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Quality Management

Introduction to Quality Management

In the contemporary time, quality management is considered on the top most priority of the organization. Quality management is seen as a very crucial aspect because customer needs and desires towards quality products and services has been increasing day by day (Emerald, 2002). Business organizations are undertaking different methods and approaches for the quality management and quality assurance so that customers feel utmost satisfaction from the products and services. Usually in business organizations, total quality management and lean quality management is followed to ensure good quality products and services to the customers. In the present report, detailed understanding related to different quality management approaches which are followed in the company, Boots UK would be explicated. In addition to that, in the secondary part of the report, TQM KIP analysis would be done with regard to the firm Costa Coffee.

Definition of quality in business and service operations

The term quality can be defined as “fitness for purpose” which is related to give the utmost satisfaction to customers from the products and services (Oakland, 2014). Quality can also be defined as a standard to evaluate the actual specification and features of the product and services. In contemporary time, large business organizations like Boots UK are giving significant emphasis on producing products with the best quality as it builds customer trust over the company products which ultimately help the firm in establishing the brand of products in market (Harris, and  Mongiello, 2001). In Boots UK, management adopts quality control and assurance process in order to eliminate the errors and defects in the production process of cosmetic products like skin care creams and makeup products. Management of Boots UK adopts this process to bring improvements and effectiveness in the overall production process of the organization. From the secondary information, it has been found that company also provides regular training and development to the employees to bring competence in them regarding quality management and control (Kanji, 1995). It has been seen that company has framed certain benchmarks related to achieve the set results by producing the best quality products. Boots UK undertakes a rigorous quality management and control activities in order to make sure that the products are of the best quality and specifications.In order to analyze the quality management practices of Boots UK, both primary and secondary data analysis has been undertaken.

Also Read: Total Quality Management

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Primary data research with regard to satisfaction of customers from Boots UK products

To conduct the primary market research, a survey was conducted by taking the sample size of 30 respondents who were the existing customers of Boots UK.In the primary data research, following things were identified-

Do you think products of Boots UK are competitive with respect to the other rivalry firm products?

Responses Frequency
Strongly Disagree 2
Disagree 4
Neutral 3
Agree 12
Strongly agree 18

From the above response of respondents, it can be seen that majority of customers think that the products of Boots UK are competitive with respect to other cosmetic product brand firms. This shows that the customers are satisfied with the products of Boots UK.

Do you believe that the products of Boots UK meets your expectation that are related to the standard quality product at the best price?

Responses Frequency
Yes 18
No 12

When the question was asked to the respondents that whether BOOTS UK is effectively meeting their expectations or not related to the standard quality product then majority of respondents, that is, 18 out of 30 stated that the company is successfully living up to their expectation related to offer the best quality product.At the time when respondents were being asked that what quality related aspect they see in cosmetic products then majority of respondents gave their response in the favor that they do not want to see any type of harmful substance in the product which could damage their skin. By following this response, people also stated that the product must be prepared with required inputs in order to ensure the best quality product (Oakland, 2014). Thus, this was the response of existing customers of Boots UK with regard to quality aspect. This, small survey was done in order to understand the satisfaction level of customers with regard to Boots UK cosmetic products.

Secondary data analysis to evaluate the quality policies of Boots UK.

From the secondary research, it was found that the company undertakes different approaches and methods to ensure better quality management and control in the overall business activities (Pizam and Ellis, 1999). The approaches and methods which BOOTS UK follows to assure greater customer satisfaction and quality management and control are detailed in underneath points-

5S Lean Management Approach

The particular quality management approach was developed in Japan but with the short span of time, it has been widely recognized and accepted all over the world. Boots UK is also one of the firm which adopts particular method in its manufacturing process for producing the best quality product so that maximum customer satisfaction can be achieved in the industry (Schuuranman, 2003). With the help of this technique, Boots UK make attempt to make well-organized workplace so that high quality products can be made with zero defects. The particular quality management approach ensures that workplace is clean, safe, secure, undisturbed and well organized for carrying out the work. The 5S lean management approach is developed on 5 principles which are carried out in the workplace (Andersson, Eriksson and Torstensson, 2006). These five principles are sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain. The sort element of 5S model defines eliminating or removing of things which are not needed. By keeping this aspect into consideration, Boots UK disposes off the things which are not required or which increases the production cost unnecessarily (Martichenko, 2004). For example: Company immediately removes the plastic or other liquid waste which pass off from the manufacturing process. The second aspect of 5S Lean management approach is to place everything in order or in proper arrangements. By taking this aspect into account, Boots UK has made its production plant in such a way that no idle time or wastage of resources arise. Company has designed its production process or say machines and rollers in a well-defined manner (Bergman and Klefsjo, 2003). Along with that, work flow can be carried out in the efficient and effective manner which will result in production of the best quality product. The third element or S of 5S model states “Shine”. Shine defines clean, safe and secure work area to bring quality in the production process or final product. Boots UK gives significant importance on hygienic workplace condition to bring the best quality in the products (Fahmy, 2014). Company has framed a set of rules and regulation regarding routine cleaning of tools, machinery and rollers, wearing of gloves and hair caps in the production plant and sweeping etc. in order to maintain good hygiene in the work place. The other two S of 5S lean management models demonstrates standardize and sustainability. In order to fulfill this condition of 5S quality management approach, company has made standards about the way normal and abnormal conditions needs to be dealt (Kelchner, 2015). Further, company also framed the policies that are related to employee's training and development to solve any production problem quickly.

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7 Waste Analysis method for quality control and improvement

Boots UK also adopts 7 Waste analysis technique to bring quality improvement and economies of scale in the production process (Top 25 Lean Tools, 2015). With the help of this technique, company makes attempt to identify those areas or wastage which could create unnecessary cost to the firm or affects the quality of products as well. The 7 wastage which are identified with the help of 7 Waste analysis are defects, overproduction, unnecessary transportation, waiting time, huge inventory, motions of employees that are not required along with processing. Management of Boots UK states that the success of their high quality production process is dependent upon the two quality management approach which the company follows (Harris and  Mongiello, 2001). The management also confirms that Boots UK is able to eliminate the wastage of resources, time, cost and efforts successfully with the use of 7 Waste Analysis. Manufacturing business organizations often see wastage of resources with respect to defects in products, long waiting time, accumulation of huge inventory and unnecessary motions of employees in the production unit (Andersson, Eriksson and Torstensson, 2006). Thus, with the help of 7 Waste analysis technique, company is effectively able to overcome from the 7 identified wastage and this ultimately helps the firm in manufacturing products with the best quality.

Kaizen Continuous Quality Improvement Approach

From the secondary analysis of Boots UK, it also has been identified that company uses Kaizen continuous improvement strategy in order to create best value products for the customers. In the particular approach, company makes significant efforts to reduce the cost of product for the end customer (Kelchner, 2015). With this quality improvement approach, company makes production by keeping focus on customer's needs and desires. The particular approach has been practicing in Boots UK since very long time to facilitate best quality products to the customers at the reasonable price. In the particular quality improvement approach, Boots UK management motivates employees to work collectively to bring continuous improvement in the quality of products so that best value products can be offered to the targeted customers (Schuuranman,  2003). 

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Company Background

Costas Coffee is one of the renowned name in the world coffeehouse segment. The company is actually a British multinational company having its headquarters in Dunstable, United Kingdom. Costa Coffee is also considered to be as the second largest multinational coffeehouse chain after Starbucks. Costa Coffee has its coffee chains over 2861 locations across the world. In United Kingdom only, the company has more than 1755 restaurant (Top 25 Lean Tools., 2015). At present the company has its sound business presence in 30 countries. In the financial year 2014, Costa Coffee has recorded significant surge in its sales revenue and operating profit which help the parent firm Whitbread PLC to record 16.5% rose in the pretax profits. If to say in numbers, in the year 2014, the company achieved the pretax profit of 411.8 million pounds as compared to 353.4 million pounds in the year 2013 (Emerald, 2002). In the year 2013, company opened 177 new coffeehouse chain in London by seeing the fast growth in consumer demand related to coffeehouse.

Quality Certificates with Costa Coffee

The company is already having certificates like ISO 22000:2005  which is related with Food Safety accreditation. The company can also get the Certificate of Quality for the Cappuccino coffee from the National Italian Espresso Institute of Italy (Kelchner, 2015). In addition to this, company also hire staff by providing them appropriate training about the way they have to prepare coffee and serve coffee to the customers so that proper quality management practices can be followed.

Different approaches to quality management appropriate to commercial operations

Before heading to understand the different quality management approaches, it would be worth to firstly understand the definition or the term quality in proper manner. In business organizations like Costa Coffee, quality is defined as something which differentiate the company product from the other competitive firms and gives utmost satisfaction to the customer. In the contemporary time, all business organization gives significant importance on providing of best quality products and services to the customers as it helps firm in building the brand image of the products and customer loyalty which ultimately add value in company sales revenue and net income (Akbaba, 2006).  Business organization measures the quality of their products and services by setting some benchmarks or comparing the own products and services with the rivalry or competitive firms. Many of times, business entities like Costa Coffee also evaluates their products and services quality by taking review or feedback from the customer through questionnaire method, interview method or through observation method (Martichenko, 2004). Now, a day’s Costa Coffee also takes feedbacks from the customers through social networking sites like Facebook.

Process of quality inspection and assurance in Costa Coffee

In Costa Coffee, quality inspections and assurance is undertaken by adopting different techniques and methods which are detailed in underneath paragraphs-

Undertaking Food Safety Certification Program- Company undertakes Food Safety certification programs whenever a new  catering staff joined the organization (Fahmy,  2014). The particular training is provided to the staff in order to make sure following of proper practices related to making of coffee with hygiene and in safest manner.

Failure testing-  Costa Coffee also follows failure testing method in order to identify the point or stress level of the staff at which they would failed to provide best quality product and service to the customer (Akbaba,  2006). Company also used failure testing technique in initial days of the business in order to understand the behavior of customers with respect to temperature of the product served. This was done to identify at what temperature level they should serve coffee to the customers.

Continuous improvement Kaizen quality management method- Costa Coffee also adopts continuous improvement quality improvement method in its total 2861coffeehouse chain across 30 countries (Martichenko, 2004). Company regular provides training to the employees about the way they have to deliver the quality services to the customers.

Range of approaches for quality to quality improvement

The different approaches which are used for quality improvement are as follows-

  • Quality Planning- Quality planning refers to framing of sound policies related to quality management, control and improvement. 
  • Quality assurance- Quality assurance is a systematic way to overcome from the defects or mistakes (Harris and  Mongiello, 2001). It also ensures that the same thing would not be repeated again in the providing of products and services.
  • Quality Control- It is process with the help of which business organization like Costa Coffee monitors and review its all factors or elements which are related with production and operation activities.

Similarities and difference between different methods related to quality management

There are different quality management methods like Six Sigma, Total Quality management, Kaizen Method, 5S lean management, 7 Waste Analysis, PDCA and etc. All quality management methods has certain similarities and differences in terms of cost, implementation period, documentation requirement, application, effectiveness and etc. (Schuuranman, 2003). The biggest similarities between the different quality management methods was found that all have origin or developed in the country Japan. The differences between different quality management method which was found is that some methods are focused on customers, some are focused on no defects and come are focused on reduction of wastage (Martichenko, 2004).

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Range of quality controls methods and the way service to the customer can be improved

The way quality management is improved in Costa Coffee by using following KPI

Industry Standards- Costa Coffee improves its quality management by considering the industry standards as key performance indicators (Kelchner, 2015). The company regularly watch and monitors the industry practices and competitors strategy related to quality management and improvement.

Business aims and Objectives- Costa Coffee also considers its business aim and objectives as key performance indicators to bring improvement in the quality of its products and services (Schuuranman, 2003).

Customers Feedback- Company also conducts customer survey through feedback form in order to improve the quality of products and services as per the customers’ needs and requirements.

Linking KPIs used in Costa Coffee with dimensions of quality specified above

Earlier, it was defined that quality something which differentiate the company product from the other competitive firms and gives utmost satisfaction to the customer and this can be clearly seen in the company's aims andobjective (Harris and  Mongiello, 2001). Every company wants to give best products with best qualities to their customers and with the same approach Costa Coffee runs its business across 30 countries (Kelchner, 2015). Company has set KPI's as its aims and objective and customer feedback to bring improvement in the quality planning, assurance and control so that they can give maximum satisfaction to their customers.

Benefit of user and non-user surveys in determining customer needs

Costa coffee usually undertakes survey method to determine the customer needs and requirements (Harris and  Mongiello, 2001). With the help of this survey company able to examines the frequency of customer visits, new customer acquisition, growth in business, people buying behavior and preference, feedbacks  about the products and services, satisfaction of customers with the quality of company products and services (Fahmy,  2014).  This ultimately helps Coasta Coffee in taking major business decisions.

List the methods of consultation employed in one quality scheme to encourage participation by under-represented groups

The methods which Costa Coffee follows to take suggestions and feedback from the employed staff to encourage participation are

  1. Open meetings
  2. Focus group
  3. Questionnaire method

Identifying the value of complaints procedures and analyses how they may be used to improve quality

Complain procedure is considered to be as very important procedure in Costa Coffee as it directs business organization towards the improvement in quality in effective manner (Fahmy, 2014). A complaint acknowledges management about what problems are being faced by the customers or employees and this ultimately lead their direction towards the solving of problem (Akbaba, 2006). The effective resolving of problem will definitely improves customer satisfaction if its regarding with customers or will enhance employee morale if it is related with employees.

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From the complete report, it can be stated the quality management and quality improvement is the crucial aspect for the business organization like Costa Coffee in order to grow and sustain the high competitive environment (Andersson, Eriksson and Torstensson, 2006). The report laid down the fact that a commercial organization can effectively improve its quality of products and services by using methods like 5S Lean management, 7 Waste analysis, Kaizen continuous improvement method. In addition to that taking feedbacks from the customer would also help the firm in improving of its quality with respect to its products and services (Kelchner,2015). Furthermore, company also set some KPI like customer satisfaction, aims and objectives and industry standards to bring improvement in its quality business activities.

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