Application Of Total Quality Management Techniques The Manufacturing Sector Of Nigeria Economy


In today’s world of increasing business competition, the long term survival of any organization depends on it’s continuous ability to satisfy customers needs and expectations in respect of the quality of the service provided or products functionality and rational buying embarked on.

Total Quality Management (TQM) has its origin in the post second world war in Japan.  This was a time when Japan was ranked poorly in its quality and manufacturing techniques on the global market as a result of its military and economic defects at that world war.  Japan however, had an unparalleled ambition to succeed and a good ability to copy.  At this time of both economic and martial depression of that nation.

A man by name General Mac Arthur of the United States of America who had a vision for a new nation Japan invited two America experts namely, Dr. W.E. Deming and Joseph Juran who made efforts to revitalize Japan’s crumbling economy.  They applied what was than known as the Statistical Quality Control (SQC) concept of management.

Deming having worked with Stewart developed his own version of SQC, which he introduced to Japan.  Japan’s subsequent emergence as an economic powerhouse is attributed to the application of these concepts that have evolved over time to become the quality management concept of today.  The term quality management is intended to convey a vertical approach to quality in an organization i.e. quality is a matter of concern for everybody.

One of the most consistent themes to be found embedded in mission statements, goals and objective, is that of ‘quality”.  Organization both private and public sector have been keen to stress their attention to product quality not just in their external public statements but also in the way they implement their chosen strategies internally.

In the last two or three decades, quality has dominated management literature.  Originally, this stemmed from the remarkably transformed years, a process which has been based on a dedicated approach to the improvement of quality in all areas of work.



The foundation stone of the company was laid on 3rd October 1961 with the name Turners Asbestos Cement Nigeria Limited.  Its name was later changed to Emenite Limited on the 24th of March 1988.  The reasons for sitting the company at its location at Emene-Enugu are due to proximity to cement factory at Nkalagu, proximity to the airport, to the railway line and to a river (Ekulu River).  The shareholding rate of Emenite are as below:-

Efex group S.A. Belgium – 5% Imo, Anambra, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi states – 49%.  Emenite limited since inception in 1961 as turner Asbestos cement Nigeria limited, has been a key player in the building construction industry in Nigeria.  Their ceiling products which currently constitutes 79% of their sales volume, controls about 245 of Nigeria’s total ceiling market, while roofing products constitutes the remaining 21% of their sales volume and about 4% of the Nigeria’s roofing market.  The current level of the company’s performance intends to be improved as the future prospects of the market is high, given a favourble and political environment.  The company’s range of products include roofing products, ceiling products and garden items such as flower pots of various designs and dimension.

The products are sold through a wide range of distribution network to ensure availability even in remote areas.  They undergo strict quality control processes that are in accordance with international standards to ensure that customers derive full benefits from the products.



It is difficult to find an agreement on what is quality since much depends on the perspective of those concerned i.e. it is a term which express a relative even though noticeable, difference between one thing and another.

The greatest influence on the total quality approach to management has been exercised by two Americans and one Japanese.  The first two, E, Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran, applied and developed earlier techniques such as statistical process control to showed that by paying attention to the continuous improvement of production processes and gaining employees’ commitment to the idea of quality at every stage of production it was possible to achieve consistently high standards of finished goods at a price, the customer was more than willing to pay in order to secure reliability and acceptable performance.

Some other renowned authors namely Wadsworth et al, 1986) Terry and Feigenbaum (1983) see total quality management as fitness for purpose, reliability, availability and price that play their part in determining what ‘quality’ truly means in a given set of circumstances.


Juran (1974) defines quality control as the regulatory process through which we measure actual quality performance, compare it with standards, and action on the difference.  Juran in 1980 showed that at least 85% of failure in production was due to management.  He claimed that this occurred because management was a problem, but they were not ready to think of how the problem could be solved.  He concluded that management should stop trying to cure the symptoms of production problems but concentrate on identifying and tackling their undying causes.


Deming (1971) places emphasis on the statistical aspects applied on an overall or total basis.  It also makes explicit the economic objective of quality control.  He posited that the statistical control of quality is the application of principles and techniques in all stage of design, production, maintenance and services, directed towards the economic satisfaction of demand.

Deming’s approach tends to lead to a throatier system of quality management with the top management responsible for the quality of the aims, objectives and fundamental strategy of the organization.

–        The middle management responsible for the implementation of these aims and objectives in accordance with the overall policy towards quality.

–        The work-group responsible for result with in a continuous program of improvements to productions processes.


The Japanese influence came especially from Professor Ishikawa, who in the early 1960s introduced the idea of quality circles.  This idea arose from his interest in the training of supervisors in the quality process.

Ishikawa (1975) posited that most American firms have failed to put into practice the quality control as expanded by Dr. Feigenbaum.  Ishikawa explains his distinction as quoted.

Our “TQM” resembles Dr. Feigenbaums’ total quality control in that emphasis is put on the necessity of performing quality control in all departments through quality control engineers assigned to proper tasks.  Our “company-wide quality control” differs from the American counterparts in that particular stress is placed on the “participation of all in quality control work” from the president downward to foremen and operators.


Lucky (1984) in his own contribution defined total quality management as the culture of quality awareness and quality improvement in every process in every level in the organization.  He further emphasized that:

TQM takes an external view of quality as compared with the tradition western internal view.

The internal view of quality concentrates on ensuring that the items produced conform to their specification within accepted tolerances.  This view considers that quality costs money and as production costs must be minimized, quality factors are always limited by their cost.

The external view on the other hand is pioneered by the Japanese, places much more emphasis on the original design, which the customer ordered.  This view considers quality as the heart of the production process where every part will be fit for its purpose and will be right first time with this philosophy, there is emphasis on continual improvement of the product and preventing errors rather than relying on post-production inspection to reject faulty items and to correct mistakes.

Total quality management in organization implies a total company-wide effort involving suppliers, customers, employees, managers and executives in a lifetime process of satisfying each other requirements as internal or external customers to each other.


Wadsworth et al (1986) remarked on a widely used definition of quality as conformances to requirements or specifications in their analysis, it was pinpointed that the above definition was used by Crosby (1979) who made a suggestion that such a statement is necessary, that is, in order to manage quality adequately, we must be able to measure it in a more general definition of quality; according to them, it is fitness for use.


Feigenbaum (1983) traces the history of the development of “total quality control” in five steps over half of the century.  These steps or stages are named as follows:

  • Operator quality control of craftsmanship
  • Foremen quality control
  • Inspection quality control
  • Statistical quality control
  • Total quality control

Like many entities undergoing a process of evolution their various stages of the evolution, co-exist.

Feigenbuam expounded that total quality is an effective system for integrating the quality development (planning), quality-maintenance (control) and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels, which allow for full customer satisfaction.

A universal definition of total quality management that is, a widely accepted definition can be regarded as that postulated by Bittel and Eugeneransey (1988) as the functional management discipline used for defining and implementing professionally developed programs of:

  • Quality improvement
  • Defect prevention with in an organization for the purpose of assuring that its products and services will conform to its requirements, that customers will be protected and satisfied, and that the cost of quality will be continually reduced.



Total quality management can be defined as the company-wide integrated quality approach in supply customer focus, product and organizational culture to achieve the common value and commitment to quality.

There are various approaches towards a successful implementation of the total quality management.  The two most common approaches are:

The package approach

The task force approach


This is usually based on the work of quality gurus like Deming Juran, Crosby, Conway and several others.  This approach recognizes that a package should offer superior product protection, introduce a novel dispensing method and suggest certain qualities about the product or the company, or something else.


The task force approach is more prosaic in that it provides immediate pay back and receptive feelings.  The approach is aimed at specific problems rather than the whole style and attitude to managing the organization.


  • Quality assurance

The overall approach to quality control in making the controls more comprehensive, for example, by placing checks and controls on the quality control program itself is that of ‘quality assurance” Conti (1993) defines quality assurance as a system of activities whose purpose id to provide an assurance that the overall quality control is in fact done effectively.

The ANSI/ASQC standard A3 (1998) defines quality necessary to provide confidence that a product service will satisfy given needs.

Quality assurance is making sure that quality control is doing what it should.  Such an effort should be organized with in a factory, company, or corporation and motivated by management.



An advanced stage of evolution of quality control is expressed by the concept “the quality system”.  This concept emphasizes the identification and elaboration of a comprehensive and though set of elements to be including in the quality control effort.

ANSI/ASQC standard A3 (1998) defines quality system as the collective plans, activities and events that are provided to ensure that a product, process, or services will satisfy given needs.  The evolution and expansion of quality control in functions and activities are inevitable in our organization.

Line quality, quality control is exercising an expanding influence on the establishment and management of products, services, enterprises national and international programs of commerce, trade and cooperation.  Later stages of the evolution of quality control have their influence on earlier stages as they continue to exist with in the overall system.

Quality systems usually include such functions as in factory and corporate programs of marketing surveys and analysis, product design, and design qualification; production planning, vendor policies and relations’, receiving inspections, raw materials and piece part inspections, inventory policies and controls, process capability studies and controls training of employees, motivation of employee, quality consciousness and participation, failure analysis, reliability, life and environmental testing; instrument calibration and control; maintainability of plant and equipment; final inspection, product warranty and liability, customer relations and analysis of field use data; quality assurance; quality cost analysis; management reporting; quality policies and manuals; and quality organizations.

In the last generation the world has seen a tremendous economic impact of the transfer of quality technology from the West to Japan.  Feedback form the transfer process is already contributing to a redesign, reevaluation, and new implementation of the system at its source namely in the United States.

However, many innovations from the Japanese programs are finding their way into U.S. programs.  Among them are: quality circles; more participation (rather than mere delegation) by top levels of management and single certified sourcing of supply with minimum inventories (the “just-in-time” concept of materials of assured quality, requiring no inspection being delivered directly to the appropriate production operations, just as those from the last shipment are being consumed).



As quality of product and services has been defined as “conformance to requirements or specifications” which ideally reflects” “fitness for use”, such requirements and specifications play a significant role in defining and managing quality.  Generally, a specification is expressed as a concise statement of a set of requirement to be satisfied by a product, a material, a process, or a service.  Individual requirement are often referred to as “quality characteristics”.  Examples are dimensions, appearance, strength, mass volume, voltage, output, colour odour, taste and serve life.  Individual quality characteristics are the elemental building blocks of quality.

International organization for standardization (1978) defines technical specification as a document, which lays down characteristics of a product or service such as level of quality, performance, safety and dimension.  It may include technology, symbols testing and test methods, packaging, marketing or labeling requirements.  A technical specification may also take the form of a code of practice.  The same document also defines a standard as a technical specification or other document available to the public, draw up with the cooperation and consensus or general approval of all in interests affected by it, based on the consolidated results of science technology, and experience, aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits and approved by a body recognized on the national, regional, or international level.


Total quality management as viewed from the foregoing literature review is a total company-wide effort that includes all employees, suppliers and customers that seeks continuously to improve the quality of products and processes to meet the needs and expectations of the customer at the lowest overall cost.  Total quality management has various features enumerated below:

  • It is a process-focus and places premium on prevention rather than inspection and crisis management.
  • It is reducing errors, wastes, and long circle time delay in operations.
  • It involves the art of preventing problem before they occur instead of fighting approach to problem solving.
  • Individual and departmental cooperation through teamwork.
  • It involves motivation through empowerment.
  • Organizations perceived as interdependent, collaborating link of internal and external customers and suppliers.
  • Committed to innovation and continuous improvement in process, product and services.
  • It is linked with meeting and exceeding overall needs of the customer, that is, customer focused, quality perceived as a journey to defect free (zero defect) performance in every thing the enterprise does.
  • Quality permeates all suppliers, employees, customers’ inputs and outputs.
  • It is a way of life and a never-ending journey, which involves being quality driven in all aspects by continuous improvement.
  • Quality goals are the cornerstone of the strategic plan for achieving profitability, return on investment and market share.
  • The major characteristic is the closer links, which are, forget between top management and shop floor operators. Operatives are encouraged to take more decisions and accept management and the formal structures that go with layers of management are being reduced or eliminated.

For the characteristics of the total quality management to be regarded as being effective, there are some processes that management and customers must have undergone.


The role of senior management in providing an inspiring vision, creating and sustaining a clear and visible quality value system and culture.



An integration of quality improvement planning into all business planning process.


The importance of information and analysis to the achievement of improvement in quality and identification of specific programmes that will achieve the organizational objectives.


Specific programmes that will allow the organization to develop and use the full potential of its people to achieve quality improvement.



The systematic approaches must be used by the business to improve the total quality of products and services.


Methods to develop process, products and service quality measures.


The system and process necessary for identifying customer’s needs and expectations.



The roles of total quality management could take five different departments.  They are:

Manufacturing sector

Finance sector

Human resources

Information systems

Service quality


Manufacturing:  The role of total quality management in the manufacturing environment should be to integrate customers satisfaction with the production process, e.g. some organizations are making certain that their products meet customer’s satisfaction through Quality Function Development (QFD) which involves sending their personnel to customers to obtain better understanding of how their products are used.

Another example is that others are moving into external marketing, goods primarily produced for their parent companies and making huge sales quotas for the operation.

Finance:     The marketing role/challenge in this sector involves basic market segmentation and product positioning which are currently introduced by some banks and insurance companies, while motivating on-going programmes.  The role is to build a cadre of personnel who will serve customers with a high level of quality consciousness.

Human resources:         Human resources personnel agree on the necessity to utilize marketing approaches with two groups to improve quality services effectively.  This goes to show the way human resources personnel can market quality and except complementary effect on customers’ satisfaction.

Their role again is to promote quality efforts.  It is their responsibility to make quality stories meaningful to all operating levels of staff.

Another role is their explaining the demise of the social contract system, the basis for employee’s relationships for decades in the past.  The concept of employee loyalty is dead, leaving personal self-satisfaction or the fear of job loss as the only motivation for improve productivity.

Information systems:    Information systems operations market their process knowledge to help support total quality management.  This effort will promote the needed marketing and total quality scenery.

Service quality:   This pertains to the service and administrative areas of manufacturing companies as well as to the entire service industry.  Its main role is the prevention of non-conformance in service and administrative activities and the continual improvement of service operations.



The benefits realized from quality control include:

  • Improving the quality of products and services
  • Increasing the productivity of manufacturing processes, commercial businesses, corporations and millions.
  • Reducing manufacturing and corporate costs.
  • Determining and improving the marketability of products and services.
  • Reducing consumer prices of products and services.
  • Improving and/or assuring on-time deliveries and availability.
  • Assisting in the management of an enterprise.

In other words, quality control can bring better quality, price, delivery, and sales, leading to economic prosperity.  The successful users of quality control are those who have discovered that it does not cost money but on the contrary saves it.

Crosby (1979) posited that quality control, as with almost any concept or discipline can be applied incorrectly.  Its principles and techniques are very flexible.  Its implementation can be over designed or under designed.  How effective it is in reducing over all cost, including savings resulting from improved quality and greater production, is a reasonable measure of the correctness of its application.  If it is costing more than it is saving, it is improperly applied.

This places great importance a quality cost analysis, a significant element in a quality system.


The whole concept of manufacturing revolves around service delivery.  Despite the fact that new manufacturing methods and techniques are frequently introduced and tried, the quality of manufacturing continues to decline at an alarming rate, and this calls for a new, workable and suitable approach that had effectively worked for other sectors and hence the application of “total quality management” in manufacturing sectors.  This concept when applied and strictly adhered to, will undoubtedly result in desired positive results and will enhance the levels of improvement in manufacturing sectors.

When total quality management is applied to production methods, operational with load per worker, placement of qualified staff and the level of utilization of staff in the different sections, proper adherence to clear, well articulated and consistent methodology, quality process will surely be established which quality product or service will be achieved.


The challenges for organization wishing to pursue quality are how to incorporate quality management principles into the planning process and to ensure that the organizational functions adopt them.

The total quality management organization is not responsible for quality or quality improvement.  It is responsible for managing a facilitative process a process that will assist managers and people to take ownership of quality.

It is quite obvious that total quality management goes beyond managers rendering lip services to conventional service quality wisdom.  It also transcends a mysterious process, the success of which depends on an elusive combination of organizational, cultural or market factors.  Instead, quality management is a disciplined management process, which produces results through adherence to a clear, well-articulated and consistent methodology.

Finally, one approach will be effective for all organizations specific approaches will necessarily very from company to company, based on individual corporate strategies, customer needs and long-range goals.


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