Individual

Coursework 3 Individual Assignment

Part A

Introduction

It is important for the firms to make better decisions to operate the business smoothly. It is necessity for them to analyze different alternatives possible for the decisions and opt for the most suitable decisions that could support the proper execution of the strategies and plans. Regarding this, the undertaken report focuses on the analysis of the decision taken for the quality issues in Kwik Koffee. For this, appropriate quality frameworks are used to analyse the effectiveness of the taken decisions related to quality issues in the firm.

Analysis of decisions made for quality issues

Kwik Koffee majorly focuses on total quality management to enhance the quality level of its products and services and improve the competitiveness in the market. With the focus on the quality aspects, the firm is oriented to create the best customer value for the target customers. The firm adopts total quality management (TQM) that is the most effective tool to manage the quality in the business operations. TQM is required to develop the internal environment that could be effective to bring innovation, creativity and risk taking ability of the firm to enhance the customer satisfaction (Mitra, 2016). Quality is measured in terms of efficiency and supremacy that is perceived by the consumer about a product or service.

The focus on TQM enables the firm to maintain the quality of offerings and increase customer satisfaction. In order to maintain quality, the customer oriented practices are considered important to enhance customer satisfaction and increase customer faithfulness, word of mouth, sales sustainability and profitability. It means Kwik Koffee majorly focuses on customer satisfaction for total quality management. The focus on the practices related to customer satisfaction brings improvement in quality of the products. The major interest of the customers is to get the quality products and services as the firm focuses on the customer satisfaction to maintain quality aspects of its products and services (Xie et al., 2012). For this, a service quality gap model is considered that reflects differences between customer’s perception of service quality and expectation of service quality. This gap may be possible due to gaps between the management perceptions of customer expectations, service delivery specifications and service delivery by the firm. In relation to this model, it can be stated that Kwik Koffee takes decisions in concern to the quality issues by focusing on customer expectations and tries to meet them efficiently to maintain quality (Hubbard, 2012).  To exceed the expectations of the customers, it is required to train the employees regarding the quality strategy and ways to deliver quality products to the customers through operations.  If the perceptions of customers regarding quality of the products and services exceed the customers’ expectations, perceived quality is good.

For this, a decision is suggested to maintain the quality by reviewing the quality of all the production factors and focusing on fulfilment of quality requirement.  In this, firm needs to adopt quality control model throughout the production system including inputs, conversion and outputs. It means there is need to check the quality of raw materials, parts and other supplies through control charts and acceptance plans to maintain the quality of inputs. At the same time, during production process, control charts are effective to measure the quality of partially processed products (Mitra, 2016). In addition, outputs including products and services are checked through control charts and acceptance plans to maintain the quality of the outputs. It means the firm needs to adopt control charts and acceptance plans for the quality control.

In the views of Ou et al. (2012), control charts are effective to monitor the outputs of a process for the improvement and optimization. These charts warn about any departure from the specified tolerance limits. Supporting to this, Koetsier et al. (2012) also recognises in the study that quality control charts are significant to indicate whether the process is in the control or out of control. It is also effective to determine the variability in the process and identify unusual variation in the process to determine the quality aspects of the production process. However, Wetherill (2013) criticized by stating that control charts are designed to measure variations in processes, but they also give false alarms by indicating a process is out of control with special cause variation. It may cause unnecessary downtime and delays that may also cause costs to the business. In addition, control chars are not easy to understand as there is need to provide special training to the users. In such situation, it may be difficult for a start-up like Kwik Koffee to provide training resources. Such start-ups are with limited training resources and limited experience with quality assurance techniques. Therefore, it can be stated that the use of quality control charts may be difficult for the company to implement and use. However, the findings of Jacobs et al. (2014) indicate that the use of control charts in quality control process may be helpful to detect the deviation from the quality standards in inputs, conversion and outputs that may be helpful for the firm to detect the quality errors and take effective measures on time. Furthermore, the study of Mitra (2016) highlights the benefits of control charts throughout the production process and finds that control charts are effective to analyze and control repetitive processes and evaluate the product consistency over time and decrease performance variability. It helps to reduce the level of post-process inspection of the output generated by the process.

But at the same time, Schilling and Neubauer (2017) find that the use of control charts may lead to misplaced control limits resulting in wrong perception about the quality aspects of the products and services. Generally, upper and lower control limits in control charts are used to determine when a process is out of control. Regarding, control limits can be set too close or too far away from the process mean that may distort the information produced by control charts. If the control limits are set too far away, it will indicate the situation of out of control. At the same time, if the control limits are too close to the mean, it may cause false alarms when a process is still in control. But in opposite to this, Xie et al. (2012) point out that the use of control charts are significant for the firms to maintain quality because if the control limits are properly set and an effective training is provided to the users, it may be very useful tool for the firms to manage the quality. In favour of the decision, Hubbard (2012) also stated that quality control charts are effective to detect error at inspection in production process leading to more uniform quality of production. Additionally, the control charts are useful to reduce the wastage of the resources and reduce the number of rejects and saves the cost of materials. It indirectly impacts the cost of the products and services with maintenance of quality and helps to improve the customer relationship by reducing their complaints.

On the other hand, another decision taken for the quality control is the use of acceptance sampling plans. Acceptance sampling plan is the form of testing that is used to take random samples and measure their quality against the predetermined standards. In relation to this, Jacobs et al. (2014) depicted that it is helpful to inspect the raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products for quality assurance; it is used to accept or reject the product based on the standards. It is an audit tool for process control to improve the output of the drain conferring to the requirements. Supporting to this, Wetherill (2013) also affirmed that sometimes, it is not possible for the firms to inspect the quality of the entire products as acceptance sampling plan is effective tool to determine the quality level of the selected samples on the basis of the set quality standards. 100% inspection of all products is not technologically feasible because it requires more time and resources and may also affect the production schedule. In such situation, the use of acceptance sampling plan can be important to examine the quality of the products of the company without affecting the production schedule and consuming more time and resources. However, it is ineffective to use acceptance plans due to risks of accepting bad lots and rejecting goods lots. But contrary to this, Schilling and Neubauer (2017) recognize that this quality control method is less expensive as there is need of less inspection and fewer personnel in inspection activity. Apart from this, there is less need of handling of products as it reduces the damage of the products. In addition, this method is more effective because it causes rejections of the entire lots rather than the simple rejection of defectives so it enforces the vendor to maintain high quality and helps the firm to manage the quality of its products and services.

Conclusion

Based on different studies and academic evidence, it can be concluded that the decision regarding maintenance of quality issues through control charts and acceptance plans throughout the production process can be said effective.

References

Academic References

Hubbard, M.R., 2012. Statistical quality control for the food industry. Springer Science & Business Media.

Jacobs, F.R., Chase, R.B. and Lummus, R.R., 2014. Operations and supply chain management (pp. 533-535). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Koetsier, A., van der Veer, S.N., Jager, K.J., Peek, N. and de Keizer, N.F., 2012. Control charts in healthcare quality improvement. Methods of information in medicine51(03), pp.189-198.

Mitra, A., 2016. Fundamentals of quality control and improvement. John Wiley & Sons.

Ou, Y., Wu, Z. and Tsung, F., 2012. A comparison study of effectiveness and robustness of control charts for monitoring process mean. International journal of production economics135(1), pp.479-490.

Schilling, E.G. and Neubauer, D.V., 2017. Acceptance sampling in quality control. Crc Press.

Wetherill, G.B., 2013. Sampling inspection and quality control(Vol. 129). Springer.

Xie, M., Goh, T.N. and Kuralmani, V., 2012. Statistical models and control charts for high-quality processes. Springer Science & Business Media.

Supporting references

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