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The operation is a major and critical function of every organisation. The operation management include different process steps between organisation and the users. The design is the activity of determining the purpose, physical form, shape, function and composition of a product or service (Slack, et al., 2006).
In this case study include background of selected organisation and identify their operation problems. There are two theories I will apply here such as transformation process and total quality management and critically analyse those problems. Then talk about 'transformation process model' and apply how it helps to identify those problems. There after analyse the above problems with 'Fish bone model' and some other models. Then explain about how to improve the organisation quality and why is important for the organisation include 'TQM model'. Finally I explain about my conclusion and recommendation.
Background of BP Connect
For the reason I choose the BP Connect as I work their so I know about the company very well.. BP Connect is brand name for corporate owned store belongs to British Petroleum. (BP, 2010) This company is situated in 18 countries across the globe, (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North & South America). BP Connect locations combine service station with large convenience store and a small café. The main operation is selling fuel and product, Service station has minimum three multi product pumps and six fuelling positions. At the same time car wash system and the small car park minimum six cars can park. Convenience store has basic groceries, tobacco, alcohol, lottery and flower. The café sell coffee, hot/cold food as freshly. The store include three standard tills, back office, rest small room, customer/staff toilets for men and women. There are three CSA tills and ideally one located in the café. Staffs wear BP Connect and café uniform with their name.
BP Connect is a kind of shop for sell products and services to the customers. So BP Connect is satisfied customer expectations and needs. But they are not producing any things for customers, just like buying and selling to customers. If the BP Connect want to success of their customer service they must satisfy the customers. So this is the basic of operational success. Operational managers take the operational decisions.
Operations managers are 'decision takers'. The need for decisions implies the existence of problems. Operations managers must deal with a host of problems (Wild, 1995). For example to analyse BP Connect operations decisions are taken by BP operational managers, the operational managers decide their plan. After that they think about what they need to do the operations, finally they decide their resources and activities.
Plan as a forecourt retail business
Operations: allocate fuel plumbs, decide groceries, arrange the suppliers, and decide staff s, allocate the finance
Resources: building, machineries, staffs, finance
Activities: staff training, advertisement, to sell fuel, groceries, lottery, tobacco ect.
BP Connect Operations
The BP Connect main operation is forecourt operations this can manage by site manager. But all the decisions provide & control by area manager & head office direction. The site manager only follows their decision so he has so many limitations.. in this case problems are coming. When the problems can report by site manager to area manager then area manager to operational managers (head office)
BP Connect main problem as sales down and other several problems behind of this organisation as well. Normally some problems are report by customers, some from customer services assistance (CSA). Those are the problems are listed by site manager and report to head of the department. Some other BP Connect problems listed below.
Price & promotions are not clear
Reduced work hours
More waste goods
Communication problems ( management - staffs - customers)
Out of stock - Planning problem - Stock availability
Complaint car wash out of order
These above problems can occur from limited resources, human or labour or employees' error and some time it can be technical problem with systems and procedures. These problems can identify through the transformation model as below.
Transformation Process Model
Many businesses are using process improvement to help them become more customer focused. .( Cook, 2008) A process is a sequence of activities which leads to an output for the customer (internal or external),
Figure 3.0. : Basic of transformation model (Brown, et al., 2001)
This transformation process model explains inputs into outputs. The model has a direction of the process as shown above. At started from input and finished by output. Between the input and output there are some activities that is called transformation processes. As I follow this theory and easy to analyse BP Connect transformation process.
Input: In my organisation (BP Connect) there are some lists of inputs need for the output. Those inputs transformed into output such as materials, human, and information's. As divided into four group as facilities, technology, workforce and financial resources.
Facilities: BP Connect building, store machines as chillers, freezers, cabinet, computer, telephone, tills, oven and other furniture's. Store layout includes hot & cold foods, drinks, tobacco, lottery, some medicines, fuel products & other goods. Other main input as suppliers, customers, staffs, toilets, small car parking area, ATM, bus hold. These facilities are transformed into outputs for the customers. As a result BP Connect to operate their services these basic facilities are very important.
Technology: some special equipment such as money server, cabinet, counter tills, computer, fax & telephone, oven, chillers, freezers. And also BP Connect has internet access, lightening, automatic doors, and fire alarm system. Those technology resources are the part of the BP Connect inputs.
Workforce: BP Connect workers are manager, customer service assistants and some other indirect work groups are area managers, health & food checkers, goods & food suppliers, utility suppliers, employee trainers, technicians. Those people involve participating for delivering service. As the reason the staffs are a major input resources at BP Connect.
Including financial resources: it include cash or capital money for to start the operation of BP Connect. The capital money use to buy other goods and other extra expenses. In this case at BP Connect all the expenses response by BP head office.
3.2. Process: supply chain management activities as function of BP Connect. This management process include designing the product or service with relevant inputs thereafter planning the process for what they is going to do, final part is performance improving. For example process can be divided into list of activity at BP Connect such as Request fuel and other product & service from customers; this can collect from different media, then request to head office or individual suppliers for the supply product, to get the delivery, to arrange those goods in the store. Maintain the inventory, manage the records, Sales to customers. In between there are some functions also can be do such as manager and staffs trainings/workshop. It will help for good customer services. These are the circle process in the BP Connect. These processes have variety of function do it by different employees/people. There are several transformation processes happen at BP Connect normal building change in a BP Connect store, change in the location and ownership of goods or product, as change in purpose of furniture and machineries and also people transformed as manager, customer service assistants, suppliers & customers ect.
Output: for goods and services to the customers. Output can be good and bad. BP Connect customer's received goods & services. For example customers receive fuel product, food & drinks and other goods at the same time they receive customer service, parking facilities, toilet facilities, and rest room for customers from BP Connect. And other output for BP Connect manager, customer service assistants, and other employees get their benefits and wages for their service. These are the positive outputs. And other negative out puts food wastages
Feedback is use to control the operations and connect the input, processes and outputs.. It's very important to measure performance and I it will help to identify problem areas. BP Connect is delivering customer service when they deliver services customers' opinion are important if they are satisfied or not with customer service. If the customers meet their need and expectation as they happy, if they are not meet their need and expectation as a result they are not happy with BP Connect service. Here the meaning of customers as who are getting services from BP Connect and who are delivering service. Both are BP Connect customers. In this case there are several method can collect the feedback. Directly ask question from customer for example are you happy with our service so answer must be a feedback. And observation is another way, here customer's body language for example smile/ angry face. Feedback can be taken from BP Connect performance such as monthly sales report, waste report ect. From the feedback BP Connect members or staffs collect the problems after that they could improve or develop such areas if they are not do the BP Connect market place goes behind and they will lose the market.
Source of feedback
There are many different ways in which you could receive feedback on your performance. Some will be part of your organisation's system and procedures. Other will be more informal.(Bradley, 2007)
Sources of feedback
Figure 3.4.1: Possible sources of feedback on your own performance (Bradley, 2007)
This above diagram explain which way can collect performance feedback. According the feedback, problems and customer or society needs & expectation can be identified. It will help to improve the performance and satisfied the customers.
For example BP Connect feedback as below
Customer's one long queue
Customer two poor staff knowledge
BP Connect CSA too much of work
Line manager reduced work hours
Myself poor communication
Organisation system & procedures
Colleagues high price of fuel & other product
The above feedback collected by me.
Fish bone model or Cause-and-effect Diagrams
Elements or cause of a problem and depict the problem graphically in the form of a skeleton of a fish, with each bone representing causes of the problem and its head the effect.( Cook, 2008) In this way participants are able to see a whole problem rather than just its elements and understand the relationships and parts of the problem.
Figure 4.0: Example of Fish bone diagrams (Macdonald, 1993)
The above diagram shows those causes to effect the head. Each cause is the different problems of the organisation. There are six main causes shown in the above diagram. The six causes created one main effect as display above.
BP Connect Fish bone diagram
Before (2.3 problem statement) I listed some problems of BP Connect, those problems are collected thought the feedback. Those causes can be categorised and analyse below
Staffs/ employees behaviour & attitude
Reflect from the transformation processes model, BP Connect staffs are customer service assistants (CSA), store manager, area manager, audit staffs and other technical staffs. In those staffs behaviour and attitude can be affect the BP Connect. For example
CSA hasn't much knowledge about the store and services systems. If the customer ask about the promotions and features of the product they are not explain. For the reason behind the CSA hasn't to up to date information about the product, other reason for communication problems with customers may be he is new staff so lack of training, staffs are not friendly with customers, CSA not greeting the customers, CSA is not satisfied with BP Connect service it may he expect more benefit from the company.
Store manager face some problem as too much of work load because of there is no other assistants. Other reason for new staffs, reduce work hours, delay reporting, all the time head of the department change the system & procedures. So this situation manager couldn't work efficiently. Technical staffs when the machineries repairs, in this situation the management call technical staffs but they are not come immediately as a result this affect the sales. For example CSA's till is not work properly, coffee machine out of order and car wash out of order. For these causes are continue two or three days customers go to another place.
Not satisfied customer expectations & needs:
There are many issues customers are not happy at BP Connect. Such price labels & promotions are not clear and poor stock availability. Long queue in this situation most customers don't like to come next time. Small car park and most of the time toilets are out of order. Customer complaints are not taken seriously. So these issues also can be affecting the sales.
Organisation system and procedures
BP Connect is a convenience store and open 24 for hours. But there is no security for this store. At night one CSA works alone but he has to do so many work as serve the customers, received the delivery items, arrange those items, clean the store areas ect. but there is no motivation or benefit at BP Connect. BP Connect goods are very expensive compare with other stores. In this situation people don't like spend more money as a result they choose another place as cheaper. So far BP Connect hasn't own product.
Stock control issues
Stocks are not taken regularly. Poor stock arrangement Delivery is not come to the correct time, some time product damages.
Outside the organisation problems
In the BP Connect main problem is shoplifting and some customer take fuel and they are not pay for fuel so they escape quickly it call drive off. Those are incident happen regularly. So BP Connect lose their stock, sales, income and profit. Other competitors come to the same market for example TESCO, ESSO, as a result customer have many choice to choose the place.
Those are main causes effect the organisation as sales drop and poor customer service. This will be shown in the fish bone diagram as below.
Customer need & expectations
New staffs communication problem poor product display no bigger car park
No motivation long queue no relax room
Too much work stress work hours cut higher price not clear promotion & price
BP Connect system & procedures
Competitors' shoplifters unexpected sale planning error
Change Weather counting mistakes
Stock control issues
Outside the organisation
Poor stock arrangement delay delivery
Figure 4.1: Example of BP Connect Fish bone diagram
Total Quality Management (TQM)
Before analyse organisation (BP Connect) background and their transformation process as well as BP Connect problem statements. Then those causes analyse with fish bone model as deeply. In this chapter analyse how the BP Connect can be improve or develop in the future. There are many models can use for process improvement. Such as total quality management model, ISO quality standard, EFQM model and ect.
Total quality management (TQM) is supporting for the process changes and to improve the performance. Changes can be input changes, output changes and process changes. For example one of the BP Connect cause is staffs behaviour attitude. So in this situation TQM activities are introducing day to day training for CSA & store manager. And other way is motivate the staffs. Here human input will be added value. As a reflect output also better and performance as sales up.
Creating a customer service culture within an organisation involves change. Models such as the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) provide a useful tools to monitor the degree of change that is taking place.(Cook,2008)
(500 points, 50%) (500 points, 50%)
People satisfactions 90 (9%)
People 90 points management (9%)
Quality systems and processes
Customer satisfaction 200 (20%)
Strategy & (8%) planning 80 points
Impact on society 40 (6%)
Resources 90points (9%)
Figure 5.0: The European Quality Award (EQA) Framework (Brown, et al., 2001)
This is a benchmark for develop quality for every organisation. This EQA framework has 9 elements such as leadership, people management, strategy, resources, processes, people satisfactions, customer satisfactions, society and result.
Improvement of staffs behaviour and attitude
If the BP Connect wants to improve their staffs as store manager and CSA attitude and behaviour. The beginning appoints a leader for collect the past and present information about staffs' behaviour. Here leader must be human resource manager. According to the survey to decide how can be improve staffs performance. When recruit new staffs for BP Connect first check their language skill, personality and knowledge about customer service. After the selection provide workshop training and check their performance. Then give the appointment. If already have CSA & Store manager satisfied their needs & expectation. For example increase their wages, leave and other oppounity as promotions. If staffs are happy as a result they give excellence service.
For this process human resource manager have to allocate money & place for training process. If the staffs performances are higher as reflect training process are successes.
Otherwise do the process again. Performance can be measure with customer feedback and store monthly performance report.
Satisfied customer need and expectation
In this situation invest money for new products & new self service machine. Decide the place for self service machine. Product layout can be change in different way it must be more clear as well as impress the all customers. Provide product leaflets. The processes output must be happy & satisfied customers as a result sales up. If not achieved do process again.
To change the organisation system and procedures
BP Connect customer service system and procedures decided by head office operational managers. They are decided the product range, work limit, work hours, health & safety ect. This planning decisions sometime not workout. As why BP Connect planning system & procedures have to analyse & control the new planning system. For example there is no human security guard, fuel payment system can change. Introduce self service system. Introduce new staffs recruitment system, can change training methods ect.
To solve outside the organisation problems
Control must be shoplifting and fuel drive off in this situation BP Connect to introduce better security system. Security system has to be human security system and technology security system. Introduce security guard. So he can control or reduce shoplifting and fuel drive off. People can more attention when they come inside the store. Other way to develop technology for example when customer come for fuel first take the payment for fuel and authorise fuel. Otherwise introduce token system and fix more powerful CCTV. In this situation store manager & CSA work load can be reduce. So they can more focus on their other work. Other problem as new competitors come to the market for example Tesco fuel stations as a reflect customers have more choice. So in this situatation BP Connect have to do something different from other competitors. Introduce new loyalty systems, to change the marketing mix. BP Connect more concentrate with their target segmentation as fuel forecourt.
Reflect from EQA
European Quality Award (EQA) frame talk about 9 element of improvement as a guide for improves BP Connect. According to that BP Connect improve their performance as sales up. BP Connect leaders are operational managers, human resources managers, area managers, store manager, security guard. They can take decisions and opinion as well control the store. Under the People management BP Connect include the right person for their store function right person as capable CSA's, store manager and other staffs. These resources can be change and develop to more success performance. BP Connect strategy is successful fuel business. Planning system are store location, store name, display product, and other technical support for the store functions. And other modern resources have to be speed counter tills, computer, powerful CCTV, bigger efficiency freezers ,chillers, oven safety cabinet ect. These enablers are necessary for BP Connect quality process. The quality process can be allocate work & time for each staffs and maintain the records after that take action or reward them. When get the supply deeply check supply items if find any shortage or damage return that items. Maintain the stock control it is necessary to follow fist in first out. Keep every record as in a separate folder files in an order. Product display, price, promotion must be more clear for every customers so can use font letters must bigger and use different colour & picture for attract the all the customers. At the same time customers, staffs complain & suggestions can be collected and take in to consideration. BP Connect result as deliver customer service. These services have to satisfied people as BP Connect employees at the same time customers. Employees can be satisfied with his work, allowances, promotions and other benefits. Customers will be satisfied with service, product & other facilities. Social impact means how BP Connect affect the society for example some time traffic block because there is a small car park so other vehicles have to wait on the road. Machinery noisy may be affecting the society. In this situation BP Connect take immediate action to save the society. So the business result has to be positive as sales up and good customer service.
BP Connect is fuel station. When BP Connect need to achieve their mission they have to provide quality service for customers and society. Quality service can be analysed with store performance as sales report, operational report, target report and ect. If those sources say negative as reflect BP Connect customer service as poor. In this situation the store must have to identify the problems places. Here I used fishbone model for critically analyse those problems. Then they have to improve those areas. Here I used total quality management theory and EQA model. And again check their performance. If it is positive result so apply those techniques and maintain the project. Otherwise do the processes again.
My recommendation for BP Connect as below
Introduce one or two self-service machine in the store.
Staffs allowance must be measure with their performance.
To provide promotions for staffs and motivate them.
Stock control have to calculate manually and automatically in a daily base,
To add more facilities for customers and staffs.
To take immediate action for customer & staffs complains.
To introduce security guard for the store
To change the fuel payment methods for example first take payment after that authorised for fuel.
To more focus on (forecourt) fuel customer service