Assessing Quality: Cost of getting wrong or the benefits of getting it right
This report has been written with the intention of improving Euro-Recycling Ltd’s quality management and therefore the quality of service provided. This will be essential in the future of the company as it looks to branch out in the market while also maintaining its established relationships with current customers. The first part of the report will focus on what quality means to a business and also what customers expect from businesses operating in certain markets. The consequences of bad quality and the benefits of high quality will also be examined in order to express the importance of quality management. Using these measures the current quality management methods of Euro-Recycling Ltd can be assessed and recommendations on improving these methods can be made.
Euro-Recycling ltd started up around 7 years ago and operates in the IT recycling and destruction industry. The business offers two main services; a collection and safe removal of unwanted IT equipment and secure onsite destruction of top secret hard drives. In all of the jobs the business has to complete the workforce will be in full view of the customer it is therefore a necessity for the quality of the job to be immaculate. Hewlett Packard are one of the businesses main customers and they define quality as (J.Golding, 1991) ‘Meeting or exceeding the needs and expectations of the customer’ and continue to define total quality management as ‘A management philosophy and an operating methodology that is completely committed to quality’. A company want to do things right; that is, they would not want to make mistakes, and would want to satisfy their customers by providing error-free goods and services which are fit for their purpose. This is giving a quality advantage to the customers. Nigel Slack states in his Operations Management book that (N. Slack, 2004, 72) ‘In some ways quality is the most visible part of what an operation does. Furthermore, it is something that a customer finds relatively easy to judge about the operation.’ A customer perception of high-quality products and services means customer satisfaction and therefore the likelihood that the customer will return. Therefore understanding what your customer expects in terms of quality helps a business when they look to implement quality management strategies. Quality has been a main focus of Euro-Recycling since the companies start up and has an aim of ‘Total Quality’ in all of our business activities. When the term ‘Total Quality’ is used it means focusing on the customer’s needs and expectations, gaining the commitment and total participation of the workforce and continuing improvement of the processes used. Before Euro-Recycling ltd could even operate in this market it had to prove it could operate to quality standards such as ISO9001, however in order to differentiate the business from the competition these standards need to be exceeded.
Characteristics / Dimensions of quality:
It is essential that all employees of Euro-Recycling understand the specific characteristics customers will look for when they provide the service. Functionality is how well the service does its job so for a shredding job it means that the machines need to shred the data down to the required size. To ensure the appearance satisfies the customer employees must be dressed well the vans must be clean and minimal mess and wastage must be produced during the job. Reliability is a key factor in these jobs maximum effort needs to be made to guarantee the machines do not break down and the job is completed in the time given to the job. It is important that quality is standardised within the business and all employees are aware of what is expected from them in terms of the service provided. A helpful tool then is to introduce a...