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Executive Summary

The management of Tip Top Markets has been charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the business operations of the chain supermarkets are effective. Such conditions are necessary to ensure that business will develop and flourish because only observing these rules company or firm may expect and be sure that it will meet customer’s needs and ultimately maximize its utility.

That is why, it is necessary to point out that management is also responsible for ensuring efficiency of the aforementioned business operations so as to guarantee that minimal resources are used, but the objectives are still met. for example, Samson mentions that operational management is a key to the organization’s success (2008). This task requires implementation of thorough quality management and overall total quality control (Latona & Nathan, 1994).

However, the management of one of the main stores has found itself experiencing a myriad of problems that are difficult to solve because of the customer’s complaints concerning the quality issues of the products and services.

The customers’ grievances have been observed to be mostly severe on Tuesdays, that is why data collected over a period of nine prior Tuesdays has shown certain trends. There has been a considerable decrease in the quality predicaments that are connected to product quality, but a dramatic increase in shortage-related quality problems.

Despite the management’s attempt to implement changes to reduce out-of-stock complaints, improve store maintenance and reduce checkout lines/pricing problems (Stevenson, 2007), the results observed over the past two weeks have not reflected any notable improvements.

It is for this reason that thorough analysis of this data is necessary in a bid to come up with accurate inferences that will assist in the provision of logical and feasible solutions and recommendations. It will be necessary for us to use a number of quality control analysis tools. Such an analysis will help us to come up with recommendations which relate more to proper training of employees in the use of Point of Sale systems and matters concerning the inventory system.

Analysis and recommendations

This analysis will require the use of the following tools and devices, such as a check sheet, Pareto diagram and run charts. These things are very important and crucial in collecting the necessary data and its further analysis in order to get the answers to the burning issues. The check sheet will guide us in identifying the types or complaints that the management has received at the supermarket.

In order for us to be able to analyze each grievance, we will be required to use the run charts and the Pareto diagram. Further, a cause-and-effect diagram will be required for us to be able to identify the areas of opportunity that the management can exploit.

Check sheet

Upon thorough analysis of the check sheet above, it is quite evident that there has been a great and dramatic increase in quality problems associated with shortages. The results of the study reveal that out of stock issues account for 32.57% of the complaints which were received by the management from the customers. It has been observed that products have been out of stock, more so over the past three Tuesdays. Quality concerns regarding the quality of the products have, however, decreased substantially over some time.

Pareto diagram

Pareto diagram.

When we study and analyze the data from the Pareto diagram, we can observe that complaints concerning the parking lot conditions have been quite consistent. Also, problems relating to the quality of services, charging errors at checkout lines and the overall speed with which the employees were attending to the customers have been quite numerous.

It has been, however, noted that the complaints regarding pricing mistakes and the waiting lines, which were long at times, were not quite as serious as the aforementioned ones. Since the major concern is the shortage of stock, it follows that the effects of these stock outs will be more severe than those of the other problems. Therefore, the management of Tip Top Supermarket needs to consider making the shortage problem their priority when administering the solutions.

Firstly, we will need to identify the major causes of the problem concerning shortages in stock because this is our primary concern. We shall require a cause and effect diagram as it assists in; identifying, sorting and displaying the probable reasons that are causing a particular problem (Schroeder, 2007).

Cause and effect diagram.

Upon thorough analysis of the problem scenario that the management is in, four possible core reasons causing the shortages in stock were identified thanks to the cause and effect diagram. These were: Spoilages, inaccuracies of the inventory, forecasting and the deliveries of the suppliers. The management should attend to these problems as soon as possible but also pay close attention to the parking lot conditions and quality of employee services.

In order for the management of Tip Top Markets to effectively and efficiently handle these issues, major changes will have to be implemented. The management should preferably start with the inventory system. They can ensure that goods are ordered as they are sold, to avoid problems such as spoilages and such, by implementing a perpetual inventory system.

This will present an opportunity to the financial buyers to be able to observe tendencies in the varying markets and purchase products that will sell more in selected stores. Additionally, this will incline the supermarket towards updating their Point of Sale systems such that products will be scanned more accurately and will assist in the elimination of problems relating to pricing.

Further, the management should ensure that the employees are well trained in the efficient use of the Point of Sale systems and that they can competently stock merchandise.

References

Latona, J. C., & Nathan, J. (1994). How to Analyze, Prepare and Present a Case. In Cases and Readings in Production and Operations Management. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Samson, D., & Singh, P. (2008). Operations Management: An Integrated Approach. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Schroeder, R. G. (2007). Operations management: contemporary concepts and cases. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Stevenson, W. J. (2007). Operations Management. (9th ed.) Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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