly involves the management of business organizations and business experts with little involvement of other stakeholders. In this case, BPR might not examine the genesis of the challenges affecting the business organizations and the new systems introduced might still prove ineffective. TQM involves all processes in an organization among them being order fulfilling, human resource management, marketing, manufacturing, customer management and marketing while BPR involves one area only, which is management.
Sixth, TQM makes standardization as one of its key points. Through this, TQM ensures that business processes conform to the required standards of processing, marketing, customer management among others. Therefore, TQM serves to uphold globalizations making organizations to conform to the internationally required standards of business practices which also encourages proper business practices in the society. However, BPR puts great focus on flexibility. Although flexibility has various benefits to the running of businesses, flexibility and documentation proves to be ineffective for the running of business organization and cannot ensure stability of business activities (Ho, 2015, p175). TQM ensures that business processes are standardized and the activities are documented. Therefore, when any inefficiency is detected in any part of the business process, there is ease of creating a solution to the challenge and maintaining the normal business processes without many changes in the business processes.
TQM is a business culture and once the culture has been adopted in the business operations, the employees and the management conform to it in order to ensure that there is the fulfillment of business objectives. TQM is therefore absorbed in the everyday operations in the business activities making it easier to manage the business activities (Ahmad et al., 2012, p190). BPR on the other hand is a business project that once the objectives are fulfilled, the project is ab...
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