Quality has an utmost value and importance for all the businesses- be it a industrial unit or a services concern. The idea of total quality has developed from the methods of quality assurance in the early decades of 20th century. In this report we will find out find out issue of customer satisfaction and the idea of continuous improvement for Walmart. Analysis will also look into some other aspects that can impact quality of services in the selected company such as quality management approaches for Walmart, customer satisfaction, quality assurance, user profile survey, importance of complaints and complains procedures, importance of communication and record keeping, implementation of quality schemes and service quality.
Defining Quality in Terms of Business
Quality has an utmost value and importance for all the businesses- be it a industrial unit or a services concern. There have been many definitions of quality in terms of business and services provision. It has always been a bit difficult to define quality. However, an appropriate and very simple definition says, “Quality is about meeting the needs and expectations of customers.” Below is the customers’ perspective of quality: •Suitable design
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Quality in businesses is defined in terms of the relation among customer, product and the business. (Gryna and Juran, 1999)
Evolution of Total Quality
The idea of total quality has developed from the methods of quality assurance in the early decades of 20th century. Warlike environment enhanced large-scale production. The poor quality was the result of it. In order to improve the quality, quality inspectors were employed in the different large-scale manufacturing units. After WW-1, quality inspectors got more importance in manufacturing units. This was the time when Dr. W Edward Deming introduced his famous theory. This theory is called Statistical Quality Control. In 1950s, Dr Deming was invited in Japan by the manufacturers and in the same decade quality control had been adopted by all the manufacturers in Japan.
From 1980s, the idea of total quality is being discussed in the world. In 1970s time total quality was described in Japan as organization wide quality control which involved all employees of organizations- be it higher or middle management or labour force. In the decade of 1980s, this idea grabbed the focus of the rest of the world. Companies began to introduce quality management procedures. This new trend was known as Total Quality Management in the world. (Asq.org, 2014) Quality Management Approaches for Walmart
This approach seeks to create a system for an organization which enhances learning and collaboration to help implement practices of process management; this results in continuous improvement of product or services, employee fulfillment and business processes. Deming believed that the means to improve quality was present in the capability of controlling and managing processes and also in the management’s responsibility for the achievement of this (Oakland, 1989).
This includes the following:
•Usage of different tools
•Improvement to reduce variation due to special causes and common causes in production
“QM is the system of activities directed at achieving delighted customers, empowered employees, higher revenues, and lower costs” (Juran J. M., Gryna F. M., 1993, p 25).
... . The main approaches in quality originate from Crosby, Deming, Feigenbaum, and Juran. Crosby Crosby (1979) defines quality as 'conformance to requirements', and his approach consists of: Quality means conformance ... ISO 9000, Checklist 004, Institute of Management Juran, JM. & Gry na, FM. (1988) Juran's Quality Control Handbook 4 th Edition Kaye, M ...
According to Juran, management is the cause of main quality problems not workers. Achieving quality needs to take action at all levels. Juran was for Design Quality approach. According to him design quality can be improved by:
•Quality function deployment
•Design of experiment
Juran’s Trilogy comprises Quality Planning, Quality Control and Quality Improvement. (Besterfield, 1995)
According to Crosby management’s participation, employee recognition, management’s responsibility for quality, quality cost reduction, appraisal cost and zero emphasis are some important practices for quality improvement (Crosby, 1979, pp. 127–139).
He used to believe that lack of knowledge and lack of attention cause mistakes. (Besterfield, 1995) Similarities and differences among the Suggested Approaches
Similarities among Juran, Crosby and Deming’s approaches
•Company’s mission should be communicated to all stakeholders in a clear manner. All acts and functions should be aimed at fulfillment of the mission •Training and education are very essential at every level in the organization for quality •Effective communication, teamwork and cooperation is very necessary •Cost and quality are not in competition with one another The differences between Juran, Crosby and Deming’s approaches •The use of measurement is viewed differently in the three approaches above discussed. According to Juan and Crosby measurement should focus cost quality.
They see cost reduction as a clue for meeting customers’ needs. Deming was more concerned about unknown costs. According to him, measuring and meeting the requirements of customers are of excessive importance to implement quality improvement. •Crosby suggests that the final goal of an organization should be the products without ant defect. According to Deming, a quality product comes from the situation when a system had been producing a product which fell within limits. He also asserted on the need of minimizing process variation. Deming opposed the numerical goals. On the other side, more specific goals should be assigned to workers in order to teach them as to what to do. •Crosby as well as Juran was for selecting different suppliers. On the other hand, Deming was for selecting a single supplier- whenever it was possible- for reducing the variation of input materials.
... in order to determinate the service quality gap which involves the perceived service quality “interaction of customers and services” and how the company can ... little modification of an existing product if companies want to reduce costs, improvements or repositions theirs products. These two levels are ... A product is anything that meets the requirements of a particular market, this term involves a ...
Satisfied customer keep on coming back to purchase a same item. Customer satisfaction is a measure of the perception of a customer about company’s product or services (Anderson, Fornell and Lehmann, 1994).
Following are the solutions that are being used for improving the satisfaction of customers: •People who deal with customers set a long-lasting impression of product or services. Therefore, these workers should be trained and well versed with customers services. •Sales people of company should not only be fully knowledgeable in terms of product information but also able to forecast the customers’ requirements. •There should be some mechanism to deal with customers’ response and feedback. •The appropriate products and services should be advertised. Also, the process of purchasing should be easy and simple. After-sale services should be very responsive. Continuous Improvement
According to ISO 9000:2000 continuous improvement is a recurring activity for increasing the requirement meeting. Continuous improvement is the name of a process for making it sure that programs are improving the services systematically. Issues in continuous Improvement are work flow, data management, communication, customer service and all the things that can make some difference in workers’ efficiency. (Bessant and Caffyn, 1997) There are some tools available for managers to be used in order to implement Continuous Improvement. One of them is Plan-do-Check-Act Model. It is also known as Deming Cycle. Plan: Identify a plan for change.
Do: Implement the change at smaller level.
Check: Use data for analyzing the outcomes of change
Act: If the change proves to be successful, implement it on larger level; and then continuous appraisal of outcomes. Oakland (2004, p335) and his colleagues have developed a framework for a structured approach to problem solving in teams, the DRIVE model. It is an approach to problem solving and analysis that can be used as part of process improvement.
... gap between service quality specifications and service delivery where the management understands the customers’ desired level of service and specifies ... customer base through a variety of customer service research techniques. Have customer’s complete surveys about your products and service. ... has changed. Feedback on results, implementation of improvements and areas where additional progress is still ...
•Define the problem
•Review the information
•Investigate the problem
•Verify the solution
•Execute the change
Importance given to effective marketing and the type of information made available to customers Advertisement
Advertisement identifies and selects the media which provides the greater exposure for company. It is actually something beyond the running a TV ad or publishing an ad in print media. Advertisement demands that you should know everything about your product. For example, what are where are selling point and developing a literature that can affect the potential customers. (Vaughn, 1980) More Media Formats
Electronic and print media are ever green sources. Bill boards are also cheap source of advertisement. Our organization also used direct marketing, affiliate marketing, business cards, classified ads, telemarketing, and sampling. Whatever media format you use, be willing to invest the money needed to develop an effective ad campaign.
Measurement of Quality Management
Quality Management could be measure in the selected organization by 3 components. They are Quality Control, Quality Assurance, and Quality Improvement. QM is concerned with the quality of product and service as well as means to obtain it. Quality control
Quality engineering is used in developing systems to ensure products or services are designed and produced to meet or exceed customer requirements. Quality control is the branch of engineering and manufacturing which deals with assurance and failure testing in design and production of products or services, to meet or exceed customer requirements. (Cavill, 1982) Quality assurance
QA for short refers to planned and systematic production processes that provide confidence in a product’s suitability for its intended purpose. It is a set of activities intended to ensure that products (goods and/or services) satisfy customer requirements in a systematic, reliable fashion. (Vaughn, 1990) Two key principles characterize QA: “fit for purpose” (the product should be suitable for the intended purpose) and “right first time” (mistakes should be eliminated).
... students of this institution. Minnesota Business School and its Service Management program are aimed, primarily, on college graduates with desire ... it will definitely not only succeed in teaching of Service Management but also invent the approaches to this speciality that ... stable branch of global business. Besides the speciality of Service Management is very undefined and can serve the graduates a ...
QA includes regulation of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components; services related to production; and management, production and inspection processes. Quality improvement
There are many methods for quality improvement. These cover product improvement, process improvement and people based improvement. (Riley and Juran, 1999) Benefit of user and non-user surveys in determining customer need
User Profile survey
Watson (2003) has presented an idea. User Profile survey gathers the inputs required to quantify your user community’s usage behavior, critical applications, skill levels & training requirements, hardware and software requirements. The User Profile survey groups technology requirements by job function to help you plan and develop common PC platform standards lowering TCO. Features
The following examples provide potential uses of the data provided:
•The User Profile survey is ideal for planning and developing PC computing standards to reduce the total cost of technology (TCO).
•Learn how your Users use their computer systems including frequency, duration and locations. Benefits
The User Profile survey provides the following kinds of benefits: •Improved HW planning – used to develop common hardware configuration standards lowering TCO of hardware and operational support. •Reduced SW license risk & cost – used to develop common software profiles/standards to reduce the risk and cost non required applications. What do I get?
1.Telephone/email support during the data collection phase
2.Electronic templates to help collect necessary information
3.Softcopy (PDF) findings report
Methods of consultation employed
Unions and Employee Involvement
In general, unions support quality improvement programs but express concerns regard- Management exercising too much control over employees. Union representatives I must be involved in any program involving employees. Although employee involvement J has been widely accepted, it could be a problem if not properly addressed. In some in-1 stances where management takes too much control over employee involvement, it could 1 be a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935. Some have argued j that a law passed to serve a good purpose in 1935 may not be appropriate for today’s problems. However, unless the NLRA is amended, it is in the best interest of management to be sure actions taken will not violate the NLRA.
... ) Field service The management subsystems also require integration, including: (1) Strategy with a customer focus, (2) The tools of quality, and (3) Employee involvement ( ... and management of all organizations. Quality Management principles provide understanding of and guidance on the application of Quality management.By applying following eight Quality Management Principles, organizations will ...
Teams should not discuss wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of| work. In some cases, these limitations will adversely affect the team’s objective. Both management and unions must examine long-held views of what constitutes proper union-management relationships. Desire for unilateral power must be changed to shared power for the benefit of employees and the organization. A joint process of determining how best to proceed to effectively meet the competition, especially* from foreign organizations, is the only sensible solution. Management must recognize and respect the unique role unions play in employee involvement.
A feeling of trust must be established and a partnership developed between management and the union. (Verma and McKersie, 1986) There are two ways in which unions and management have chosen to deal with the implementation of employee involvement in an organization. Some have chosen to work. Co-operatively, giving union membership on quality councils and having them participate \ fully in planning, implementation, and evaluation of the entire effort. Others have adopted the more “traditional” mode of bargaining the impact and implementation actions affecting those in the improvement team. Each approach presents benefits and potential risks. Value of complaints
Importance of complaints
By complaining up when customers believe they have not received the service they expected, consumers or service users give organizations an opportunity to fix problems and restore goodwill. If customers don’t complain, company would not know there is a problem. Complains procedures
In order for a complaint handling policy to work effectively it must be supported by a written policy and procedures that give clear direction on complaint handling. This will assist staff in resolving, conciliating and investigating all kinds of complaints from service users. It is important that the complaint handling policy is endorsed and supported by the heads of the organization, as well as senior management, and that staff are fully aware of the organization’s approach to complaint handling and the standards expected from them. The policy and procedures should be easy to understand, well-publicized to both service users and staff and easily accessible.
Role of self-assessment in determine the current state of health in Walmart Self-assessment is an essential activity for any organization to ensure its stability in various areas. Also a self-assessment helps the organizations to make amendments to ensure stability and efficiency. (Perkins et al., 2010) Usually organizations have a routine set of activities to ensure stability and development. A self-assessment would check those activities whether they are done or not. Those activities are:
•Board members clearly understand their roles and responsibilities for financial health
•Board receives and reviews complete financial information at every meeting.
A computerized accounting/recordkeeping system is maintained records
•Budget is reviewed by the board and approved before the fiscal year begins
•Financial reports are prepared in an accurate and timely manner
•Regularly plan for adequate cash balances, including cash flow projections and monitoring
•Maintain a system for tracking restricted or designated funds
•Payroll tax deposits are made when due
•Adequate and appropriate internal controls are in place and maintained
•Maintain a system for compliance with all required legal and funder reporting
•Annual financial audit (or comparable annual review) completed and reviewed by board
•Board and staff regularly review short-term and long-term plans and goals
Importance of communication and record keeping
The importance of free-flowing forthright communications, both downward from management to employees and upward from employees to management, can hardly be overemphasized. Whether it is to support morale and productivity among the workforce or to ensure that management takes advantage of employee input, good communications are essential. Where downward communication is poor, rumors and misinformation will fill the vacuum (Stegman, 1988).
Where upward communication is poor, employee grievances will fester driving down morale and productivity and increasing vulnerability to union organizing. Following measures are important: Upward Communications
•General manager’s routine staff meeting with supervisors to discuss production issues and other matters.
•General Manager’s routine meeting with non-supervisory employees to emphasize issues that involve pay and benefits, problems, and complaints.
•Supervisor’s routine meeting with employees to cover topics beyond production that are of interest to employees. •Employee newsletter for home delivery.
•Newsletters for supervisors.
•Employee handbook: Handbooks should be published in an attractive, easy-to-use format so that they are readily usable by employees as a source of information.
•Routine discussion meetings between employees and their supervisors.
•Supervisor’s appraisal of individual employees.
•Manager’s appraisal of individual supervisors.
•Employee suggestion program.
The main focus of business communications is to give out information, make your ideas understood, initiate some action, share ideas or attitudes or beliefs and establish links with other people. Record keeping
Everyone in business must keep records, especially those that will come in handy when it’s time to think about taxes on the business. Good records will help you to monitor the progress of your business, prepare your financial statements and identify the source of receipts. Implementation of Quality Schemes
Implementing a quality scheme is not an easy task for an organization. Implementing a quality scheme is a very expensive and long term activity. Any organization would need dedication, support and contribution from its staffs in order to implement the scheme effectively (Workinfo.com, n.d.).
There are some basic staff consultation steps for the implementation. A few are: •Making them understand the importance of the quality scheme •To get high contribution and dedication from the employees Once the employees understand the benefits they would support highly to get it done. Adopting the change
Staffs should be prepared to adopt the changes due to the implementation of new quality scheme. Trainings
Trainings should be arranged for the employees to support the implementation effectively. Main Stages of Consultation
1.The first, setting up, stage (now completed) has helped to scope out the main issues and the main groups and sectors to consult. It also ended with agreement amongst key parties on the format of the consultation.
2.In early November there will be a workshop for around 40 key stakeholders from specific groups and organizations. The aim of that event is to work together to generate a range of quite different options or choices for the future of The Rec. 3.Before moving on, the emerging options will be given a quick technical evaluation on legal, financial and other aspects. This will be provided by Ernst and Young
4.The next stage is for ‘all’. The main part of this will focus on a questionnaire asking people not just to choose an option but to say ‘why’.
5.There will be several formats to the questionnaire. One of them will be used with a statistically selected sample group.
6.The final task, working with the original key consultees, will be to produce a full ‘Report of Consultation’ – a complete audit trail to show how and why the result was generated. (Harchik et al., 1992) Improving the Service Quality
Strategies that have produced significant results in production are often harder to implement in a service environment. Thanks to the teachings of Deming, Juran, and others, significant strides have been made in manufacturing. The same results have to slower in service organizations or service activities in manufacturing. , Customer service is the set of activities an organization uses to win and retain of customers’ satisfaction (Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry, 1990).
It can be provided before, during, or after the sale of the product exist on its own. Elements of customer service are: Organization
•Identify each market segment
•Write down the requirements
•Communicate the requirements
•Organize physical spaces
•Get the customer’s point of view
•Deliver what is promised
•Respond to all complaints
•Provide a clean and comfortable customer reception area
•Optimize the trade-off between and personal attention
•Provide pleasant, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic employees
•Write documents in customer-friendly language
•Hire people who like people
•Give them the authority to solve problems
•Lead by example
•Listen to the front-line people
•Strive for continuous process improvement
I have selected ISO management standards to propose new modifications. Here are the common principles of ISO management standards: •Customer focus
•Involvement of people
•System approach to management
•Factual approach to decision making
•Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
•Proposed new principles
•Evaluation of customer service skills of employees
•Increased effectiveness of service
•Increased customer satisfaction
•Increased customer retention
•Increased customer base and market share
•Better image for the organization
•Better communication with customers
•Increased employee retention
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