Total quality (TQM) has appeared as a synthesis of a number of similar concepts, which at the same time had certain differences. These concepts were proposed by outstanding people who are often called “guru”¯, “teachers and guides of quality”¯.
They all had a tremendous influence on the economies of different countries and facilitated the transition to the age of TQM. Their theories have a collective nature uniting everything the most valuable in the experience of various companies and countries. They all show the increasing role of workers and employees in achieving the successful development and competitiveness of companies, as well as the importance of motivation and continuous learning. Many quality gurus have were successful managers, including Deming, Juran, Crosby, Feigenbaum, etc (Oakland, 1993).
Deming’s methods of statistical quality control urged managers to focus on the problems of variability in production and their causes.
Deming urged to apply a systemic approach (Plan, Do, Check, Action). He also called on top management to actively participate in companies programs to improve the quality.
Juran developed the famous “spiral of quality”¯, which defined the main stages of continuously developing work on quality management.
Juran is the author of the AQI concept (Annual Quality Improvement) which suggests activities like preparation of the annual program of quality improvement, development of methods to improve the quality, its measurement and evaluation, training and implementing statistical methods, improving the organization of work in the administrative area (Hoyle, 2006).
Feigenbaum formulated the concept of total quality management (TQC), the main idea of which is that quality management should address all the stages of product creation and all levels of management hierarchy of the enterprise in the implementation of technical, economic, institutional and socio-psychological events (Oakland, 1993).
Feigenbaum made up four “mortal sins”¯ in approaches to quality: promotion of programs based on proclaiming slogans and superficial changes; choice of programs, which focus on workers and don’t take into account engineering services; unwillingness to recognize that there is no constant quality level (it should be continuously increased); misconception concerning automation, which is not the last word in quality improvement.
Philip Crosby formulated 14 principles determining the sequence of actions providing the quality at the enterprises. Crosby is also the author of ZD (Zero Defect). Studying the issues of quality valuation, Crosby said that manufacturer has to pay not for the quality, but for its presence, which should be a subject to continuous monitoring and analysis.
Six Sigma program is a new idea of management, involving constant monitoring of all operations within the business process. Six Sigma allows to evaluate the degree to which a particular product or service is free of defects and errors. It consists of the following steps: selection of controlled products and services; customer needs assessment; identification of resources needed for the needed quality level; development of business processes; their optimization; elimination of errors that affect the quality; continuous monitoring and control.
Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is a process for analysis of possible failures, categorization by difficulty or identifying of the impact of system failures. It is applied in manufacturing in different stages of the life cycle. Failure modes are any mistakes or faults in characteristics that impact the client, and can be possible or real (Hoyle, 2006).
Voice of the Customer (VOC) is a market survey method producing a thorough set of consumer needs. It usually comprises qualitative and quantitative study stages. They are typically performed at the beginning of any new project for comprehending consumer needs.
All the mentioned approaches are intended for the best understanding of consumer expectations, planning of product quality, its assurance and control in order to get a high quality product meeting all the requirements, which will lead to company’s financial and social success.