The Primary Advantages of DAV Using Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Statistical Process Control (SPC) helps identify the effectiveness of processes. This tool is especially effective when it comes to manufacturing. However, this tool is also applicable for controlling quality of services.
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One of the primary advantages of the tool is that it helps identify the exact points at which something unusual (either good or bad) happened. Thus, it is quite easy to control quality as it is clear when something went wrong and when some efficient strategies were used.
DAV was a successful company, but Annette Kluck knew that it was not enough as it was vital to develop and improve the quality of services provided as competitors were also evolving (“Deutsche Allgemeinversicherung,” 1997). The use of SPC was a very effective way to work out strategies to improve quality of services provided.
Therefore, top management was able to see when the quality of the process was poor and when the results were surprisingly high. Poor performance (as well as high quality processes) was analyzed.
There was no need to think of the amount of incorrect documents as it was more effective to see when and why poor results occurred. The company did not try to remove employees who revealed poor results, but they managed to improve the very process, which was much more efficient for the company’s overall performance.
The Major Challenges and Limitations in Applying SPC to a Service Industry as Opposed to a Manufacturing Industry
One of the greatest challenges in applying SPC to a service industry as opposed to a manufacturing industry is that it may be difficult to identify the variable to develop the charts. The employees of DAV involved in the project often felt frustrated as they could not figure out what to measure (“Deutsche Allgemeinversicherung,” 1997).
When it comes to a manufacturing industry, the things are quite easy as defects in a product are often obvious and it is clear what process one wants to develop. As far as services are concerned, a process can be rather difficult to divide into meaningful variables applicable for measurement.
Besides, employees tend to identify different variables and this makes it hard to choose the most appropriate one. Furthermore, if there is no pattern in the process, SPC cannot be exploited as the process in that case may be effective even though certain circumstances negatively affected the services provided.
The Problems Facing Annette Kluck from the Most to the Least Serious
The most serious issue facing Annette Kluck was prioritizing mistakes. It was often unclear whether some mistakes could be regarded as vital (“Deutsche Allgemeinversicherung,” 1997). Admittedly, it was crucial to prioritize mistakes properly as it could affect the charts and further analysis.
Some mistakes were not crucial so it was clear that they could be disregarded. This enabled the company’s employees to focus on meaningful mistakes that undermined effectiveness of the process. This helped the employees manage their time more efficiently.
As have been mentioned above, it can be difficult to measure quality of services especially when it comes to legal cases. In the first place, it was quite difficult to identify measurable variables as the cases were not very similar. Creating charts also required double-check of many cases, which was time-consuming.
Another problem was some top managers’ attitude towards results obtained. Their negative attitude towards poor performance discouraged employees to reveal true data. Admittedly, it is impossible to identify faults in the process when people are afraid to get sacked if a mistake is traced.
Groups of employees that were operating efficiently were dissatisfied with the project as they had to do even more work as there were fewer incorrect samples. Those people did not understand why they had to do even more when their performance rates were high.
Finally, some employees were against manual creation of charts and they suggested that IT department could create the necessary software to make the project more efficient.
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Why Each of the Problems Is Occurring and How It Could Be Resolved
The first problem, i.e. prioritizing mistakes, occurred due to the peculiarity of the industry. It is often difficult to measure processes when it comes to services. Different people often have opposing views and they should come to certain conclusion as for the mistakes to be taken into account and the ones to be ignored.
To resolve this problem, it is essential to work out certain lists of mistakes and prioritize them. This may take time but it will have positive impact in the long run.
Again, measuring legal cases is difficult as there are few patterns and, thus, it is difficult to identify variables. Analyzing cases is also time-consuming and this can negatively affect the employees’ performance on the current cases. It is possible to develop a set of processes and patterns to analyze.
This will reduce the time spent on this type of work. Admittedly, there will be no need in thorough analysis of every case, but only ‘good’ or ‘bad’ cases will be analyzed in detail.
Top managers tend to anticipate positive results and high performance as this is a human nature to long for success. However, it is possible to diminish the effect of top managers’ negative attitude.
It is necessary to arrange a number of meetings and to make top managers understand that detecting mistakes will have positive impact in the long run. Top managers should be encouraged to get the most comprehensive data to be able to analyze each process accordingly.
On the contrary, if a team works well it is possible to focus on the ‘good’, i.e. efficient processes. Departments that show good result should be encouraged to develop patterns which lead to effective processes. There is no need to focus on negative experiences in these departments, though the most striking failures should also be analyzed.
Admittedly, automatic charting is a very good option for the company as it will help employees manage their time more efficiently. However, the software should be worked out without any rush. It is also important to test the software properly to ensure adequate charting and analysis.
Actions That Can Be Taken to Improve the Existing Processes
It is crucial to develop automatic software to help employees create charts and measure processes. Manual operations should be reduced significantly. It is also important to work out successful patterns and make the employees aware of them. Departments that perform well should share their experience.
Certain training will be necessary. Clearly, double-checking is an inefficient measure as it led to deteriorating of the employees’ performance. However, the new software and sharing of successful experience will make the double-checking unnecessary.
Deutsche Allgemeinversicherung. (1997). Web.