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Advance Quality Analysis, Coursework Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1345

Coursework

Quality Analysis can be translated into higher market share, but it requires a systematic approach that is moving at a pace greater than the competition. What do leaders need to know about quality to make strategic decisions to keep ahead of the competition?

Introduction

Traditional business strategies of organizations according to Stevenson (2010), was based on cost minimization or product differentiation, but in order to be competitive, many have shifted to accommodate quality and or time based strategies. Quality is inherent in both strategies in that the former focus on quality in all phases of the operation while in the latter minimization of time is focused on to accomplish specified production activities.

In developing a systematic approach to achieve and maintain superior quality, companies have to access information from the external and internal environments to develop their strategies. According to Stevenson (2010), the factors in the external environment are the economic condition, the political climate, the legal requirement, prevailing technology, competiveness of the market, and the cultural impact of the society on operations, while from the internal perspective, human resources, the nature of the existing facilities and equipment, financial resources available,segmentation of customers, technology, and the quality of the suppliers providing raw material and other services.

Leaders of business that are strategically focused on quality because they realize that it brings ultimate satisfaction to their target customers, reduces cost, ensure market are secured, and drives revenues and profits, has to examine each variable in the external and internal   environments, and establish and maintain operating standards that will ensure their products and services stays ahead of the competition and their operative objectives are achieved consistently.

Business leaders must know that their  human resources can positively or negatively impact on the quality of the final products that are to be marketed, as the attitude, knowledge, skill, years of experience and competence of these employees are  relied on to ensure minimal defects in products or services are delivered to customers. Poor quality products and services have to be reworked or repeated and companies have to bear the cost, which in the long run reduce their operating profits and provide room for competitors to enter and secure greater market shares

It is also vital that business leaders be cognizant of the fact that the level of technology, the types of plant facilities and equipment used in production, the quality of raw material and the reliability of suppliers, and  the presence or absence of a reliable  quality control programs  will play key roles in the strategic planning to to establish sales targets, target markets, growing market shares, customer satisfaction requirements, overcoming cultural barriers, the nature of the competitors products, the market conditions, and  the profit  levels to project to ensure their operations stay above the competition.

In looking at the external environments, it is incumbent on business leaders to become knowledgeable of how the operating economic conditions as it relates to the business, the legal constraints, the presence or absence of political events, the current technology of its competitors, and shareholders and stakeholders expectations will impact collectively and individually on the quality of its products and the revenues generated.

Leaders in business will also be well strategically positioned to ensure the quality of their products  keeps them ahead of the competition, if they inform themselves regarding the advantages Total Quality Management(TQM)  and Six Sigma(SS) concepts brings to their operations, especially if they embrace from the planning stages until the final products are in the hands of the consumers.

Total Quality Management , according to Reid (2012) is an organizational effort designed to improve quality performance at every level of its operation. Organizations leaders that embrace the concept and use their customers definition of quality, will most likely achieve the level of competitiveness desired, as they will be assured that their products will ultimately bring the desired satisfaction as well as the level of revenues projected.

Six Sigma is of great strategic value to managers of organizations seeking to use quality , according to Defense Acquisition University (1999/ stay ahead of the competition  for the following reasons,

  • It helps to identify the products or services to be provided
  • It aids in the identification of the target customers
  • What the company needs to ensure its customers are satisfied is established
  • Process definitions are made clear
  • Provisions are made for error corrections and waste minimization at every stage, and
  • Process improvement measure are incorporated on a continuous basis to achieve perfection

In a study conducted  by Ackerman and Tellis (2000) it was revealed that major differences may exist in shopping behaviors across cultures, as was found between the people like the Chinese who were raised up in collectivist societies  and Americans growing up in individualistic environment, and as such retailers examined had to make strategic adjustment to successfully satisfy these markets.

Leaders of business organization could learn from this study and othershow to utilize the cultural orientation of customers in different societies to ensure their products meet their expectations both in terms of price and quality, as it was discovered by Ackerman and Tellis (2000)  that in some cultures like Chinese and Japanese, low prices on goods are synonymous with poor or low quality.

Millions of dollars can be lost as well as market shares, if business leaders in their drive to use high quality and low prices in these markets which may be quite populous, as these customers will reject the products displayed on the shelves, base on their cultural orientations.

The 21st century ,according to Ketchen et al (2008), has seen a move by organizations away from having their supply chains dominated by attempts to integrate and closely coordinate various elements of their systems in order to efficiently minimize time it takes to fulfill their customers’ needs, to that of embracing the Best Value Supply concept.

This concept according to Ketchen et al (2008), drives business leaders to focus on the total value added to customers by targeting high quality performance across four competitive priorities, namely speed, cost, quality and flexibility. The advantage from this approach which Ketchen et al (2008), would no doubt emphasize to current business leaders , was that their companies may be overtaken by competitors in one or two of these priorities, but because of the overall focus, they will be able to achieve superior outcomes, especially in terms of quality, prices and customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis, and will be able to stay ahead of the competition.

Conclusion

It has become critical that business leaders take steps to achieve currency in their knowledge level at all times, with respect to the impact of the external and internal environmental variables on their business operations, and should use the information to develop workable quality oriented standards and strategies at all levels of their operations on n ongoing basis.

Use of Total Quality Management and Six Sigma concepts in the process, will only serve to enhance the efficacy of their operations, as a company like General Electric (GE) and several others have proven.

Staying ahead of the competition using quality as a strategic tool also has to be tempered with an understanding and application of the cultural orientations of the people in the societies be targeted, as well as the use of the  Best Value Supply chain concept, which Ketchen et al (2008) informs, will ensure superior outcomes are achieved.

Finally, business leaders who have  cutting edge information and utilize them well from the earliest strategic point of their business, should have no problem staying ahead of their competitors, despite the challenges face in the various external and internal markets, as they will be able to deploy the necessary adjustment and flexibility situationally.

Reference

Ackerman, D. Tellis, G. (2001), “Can culture affect process? A Cross – Cultural study of Shopping and Retail Prices” Journal of Retailing 77 (2001) 57- 82

Defense Acquisition University (1999). Quality Management Systems and Six Sigma Retrieved from www.dau.mil/edu.dept/mm_dept_resources/six.sigma.ppt on  09/29/12

Ketchen, D.J.,Rebarick, W., Hutt, G.T.M. & Meyer. D., (2008). “Best Value Supply Chains: A Key Competitive Weapon for the 21st Century” Kelley School of Business Business Horizons 51 PP.235-243

Reid, S.S. (2012). Total Quality Management  www.wiley.com/college/SC/Reid/ch5.pdf , p.137

Stevenson, W.J. (2010), Competitiveness, Strategy and Productivity Operations Management 8th edition McGraw-Hill, NY Retrieved from www.highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072443901/886181/stevenson11e_sample_ch2.pdf, 09/29/12.

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