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Present business environment globally has infused a severe competition among various firms who strive to achieve a competitive edge among their rivals by various competitive strategies and marketing strategies. The competitive strategies and marketing strategies have to be formulated according to customers' needs and demands and organization has to incorporate their operations and procedures to fit such demands. There have been different notions about the competitive and marketing strategies as the firms try to adopt the strategies which are most appropriate to the customer needs and market environment where the firm's resources and procedures are adopted to such market environment. There have been different views about the competitive and marketing strategies in various researches and studies in the last few decades and it is found out that they differ from industry sectors such as manufacturing and services where the manufacturing sector relies highly on the product processes while the service sector is reliant on the marketing strategies for the product. Hence it is found out that operations management has been the most intriguing factor while addressing such strategies in two varied forms of sectors and the firms needs to adopt according to customer requirements to suit their operation and its efficient management.
In this report I would trying to explore the various competitive and marketing strategies employed by the firms in the different sectors of the businesses. Here I am trying to find the approach taken by two different organizations about the competitive and marketing strategies and how they are able to mould their operations according to market demands to achieve their goal of competitive edge over the rivals in the industry. Although competitive environment is similar in various industry sectors but there is need to address them accordingly as organizations differ in their approaches, implementation and priorities to suit their operations.
Business firms compete through the combination of operations and marketing functions. Hence marketing is very critical in competitive environment where it is essential to find out the consumer needs and demands, the pricing, and advertising and promotion. The basic idea to ascertain this identification to match the companies own goods and services to the consumer needs and demands. Operations have major influence on the competitiveness by the product and service design, location, cost, flexibility and supply chain management and services. Most of them are interrelated (Jahn, 2008).
One of most evident fact that has been established from various literature sources is that the main focus of the competitive strategies is to understand basic needs of customers and understand the similar services and goods offered by the customers who are achieved by various steps such as cost cutting, productivity increase and increasing customer loyalty. The firms try to implement such operations and practices which are best fitted to their own goods and services.
Manufacturing and services
The business organizations are primarily categorized in two broad sectors i.e. manufacturing and services each has their own specific operation challenges. The main basic difference between these categories is manufacturing sector which produces the physical and tangible goods that could be stored as inventories before they are required. In contrast the service organizations produce the intangible products which could be produced much before the time they are required. Customers are approached by the intermediate chain of retailers and distributors. The classic example of manufacturing sector is that customer does not come in direct contact with the car manufacturing company. However in the case of service organization the customers are present during the creation of the services i.e colleges, barber shops, hospitals etc. However most of the differences are overlapped in both the sectors. Most manufacturers are providing services as part of their competitive strategies and also the services firms are manufacturing some of the physical goods which are delivered to customers or for consumption during the service delivery. The example which could be cited for the above case is the shipment services provided by the furniture manufacturer. And other instance is the sales of own products by the barber during the service. It has been found that auto companies have huge profits from their post sales services share more rather than manufacturing the cars. The major difference between both sectors is shown in the table below:
Source: Crosby, Philip B. Quality Is Free. New York: New American Library, 1979
Juran (2002) in his research has pointed that around 85 percent of the problems have been associated with the quality provided from the top management hierarchy. Rawlings (2008) has furthermore added the firms use the systematic approach to avoid this problem of quality management which are also impediment to the firms growth. There is need to bring the total quality management practices to ensure that this processes are constant throughout the organization hierarchy.
BS EN ISO 9000 (2000) and Dale (2003) defines the Quality Management Systems as the management system to control and direct the organization for quality process. This definition however do not comprises of different aspects of planning. The International Standardization Organisation (ISO) has defined the Quality Management System as mentioned by Fouayzi et al., 2006 as follows:
"Quality management systems are the firm's structure for the process management which is critical to convert their resources input into the services and products which are required by the customers and which meets the market requirement as well.
Importance of quality management systems
The current business environment has created a need for quality management systems which are necessary in the organization to fulfill the customer needs. Oakland (2003) has also postulated that the Quality management system in a particular organization strives to achieve the operational aims of the firm to ensure that the operations are managed efficiently and the product and services are addressed to specific requirements in comparison to rivals in the market. Dale (2003) has furthermore added that quality management systems are also useful to ascertain whether there is clear communication policy and procedures to administer the performance and improvement of work in the organization to provide services and product quality (Turusbekova, 2007).
Fouayzi et al. (2006) has validated the use of quanlity management systems in the manufacturing industry to be more specifically oriented towards the achievement of goals to meet the consumer demands. It reinforces the needs for product quality improvement and data quality improvement for the product or service improvisation. It also eliminates the unnecessary procedures leading to customer grievances about the claims and complaints. Although such methods are adopted by the firms most of the times they fail to deliver due to improper operations management and to adopt to such market environments (Turusbekova, 2007).
Aim and objectives of the report:
From the literature above it is inevitable that quality management and the importance of quality in global business has enhance and changed over the last few decades. From being a corrective measure quality management today has evolved as a strategy and as an organization culture towards overall development and progression of an organization from the top to bottom
The aim of this report is to establish the changing role of quality management systems over the years, establish its importance and significance. In this report I would aim to study the different Quality Management Systems that are employed by organizations both in the service and manufacturing industry and the different implantations of the techniques used.
The main motive of this report is to analyse the total quality management system adopted by different councils My key objective of my report would be achieving my aim by undertaking a case study, where I would focus on the implementation techniques used by government organization in my case councils to implement TQM, as a quality management tool, study the different methods and techniques they have employed thus establishing that even though functionally they operate on the same platform their Quality Management System needs may differ and thus are specific to any particular organization
Central argument of the paper and review of previous literature:
The basic idea arrived from the above literature review is that manufacturing firms and service firms most of the operations and processes overlap however the significance is the implementation at varied stages and how the firms adapt to different market requirements by incorporating various aspects of operations management to specific consumer demand and needs. The comparative analysis highlights these differences in two different organizations.
Conclusion and recommendations
Quality management, its significance and needs is well established as I have reflected in the literature above. Organization be in the public, private, service or manufacturing industry at some point of time have to address this question and employ a technique that that best serves their needs and aids them capitalize on competitive advantage they can potentially gain by employing a robust , well structure quality culture throughout the organization.
With the help of this report I have not only reflected the growing significance of quality, but also different quality management systems in an organisation. The advantages of employing a QMS are numerous, even government organizations like local councils are rapidly falling into the circle of quality management ensuring they are not only delivering quality but are delivering it consistently with process and procedures that that being monitored continuously, for further improvement and development.
This report is very reflective and answers the central argument established earlier in the literature of this report that although organizations employ a similar quality management tool, there implementation may differ as per their priorities and need, this report significantly shows that even with the variation in the implementation process the applied tool converge at one point of time thus achieving the ultimate of Total Quality Management.
Although both the councils have successfully adopted the TQM technique as their total quality management tool, and are achieving desired success, on the basis of my reading from the available literature, my recommendation would be getting the management more involved in the process of quality management and the introduction of more rigorous procedures to see the slightest scope of further development and improvement. The process of further development should be continuous process of learning and improvement.
Personal learning from the report:
This report has been very useful for me to gain a significant amount to learning to me professionally. I have learnt immensely in terms of academic and professional aspects of the operations management. I have been able to grasp the knowledge about the presentation and research process of the topic which would help me in the future as a good manager. This report has been a learning experience about the competitive strategies and how companies incorporate their operations management according to market environments. This learning would be helpful in future to understand such issues in the business world and understand and implement them in the firm. I would be able to analyse the different scenario which needs specific competitive analysis and firms engagement to address them in more precise manner.
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