Dubai Metro has experienced massive development over the past three years it has been in operations. Maintaining business excellence has been core in defining the activities that are undertaken by this firm to manage the market competition. In this industry, Dubai Metro experiences massive competition from various other players for the market share in the United Arab Emirates. In order to ensure that it maintains high quality in the products it delivers in the market, the management of this firm has been keen on using various quality management models. One such model that has helped this firm achieve its current success is ISO 9000:2008. This model has helped in defining quality on the systems of the organization with the view to ensuring that the firm there is the maximum satisfaction of the customer. The model starts with the definition of customers’ needs and ends with customers’ satisfaction in the market. It defines what should be carried out by the management in order to ensure that the productivity of the firm is within the expectations of the market.
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The world is increasingly getting competitive. New firms are coming up, making the competition in the market very stiff. According to Kanji (2005), the world is experiencing a massive transformation in various sectors of the economy due to the changes that have taken place in the field of technology. Management units have been forced to redefine the marketing approaches they use in the market in order to be in a position to manage the market competition. This has forced firms to develop a competitive advantage that can make them compete favorably against other market giants. The need to develop internationally recognized quality standards has, therefore, been on the rise. Firms are currently concentrating more on the effort to ensure excellence in everything they undertake. A firm that fails to incorporate business excellence in its strategies would be risking the loss of its customers to its competitors.
Dubai Metro is operating in one of the most competitive industries in this country. The transport sector in the United Arab Emirates has experienced a massive development of the past two decades. While the government has made a concerted effort to ensure that the country has well-established infrastructures such as road and rail networks, the private investors have come up with massive investment into this industry. This has seen a situation where the public sector is competing with the private sector in this industry for the market share. The result of this healthy competition has resulted in an industry where quality is the core factor that all the players consider when planning to come up with new strategies. This is the kind of situation Dubai Metro finds itself. This research focuses on how Dubai Metro uses ISO 9000:2008 as its measure of quality in their operations in this country.
Dubai Metro is a large transport company that has specialized in rail transport. Dubai Metro rail system was officiated on the ninth of September 2009 at 9 pm by the Rule of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid. The trains of the Dubai Metro are fully automated, and are computer driven. There is no driver in the train who is responsible for controlling the train because the train is controlled using a computer at the head office of the firm. The planning of this massive project begun under the directives of the leader of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid who was concerned of the rising population of the city of Dubai. The project was therefore, intended to ease the transport system within the city which was under pressure to sustain the rising population of the city.
The construction process begun in March 2009, and according to the plan, it was supposed to be completed by September 2009. It was not until 2009 when this was achieved upon the completion of ten of the twenty nine red line stations were completed. It was on April 28 when the whole construction was brought to completion. All the red line stations and the blue lines stations were ready to receive commuters. The whole project was worth $ 7.8 billion, although the initial costs were estimated to be $ 4.2 billion (Roads and Transport Authority, 2013).
Dubai Metro is a government owned project that is not intended to generate profits. However, the management of this firm knows that in the current competitive market, it may not be possible for the firm to operate successfully if it is not sustainable in its operations. The current world is very competitive, and the management must appreciate that the private sector has come up with various strategies that would help them retain their market share in this industry. This means that the firm must find a way to muscle away part of the market share from these players. It is a fact that within the first two days of operations, about ten percent of the total Dubai population used this train. This may not mean that this firm has been able to capture about 10 percent of the market share in this market.
This influx of people who came to use this service may be a section of curios Dubai residents who wanted a taste of automated metro network, especially now that they were waiting to see it brought to completion. This means that there is a possibility that after some time, the curiosity will be satisfied, and they may consider going back to their previous means of transport (Roads and Transport Authority, 2013). As a way of offering maximum value t its customers, this firm has come up with a series of strategies in this industry. For instance, the management has developed special attention unit that takes care of the physically challenged travelers or those with other forms of disabilities.
This firm faces very stiff competition in this market and the management knows that a small slip may cause serious consequences to the prosperity of the firm. Any failure to maintain high level of customer satisfaction may lead to a total failure of the organization, and the management of Dubai Metro appreciates this fact. As Kurtz (2010) once said, the sustainability of a firm is always determined by its ability to attract and retain a pool of satisfied customers within the market. Having such a pool of loyal customers will be an assurance to the firm that there will be increased sales in future. As such, the management of this firm has been keen to apply the excellence model that is discussed in the next section of this research paper.
The current competitive market
Customers are very import to any business units that wishes to have a long stay within a particular market. According to Hooley (2008), many firms around the globe have made concerted effort to ensure that they come up with excellence models that can help them manage market competition and attract as many customers as possible to their pool. The growth of a firm is always determined by how large the firm has a market share within a specified region, and how fast this market share is growing. This growth can only be possible if existing customers and any new customers can affirm that the quality of whatever they purchased is good enough to meet their expectations. There are two distinct strategies of approaching business ventures. Chary (2009) identified that causation is a strategy that is strictly reliant on a plan set initially.
The scholar described another strategy referred to as effectuation. Effectuation model describes the situation in which a business changes in accordance to emerging issues. This model is applied highly by entrepreneurs when venturing into businesses. Changes established to provide quality services by Dubai Metro are credible and overwhelming. The advancement achieved by Dubai Metro has incorporate technological strategies that increase the efficient of services. The management of this firm appreciates the fact that it is only through technological advancements and good customer reputation that it can remain competitive in the market.
The Use of ISO 9000:2008 by Dubai Metro to Improve Quality of Service Delivery
Consequently, we decided to analyze the company explicitly to why they have made tremendous achievements. The report targets to describe, discuss, and analyze the company’s components of excellence. In a bid to perform this task, excellence models have been identified and analyzed in a critical manner. The focus of the research will be how this firm uses ISO 9000:2008 in offering value to the market.
ISO 9000:2008 is part of a series of international organization standard bodies that defines the standard qualities within organizations around the world. ISO 9000:2008 defines various management systems that various organizations should consider when defining various processes within the organization. According to Charantimath (2006), ISO 9000 has clearly elaborated what firms are expected of in their effort to offer quality to its customers. This is a process that involves various activities all geared towards ensuring that there is maximum satisfaction of customers within the market. This process starts and ends with the customers. All firms are always geared towards ensuring that they offer value to its customers. For this to be realized, the management must start with customer needs, and end with customer satisfaction. The following diagram demonstrates this.
Continual Improvement Model
As can be seen from the above model, ISO 9000:2008 emphasizes on continual improvement of the quality management system. This means that the system is not a one day event that when undertaken once it comes to an end. The management must keep a close communication with its customers to ensure that it understands its needs. From the customers, the management will be focused on understanding their requirements. It is only when the requirements of the customers are understood that a firm can come up with strategies of meeting them. In this system, customers’ requirements will be an input. It would be the responsibility of the management to understand this requirement.
With this information, the management should devise a resource management procedure that would ensure that the needs that were identified are met in a satisfactory manner (Ragai, 2006). The management Of Dubai Metro has been keen on managing resources in the best way that would ensure customers’ satisfaction. The resources that need to be managed properly include the human resource of this firm, all the material resources and time. Dubai Metro management units have demonstrated a high capability of managing these three resources to ensure maximum productivity within the firm.
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Managing the three resources would lead to product realization. At this stage, Dubai Metro seeks to ensure that the product that is prepared ready for delivery to the customers is defined on the basis of customer requirements. The product should have all the desired qualities, and the quality assurance should ensure this is met before the product can finally be released to the customers in the market. The output in this system will be a high quality product that is released to the customers. The product should offer customers the level of satisfaction they expect, or better still, exceed their expectation as this will make them thrilled with the brand and the product of the firm. However, this system does not stop with customer satisfaction. Once a quality product is delivered to the market, there will be measurement and analysis of customers’ satisfaction with a view to developing further improvement on the product. The system would continue this way to help ensure that the firm is constantly aware of the market expectations, and that it strives to meet these expectations within the market. This system has been of great help to Dubai Metro in delivering value to its customers.
Managing quality at all stages
According to Barthe (2010), there are some factors that firms need to consider when they chose to base their business excellence on ISO 900:2008. The first one is the quality management system. The management must ensure that it has a system of managing quality in all the stages of product production and delivery. The management of Dubai Metro has a clearly structure within its system meant to specifically ensure that quality of its products are managed properly. Quality in this case starts by ensuring efficiency of all the transport equipments, and the way this service is delivered. The nature and timing of communication to the customers also form the basis of this quality. The management has developed clear structures on how this can be followed up within this firm.
The responsibility of the management
Another important aspect of ISO 9000:2008 is on the responsibility of the management. According to this policy, the management must always remain committed to delivering quality services to its customers, and offering employees the best working environment. Dubai Metro has a management structure that is not only committed to customers and employees, but also all other stakeholders that are either directly or indirectly related to this firm. This has helped it operate in an environment which is peaceful because the stakeholders believe that the firm is committed to having a peaceful society. There should be a clear focus on customer satisfaction in all the processes that the organization engages in. Customers’ needs are always dynamic. They change with the changing technological factors (Wang, 2004).
Dubai Metro has been keen on following the changing tastes and preferences of its customers in the market. In order to achieve this, the management has been focused on three issues which are quality policy, planning, responsibility, authority and communication, and management review. The quality policy of Dubai Metro defines the kind of quality customers should get in each of the market segments. Planning process helps ensure that all activities undertaken by this firm are within the timeframe that is desired by this firm. Communication helps the management in ensuring that its customers get the right information and that there is a close coordination of the employees within various departments within the firm. Management review then comes in to ensure that every activity is conducted in line with the stated benchmark.
Another aspect of ISO 9000:2008 that Dubai Metro has been keen on is resource management. As mentioned above, a firm’s success or otherwise will always be determined by the manner in which resources of the organization are managed. Resource management is a very broad field that entails management of all the endowments that a firm has. The first and most important resource that must be managed with a lot of diligence is the human resource. Unlike structures, human resource is people with feelings and ability to act. It is important to manage them with a lot of care to ensure that they are always motivated. A motivated team of employees would always help a firm achieve its goals within the desired timeframe. The management of Dubai Metro has been keen to ensure that its employees are always motivated.
This has helped the firm in ensuring that its customers are always served with a team of dedicated and enthusiastic employees within the market (Weiss, 2011). The work environment should also meet the expectations of the stakeholders. There are a number of stakeholders who would always be concerned with the condition of the work environment. Some government agencies would be interested in the general cleanliness of the premise and the instruments of the firm. Others will be concerned on the pollution levels, while the employees would be interested in having a good working environment that is conscious of their needs and expectations. The management of Dubai Metro has been observant on these factors.
Another aspect of ISO 9000:2008 focuses on product realization. As was explained in the above model, coming up with products that meet customer expectations is always core to achieving maximum customer satisfaction in the market. To achieve this, there should be proper design and development of the product based on the needs and expectations of the market. The management of Dubai Metro has systems that help it in monitoring and measuring of the performance of its products in the market. The last aspect of ISO 9000:2008 is on measurement, analysis and improvement of the system. To this regard, this firm has developed a system to help in data collection and analysis to help identify nonconforming products within the firm. With this, the firm has been able to identify weaknesses within the system in time. It has designed procedures to help in improving its service delivery.
Summary of the excellence model
It is clear from the above excellence model that managing quality is the key to the success of Dubai Metro. The above analysis shows that Dubai Metro has been successful within the past three years it has been operational. This may be attributed to the fact that has been keen on applying ISO 9000:2008 in its operations as a way of managing quality. The transport industry is very competitive as private players have come with products which are custom-made to suite needs of the market. Travelers are no longer looking for a basic means of transport. They need more while travelling. They need transport services that will be able to offer them security and comfort while travelling. They need a pleasurable experience whenever they board any means of transport. They need maximum value for the service they pay for. This can only be achieved by Dubai Metro if it maintains excellence in its operations.
The industry in which Dubai Metro is operating is very competitive. It is apparent that customer satisfaction is an aspect that this must consider. We believe that this helps in maintaining a pool of loyal customers and promotes the income through customer repeats in a business. The management must, therefore, consider the aspects of propensities of dissatisfaction (Tanke, 2000). The areas involved in the dissatisfaction must be addressed explicitly to ensure that customers are satisfied and willing to apply the services in the future. Satisfaction is a key and fundamental aspect when making and evaluating business organization. We believe that businesses that are managed poorly have a tendency to lose customers. Dubai Metro takes a close checkup on the satisfaction of customers through suggestion boxes and website comments.
In this market, we believe that reputation is a key strength that Dubai Metro has initiated by introducing secure services. The services provided by Dubai Metro are competitive and satisfying to the customers. Satisfaction is a fundamental attribute that allows customers to gain interests about products and services. The service retained a sense of quality in relation to the earlier services. Therefore, the company has become advanced and qualified to receive customer loyalty for subsequent services. This has helped in increasing the market share of the firm in this industry.
Dubai Metro has developed systems to help it maintain customer satisfaction in the market. We believe that application of ISO 9000:2008 has been of great benefit to this firm in ensuring that it offers maximum value to the customers. This certification has seen this firm adjust its systems to enable it attract both the local and international customers in the market. The local Emirati nationals have developed trust with this firm for its consistency in offering value to the market. Besides the local customers, international tourists coming to this region have heard of the good reputation of this firm, and therefore, always prefer using its products.
We think that proper application of ISO 9000:2008 can help this firm expand its operations beyond the current capacity. Dubai Metro has been very successful given the kind of attention it has given to quality management when dealing with its customers. However, we strongly believe that this firm still has a potential that has not been fully realized. Managing of the resources maximally will be the key to success for this organization. The management must be in a position to respond to the emerging trends in the market in a way that will ensure sustainability as enshrined in its values. ISO 9000:2008 emphasizes on the need to ensure that there is a workforce that is thoroughly motivated in their respective duties.
It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that employees are always motivated. It is through a motivated group of employees that a firm may be in a position to achieve its objectives. We strongly recommend that the management of this firm should have a unit within its Human Resource department that will be responsible for managing the needs of employees with an aim to ensuring that employees are always motivated. ISO 9000:2008 certification would mean that this firm would go beyond simply meeting the expectations of the customers. The management would make an effort to ensure that its operations help in assuring sustainability of the environment. We recommend that the management should develop a system within its quality management unit that will help in ensuring that the firm that would monitor the impact of the firm on the environment.
The EFQM Excellence Model
Upon careful review of the performance of Dubai Metro, we strongly recommend that this firm should use EFQM model alongside ISO 9000:2008 as a way of improving its quality delivery process to the customers. This model is largely in application in various organizations in Europe as it has been proven to help individual employees and organizations in general to improve their performance. It involves using the current capability of the firm (referred to as enablers) in order to achieve the desired goals (results). The table below helps analyze the model.
As shown in the above table, Dubai Metro should consider using the resources it has such as people, combine it with the strategies proposed in the ISO 9000:2008 in order to deliver maximum value to the customer. We highly recommend the use of this model together with the ISO: 9000:2008 because we believe in offering maximum customer value in the market. A firm should not always overemphasize on profitability. It should focus on delivering value to the market, and through this, it will attract customers to its products. It is the responsibility of the customers to ensure that the firm is profitable. In order to attract these customers, a firm should be able to meet their expectations in the best way possible. These excellence models will help in achieving this. We believe that it is through this that Dubai Metro will remain competitive in this market.
The transport sector in the United Arab Emirates where Dubai Metro operates is very competitive and sensitive. The sector requires the players to have a high sense of quality management in order to ensure that customers are always safe when using various transport equipments, and that comfort is also maintained. In order to achieve this, the management of Dubai Metro has been applying ISO 9000:2008 in its management system. This quality model has not only helped the firm ensure security of its passengers, but also improved their satisfaction through maximum comfort and timely service delivery. As a result of this, Dubai Metro has been able to create a pool of loyal customers in the market.
A: The Dubai Metro Train
The Interior of Dubai Metro Train
Poll Results Showing the Level of Customer Satisfaction
Contents of ISO Application Form
When applying for ISO certification, some specific information should always be specified. This is as explained in the content of the form. The form has three parts, A, B and C. Part A seeks to analyze the particulars of a company. This includes the company name, address, postal code, telephone number, management representative, the contact person, and his or her contacts. This part also seeks to know the name of the chief executive, date when the firm was established, the annual turnover, and the number of employees. Part B is involved with the scope of the certification. This part deals with the detailed description of the management structure of the firm, all the activities carried out by the firm and the certification which a particular firm sought to get. Part C is the declaration part. In this section, the firm will be declaring that it agrees with the terms of this international organization, and that all the given information is correct.
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