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The report will supply a detailed analysis of Royal Mail and how it came to achieve such high standards with in total quality. It was accomplished over numerous years with extensive planning and monitoring.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction The report will supply a detailed analysis of Royal Mail and how it came to achieve such high standards with in total quality. It was accomplished over numerous years with extensive planning and monitoring. The report shall also investigate, compare and contrast companies and their methods of monitoring quality and how they accomplish their quality goals. The report will finish with an overall review of Royal Mails total quality and potential further ways that they can improve total quality. Background Royal Mail found trading in 1999/2000 tough, with increasing competition and the first real signs of technological substitution, for example, Electronic Mail (Email). Royal Mail is in a state of change, setting a significant challenge for management and employees. The Post Office has also taken some significant steps towards becoming one of a handful of leading global distribution companies. One such step was the restructuring of the Post Office into a more flexible and customer-orientated organisation; making it better placed to meet the demands of a very competitive market. Increasing competition is driving down prices at a time when customer expectations are rising. Liberalisation, technological substitution, consolidation and globalisation are also changing the marketplace. Over the next twelve months, Royal Mail is implementing new strategies for logistics, home shopping and e-business. Together, these services will give its customers a wider range of distribution services on a global scale. A more strategic relationship with Government and a change of status to a Government-owned plc - by April 2001 - will also help Royal Mail to address these challenges. Royal Mail have realised that any achievements are only possible through a dedicated and capable management team and staff who apply themselves to deliver value to their customers. Staff involvement is also encouraged with major decisions being discussed with unions to establish the best way to put them forward. Royal Mail is currently installing state-of-the-art touch-screen computer systems in every Post Office. ...read more.

Middle

Within Royal Mail there are some very large processes - groups of smaller processes are often called 'core businesses processes'17. Activities that Royal Mail must carry out especially well, for example delivering mail to its twenty three million households, if its mission and objectives are to be achieved. The control of quality can only take place at the point of operation or production - where the letter is delivered, the sales made or the stamp produced. The act of inspection is not quality control. To facilitate the benchmarking process, Royal Mail has devised a seven-point action plan. [Appendix E] This diagram represents a step-by-step process of how benchmarking is conducted. Royal Mail quality improvement teams play a significant part in ensuring that high quality levels are maintained. This is achieved by working through their quality delivery process, going from18: Output Identification Meeting Customer Feedback Loops Requirements By implementing a quality delivery process it has many positive knock-on effects: 1. It prioritises work so that the most important activities are completed first 2. Improve the quality of work delivered to the customer 3. Eliminate work that is wasted due to people not doing it correctly in the first place 4. Ensure teamwork and cooperation is carried out 5. Satisfy the external customers The quality delivery process can be seen in [Appendix F]. From the Teamwork Exhibition, Royal Mail were able to incorporate the following quality initiatives19: * Three cleaning booklets that were constructed by cleaners at Darlington and then distributed nationally Sources 17 Adapted from "Operations Management, Strategy and Analysis", by L.J. Krajewski and L.P Ritzman, pages 212 - 235 18 Taken from "The Essence of Total Quality Management", by J. Bank, Page 181 19 Taken from "The Essence of Total Quality Management", by J. Bank, Page 180 * Introduction of a new Meter Resetting Centre at Royal Mail Peterborough. As a result of this, customer satisfaction rose from the ease of use and reduced costs and Royal Mail gained from financial savings * In Guildford questionnaires were distributed in order to gain valuable information. ...read more.

Conclusion

The report has highlighted that there is a personnel issue that needs to be addressed. Royal Mail should look at why there are so many wildcat strikes, on a weekly basis, and what corrective measures should be implemented to resolve the situation. Sources 29 Adapted from "Daily Mail", 31st March 2001 A helpful technique to use would be the why-why30 analysis [Appendix I]. The benefit of using this technique is that the problem is broken down and attempts to find the root cause. Continuing on from this problem solving method, an alternative method that could also be used is the PDCA (Deming Wheel) [Appendix J]. This stands for31: Plan: Examine process method or problem area. Collect and analyse data and formulate an action plan. Do: Implement improvement. Check: Is enhanced performance being achieved? Act: What lessons have been learnt? Can the improvements be used elsewhere? The PDCA Cycle is a concept of continuous improvement. This simply means the never-ending process of repeatedly questioning and re-questioning the way work is conducted. The last proposal for Royal Mail would be to use competitive benchmarking, whereby they compare and contrast their operations to that of its competitors. This will become imperative now that there is an open market where new competitors will be emerging. As already stated, benchmarking is a proven method on maintaining and improving quality levels throughout the organisation. Sources 30 Adapted from Lecture notes dated 23rd March 2001 31 Adapted from "The Essence of Total Quality Management", by J. Bank, Page 81 Conclusion To conclude, if Royal Mail are to remain the dominant postal service within the market place that they have established over the year's. These proposals need to be implemented, checked and evaluated on a regular basis in an attempt to improve the total quality throughout the organisation. The report has shown that total quality is a never-ending process that must be addressed by Royal Mail in order for them to remain competitive in this competitive market place. Page 1 ...read more.

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