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Network Rail Company: British Standard for Partnerships Case Study

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Updated: Apr 23rd, 2021

Present the particularity of the company presented in your case study? How does this affect the implementation of the case study?

The name of the company in the case study is Network Rail. It is one of the companies working in the rail industry in Britain. The case study is about the implementation of the BS 11000 standard, which is aimed at enhancing collaboration between companies and suppliers. The company has hired two organizations namely BSI and the institute for collaborative working to help it identify the changes which it needs to implement in order to comply with the BS 11000 standard.

According to Jeremy Canfield, the director-general of the Railway Association Industry (RIA), there is a ‘natural fit’ between the BS 11000 standard and Network Rail’s value improvement program. This ‘natural fit’ is an incentive for the implementation of the case study. The reason is that the goals of the BS 11 000 standard and Network Rail are the same; that is, to improve collaboration between Network Rail and suppliers.

According to the case study, what are the factors that led to the adoption and persistence of the new programs?

According to the case study, one of the factors which have led to the adoption and persistence of the new programs is the general perception that the rail industry has never been associated with collaboration in the past. The reason is that the collaborations which have existed in the industry have been ad hoc. As a result, there is a need for Network Rail to be persistent so as to ensure that the new programs are successful and demonstrate to other companies in the rail industry that collaboration is in deed possible.

The other factor which has led to the adoption and persistence of the new programs is the need to ensure that customers get the value for their money. The reason is that customers are getting a raw deal by paying for poor quality rail services. The other factor is that there is a need to redefine the relationship between Network Rail and suppliers, with the overall objective of improving the quality of services through efficient supply chains. The programs are aimed at coming up with innovative ways of improving the quality of services through enhanced partnerships.

Can you comment on the statement: “Companies with a core philosophy that is consistent with TQM principles are also likely to make significant collateral change». Can this alone guarantee a successful and persistent implementation? How does this apply to your particular case?

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a business strategy used by companies or profit-making organizations to increase customer satisfaction and improve internal business processes. The focus on quality is viewed by many managers as a major success factor and a competitive strategy because many customers are attracted by the quality of goods and services offered by a business. If the quality of goods and services is poor, the customers lose interest but when the quality is good, they develop an interest in the goods and services. According to Mejía and Velasco, TQM comprises nine principles namely good and committed leadership, excellent product design, strategic planning, process management, customer involvement, employee involvement, dissemination of information and feedback, training, and management of supply.

Companies that have a core philosophy that is consistent with TQM principles are likely to make significant collateral changes. The reason is that for TQM to be successfully implemented, there is a need for organizations to implement certain changes in their processes, procedures, policies, and strategies. However, consistency with TQM principles does not guarantee an organization a successful implementation of organizational change. The reason is that organizations operate in dynamic social, political, and economic environments and as a result, there is a need for organizations to take into account these environments for them to successfully implement change.

The TQM principles apply to Network Rail’s case study because the company is focused on improving the quality of its processes, procedures, and services so as to meet customers’ needs in an efficient and effective manner.

For the case study using the Kotter (1995) model, evaluate the QMS implementation process. Verify whether the 8 change steps have been respected.

The implementation of the BS 11000 standard can be evaluated using Kotter’s model of Quality Management System (QSM). This model comprises 8 steps for guiding organizations in the implementation of organizational change. The 1st step is to create a sense of urgency for the change. This step has not been taken into consideration in the case study because there are no serious attempts to make the employees excited about the change to be brought about by the BS 11000 standard.

The 2nd step is establishing a guiding coalition to oversee the implementation of the change. This step has been undertaken because Network Rail has partnered with BSI and the institute for collaborative working to develop relationship management plans. The 3rd step is the establishment of a vision while the 4th step is to establish a volunteer army. These steps have been overlooked in the case study.

The reason is that there is no clear vision to guide the implementation of the BS 11000 standard. There is also no team that has volunteered to fast-track the implementation of the BS 11 000 standards; that is, it is only a few managers who are involved but the employees have been left out. The 5th step entails removing the barriers which hinder the implementation of change. In the case study, there are no steps that have been taken to deal with resistance to the implementation of the BS 11 000 standards. The 6th step involves implementing short-term projects. This step has been undertaken through the four pilot projects.

The 7th step involves generating the momentum to keep the implementation of the change on course and avoid stagnation. This step has been undertaken through the continued improvement of the quality of processes and procedures. The 8th step is instituting the change by changing the behaviors of employees. This step has been undertaken through the training of employees about the behaviors which they need to adopt for the implementation of the BS 11000 standard to be successful.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Network Rail Company: British Standard for Partnerships." April 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/network-rail-company-british-standard-for-partnerships/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Network Rail Company: British Standard for Partnerships'. 23 April.

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