Unit 17 : Quality Management in Business

Introduction

The quality management in business  assignment report has been prepared for understand the concept of quality and quality management in the context of Experian. Experian is a global information services group having its operation in around 40 countries. The principal lines of business of the company are credit services, decision analytics, marketing services and consumer services. The report discusses the following points

  • Different approaches to quality management at Experian
  • Benefits of quality management at Experian
  • Role of Quality control and service improvement
  • Quality management and organisational performance of Experian
  • Based on these aspects the role of quality management in Experian and understand the concept of quality and quality management in the context of Experian

Task 1: Different approaches to quality management

The quality management is traditionally associated with the manufactured goods. However the quality management approach has gained importance in the service industries as well. In case of Experian the quality management is important as the product of the company is important for product based companies or service industry. Further it is important to understand that the approaches to quality management to data are quite different from the quality management in product or services.

a) Examine the concepts of quality in your chosen organisation

The customer requirements and quality standards are backbone of the business of Experian. The customers of the company are benefitted as the quality of data provided to the customers will (Juran, 1973)

  • Lead to accurate better management of services and accountability of the customers of the company
  • Service and product effectiveness can be improved
  • Prioritizing the tasks and ensuring the best use of resources
  • Better judgement and governance of the decision making of the operational activities

The different approaches that are adopted at Experian to improve the quality of data and provide efficient service to the customers have been discussed below.

b) Discuss what drive your organisation to meet the customer requirements and quality standards

The first approach that is being discussed is the ETL approach. This is known as Extraction Transformation and Loading. It is the approach wherein the data is extracted from various sources. The transformation is done using software and loaded into the warehouse or the target marts. The transformation is done in order to filter out the damaged data or repair the damaged data that has been extracted. It is important to note that there can be different forms and patterns in which the data can be loaded and thus several transformation functions are employed in order to ensure that the data that is provided is correct and reliable.

Another approach is the Rule of 3: Detection, Analysis and Resolution. This approach is quite similar to the ETL approach that has been discussed earlier. In this approach the defects in the data are detected. The data is then analysed for the defect and the resolution is identified for handling the data.

Lastly the Enterprise Data Management is being adopted by Experian. EDM provides unique and unified data by devising common data model by integrating the information, building different layers and managing these layers. EDM is important for integration, validation and migration of data. EDM also makes it possible to monitor the quality of data and thus establish the standards.

c) How quality is measured in meeting the customer requirements in general

There are various ways in which the quality is measured. In terms of the products it is measured in terms of defects that are there. This is however difficult to implement in case of Experian wherein the product is the information provided by the organisation. Thus in such cases the quality is measured in terms of the customer service and the number of clients, increase in revenue and profitability of the company.

Task 2: Benefits of quality management

The quality systems such as ISO 9000 are the considered to convey the quality standards that are being followed by the organisations. There are various quality management systems that are there in the market. Several quality systems are specific to particular industry while certain quality systems such as ISO may be applied to any organisation regardless of industry in which it operates. In case of Experian it has been studied that the company is accredited to ISO 27001 quality system which is tested independently by British Standard Institute (BSI).

a) Identify and evaluate the application of quality systems and scheme for a business or service organization of your choice. Discuss how such systems can lead to customer satisfaction, continuous improvement and add value to the product or service delivery.

Quality management process

Steady change is a ceaseless push to upgrade things, organizations and behaviour or strategies. These tries can search for "incremental" change as time goes on or "jump forward" change in the meantime.

Plan: Identify an open entryway and course of action for change.

Do: Implement the change on a little scale.

Check: Use data to analyze the eventual outcomes of the change and make sense of in the event that it had any sort of impact.

Act: If the change was viable, complete it on a more broad scale and steadily review your results. If the change did not work, begin the cycle again.

Definition of Value To gauge respect a little while later, it is fundamental to have an ordinary awareness of effectively what quality is prepared markets. Before we go into any seeing about building quality models, we have to give a brief illustration of what we mean by worth. Respect in business markets is the quality in financial terms of the particular, cash related, association, and social central focuses a client affiliation gets thus to the detriment it pays for a business division advancing. We will elucidate a few sections of this definition.

Recognize Users Real Needs This is the first of the showcasing guidelines. It is essentially about factual looking over. Along these lines use the methodologies used by means of investigators - studies, interviews, use examination. You starting now have customers. Make sense of how they use your yield and again what results and points of interest they perform. One particularly supportive strategy for teasing this out used, by the way, to legitimize office automation structures is to ask in the matter of whether you didn't offer that organization.

Market Segmentation This is the foundation of every showcasing procedure - gathering customers into sections with essential plans of prerequisites. Again and again, information unit suppliers offer a homogeneous backing of all. This tends to make averaging, of a normal organization to everybody, rather than a great backing of some.

Typically areas may be considering divisions, item offerings, or business endeavours served. In any case, one engaging system for division relies on upon the unmistakably particular needs of senior boss included with fundamental decisions, field business people, and people in focal station limits, for instance, thing headway and advancing. By describing a few specific sections you can make different organization approaches and perhaps unmistakable resourcing and assessing. This will beat the fundamental pitfalls of a run of the mill system that prompts conflicts between the "sincere" and crucial'.

The ISO 27001 standard was first published in 2005 replacing the BS7799-2 standard. BS7799-2 was first published as code of practice and further it was enhanced to cover management systems. ISO27001 is the enhanced version of BS7799-2 with an objective to establish, maintain, implement and improve an Information Security Management System. It is important to understand that the ISO27001 version of 2005 employed PDCA model (Plan-Do-Check-Act). In the latest version in 2013, emphasis was put on measurement and evaluation of the performance of ISMS of the organisation. (See solution Supporting Independent Living Assignment)

There are some general benefits and there are certain specific benefits of the quality system in context of customer satisfaction, continuous improvement and add value to the product of the company. The ISO 27001 helps in the protection of information and thus leading to the satisfaction of the customers.

The ISO 27001 leads to customer satisfaction, continuous improvement and add value to the product by identifying the business risks that can be there in business related to information and thus focusing on information security (NSAI, 2012). The four basic business risks that have been identified under ISO 27001 are

  • Failure to protect the information of the customers
  • Loss of Customers from damage of reputation from the information breach
  • Lack of understanding of threats to business
  • Interruptions in operations due to Information Security

Based on the above aspects the business needs have been recognized such as reducing the risk of incidents, protect reputation, informed decision making and systematic control of information. Focusing on these points will provide the company added advantage as there will be enhanced awareness and understanding of the risks that are there in the business and thus better risk management (Nair & Annamalai, 2013). Further there will be better management of incidents that can lead to loss of customers from damage of reputation from the information breach. Another important aspect is that the staff is made aware of the roles and responsibilities of the information that is there with them and thus is more adept in spotting and avoiding potential hazards that may be there. There will be better preparedness and thus there will be quicker response and increased efficiency in operations. Thus overall the benefits of the quality system will be beneficial for the company as it leads to enhanced employee recognition, competitive advantage and at the same time focus on customer objectives and thus leading to global recognition of the organisation.

b) Use the input-output model to examine the operating system of your organisation and compare the various quality systems such as the ISO 9000, EN2900, etc.

There are several aspects of the products and services that are provided by Experian to its customers. There various aspects of the business are managing heterogeneous data sources, validation of data, integration of information by devising common data model and managing back end architecture of the information system (Nair & Annamalai, 2013). The diagram provides an understanding of these aspects and thus highlighting the operating system of the company.

Enterprise data governance process diagram

Based on the above figure it can be said that the quality system would be very important as well as beneficial for the company. This is because the above system is quite complex and thus, in order to enhance the customer satisfaction and the reliability of the system, the quality has to be ensured which might be impacted in case of such systems shown above.

The company has adopted ISO 27001. However apart from this other quality system that can be adopted is Capability Maturity Model (CMM) developed by Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. It basically gives the principles and practices to provide assistance in software development and management process (Nair & Annamalai, 2013). This may be quite useful for Experian as the data management involves significant role of software as it enhance the performance of the system. There are various levels in CMM. These are initial, repeatable, defined, managed and optimizing. Optimizing level is the highest accreditation and involves continuous improvement process based on the quantitative feedback.

Based on the above discussion on the quality system in place and the quality systems that can be implemented at Experian it can be said that quality system will have a significant role in reducing the risk of incidents, protect reputation, informed decision making and systematic control of information. Focusing on these points will provide the company added advantage as there will be enhanced awareness and understanding of the risks that are there in the business and thus better risk management.

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Task 3: Quality control and service improvement

There are various aspects that lead to the development of quality system and also the standards for quality control. Communication and the various communication methods that can be used in developing a quality system, including standards for quality control play a significant role in the development of quality systems (Surinova, 2013). The complete process of the ISO 27001 has been shown below.

ISO-27001 standard process for maintaining quality management in business assignment

Inputs process deliverables in quality management

The above figure provides the details on the inputs, process and deliverables that are there in the quality system at Experian. The various stages in the implementation of ISO 27001include defining the security policy, defining the scope, decision on managing the risks, selection of objectives and controls to be implemented. These are the various factors that are included in the framework of the implementation of ISO 27001.

a) Examine the role of customer satisfaction surveys and complaint resolution process as related to your organisation.

The complaint resolution process can be considered to be part of the customer satisfaction survey. This is to say that if the customer satisfaction survey highlights negativity the complaint resolution process will have to be initiated. This will have dual advantage. Firstly the grievances of the existing customers are considered and the products and services will be prepared as per the needs. Secondly based on the customer satisfaction survey and the complaint resolution process the viewpoint of the customers can be analysed and suitable amendments may be made to the process (Surinova, 2013). Such points are very important in case of quality assurance as well. This will reduce the quality issues and result in customer retention and high level of customer satisfaction. Based on these aspects the value of a company increases.

Overall the communication, customer satisfaction survey and the complaint resolution process are part of the quality system (Anttila, 2001). These aspects ensure that the consideration for the products and services offered to the customers is there and thus the company can grow and achieve high standards in terms of the quality as well as the processes that are followed. These aspects for business are very important and are governing factors of the quality system.

Task 4: Quality management and organisational performance

Quality management is continuous approach and requires uniform contribution from various aspects in order to develop the understanding of the requirements of the customers, the mismatch between the requirements and the products & services that are offered and the steps that need to be taken in order to develop high quality products and services.

a) Examine the principles of quality management such as self-assessment, communication and record keeping, staff consultation as well as service improvement. Assess the criteria for quality standards, service improvement policies and complaints handling in general.

There are eight principles of quality management (ISO, 2012). These have been discussed below:

  1. Customer Focus: The first principle of quality management is the customer focus. This is to say that the best in class products and services are offered to the customers to increase the customer satisfaction and have long term relationship. The customer focus principle enables the company to align the objectives of the company with the customer expectations. Further the communication process is also smoothened as the customer needs and expectations are communicated throughout the organization and it is the basis of the complete structuring.
  2. Leadership: It establishes the purpose and provides direction to the organization. The leadership is important in creation and maintenance of the internal environment in which the people are fully involved in achieving the objectives of the organisation.
  3. Staff Involvement: This principle of quality management ensures that all the staff members are involved in the organizational benefit. This is the team approach and makes the employee understand the importance of their contribution and role in the organization. Further as a result of the involvement of the staff at various levels, the identification of the constraints is improved and thus leads to improved quality of the products and services.
  1. Process Approach: The process approach enables achievement of desired results in managing the activities and resources as a process. It leads to efficient utilisation of the given resources. As a result of this approach the focus is on factors such as resources, methods and materials in order to improve the key activities of the organisation. Further it also enables the assessment of risks and impact of the activities on the customers and thus eliminates such processes.
  2. System Approach: Under this principle the interrelated processes are identifies and thus the contribution of the complete system in the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization as a whole is assessed and thus understanding is developed on the management of the system. This enables focussing on key processes and thus improves organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
  3. Continual Improvement: Continuous improvement of the activities and the processes involved in the organization is an important principle of the quality management. This ensures that the organizational capabilities are improved and thus the performance is enhanced. Further the activities are aligned at all the levels that have been
  4. Factual Decision Making: This is one of the basic principles of the quality management wherein the decision making is backed by the facts and thus is based on the complete analysis of the data and information that is available. This results in informed decisions being taken and thus the reliability and acceptability of the outcome is there.
  5. Mutually Benefit Relationship: This principle of quality management is associated with the development of relationship with the customers on the basis of mutual benefit. This is helpful in establishing long term relationship with the customer and balances the short term gains with the long term considerations. Overall the long term sustainability of the company is developed as a result of mutual benefit relationship with the customers.

b) Identify and discuss the quality systems and processes and how they impact on the overall performance of your chosen organisation.

Based on the above discussion it can be said that the principles of quality management ensure that the sustainability and reliability of the products and services of the company. Further quality systems and the processes associated with it acts as mechanism to improve the quality of the system. Overall the quality system assists in implementation and adoption of the quality management principles.

Conclusion

The quality management in business assignment report has been prepared for understand the concept of quality and quality management in the context of Experian. Experian is a global information services group having its operation in around 40 countries. The principal lines of business of the company are credit services, decision analytics, marketing services and consumer services. The report discusses the different approaches to quality management at Experian, benefits of quality management at Experian, role of Quality control and service improvement and quality management and organisational performance of Experian.

Based on the above discussion it can be said that there are various quality management systems that are there in the market. Several quality systems are specific to particular industry while certain quality systems such as ISO may be applied to any organisation regardless of industry in which it operates. Further, as a result of quality management the business needs have been recognized such as reducing the risk of incidents, protect reputation, informed decision making and systematic control of information. Finally the role of communication and the other principles of quality management have been discussed showing that the principles of quality management ensure that the sustainability and reliability of the products and services of the company. Further quality systems and the processes associated with it acts as mechanism to improve the quality of the system. Overall the quality system assists in implementation and adoption of the quality management principles.

References

  • Anttila, J. (2001). Effective Quality Communication. Available At: http://www.qualityintegration.biz/Communication.html
  • Biolos, J. (2002). Six Sigma Meets the Service Economy. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Bose, S. Oliveras, E. Edson, W. N. (2001). How Can Self-Assessment Improve the Quality of Healthcare? Operations Research Issue Paper 2(4). Published for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by the Quality Assurance (QA) Project. Available At: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNACN247.pdf
  • (2012). Quality Management Principles. Available At: http://www.iso.org/iso/qmp_2012.pdf
  • Juran, J.M. (1973). Quality Control in Service Industries Available At: http://www.juran.com/elifeline/elifefiles/2009/11/Quality-Control-in-Service-Industries_JMJuran-94.pdf
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