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The objective of the current paper is to carry out a gap analysis on Al-Futtaim Motors. The analysis is based on an interview conducted on Al- Futtaim top management. From the interview, difficulties, and benefits associated with ISO 9001: 2008 have been presented and explained articulately.
Quality Management System Process ISO 9001:2008 audits were conducted as part of the case study. Generally, ISO 9001:2008 audit as part of quality management is carried by organizations with the objective of enhancing organizational efficiency and effectiveness towards the achievement of customer satisfaction. It is through ISO 9001:2008 that an organization increases its level of transparency and confidence to other stakeholders.
The chosen company
Al-Futtaim Motors, which was founded in 1955, has been chosen as the organization for the analysis (Al-Futtaim Motors). The UAE based company is the major automotive company in the region. As a growing sector in the Middle East, UAE has emerged as a major market. Al-Futtaim Motors, which is the main Toyota and Lexus distributor in the region, has experienced an increase in sales in 2012 (Global Capital 2012).
To meet the demand in the region, Al-Futtaim Motors has opened a new branch in Abu Dhabi (Global Capital 2012). Also, the company has opened a showroom in Aldar’s Motor World and is on the verge of opening others in Abu Dhabi. Al-Futtaim Motors is the sole agent for Hino Genuine parts, Lexus genuine parts, and the Toyota Genuine parts (Al-Futtaim Motors 2012).
Al-Futtaim Motors become ISO certified after receiving a quality management certification issued by the Det Norske Veritas (DNV). The ISO 9001:2008 certification to Al-Futtaim Motors acts as a clear indication that the company’s services in terms of quality and customer satisfaction have been excellent. Also, the ISO 9001:2008 certificate acts as evidence that portrays the company’s commitment and operational improvement towards customer’s expectations. Also, the provision of the ISO 9001:2008 certificate is a clear testament that the company is committed to improving its procedures and processes.
Presentation of the findings
After the interview, the top management gave the following responses regarding the benefits and difficulties associated with ISO 9001:2008 certificate. According to one of the team management managers especially in the logistic department heading key customer and business development section, he noted that ISO 9001:2008 certification has acted as a milestone to the company as it has culminated cultural changes leading to operational improvements. Operational improvements are an indication of the company’s commitment while meeting and exceeding customers’ demands.
Also, through the certification, the company has been able to improve its procedures and processes. The managing director of Al-Futtaim Motors acknowledged that the ISO 9001:2008 certification is part of quality management, which shows the company commitment towards quality requirements and customer satisfaction. Other managers in the team noted that through ISO 9001:2008 certification, the company would strive towards improving customer satisfaction, which can only be achieved through continual quality management systems continual (Phillips 2008).
ISO 9001:2008 certification, acts as a motivation factor to the company as a result of external pressures from business partners and customers. The management team added that without ISO 9001:2008 certification, the company would not have been in a position to expand its networks in UAE and be the accredited sole Toyota and Lexus distributor in the region. Also, it is through the ISO certification that the company has been able to increase the number of sales and revenues in the previous years.
Based on the findings, the manager in Dubai headquarters noted that “certification is only a guarantee that a company is using a quality management system according to a list requisites and procedures.” Through the years, the company has been able to exhibit long-lasting performance improvements in the automotive industry. The implementation of ISO 9001:2008 in Al-Futtaim Motors has enhanced the company in improving Quality Management Systems, thus customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, benefits of internal nature have been revealed as a result of ISO 9001:2008 implementation. This finding has been supported in a research study carried by Kaziliūnas (2010). Lastly, the company has been able to effectively and efficiently carry out its operations in the UAE and keeping a health relationship with other major stakeholders in the sector. One of the major functions of ISO 9001 audits is to improve the performance of an organization by building strong customer confidence. As a result, a company can have quality management systems compliance. This has been the case with Al-Futtaim Motors.
Despite the many benefits associated with ISO 9001:2008, some difficulties also emerge. For instance, the implementation process is always a major challenge. As noted by the top management, implementing the ISO 9001:2008 has not been an easy task, although the company is reaping from the efforts. For instance, just as acknowledged by Phillips (2008), ISO 9001:2008as part of an effective internal process does not in any specific way address issues related to employees’ safety and health.
As a result, it may be difficult to convince employees to support ISO 9001:2008. Although employees may be trained on its importance, its implementation may be marred by resistance. The management also noted that audits which are poorly performed might result in the development of barriers between different departments instead of reducing them. This may cause chaos and misunderstanding in the workplace.
Al-Futtaim Motors Gap Analysis
Drawing from the research findings carried through interviews on the major benefits and challenges associated with ISO 9001: 2008, the section that follows is Al-Futtaim Motors gap analysis. IS/ISO 9001:2008 gap analysis check list was adopted as part of the analytical process.
Al-Futtaim Motors has well-placed processes necessary for quality management systems. The processes have been applied fully throughout different departments. Some of these processes are such as quality management process, continual improvement process, compliance management process, internal quality audit process, customer management process, resource management process, and internal communication process, among others.
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Through effective and efficient interaction of these processes, the company has been able to increase employees’ morale, boost customer satisfaction, and increase its revenues. However, the organization is in the process of developing methods necessary for ensuring both operation and control are effectively determined. To ensure the improvement of Quality Management System, Al-Futtaim Motors had adopted “Plan-Do-Check-Act” (PDCA) methodology. Therefore, Al-Futtaim Motors has taken action to ensure that these processes are fully implemented.
Al-Futtaim Motors has established, documented, implemented, and maintained a Quality Management System. Also, Al-Futtaim Motors has persistently continued to improve its effectiveness as required by ISO 9001: 2008. Included in the quality management systems is a quality manual, document statements of quality objectives and quality policy, documented procedures, and records. The organization’s quality manual comprises of quality management systems scope, documented procedures, and a detailed description of relations between different Quality Management Systems processes.
According to Al-Futtaim Motors top management team, the company controls all documents related to Quality Management Systems. Under its documented procedure, some of these controls are such as approving documents for adequacy before they are issued, reviewing, updating and re-approving all documents, ensuring that any necessary changes are identified, ensuring that relevant documents versions are available, ensuring that all documents are readily identifiable and legible, ensuring that external documents are determined before being used, and lastly, preventing the unintended use of documents classified as obsolete.
However, the company is on the verge of defining a way that could ensure that all records that conform to ISO 9001:2008 remain retrievable from any point in the organization by authorized personnel. This would ensure that the continued improvement of Quality Management Systems continues to take place.
Just as required by ISO 9001:2008 (ISO 9001:2008, 2011), Al-Futtaim Motors ensures commitment by the management. To achieve this, the management ensures that communication is well carried, available resources are determined, quality objectives and quality policy are established, and by carrying out management review.
As the sole Lexus and Toyota distributor, Al-Futtaim Motors meets customers’ requirement as part of meeting customer satisfaction. The quality policy of Al-Futtaim Motors is appropriate, well communicated, reviewed, understood, and the company has established a commitment policy towards Quality Management Systems compliance. Al-Futtaim Motors ensures that quality objectives as stipulated by ISO 9001:2008 (2011) are established and applied across the organization. The objectives are consistent and measurable concerning the quality policy.
Al-Futtaim Motors top management has a Quality Management Systems planning that ensures that requirements in clause 4.1 and set objectives are met. It also ensures integrity for QMS is maintained in case changes are carried on QMS. As stipulated under (5.5), Al-Futtaim Motor top management ensures that all authorities and responsibilities are well communicated and relayed across the organization (ISO 9001:2008, 2011).
Management representative has been chosen who liaises with external parties on issues related to QMS. In due course, the representative ensures the establishment, implementation, and maintenance of all QM processes. The representative also ensures that customer requirements are communicated across the organization, and QMS performance is communicated to the top management. Effective communication processes have been established within Al-Futtaim Motors, which takes place to ensure QMS effectiveness.
Al-Futtaim Motors carries an annual organizational review on QMS with the objective of ensuring QMS suitability, effectiveness, and adequacy (ISO 9001:2008, 2011). During the review, improvement opportunities are assessed, and records maintained. In accordance to the ISO 9001:2008, input review entails information of customer feedback, audit results, follow-up actions, and QMS improvement recommendation, changes on QMS, process performance, and corrective and preventive action measures.
On the other hand, review output entails decisions about resource needs, product improvement, and effectiveness improvement of QMS and its process. As earlier noted, Al-Futtaim Motors was awarded ISO 9001:2008 certificate because of its commitment towards customer satisfaction. Concerning the ISO 9001:2008 gap analysis, Al-Futtaim Motors has processes that determine and offer resources required in enhancing customer satisfaction.
It also implements and maintains ISO 9001:2008 requirements, coupled with continual improvement. To ensure competence and awareness, Al-Futtaim Motors carries training on its employees. It also keeps records of experience, skills, experience, and employees training. To realize conformity, Al-Futtaim Motors has developed and maintained infrastructure, which includes workspace, process equipment, and supporting services (ISO 9001:2008, 2011).
On the aspect of product realization, Al-Futtaim Motors has well planned and developed necessary processes. It has stipulated quality requirements and objectives, documents and processes, and necessary records. It also validates, verifies, monitors, measures, inspects, and tests activities related to product acceptance. Al-Futtaim Motors has customer related processes which adhere to regulatory and statutory product requirements. It also reviews product requirement. Specifically, the review entails products requirement definition, contract review, and the ability to meet stipulated product requirements.
Al-Futtaim Motors communicates with target customers on issues related to product information, customer feedback, contracts, and enquires. However, since Al-Futtaim Motors is an automotive distribution company, the organization lacks requirements (7.3) of the ISO 9001:2008 on design and development (ISO 9001:2008). However, Al-Futtaim Motors ensures that the purchased products (vehicles) conform to purchase requirements. It has selected its major suppliers, which are Toyota and Lexus, and ensured that the purchased products meet the demands and expectations of consumers in the UAE region.
In other words, Al-Futtaim Motors ensures communication with its main suppliers. Products are verified to ensure they meet purchase requirements. Since no production is carried, Al-Futtaim Motors provides services which are validated through QRM processes to achieve planned goals. This is carried through recording and revalidation. Products are monitored to ensure their traceability and identification process.
Al-Futtaim Motors preserves the products prior they are internally processed and delivered. Different parts of the product are also preserved. As demanded by ISO 9001:2008, Al-Futtaim Motors has controls for monitoring and measuring equipment necessary to ensure that products conform to determined requirements (ISO 9001:2008, 2011: Philips 2008). Al-Futtaim Motors plans and implements processes related to improvement, analysis, and monitoring of products to ensure that they conform to products requirement.
It monitors the perception of customers to determine their level of satisfaction. This is carried through user opinion surveys, dealer reports, and customer satisfaction surveys. Annual internal audit is carried to determine whether Al-Futtaim Motors conforms to ISO 9001:2008 requirements and whether it has effectively implemented them. Corrective actions are carried after the process. Before products are delivered to customers, they are monitored and measured to ensure they conform to the requirements.
In other words, products are not delivered until they meet section 4.2.4 of ISO 9001:2008 (Philips 2008). Products that do not conform are returned and action was taken on detected nonconformity. Data is collected and analyzed to provide information related to customer satisfaction, products requirements conformity, suppliers, and product processes. Efforts are being made to ensure the current QRM meets the ISO 9001:2008 standards are met through the use of “quality policy, quality objectives, audit results, analysis of data, corrective and preventive actions, and management review” (ISO 9001:2008, 2011, p.14).
Based on the gap analysis, Al-Futtaim Motors has received ISO 9001:2008 certification. The major challenge encountered by the company has to do with the implementation and creation of barriers across different departments. The major benefits are such as customer’s satisfaction, quality maintenance, internal audit on performance, motivation, survival, better planning, and increased productivity in terms of sales and revenues. From the gap analysis, it is evident that Al-Futtaim Motors has observed all requirements of ISO 9001:2008, although it is on the verge of implementing some of the necessary QMS processes.
Al-Futtaim Motors. (2012). Al-Futtaim Motors 2012: About us.
Global Capital. (2012). Al Futtaim Motors sales increase 32%.
ISO 9001:2008. (2011). ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System – Requirements.
Kaziliūnas, A. (2010). The implementation of quality management systems in service organizations. Public Policy and Administration, (34), 71-84.
Phillips, A. W. (2008). ISO 9001: 2008 internal audits made easy Paperback 3rd (2009) ASQ. Perth, Western Australia: Quality Press.