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Quality has become the most important tool and the shortcut in the modern business market for an organization to survive. The customers are now become more quality conscious and demanding as they have many options for buying their preferred products and services. In all industries the term quality plays a vital role (Goetsch, & Davis, 2014,). In some potential markets like UK and US the customers are not even considered about the price of the product but they expect high quality and standard. Hence maintaining and providing good quality products and services has become very essential. For serving this purpose the management has introduced a separate section for quality termed as quality management. This management system is widely practiced by almost all industries. This system develops a systematic procedure through which the quality for the products can be achieved and through which customer satisfaction and competitive advantage can be achieved (OaklandS, 2014). This Unit 17 Quality Management Toyota Assignment speaks about the relevance of the quality and its management in the modern business organizations. An organization Toyota is taken into consideration for the purpose of the analysis and for highlighting various aspects of quality in business organizations. This report highlights how quality can support the organization like Toyota in achieving the customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.
“According to ISO 8402-1986 the term Quality in business can be defined as the standardized features and characteristics of the particular products and services which can satisfy the target clients”.
As per this definition in business the organizations should develop and provide the products and services which can exhibit standardized characteristics that can make its customer happy. This standardization can develop trust within the customers and can make them more loyal towards the company. Hence quality can obtain and retain many customers which can lead the organization towards a long term success through developing a good brand image and reputation. The organization Toyota the automobile manufacturing company had to face many difficulties like reduction in the production, less profitability, legal actions, loss of company reputation etc as a result of the compromise in the quality. Even though this organization had a good reputation in the market, due to the recall of its automobiles the production as well as the profit was affected (Plsek, 2015).
The term quality can also be defined as “the perception of the customers about the product or service of a particular organization”
This definition highlights the importance of the quality for a business organization in the modern business world. Customer perception is very important while defining the quality of the product. The cost- quality perception of the customer is the appropriate example for this. The customer can be easily perceived for the quality of the product or service through its high price. Through providing high quality products to the customers the business organization can perceive the customers and can generate more income. Once the quality is lost through poor quality, it can generate negative perception and then the customer trust will be lost and they can jump to any other brands which can provide them with satisfaction. In the case of Toyota also the incident of vehicle recall they lost the customer trust and generated a negative perception which resulted in the loss of many loyal customers.
“Quality can also be defined as making the customers satisfied through providing the specifications and requirement specified by the customers”. From the scenario it is evident that the organization Toyota has a forward looking approach and very innovative who manufactures automobiles based on the modern trends and safety measures. Through this it is evident that the organization is following some quality principles which are customer oriented.
During early days the manufacturing and production unit conducts inspections on the performance of the workers and reports are produced based on the inspections. These inspections have contributed in the production of the quality products. At that time inspections were conducted periodically. But now the situations have changed, the business has grown which has resulted in the mass production and this prompted the need for full time quality inspections. The process of quality assurance includes providing assurance to the customers that they will receive quality products. Based on this assurance only the customers purchase the products (Okerekehe, 2014).
The evolution of the quality begins from the year 1950 through the quick adoption of the quality management practices. During this time mass inspections and quality control measures were taken by the management so that less defective parts are manufactured. During the year 1960s the concept of quality assurance came into existence and the manufacturing organization started attracting the customers through providing quality assurance. From the year 1969 the concept of total quality management is adopted by almost all manufacturing organization to ensure the production of quality products and the customer satisfaction.
During the year 1979 the British Standards Institutions has introduced BS5750, which is a quality assurance standard equivalent to the BS EN ISO 9000:2000. The manufactures are required to register with this standard so as to get the quality assurance certification. Another standard which has contributed a lot in the evolution of quality is the Charter mark which is an award provided to the organizations which provides high quality customer service. During the year 2008 this is replaced by the customer service excellence standard. These services and standards have acted as a support for the organizations while providing quality assurances. The regulations of these standards also implements quality control within the organization.
International organization for standardization had introduced a standard ISO 9002 which provides importance to the quality assurance in the production, installation and providing appropriate customer service. This provides the manufactures with a detailed statement and standards for the development and the maintenance of an effective quality management system.
According to the organization Toyota, quality is not achieved through inspecting it in the final stage. They believe that quality should be ensured at every stage from the production to the customer service. The organization has established a companywide quality control and each employee has the responsibility of quality assurance. There are many quality management approaches which can contribute to the effectiveness of the quality in such organizations. Some of the quality management approaches which can be adopted by the organization Toyota are mentioned below.
These quality gurus provide a systematic ways through which the organization can ensure quality in their products and services. The Kaoru Ishikawa approach specifies that quality should be checked and ensured in the early stages itself. Hence the problems can be rectified initially itself. These systematic ways can ensure quality control and will enable the organization to provide quality assurance to the clients. Through this total quality management and competitive advantage can be achieved.
Similarities and Differences
W. Edwards Deming
Joseph M Juran
Philip B Crosby
Customer satisfaction can be described as the term which can be used to measure how the quality and the benefits of a particular product or service meet the expectations and preferences of the customers. Customer satisfaction is achieved when these expectations are met. This has to be achieved by the organizations as it can bring success and profitability to the organization. The higher the customer satisfactory level the higher will be the growth of the organization. The organization Toyota can achieve customer satisfaction level through providing high quality and products and services. For this the organizations like Toyota can first stick on the quality standards and specifications put forward by the legislations. It can also focus on customer requirement and their expectations about quality. Through this the organization can satisfy the customers. Already Toyota is following a companywide quality control and management to provide high quality products to the customers (Kärnä, 2014). The organization Toyota being in an automotive industry has to face high degree of competition. Achieving customer satisfaction is the only way for it to gain competitive advantage. Hence it becomes essential to improve the quality of the products and to become more innovative in it to hold a dominant position in the market. Apart from this the government has also introduced laws which protect the rights of the customers which compels the organization to provide quality and risk free products.
The term continuous improvement in business can be described as the continuous or ongoing effort taken by the management of the organization so as to improve the quality and the efficiency of the product and services they provide. This continuous improvement can gain success and many loyal customers for the organization. In the case of Toyota which is an automobile manufacturing company it has to focus on the continuous improvement of the product and the service they provide. There are many technological changes happening in the automobile industry. The continuous improvement can help the organization to achieve competitive advantage through the adoption of modern technologies. Continuous improvement in the service quality can also gain more customer satisfaction (Delgado, 2014). The quality concept Kaizen which is meant by continuous improvement is widely implemented in almost all business organizations. In Toyota also the concept of the kaizen I widely implemented. The quality principles of Toyota highlight the continuous improvement of all activities or business operations which includes the effort and participation of all employees. It applies the companywide quality principles which are supported by the concept kaizen.
Effective quality management is very essential for an organization to produce quality products and to provide quality assurance to the clients. Some of the benefits and added values of managing quality in the organizations like Toyota are mentioned here.
For organizations like Toyota effective marketing is very essential to communicate the information regarding quality and specifications to the customers. This type of marketing is very important as it can generate a positive customer perception. For providing quality assurance and to make the credibility of the products it is very important for the organization to adopt effective marketing techniques. The Toyota communicates the information relating to quality like the specifications, reliability, durability, engine efficiency, details regarding the standardization of the spare parts etc. Through this quality information the customers can evaluate the quality of the product by themselves. Some of the other types of communications information which the organization Toyota made available to the customers through their marketing activities include the details of the show room which includes the opening and closing timings, address etc, the contact details which includes the telephone number, email address, web address etc. They also share the price details which will be helpful for the customers to compare the cost with the competitors. The promotional offers are also disclosed with the customers. They also communicate relevant information to create a good reputation. They have introduced Amlux Toyota through which they gathers information and reveals information to and from the customers.
Measuring quality is relevant for organizations like Toyota for ensuring quality and further improvement. For this the quality management approaches adopted by the organization Toyota should be examined and measured. Some of the approached adopted by Toyota includes Juran & Ishikawa quality management approach. These two methods include the concepts SPC, quality circles, TQM and six-sigma which make it an efficient one.
The Statistical process control tools like the Pareto analysis, control charts etc specified in the Ishikawa approach can minimize the defective parts in the manufacturing unit of Toyota. The SPC is the tool used in six-sigma which statistically measures any sort of deviation in the quality. Hence the quality can be measured appropriated in this approach (Santiago, 2014). In Juran approach the quality circles and the TQM plays a major role in the measurement of quality. Planning, quality control and improvement enables the appropriate measurement of quality. This method records the statistical output of the quality management for further improvements. These two approaches are appropriate in measuring and solving the quality related issues and to provide satisfaction to the customers through total quality management.
The user surveys are the surveys which are conducted on the existing customers of Toyota. For example the surveys which are conducted on the show rooms and online for identifying the customer satisfactory level can be a user survey. The non user survey is the survey conducted on the non users of Toyota. For example the survey conducted for market research for identifying the expectations and preferences of a specific target market can be a non user survey.
The surveys which can be conducted on the users and the non users can gather information which can benefit Toyota in many ways. Some of them include
Customer consultation is the process of customer engagement program through which the customer feedback, expectations and preferences are collected. Through this activity the customers are involved in the decision making process while implementing a quality scheme. The staff consultation is the activity trough which the flow of information regarding the quality scheme communicated clearly. The roles and responsibilities of each members associated with this scheme is specified here. The under-represented groups are the customers of Toyota who are not in contact with the company, less influence over the organization like individual buyers, international customers etc (Littlechild, 2014).
Some of the methods through which these customers can be encouraged to participate in the program include
The customer complaints should be considered as the opportunity of the organization like Toyota to make the unhappy customer happy which can make them more loyal towards the organization. If the customer complaints are dealt carefully and systematically and resolved it efficiently then it can add value to organizations.
The organization Toyota provides importance to the customer complaints and realizes how important is it to handle it properly to retain the image of the organization. Toyota has public relations officers in almost all its branches and franchises to hear and resolve customer complaints. Apart from this there is a customer complaint service scheme through which the customer can contact the corresponding local and regional offices through telephones and emails. The authorized personal will contact the customers back to resolve the issues. Once the problem is resolved the customer is again contacted for feedback about service. The customers are also free to post their grievances in the social media and also in the company website. Toyota’s fast response to the complaints generates a positive perception in the customers. The management also accumulates and categorizes the customer complaints and appropriate actions are taken so that those mistakes are not happened in the future.
Through self assessment process an organization like Toyota can determine its state of health. Through this process the current situation of the organization in business, its strength and its weakness can be identified. This includes a systematic and periodic review of the business operations management of the organizations which are compared against a standardized model (Mascarenhas, Nunes, & Ramos, 2014). The method of self assessment is a continuous process which is diagrammatically represented below.
The process of self assessment
Through self assessment process Toyota can analyze its own business operations based on the standards specified by the associations and other legislations. It can develop high standard business operations which can gain then good reputation. Some of the methods self assessments adopted by Toyota includes bench marking, internal self assessment and external agencies.
Bench marking: This method includes the comparison of Toyotas business operations with its competitors. Through this the strength and weakness can be determined and necessary action can be adopted for improvement. The current performance of Toyota can be identified through this method. This method of self assessment can support Toyota to understand the technological changes, trends, etc (Zhu, 2014).
The internal assessment is another method of self assessment through which the management of Toyota conducts a survey among the employees to identify the internal strength and potential. The external agencies are also allotted to conduct this assessment so as to identify whether the operations of Toyota meets the industrial standards.
For large automotive organizations like Toyota effective communication and record keeping is relevant. Through effective communication the staff consultation can be performed effectively. Through various communication methods like seminars, departmental meeting, newsletters etc the objectives of the quality schemes can be communicated effectively. This can provide the staffs with a clear understanding about what and when shall be done. The staffs also can understand whom to report and how to deal with the customers (Raymond, & Toole, 2014).
Record keeping is the process of documentation through which the action plans are documented for future references and to identify and review the improvement in the operations quality. For Toyota frequent market researches and strategic formulations are necessary to achieve competitive advantage. At this situation documentation of the operations are relevant to compare with the historical events.
The disadvantage of communication is that a vague and unclear communication can make the situation complex. If a proper database management system is not implemented the theft of historical data can happen which can put Toyota at risk. Time and effort is required for proper maintenance of data.
The quality schemes of Toyota can be implemented effectively through following the guidelines of the staff consultation. The stages include plan, do, check and act. For example the organization Toyota wants to implement zero defective quality schemes in its production department. Its implementation can be explained below.
The existing system of Toyota follows a companywide quality control which is really very efficient approach of quality attainment. Under its system it becomes the responsibility of each employee from the top management to the bottom level to achieve quality and customer satisfaction. This existing system can ensure quality and competitive advantage for the organization.
It can be recommended that the organization can adopt the quality approach proposed by Philip B Crosby which ensures zero defects in its production. Since the industry which the organization Toyota belongs to is highly competitive this approach can gain it a high degree of competitive advantage. This method will be more statistical than the existing method. This can also support Toyota to regain its dominant position in the market.
This Unit 17 Quality Management Toyota Assignment specifies the relevance or QM in organization Toyota. The definitions of quality, inspection, assurance etc are mentioned in context to Toyota. The relevance of customer satisfaction, continuous improvement in business etc are discussed. Various approaches of quality management and measuring the quality approaches are discussed. Various principles of quality management like communication, consultation, etc are discussed.
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