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Executive Summary

This report provides a detailed analysis of how quality management promotes the success of Meineke Car Care Centre. It gives a clear analysis on how quality management framework can determine the success of an organisation.

The report proposes that there is a need to improve quality management in the organisation. The organisation has not applied all the necessary measures to enhance quality of the services it renders to its customers.

The following recommendations have been made;

  • Improving the process of getting feedback from employees.
  • Encouraging communal work to facilitate the flow of ideas among the employees.
  • Encouraging research and development in the organisation.

Introduction

One of the main factors that determine the success of any organisation is its ability to sustain a high level of performance. The effectiveness of quality management significantly contributes to the success of an organisation. The main goal for having the quality management is to ensure a continued improvement of the quality of goods and services provided by an organisation. In the contemporary business world, customers have become sophisticated.

They can access more information and their expectations have increased significantly. The situation is made even more complex by the high level of competition. In order to survive under these conditions, organizations have to pay more attention to the quality.

Quality management provides control measure to an organisation to evade risks. It also provides a means to measure and monitor the performance of an organisation. It also significantly assists an organisation in enhancing its image as well as realizing the areas of improvement.

At Meineke Car Care Centre, we need to have a clear quality management plan. This will enable our organisation to face the current competitive market. This will enhance retention of our customers hence promoting our success. Over the past, our organisation has been widely known for quality services.

Meineke is broadly known for successful services in the automotive service business (Anonymous 2011: par 1). Up to date, our organisation provides the highest level of quality service in North America. The organisation is led by the concept of providing high quality workmanship and services to our customers at the lowest prices. This can only be achieved through a clear quality management system.

Discussion

How Meineke Car Care Center is applying Quality Management (QM) principles to remain more profitable and increase their competitive advantage

As already seen, quality management plays a significant role in enhancing the organization’s success. The current achievements by Meineke can be attributed to its quality management system. There are various ways through which quality management framework can contribute to an organization’s success.

To start with, quality management plays a role in enhancing the company’s competitive advantage. According to Evans and Lindsay (2007), ‘competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to achieve the market superiority (26).’ A company with competitive advantage has an ability to win more customers in the market than their counterparts.

Through quality control, an organisation is able to provide high value goods and services in the market which their competitors cannot be able to provide. Through quality management, Meineke Car shop has managed to maintain its competitive advantage. This has contributed to the success of the organisation. For instance, Meineke was ranked top as the best African American franchise (Anonymous 2011: par 5).

The value of any particular product is determined by the quality of its design. For instance, a modification of a product’s design will help in differentiating a particular product from its competitors.

An improvement in the product’s design will also help in improving the organization’s reputation which consequently contributes on customers’ perception on the value of the product or service in question (Evans and Lindsay, 2007: 27). Through continued research and development, an organisation manages to develop new products and services that enable the organisation to remain far ahead of its competitors.

At Meineke Car Care Centre, we need to have a research and development department which should ensure that there is increased value in services provided. This will enable us to provide high value services than our competitors can provide. Consequently, we shall be able to win and retain customer. Quality management has also helped various organizations in increasing their market shares.

Large market shares are associated with increased level of revenue. Consequently, high revenue levels leads to high level of profitability. Quality management can also contribute to the success of an organisation by reducing the operational costs.

Through conforming to the quality requirements, an organisation can be able to save a lot of money by reducing the level of costs, for instance, the company will receive few if any rejects related to poor quality.

Quality management also improves the organization’s profitability by reducing the average level of reworks. Evans and Lindsay (2007), argued that a part from being free, quality is also an important aspect (27). Many organizations lose a significant fraction of its revenue through reworks. Quality management ensures the adoption of quality production processes.

At Meineke Car Care Centre, the organisation has managed to save a significant sum of money by providing high quality services to customers. A large percentage of the customers are satisfied with the services done on their vehicles. This has reduced the level of reworks hence saving time and money.

However, there is a need for this organisation to improve on the working processes in the organisation in order to avoid reworks completely. Some customers have been bringing back their vehicles for re-servicing soon after leaving due to poor services in some cases. Through quality management, an organisation can also reduce expenses on warrants.

If effectively implemented, quality management strategies can significantly improve the financial performance of an organisation (Evans and Lindsay 2007: 28). This is brought about by the reduction in costs and improvement in the profitability levels, which is associated with quality control.

Application of the quality management frameworks and how this can generally contribute to the business or organization’s success

As we have already seen, the quality management framework is a complex process. This includes procedures, processes, organization structure, and the resources necessary for implementation of quality management (Haule 2006: P 11).

While implementing quality management, communication among the parties involved is of great importance. At Meineke, auditors are provided with enough information about the quality requirements to enable them to assess whether an organisation is moving towards the desired course of action. This is a very important step in application of quality management process.

One of the frameworks applied in quality management is the European Foundation for Quality Management model (EFQM). This is a self evaluation framework which assists an organisation in detecting areas which needs improvement.

This framework helps an organisation in evaluating all its activities in order to find out the areas which requires more attention. This framework also focuses on improving areas which determines customer value as well as results which satisfies the stakeholders. EFQM also aims at creating a good relationship with those surrounding by engaging involving itself in social responsibilities.

Another framework used in quality management is the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) framework. This is an organisation which sets the standards which are meant to be followed as regulations.

This guides an organisation in meeting the quality requirements of its consumers as it maintains customer satisfaction as it struggle to meet its objectives. This framework is significant to an organisation as it assists the organisation in meeting its objectives.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) is also a significant factor which contributes in quality management. By applying for this award, an organisation is judged by an independent assessor. This award provides an organisation with an incentive to improve the quality of its products and services.

EFQM framework has a significant impact on Meineke’s day to day activities. The organisation applies this framework in identifying the areas which requires improvement. This organisation applies this method in identifying its strengths and weaknesses. This gives the organisation guidance in improving the consumer satisfaction.

Before laying down the quality requirements, an organisation first outlines the existing quality specifications in order to determine the quality assurance procures which are already in place (Haule 2006:p14). After analyzing this information, it becomes easier to identify the areas which require attention to enhance quality services and products in an organisation.

This can only be facilitated through research and necessary consultancy. This is followed by definition of the quality criteria after which a plan is formulated for implementation process. Through these procedures, Meineke Car Centre has succeeded to come up with a system of maintaining high quality products and services to customers.

Quality management frameworks have a significant role in enhancing any organization’s success. It enhances successful delivery of goods and services by an organisation. It also enables an organisation to understand the customer’s satisfaction and perception (Profocus 2010: par 4).

The first step an organisation should take in order to improve the quality of its products is to understand the customer’s perception and satisfaction. Quality management framework promotes this understanding hence leading to high quality goods and services.

Another way through which an organisation contributes to the success of an organisation is through provision of a critical understanding of the impact of customer’s loyalty and satisfaction on the general performance of an organisation. This understanding is helpful to an organisation in making critical decisions.

At Meineke, there is a need to have a clear understanding of the extent to which customer’s satisfaction with the services provided affects the level of performance. This knowledge is useful as it helps this organisation to stay ahead of its competitors. It will also be able to sustain its competitive advantage in the market.

It is always advisable to have good feedback systems in every organisation. Quality management framework plays an important role in promoting good feedback in an organisation. This provides a channel through which customers can channel their views hence promoting a clear understanding of their perception.

Quality management framework plays an important role in promoting an organisation’s success through assurance of effective management to the shareholders as well as the directors (World Meteorological Organisation 2010: 1). By so doing, it encourages every party to work towards the achievement of the organization’s goals. That is quality goods and services for the consumers.

Quality management clarifies the working structure. This facilitates efficiency in an organisation. It therefore promotes quality of goods and services. For instance, every activity is assigned to a particular person. This ensures that every activity is carried out in the right manner to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Any defect can be traced back to the person responsible. At Meineke Car Care, this system ensures that each employee gives necessary attention on their assigned roles. For instance, those assigned with servicing the tires will be encouraged to do their best since any defect on this area will be attributed to them. The same applies to those engaged in servicing the body parts.

Consequently, this will lead to high quality services for our customers. Through quality management framework, an organisation can encourage team work and communication among the employees (World Meteorological Organisation 2010: 4).

Teamwork is encouraged in every organisation since it plays a significant role in improving the quality of the products. For instance, the workers exchanges ideas among themselves while working as a team. This promotes innovation and development of new ideas in an organisation. In the process, an organisation improves the value of its products and services.

A car shop like Meineke needs a teamwork environment in order to achieve quality services for its customers. Every employee should feel free to interact with fellow workers to facilitate the flow of ideas among the employees.

Communication is also necessary in eliminating unnecessary delays and misunderstandings among employees. Optimized use of the scarce resources is also associated with quality management framework. This is achieved through an improved level of efficiency associated with this system.

Benefits and problems which are likely going to face an organisation as a result of adoption of Six Sigma quality management

Six Sigma is a programme which is aimed at eliminating defects from every process, transaction, and product (Park, not dated, p. 1). Six Sigma can also be defined as an attempt by an organisation to increase its share by improving consumer satisfaction through application of various methods. Six Sigma was launched in 1987 by Motorola (Park, not dated, p. 1).

This was in an attempt to improve services to its customers. It was also aimed at reducing the total costs of operations in the organisation. The Six Sigma was one of the major strategic management developments which facilitate the survival of an organisation in a competitive world.

Six Sigma emphasizes on three items; Management strategy, Quality culture, and statistical measurement. Statistical measurement is applied in determination of the quality of an organisation’s product. Through strategic management, an organisation creates and facilitates customer satisfaction, innovation and development. This creates a quality culture, which results into high consumer satisfaction.

Application of Six Sigma has several benefits to Meineke and any other organisation. To start with, this system of management promotes customer loyalty (Adams 2003: par 2). Customer satisfaction is the main factor that determines the success of every organisation in the long run.

An organisation which manages to retain high level of customer satisfaction and retention in most cases records high levels of performance. At Meineke, application of this method will significantly enhance the organisation to satisfy the needs its customers. Customers are the main pillar of any organisation.

The ability of an organisation to realize its target is determined by the actions of its customers. It is therefore advisable to encourage measures which encourage consumers to act in favour of an organisation.

When an organisation fails to satisfy the desires of its customers, its competitors will take that opportunity to satisfy these needs hence grabbing them away. In other words, Six Sigma plays an important role in an organisation through customer retention. Application of this method will contribute to the future success of Meineke Car Care Centre.

Another importance of Six Sigma is that it decreases the number of defects that reaches the consumers. In the process, an organisation will save a lot of money which could otherwise have been spent in reworks and warrants. It also improves the organisation’s reputation. This helps in expanding the market share hence increasing the organisation’s revenue.

This system of management promotes team building. According to Adams (2003), team building and employee satisfaction goes together (par 1). Through team building, an organisation manages to improve the level of employees’ satisfaction. Employee satisfaction enhances the achievement of organizational goals.

The more employees are motivated, the more commitment they are in achieving success. Six Sigma management systems contain elements which encourages team building and employee motivation. Six Sigma management methods also facilitate understanding among the employees, which speeds up team building.

At Meineke, teamwork is of great importance since each vehicle is handled by several people. Each specializes in a specific area. In order to achieve over all performance, there is a need to have teamwork among the employees. When every employee understands each other’s motivation, every employee gets a chance to contribute to the strength of the team.

One of the ways through which employees are motivated is through empowerment. Employees are given an opportunity to propose their views regarding the quality management. Employees will be more determined to execute strategies which they have themselves contributed in their creation.

Six Sigma management results into an effective supply chain management. Effective supply management is a prerequisite in achievement of defects free products and services. Six Sigma improves the supply chain management. This helps in improving the level of consumer satisfaction.

This system of management enables the workers to do things in the right way in more efficient ways with the help of data. This leads in production of high quality products hence improving the level of consumer satisfaction. Consumer satisfaction creates good reputation for an organisation which increases the market share.

Another importance of Six Sigma system of management is that it provides an atmosphere to solve various critical to quality complications through team work (Park, not dated, p. 2).

Another benefit of the Six Sigma is promotion of leadership qualities and skills. Leadership skills are essential at all levels in an organisation. One of the main objectives of Six Sigma is expansion of the concepts of leadership skills (Adams 2003: par 3). Despite of these benefits associated with Six Sigma management, there are a number of problems associated with its application.

One of the problems related with Six Sigma management is that the initial costs of its implementation are generally high. This poses a great challenge especially to small businesses. In organisations like Meineke, Six Sigma management is scaring.

It will require the organisation to forego many activities in order to implement it. This system requires an expensive analysis and retrieval of information necessary in making decisions. This means that an organisation needs to invest a lot of money in order to fully implement this form of management.

This method consumes a lot of time resources. In some cases where no data has been collected before deciding to use this system in an organisation, retrieving the necessary information can consume a lot of time resources (Thornton 1999: par 3). Employees may also be forced to divert their attention away from their duties to concentrate on data retrieval.

This will lower their productivity hence lowering the level of consumer satisfaction. For instance, some employees attending customers may be forced to leave their duties to find data. This brings about a reverse effect of the intended outcome.

Six Sigma method of management also discourages employee’s commitment. It is difficult for an employee to become part of an organisation’s culture through this method. It requires experts who are conversant with methodologies, which are usually outsourced. This encourages divisions in an organisation. It also results in underutilization of employees in quality improvement process.

Employees who have stayed for a longer period in an organisation have more expertise and experience than external consultants hired from outside the organisation.

Employees who have worked with Meineke for a longer period have a greater understanding of the operations involved in the organisation more than external consultants. Adoption of Six Sigma will force Meineke’s human resource managers to hire external consultants at the expense of their employees. This will affect the quality of our services.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this report has shown that quality management significantly determines success of Meineke Car Care Centre. Effective quality management enables an organisation to improve the level of satisfaction of its customers. This increases its market share as well as its revenue. Effective quality management also leads to development of competitive advantage.

If an organisation manages to improve the quality of its products and services beyond those produced by their competitors, then it gains advantage over its competitors. An organisation will win more customers from its competitors hence increasing its market share. Finally, an organisation manages to reduce the overall operational costs hence maximizing their profits.

Recommendations

This discussion has raised several concerns on the need to pay more attention on the quality management at Meineke Car Care Centre. The following recommendations are necessary for sustained success; first, it is necessary to improve the process of getting feedback from employees. This will help this organisation in analyzing and understanding the needs of its customers.

There is also need to improve on research and development in the organisation. Although the organisation has been carrying out these processes over the past, there is need for improvement on this area. This will enhance the organisation in maintaining a continuous product improvement.

Through research, this organisation will manage to maintain a high level of innovation in relation to the customer’s needs. It is also important to encourage communal work at Meineke to facilitate the flow of ideas among the employees. This will also contribute to quality improvement.

Reference List

Adams, C. 2003. Benefits of Six Sigma. Web.

Anonymous, 2011. Meineke Car Care Centre. Web.

Evans J. & Lindsay, W. 2007. Management & Control of Quality. London, Cengage Learning.

Haule, G. 2006. Implementing of Quality Management Framework and Development of Performance Audit Manual. CCAF-FCVI Fellow 2006/2007.

Park, S. n.d. Six Sigma and its Role in Quality Management. Web.

Profocus, 2010. Quality Management Framework. Web.

Thornton, S. 1999. Problems with Six Sigma Methods. Web.

World Meteorological Organisation 2010. WMO Quality Management Framework. Web.

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