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Process Focus and Statistics in Quality Management Case Study


Process Focus

The State University Experience

The student applied for admission to the State University and was confident about her application. She not only had good grades but had qualified for more than one course offered by the university. One of the reasons for the application was the proximity between the educational institution and her home. The short distance implied that she would not have to leave her job and that her parents would also be able to visit her from time to time. During her application, the student sent her transcripts two weeks before the set dates. However, the Admissions Office was unable to trace her transcripts and her file which had also been sent earlier by her school counselor. During the visit, the guide states that getting accustomed to State University is relatively easy if one got used to the system. Despite this, the guide fails to provide adequate information about the said “system.”

Also, the student explicitly understands that she needs financial aid considering that her parents will not be able to fully pay for her tuition. Nonetheless, the tuition bill does not provide any information regarding financial aid services and this makes it impossible for the student to determine how much help she can derive from the financial aid services. Finally, while the student applied for the physics, industrial design, or M.E classes, she gets admitted to the university college 2-year program. About all this, it can be argued that the student has experienced a series of breakdowns in service, which implies that there is an absolute necessity that the university undertakes critical changes to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

Breakdowns in service processes

The student undergoes several breakdowns in service processes. The first breakdown is highlighted in the process of registration, which ranges from value-oriented service processes to support-based processes. During the registration process, she explicitly states that she wants to take a course related to physics, industrial design, or M.E. However, the school admissions staff assigns her to a 2-year program at the university college. It is expected that the student was disappointed because she has qualified for the courses she chose and because she was not consulted about the courses she was given instead.

The mishandling and misplacement of the student’s information can also be described as a value-oriented service breakdown. It suffices to point out that this is personal and private information. The fact that the school cannot trace it, albeit admitted its receipt, illustrates the breakdown of the system. Additionally, the loss of the transcripts and the personal file from the counselor is unprofessional from a process requirement perspective.

It is also important to note that the student does not get adequate information on access to the provided financial aid. The university willingly states that it offers several financial aid options that are open to students. However, they do not provide the necessary information for students to apply for financial support. This is an example of a breakdown in the support-based service process.

Also it important to note that during the visit to the State University with her parents, the student does not get adequate information about the school from their tour guide. The guide, for instance, states that one can find learning at the school very easy and friendly if they get used to the system. However, he is not forthcoming about the system itself, and how one can adapt to it easily. The factors that have been mentioned show that the school needs to revise its processes and systems to promote quality services to students.

Process management activities to undertake

The administrators at the State University should take a series of process management activities to ensure that they improve on their service delivery, thus, protect their reputation as a respectable institution. First, it is critical to give due diligence to the processing of documents so that important documents, such as school transcripts, are properly stored and easily accessible. This approach taps into the Deming Philosophy, according to which the school has to have continual improvement in service quality to lower chances of uncertainty in their service designs.

Further, the tuition bills need to be holistic, providing a breakdown of how the tuition bills are distributed. Towards this end, the administrators need to embrace the Juran philosophy. The administrators should not only focus on quality from an internal perspective, but also an external one. By doing so, they would realize that students need more information on payment processes, tuition fees, and financial aid. Such information, as witnessed in this case study, is crucial and in its absence, one could easily be discouraged from taking up their positions in the different faculties. Also, the application letters of the students need to be keenly processed and the right information has to be picked out. This will help avoid assigning students to courses they did not select, which is the case in this scenario.

Gold Star Chili Process Management

Located in the greater Cincinnati area, Gold Star Chili is a chili company with several franchises. The company has a series of interactions with its customers, which are categorized as follows:

  1. Franchising – This process is designed to meet the company’s objectives and it involves the elimination of variability, life cycle reduction time, and eradication of any problem that might occur in the processes of introduction and development.
  2. Restaurant operations at Gold Star Chili – the restaurant operations that facilitate engagement between the organization and its customers include cashier register, management, steam tables, and Bussers.
  3. Manufacturing/Distribution – involves the production of chili at its commissary and distribution to its various restaurants. Other processes involved in the same category are research and development (R&D), marketing, training, accounting, and supply chain management.

The processes that the company is involved in are complex and this necessitates a process management plan to ensure that these processes are effective and productive.

Process Management Plan

The process management plan is three-pronged with the following three pillars: design, control, and improvement.

Design

The design emphasizes the inputs of the process to ensure that they are adequate. Considering the case of Gold Star Chili, the company will need to locate reliable sources for their raw materials so that a constant supply is maintained. The maintenance of a constant supply affects the profitability of the company as much as it affects the quality of the product. When clients approach a seller for a product and miss it, then the clients are more likely to try out a new product of similar design. In turn, the whole franchise suffers.

It is also important to note that the restaurant operations have to be within the premise of required standards. For instance, client-to-employee relationships are to be natured and maintained. While the organization is not technology-intensive, the limited technology within the organization affects its ability to not only offer quality products but also to produce enough products for its target market. Also, having a trained workforce is a crucial success factor for any organization. The employees being hired into the company are required to have the right set of skills, competencies, and experiences. A mixture of this troika would be highly effective. Employees affect the profitability of a company as they are the first stakeholders. They not only have to be qualified to ensure quality, but the company also has to treat them well to ensure that the standards are maintained. In TQM, employee motivation is crucial. It can be argued that employee motivation can be monetary or appreciative.

Control

The control aspect of process management focuses on maintaining consistency within the organization. This consistency is maintained through regular performance evaluation and effective implementation of corrective measures when a problem is encountered. At Gold Chili, control measures should include:

  • Appropriate use of raw materials and other forms of input
  • Effective production methods, research and development, marketing, training, and elimination of variability
  • Professional relationships between the employees and the company’s clients
  • High levels of efficacy within the supply chain management and rigorous hiring procedures
  • Regular quality check measures and evaluation
Improvement

Every company at a given point will require an improvement in its operations. Gold Chill will have to ensure that is franchises adhere to its mission, vision, and core values. An improvement in the franchise operations indirectly improves the brand image and reputation of the parent company. More importantly, Gold Chili needs to constantly conduct quality checks on its products. These checks can be both internal and external for better evaluation considering that the two actions will complement each other. Finally, the corporate culture of the company and the customer relationships have to be cultivated in the long run as this would create a positive environment over which the manufacturing takes place with a reliable, consistent, and appreciative customer base.

In conclusion, considering the level of activities at Gold Chili, the implementation of this process management plan will play an instrumental role in injecting efficiency within its ranks and create a reliable base over which the desired levels of revenue can be generated.

IBM’s Integrated Supply Chain

In a bid to improve its competitiveness, IBM opted to implement the Integrated Supply Chain (ISC), which is based on a strategic perspective. While the ISC has been proven to be a great success, its effectiveness relies on the quality of the management practices and this is one of IBM’s inspirations. More importantly, implementing the ISC is a gradual process that took IBM 3 years to complete (1999 – 2002). However, this process, as in the case of IBM, requires facilitation. Having a full understanding of this, and through its set of values, IBM was able to develop an ISC. Some of the key values among the IBM employees that led to the development of the ISC include the dedication to the success of every client, innovation, and cultivation of trust, and responsibility in any form of relationship.

One of the most common reasons for the success of IBM’s value-driven strategy is that having a team with shared company culture and values plays a great role in facilitating faster decision making. This is instrumental in fast-tracking the transition of the company to an ISC. The current ISC at IBM is based on the following four categories:

  • Fulfillment of customer needs and wants
  • Global logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Procurement

To effectively implement this integrated supply chain, IBM developed three teams, namely the talent, operations, and strategy teams. One of the reasons for the success of this strategy is its integration with quality improvement measures. By introducing the quality principle of management variation to the new supply chain, IBM has played a great role in ensuring that the ISC is an effective and viable competitive tool.

Quality management principles related to integrated supply chains

IBM’s ISC relies on quality management principles to succeed. In the case study, it is mentioned that the ISC is based on four areas: customer satisfaction, global logistics, manufacturing, and procurement. According to ISO 9001, customer satisfaction is one of the quality principles on which companies need to put emphasis. The customer is the priority. By ensuring that the management principle has included the customer, IBM secured their number one stakeholder. Additionally, the inclusion of this area in the ISC ensures that the company directly employs quality management in shaping its competitive tools and methodologies.

Further, this integrated supply chain is indirectly related to the quality management principles through the presence of global logistics, manufacturing, and procurement within the ISC matrix. Under these aforementioned ISC areas, some of the integral parts of quality management principles outlined by the ISO 9001 are included in the management plan. They involve practices such as continuous improvement of global logistics, manufacturing, and procurement. Further, effective decision making – a quality management principle – under these areas is a display of the indirect relationship between IBM’s SC strategy and quality management principles.

Global logistics, manufacturing, and procurement all fall under systems in the company. To ensure that each of the said components is well driven, IBM added them to the quality plan. The consumers, who are the priority, will gauge the nature and the capability of the company through their global logistics, manufacturing, and procurement systems.

The role of process management in supply chains

There are several processes involved in supply chain management. Some of these processes include manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and procurement. It is important to mention that all the stated processes are time-sensitive. Therefore, if not managed well, they can lead to the failure of the entire system. These processes play a critical role in the success of the company, thus determine not just its operational functionality but its reputation and ability to generate revenue.

In essence, supply chain management is a critical cog within any organization, regardless of its nature. Therefore, the process tied to supply chain management must be effective. An effective supply chain management process is synonymous with a process management plan. Therefore, to ensure that these processes that have been mentioned are effective and yield desirable results, an organization has to create, evaluate, and implement a process management plan. IBM, for instance, relies on a process management plan ran by three selected teams to ensure that its ISC adheres to the quality management principles.

Statistical Methods in Quality Management

Sizzlegrill Burrito House

Located in the Midwest, Sizzlegrill is a small regional chain of quick-service restaurants. They specialize in beef, pork, chicken, and vegetarian items that are bean-based. Notably, their burritos are made-to-order so that the customers can have an addition to their choice. The additions include rice, guacamole, cheese, tomato, and lettuce. Recently, one of the restaurants was put in the limelight for poor customer service. These complaints were logged into the company website by some of the restaurants’ loyal clients.

Clients also complained about inconsistency in the food size. For instance, they complained about the variations in the size of the tortilla wrap, the food not being adequately hot, inconsistent burrito sizes, and wrong ingredients in their burritos. Left unchecked, these complaints could seriously dent the company’s image. The contact person, Juan, opts to allow the local university students to design a standard customer survey and thereafter instruct his staff on how to gather, analyze, and interpret the data. The data is to be used to improve their services.

Descriptive Statistics

The likelihood of a customer dining at the Sizzlegrill Burrito House can be determined by regression analysis and the customer satisfaction score. The customer satisfaction score will provide a general analysis of the possibility of the customer dining at the restaurant again. It should be noted that the higher the customer satisfaction score is, the more likely customers will want to eat at the restaurant. However, the complaints that were raised by clients affect this score. Lower customer satisfaction scores will imply that the customers are less likely to return to the restaurant while high scores indicate that there is a high possibility that the customer will return. On the other hand, the R2 serves to indicate how each of the customers’ scores is far off the standard expectation curve. Considering that the restaurant has other chains that do not record the same complaints, it will be easier for management to analyze the data based on standard expectations.

Berton Card Company

Berton Card Company (BCC) is a company that manufactures playing and novelty cards for both consumers and entertainment businesses. To satisfy their consumers’ demands, the company customizes the production of these cards so that the color, quality, patterns, and other characteristics are tailored to each specific customer’s request. The processes involved in the production of these cards are outlined below:

  • Gluing the rolls of paper together to produce the paper stock
  • Printing the ink patters on the paper stocks
  • Coating these sheets
  • Once the paper stocks are properly coated, they are then dried
  • The dried-up paper stocks are then cut into 22″ by 26″ and the final cut down into individual cards as ordered, packed, and shipped to their respective destinations.

To implement an effective production process, the company relies on 23 factorial design factors that involve line speed, front, and backpressure. Both the front and back pressure have high and low settings that are determined by the line of speed. However, with the installation of the new roller by the company, there is a need to try and find the optimal line speed and the best pressure for both the front and the back covers.

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IvyPanda. (2021, January 9). Process Focus and Statistics in Quality Management. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/process-focus-and-statistics-in-quality-management/

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1. IvyPanda. "Process Focus and Statistics in Quality Management." January 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/process-focus-and-statistics-in-quality-management/.


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IvyPanda. "Process Focus and Statistics in Quality Management." January 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/process-focus-and-statistics-in-quality-management/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Process Focus and Statistics in Quality Management." January 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/process-focus-and-statistics-in-quality-management/.

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