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To be a successful business it is necessary to have better quality management concepts to maintain customer satisfaction. Quality management concepts give the control and measure the organizational performances in required level. Through internal and external communication can enhanced the set standards to internationally accepted level. These conditions will add more value to the organizational brand image.
Quality in terms of businesses and services provision
Quality management is common concept for both production and service organizations as the end result is similar. To have end customer focussed quality concepts and B2B interaction this is the modern trend in globally. By providing necessary service infrastructure and set standards will be able to practice them without creating any confusion. There is an emerging trend through the internet and value chain arrangements with technology developments. After building the trust about the service quality it will be a competitive advantage and unique factor for the organizational success.
Quality concept is more often concept for all the organizations in all industries including service organizations. There is no difference of the quality approach based o the ownership such as private limited or government own company. Only consider the necessity of the requirement. Based on the industry and the scale will change the quality requirement. After develop the product or a service to the required quality level can easily advanced the profit margin and generally increases the total revenue.
Quality in terms of customer satisfaction
The quality concept can divided into major two areas as external and internal. The external quality level is mainly focus on the customer satisfaction. This is the most important factor to have lifetime customers and build up the customer loyalty. To satisfy customers it is necessary have better understanding about the customer requirement and the expected quality level compared to other competitors in the market.
Internal quality means the actions taking to maintain proper internal operational systems with effective and efficient level by minimizing the expenses and controlling the cost. To enhance the concept it is necessary to implement internal quality culture by using several quality approaches such as Japanese quality concepts (Ki Zen, 5 S, TQM, and Six Sigma) and ISO standards. The major benefit comes to the organization and employees. Also this benefit can pass to the customers and increase customer satisfaction levels. By low cost can control the expected quality levels to have satisfied customers by using well controlled quality concepts.
Quality management Measurements
The quality measure is the identification of the quality level into the numeric and specific value indicator. Through these measurements can easily compare the improvement regularly and take preventive actions to reduce the existing quality levels. Also quality measures will direct to find effective methodologies to find advanced quality practices to enhance the quality level.
BenchmarkingÂ - the existing performance level of the organization can compare with well performing organization which is in the same standards (scale / industry / capacity) to identify the current performance level.
Continuous Improvement - the concept to improve the customer satisfaction contentiously and maintain without diluted. We should remove unnecessary activities and variations of the process and drive to have advanced service level in next level.
ISO - this is one of the best globally accepted quality measurement / standards. To have the ISO 9000 certification should undergone a audit o fulfill necessary requirements which is accepted by ISO.
Lean Management - this is to maximize the customer value by reducing the waste / unnecessary expenses. All managers should eliminate any operation which fails to create customer value and making only waste to the organization.
Total Quality ImprovementÂ (TQM) - this another well known quality practice to meet or exceed customer satisfaction. Concept also focusing to measure the current performance level and have continuous improvements in future.
Six Sigma - this is one of the methodological ways of the eliminating defect levels or service errors. This is a data driven quality concept and measuring six standard deviations to match the expected quality level. Generally the Six standard deviations means only 3.4 defects per million number of produced pieces.
Quality Management Measures
ISO 9000 series is based on the quality management standards. ISO 9000 is one of a series of quality management system standards. This is a series of standards which is focusing the quality bets practices. This is heavily discussing the terminology in addition to the basic quality management requirement. To obtain the ISI certification all organizations should be able to achieve the minimum level of the given quality standards.
ISO 9000 - this is the basic requirement and discuss the vocabulary and the fundamentals of the requirement. ISO 9001 is discussing beyond the quality management systems.
ISO 9001 - under this series discuss the mandatory requirements to get the certification and ways to implement necessity.
ISO 9004 - this concept is focus to improve performance levels. There are eight quality principles to use by senior management to improve performance levels of the organization.
2.2 SERQUAL Method
This is mainly use to control the service quality level of an organization. Main objective is to find service gaps of the service delivery and offer satisfied service each and every customer. To reduce the service quality gaps can use the service tangibility, reliability, empathy, responsiveness and assurance.
2.3 Total Quality Management (TQM)
TQM is a management approach to have long term customer satisfaction throughout the process. All members of the organization are participating to the improvement process. The TQM implementation process is going to be teachings of the Philip B. Crosby, W. Edwards Deming, Armand V. Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa and Joseph M. Juran. The major directions from the Deming shows there are 14 points under TQM to improve quality and productivity. http://www.edrawsoft.com/images/examples/TQM_MODEL.png
2.4 Six SigmaÂ
Originally the concept has introduced by the Motorola Company in USA. Currently this is one of the best quality controlling measures in different industries all around the world. The main concept is identifying causes for the defects and eliminates that error in the starting stage. This production error calculates by using statistical measures such as standard deviation. After realizing the issues we can introduce proper precautionary actions to overcome them in advanced.
The name of the "Six Sigma" originated from the manufacturing terms with statistical modeling. Basically statistically is expecting only one defect item out of 99.9996% of production. To measurement quality manager should measure the standard deviation six times and only 3.4 defect items will allow per one million.
Quality Management Audit (SERVQUAL)
3.1 SERVQUAL Measurement
I have selected to apply the SERVQUAL service quality model in to the "Olympic Hospital" which is going to fixed in the Olympic Village in London. When assessing the quality of service delivery it can be valuable to use a service quality framework such as SERVQUAL or RATER.
This quality measure can use to measure the service quality, system quality, information quality, user involvement, usefulness, and user self-sufficiency and user satisfaction levels. Mainly focus only to measure five major gaps in the model.
Gap 01 - Management's perception about the customer expectation and actual expected service level of the customer
Gap 02 - management perception about customer expectation and the service specifications
Gap 03 - Service specifications and the service delivery
Gap 04 - Delivered service and the external communication
Gap 05 - Expected service and the perceived service to the customer
SERVQUAL was a tool designed by Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry in the mid-eighties to assess 10 aspects of service quality. It was later refined to the simplified acronym 'RATER':
Tangibles - equipment, facilities etc
Reliability - ability to provide a consistent service
Responsiveness - reacting promptly to changing customer needs
Assurance - belief and confidence of the staff
Empathy - provision of a personalised, caring, flexible service
It can be used to identify the discrepancy between the customer's expectations of a service offering and the customer's perceptions of the service received. It is important to note that the patient's perception of the service is distinct from the actual service received, and the fact that this model looks at perception makes it an attitude measure.
3.2 How to Enhance the Service quality
Tangibles - from reviewing inpatient surveys, the hospital performs poorly with respect to six single sex bathrooms and hospital food, but hospital cleanliness is generally well-regarded. In this respect the hospital is partially meeting patient expectations.
Reliability - the hospital has maintained its record of low infection rates and has also met its waiting time targets. However, there are still a small number of patients that have to wait beyond the waiting line targets for treatment, and a very small number that experience problems arranging their appointments/operations. However, the majority of patients are satisfied with their waiting times and with the cleanliness of the hospital, as evidenced by patient survey data.
Responsiveness - The Trust has recently implemented Patient Experience Trackers across the hospital which enable each ward/outpatient area to gain real-time feedback on the patient experience, which enables them to quickly respond to any issues that arise and observe patterns in good/poor performance. Additionally, patient feedback which is submitted in to the Trust centrally is communicated across the hospital weekly. Feedback from other stakeholders, such as GPs and service commissioners, is also collected and communicated across the organisation on a regular basis. This enables new services to be developed and adapted to meet the changing needs of patients and stakeholders.
Empathy - The hospital's policies and procedures are designed to prove a patient-centred, flexible service, e.g. offering patients a choice about the time and date of their appointments. Additionally, many staff have received customer services training to help them treat patients in a more empathetic, professional way. However, there are higher numbers of complaints in the evenings and weekends when more agency staff are used to cover shifts, resulting in a poorer service for patients. Additionally, the hospital could also do more to make appointments more convenient for patients, such as offering appointments outside of working hours.
Assurance - The hospital is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and over 3,000 people work there across a very broad variety of job roles. This makes it difficult to ensure that all staff are providing a high-quality service. Furthermore, health is very important to people so they need to feel assured that the staff are competent and confident. The hospital is a training hospital, so there is a very high level of clinical expertise and supervision. There are notices to patients around the hospital, inviting them to ask their doctor/nurse if they've washed their hands before treating them, and giving information on how to make a complaint. This helps to empower the patients and gives them the assurance that the hospital takes these issues seriously. From survey data, patients report very high satisfaction with the care they receive, and stakeholders such as GPs also rate this very highly. This demonstrates that most patients feel assured that the staffs are providing/will provide a good service.
3.3 Methods of consultation
To adjust the existing service quality levels we have to have better understanding about the customers of the hospital (patients). As the main function buying behaviour process should clearly identify to set initial quality standards.
Need recognition - Individuals would consider having their medical and health facilities due to the following reasons:
- Exposure to a promotional campaign towards the Olympic administrative activities.
- Location (easy to access) and the trust
- Reasonable cost compared to other international hospitals
- Witnessing a disaster via media
- Sensitive reasons
Information Search - visitors can search for ways of going for other private hospitals and get their medical treatments. Also different travel insurance companies are nominating few more other hospitals.
Evaluation of alternatives - After the visitors receive information on various sources to have promotional medical treatments, they would evaluate which hospital deserves their health the most.
Purchase - An individual visitor would come to have general treatments and sometimes they will come for serious injuries.
Post purchase evaluation - visitors will measure the service experience and quality of the treatment they got. They are in a better position to create good or bad word of mouth recommendations.
3.4 Importance of customer Complaints
Especially the entire service quality model is depending on customer complaints. Therefore it is necessary to maintain effective methodology to get immediate customer feedback and prompt actions to complaints. Through the customer complaints can minimize the service errors avoiding repeat issue once again. Also should take necessary disciplinary actions and rewarding method to motivate frontline staff.
Establishing a Better Quality Management System
To establish a better quality management system in the organizations we should implement further more good practices in addition to the explained above. Therefore i would like to suggest that responsible officers should have to have better understanding about the entire organizational performances and establish a proper quality system based on those elements.
4.1 Internal data sources
In order to support the impact of the new marketing strategy smith and nephew can use internal sources of data such as marketing information systems (MKIS) and management information systems (MIS). "The MKIS defined by Kotler consists of people, equipment and procedures to gather, sort, analyse, evaluate and distribute timely and accurate information to marketing decision makers" (Kotler et al, 2007 in McKee et al, 2009, p11) These information systems can be used to analyse sales trends and marketing activities, monitor and scan the environment, provide market research and support the management decision making process. The data that is collected and stored on these systems can be used to justify the revised marketing role or be used as an analyses tool to adjust the strategy inline with the internal and external market. The MIS will also support the current and future decisions of the marketing manager. The systems can be use to statistically evaluate marketing trends and produce detailed reports to substantiate the marketing strategy.
4.2 Internal Customer
In order to access whether the imbalance of management and leadership has been addressed and the leadership has taken a more transformational approach and questionnaire and survey should be distributed pre and post of the internal marketing plan. The results will show if there has been any significant change in the motivation, attitude and morale of the workforce.
4.3 Inter departmental Communication
One of the internal weaknesses of the marketing department was the level of inter departmental communication. In a large organisation such as smith and nephew the transfer of accurate and timely information between departments is a key ingredient for success. The execution of the new communication methods such as the intra net, communication workshops and internal training and inter departmental meetings will be monitored to access an improvement in communication and knowledge transfer. The usage of the intra net will be monitored, the completion of workshops and training and the attendance at inter departmental meetings and the results shared with senior management.
4.4 Balanced Scorecard
In order to monitor the achievement of the set objectives and justify the financial spend on the internal marketing plan for the revised quality management role can use a balanced scorecard. Once the targets for the new objectives are achieved, revised targets can be set to facilitate further improvements to the marketing department. The targets specified in a balanced scorecard should be follow SMART guidelines. The balanced scorecard is divided in a quadrant under the headings;
Learning and Growth
Customers - These are the internal customers of the marketing department and a measure of the acceptance and adoption of the internal marketing plan and the stated revisions.
Business Procedures - The business procedures refers to the activity of marketing communications by members of the marketing department such as the number of mailers sent, phone calls made, exhibitions and PR events attended. In addition the category includes the timelines of responses in line with the service level guidelines.
Learning and Growth - The adoption of a more transformational leadership approach is designed to improve morale, job satisfaction and motivational levels of employees. In addition the new talent and team development plan is also designed to address these issues and reduce the levels of absenteeism and staff turnover rates. This category will address the satisfaction levels and measure staffing levels, addressing any issues in the process. Company have implemented a talent development program and have agreed personal development programs for staff and these documents need to be continually reviewed against an agreed timescale in order that the personal objectives are completed.
Financial Performance - The impact of new marketing strategy has to be measured against the financial performance of the company to justify the financial outlay on the internal marketing plan. These measurements can be against a return on investment, average cost of securing customers and increases in sales and profits.