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Quality Management and Operational processes

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Quality Management and Operational processes Table Of Contents 2.0 A broad description of the organisation and the service being examined 3 2.1 Analysis of current issues & quality techniques 3 2.2 Key constraints and the sustainability of the operation 4 3.0 Analysis on managerial preference 5 4.0 Theoretical perspectives and Quality Management Analysis 6 4.1 Application of the six-sigma and/or lean-sigma techniques and their deployment 7 4.2 Efficiency and elimination wasteful activities utilising the lean sigma approach 8 4.3 FIT SIGMA, A sustainable cost effective quality management technique 11 5.0 Recommendations 12 6.0 Conclusions 13 7.0 References: 14 2.0 A broad description of the organisation and the service being examined Work and Income is a government department that provides financial assistance and employment services throughout New Zealand. There are over 140 service centres grouped into 11 regions throughout the country and are networked to five contact centres with a central processing unit based in Wellington. The Community Services Card that was introduced in the early 1990s is among other welfare services designed to help eligible individuals and families with the costs of health care, services and medical prescriptions. Public subsidy of primary health care is based on a mixture of families' income and special assistance for children thereby offering a reduced rate for prescriptions and health care costs. 2.1 Analysis of current issues & quality techniques According to the Ministry of social development, 1.1 million New Zealanders were issued with Community Service Card (CSC) by the end of 2004. Theses cards are valid for one year and the process of verification and issuing of cards is repeated on each one of the registered beneficiaries. The analysis of CSC is centered on the current processing procedure that has been impacting the supply chain of the desired quality service to the consumer. The consumers of the CSC who can access subsidized health services are those from low to middle income earners. ...read more.


The contradictory information could be used to measure the organisational services and it could be assumed that there is lack of training or it could be competency issues or lack of standardisation with staff at CSC. While we don't have empirical evidence to back up this assumption, our telephone calls to CSC processing unit on different intervals, speaking to different call centre agents asking for the same information, but getting different responses indicates a gap within the system. In retrospect, the overall service quality of the organization could be infringed significantly. This gap could be closed given the Deming proposal to combine relevant resources and skills of quality teams within each department to develop and design processes to improve quality. The literature shows that Quality Management have become proactive, making plans to bring about continuous quality improvement and to achieve a more desirable future. The aim is to get rid of poor quality from the product rather than get rid of poor quality product, therefore the gurus of Quality Management suggests that quality is progressed by establishing proactively rather than reactive management. 4.1 Application of the six-sigma and/or lean-sigma techniques and their deployment. There are many quality tools that can be used in the CSC operational process and Six Sigma according to Basu and Wright (2003) has to be incontrovertibly applicable to service industry given its objectives that is to gain significant breakthroughs and improved results by doing things better, faster and cheaper. On the other hand Lean Six Sigma achieves quality without waste and focuses on using the minimum amount of resources (people, materials, and capital) to produce solutions and deliver them on time to customers. The process, however, does not have the discipline to deliver results predictably. The application of the two techniques in our view could enhance the CSC services since Lean Sigma is the application of lean techniques to increase speed and reduce waste, while Six Sigma improves quality and focuses on the voice of the Customer. ...read more.


This is complimented by use of Six Sigma where the variables that do not add value are either reduced or avoided. All these activities will lead into LEAN SIGMA with unnecessary elements trimmed so as to channel all the resources to improving and sustaining performance of the organisation and thus FIT SIGMA. This frame will enhance the services and reduce employee stress that is related with over workload and dealing with disgruntled customers. It is our view that the use of the frame will also enable the organisation to gain efficiencies, improve the ways in which the CSC is provided to the public thereby having satisfied consumers and happy employees. One of the major areas that require immediate quality check is the renewal of CSC as this is not only costly, but unnecessarily stresses for both CSC employees and consumers. It is sustainable to use inter-departmental data base for processing automatic eligible Community Cards and the same system applies to revoke eligibility as well. Further to this simplifying the forms and application process can provide the same types of quantifiable benefits which are sustainable as client services will automatically improve and the perceived benefits will include: * Greater efficiencies * Faster response * Enhanced customer service * Reduced costs * Increased quality 5.0 Recommendations * Use Technology to link together public agencies and thus facilitating the relations and administration between public services. * Simplification of the application forms, verification, communication and process. * Introduce shared data for automatic revoke or eligibility of the community card. * Standardization of staff training and the processing procedures. 6.0 Conclusions The primary, long-term benefits of TQM include better services, reduced costs and satisfied customers (even, if they won't be there). Progressive improvement in the management systems and the quality of services offered result in increasingly satisfied customers. In addition a number of other benefits are observable including improved skills, morale and confidence among service staff and customers, enhanced relationships between governments and its constituents, increased management accountability and transparency and improved productivity and efficiency of the services. 7. ...read more.

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