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This report will discuss most characteristics and applications of Quality Management in Business;

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Introduction

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 2 2. THE USE OF QUALITY CIRCLES BY SARAH'S ORGANISATION. 2 3. OTHER APPROACHES TO QUALITY MANAGEMENT. 2 4. THE BENEFITS OF QUALITY CIRCLES FOR SARAH'S ORGANISATION. 2 5. OTHER BENEFITS OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT. 2 6. THE BENEFITS OF A RANGE OF QUALITY CONTROLS TO "FLOC". 2 7. WAYS TO IMPROVE FLOC'S CUSTOMER SERVICE. 2 8. QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND ITS BENEFITS TO ORGANISATION'S PERFORMANCE. 2 9. CONCLUSION 2 10. REFERENCES 2 1. Introduction Quality management is one of the most important management concepts of the 21st Century. Societies, lifestyles, preferences, communication tools, amongst others, have drastically changed over the past decades and so have organisations around the world. Individuals are living longer, being better educated and are demanding and expecting more from products and services provided by companies. Firms have found themselves in a constant search for original, innovative products in order to satisfy their customers. However, customers have begun to expect delight rather than satisfaction. Focus on efficient Human Resource Management and investment in IT and new technologies have supported companies throughout the improvement of their products/services and development of brand new ones. But these are not the only areas that need attention from management. Quality Management in Business has been proving to be the key point towards a business competitive advantage of the contemporary days. This report will discuss most characteristics and applications of Quality Management in Business; critically describe theories related to the subject; provide evidence support with current business examples; and will have focus on two case studies. Alongside with a critical approach to the case studies, secondary research and lectures notes will support most areas of the report. 2. The use of Quality Circles by Sarah's organisation. Quality Circles were pioneered by Japanese organisations in the late 50's and are informal groups of employees who get together voluntarily to analyse the production process, solve work problems and develop ideas to improve processes. ...read more.

Middle

Service is intangible, perishable, its quality levels are determined by customer's personal impressions. Loyalty to a service can be harmed easier than loyalty to a product. There are gaps in perceived quality to a service. Once people are involved in the process of servicing it can easily be inconsistent; one employee may have more knowledge of a service than others or act differently to customers according to his/her mood for example. If one part of the service was not satisfactory to the customer it may ruin his entire perception of the servicing process which may lead to dissatisfaction and the customer may never return. It is much easier to think of bad quality service examples than good quality ones, therefore, quality management within a service context is more complicated. According to ServQual model there are 5 gaps during the service process that may lead to customer disappointment. The model is shown on the next page. The ServQual model (Gaps of the service process) Source: www.g-cem.org A product can be tested prior to the sales, it can be tested against requirements, and it can be compared against standards. However a service can be unpredictable and many are the gaps that can cause customer dissatisfaction. It is difficult to manage its quality. No matter how well trained and knowledgeable an employee is, he might provide a bad service to customers if he is not motivated, unhappy or facing a bad day - the organisation will then be seen as inconsistent and low quality service provider. Plus customers have different expectations which make it harder to monitor the service. Hence, services need rigorously continuous quality improvements in order to delight customers through: * Inspection (e.g. Mystery guests) * Quality Assurance * Prevention * Perfection (aim of delighting customer's expectations) Appropriate Quality Management of a service where employees receive adequate training and career development programs, the service is monitored, and controlling actions take place customers are more likely to be delighted which can lead the organisation to obtain a competitive advantage within the industry. ...read more.

Conclusion

Quality Management is the way some organisations have been seeking for consistency and continuous improvement. Through the establishment and regular improvement of quality systems and procedures will determine processes specifications, standards and required skills. An efficient Human Resource Management will forecast demands, provide specific training and career development programs, and promote motivation and a clear understanding of quality responsibilities within job descriptions. With the integration of both products and services consistency can be achieved and the company overall performance can be constantly improved. 9. Conclusion The various sections of this report detailed discussed Quality Management characteristics, applications and relevant and current examples were also mentioned. Both case studies served as a guide towards the main areas that were covered along the report. Individuals nowadays are seeking for quality in every aspect of their lives: a good place to live; healthy food; recognised diplomas; satisfactory career; good partner and friends; good quality of life. The same applies when customers are choosing between products/services. They have their own perception of quality, their own requirements and expectations. These expectations must be addressed by organisations which aim to maintain themselves in business. If a company does not offer good value, high quality and is not able to delight customers it will not survive for a long period within the contemporary fast-paced and extremely competitive market environment. That is when Quality Management in Business has been proving to be one of the key managerial approaches of current times. Continuous improvement, prevention, seek of perfection and enhanced quality standards, systems and procedures should be part of organisations corporate strategies and the responsibility towards quality should be shared amongst employees and intrinsic within organisational values and culture. The path towards organisational differentiation, innovation and competitive advantage has its base on Quality Management in Business. Quality Management in Business has benefited many Japanese, American and European companies so far and it has the potential of also benefiting south-American, African and other emerging continents and countries if national awareness, interest and internal initiatives start to take place. 10. ...read more.

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