For your final paper, pick one of the following departments:
•A Manufacturing Department producing widgets with an internal production rejection rate of 2% and a return within warranty period of 5%.
•A Service Department with complaints from 7% of its customers.
Neither department has detailed records of what the issues are. In your paper, recommend a proposed quality improvement plan based on the COPIS model. The recommendation should include the following:
•Build the justification for a quality improvement plan.
•Identify several approaches to customer service and describe one more in depth; illustrate the relationship between customer loyalty and output satisfaction.
•Design an output-control and measurement approach to improve process performance.
•Evaluate different process-improvement and management approaches.
•Justify a recommended process-improvement approach.
•Develop an input-measurement and management approach.
•Develop a supplier-management approach to improve input and supplier quality.
•Propose your customer-focused recommendations in your summary or conclusion.
You improvement plan must incorporate at least three scholarly sources in addition to the course text.
The Final Paper
•Must be five to seven double-spaced pages (1,500 – 1,750 words) in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
•Must include a separate title page with the following: ◦Title of paper
◦Course name and number
For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
•Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. resource for additional guidance.
•Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper. ◦For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., refer to the Ashford Writing Center resources.
•Must use at least three scholarly sources in addition to the course text. ◦The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
•Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
•Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your
Total Quality Management
Improvement plans are common within organizations, especially when they (the organizations) decide to increase their total outputs. This is however not the only justification that explains the need for improvement plans within companies. Quality improvement plans are generally required to ensure the availability of a good working condition that favors customers, employees as well as employers. The improvement plans can only be well effected with the availability of a good team and good leadership. The case of a service department with complaints from 7% of its customers clearly shows how some of the customers are not satisfied with how they are handled within the department. Clients dissatisfaction is attributed to a number of factors. First, customers might not receive the right purchases resulting in complaints. Secondly, unfair treatment within the department leads to dissatisfaction. Unfair treatment result from some customers being served earlier than others who might have turned up earlier. This, in turn, calls for the incorporation of a quality improvement plan that sees all the customers associated with the department being well treated. When customers are well taken care of and their grievances addressed accordingly, then it is easy to attain maximum production. This explains the need for the integration of the COPIS model in coming up with the best improvement plans. The model basically incorporates the needs of customers, the outputs expected, the processes to be involved, the inputs required as well as the suppliers’ interests (Burns, Graefe, and Absher, 2003). As seen, all these are factors that directly affect the behavior of customers. The COPIS model is, therefore, the guide through which the best quality development plan will be established in this paper.
From the COPIS model, customers play a key role in ensuring that a quality development plan is established. There exist various approaches to incorporate in customer service. Oriented support is one of them, whereby detailed data regarding the customers is collected to identify the type of the customers, as well as, the organization products highly consumed. Meeting the customers in their residential areas is another customer service approach that enables a company to know the environmental conditions of its customers for product supply purposes. Effectively dealing with customer complaints acts as a customer service approach. All the above approaches help in providing the best services and products to customers, who are key determinants regarding how companies perform. With the case of the department with 7% of its customers raising complaints, the best customer service approach to use would be customer retention. It is better to retain customers who have been existing than to lose some of them. Customers are lost due to dissatisfaction such as the one associated with the department in question. To retain customers, it would be wise to first understand how they feel about the services and products provided by the organization. A record of this would be necessary since it becomes easy to know the areas requiring key emphasis and improvements. It would also be easy to know the customers willing to consider products from other companies; hence finding a way of retaining clients rather than competitors pouching them (Schippers, 2001).
Under the retention approach, the department in question should create a certain relationship with its customers. Staffs in the department should communicate with the customers on a certain basis to know their relationship with the products and the organization as a whole. This would require a lot of effort from the communication department. Retaining customers is, therefore, a key target of the department to avoid the possible loss of the 7% customers, taking into account it may lead to unwanted processes and events in the company.
Customer loyalty and output satisfaction are directly related. This can also be seen under the COPIS model, where outputs are a part of the model. Outputs are used to determine whether the company is doing well or not, in terms of growth and improvement. The total number of purchases that a certain output has determined the number of utility customers derive from that output. If the total number of purchases reduces within a certain recorded duration, then it simply means customers are not getting the right satisfaction from the product. Customers become loyal to a certain company only if the products from the company are of the best quality that ensures maximum satisfaction. For the department to deal with the 7% unsatisfied customers, then it is important for it to come up with a means through which the level of customer satisfaction can be derived after knowing whether the total purchases are increasing or decreasing. The rate at which customers repurchase certain products from the company can also be used to know the level of loyalty that is expected from the customers, especially after seeing how some products are more likable compared to others.
To improve process performance within the department, some costs have to be incurred. An output-control and measurement approach can, however, be used to establish whether the costs are relevant or not. The costs incurred are as a result of putting in place the right technology, such as screening the employees every morning before coming to work or even establishing technologically advanced platforms through which online purchases are made. These costs can alter the main objectives of the company such as attaining maximum profits. As known, revenues must surpass costs for the realization of profits. This simply implies that profitability would be the best output-control and measurement approach to incorporate. This is especially if the company aims at improving process performance. The costs required for running some of the processes within the company will be minimized as much as possible to create room for more profitability (Ramanan et al., 2015).
Process improvement and management approaches are also key in avoiding dissatisfaction from 7% of the customers. The six sigma management approach would be essential in this case. This approach aims at minimizing risks. The creation of growth opportunities is also considered under this approach with almost 100% of the opportunities being utilised. This is promoted by the minimum variability which is achieved through the use of six sigma approach. Re-engineering is also another process improvement and management approach that would help in dealing with the problem. With re-engineering, effective processes are redesigned instead of scrapping them. This will create more room for creativity within the department.
The six sigma management approach is the most recommended approach to inculcate. Generally, errors are expected in almost all departments. This should however not be the excuse for the department to register a number of unsatisfied customers. Recording a low number of purchased products is as a result of the products lacking certain essentials. The six sigma approach helps to avoid errors, with an emphasis being put on both outputs, inputs, customers, and products. Apart from that, some opportunities that arise within the organization such as the establishment of new products are unavoidable. Such establishments help in attracting more customers and even retaining the available ones. Ignoring the six sigma approach means there is no room for improvement, and if available, then it is highly ignored. This should however not be the case. The six sigma approach also ensures that improvements are made on the already existing products, and this, therefore, helps to retain some of the customers who could have fled due to their tastes and preferences not being met as expected.
Capital, labor, technology and raw materials are some of the inputs incorporated by most organizations in order to come up with the best outputs. Input measurement and management approach hence become necessary in this case. Management within the department should ensure productivity is given the available inputs and the required outcomes. Considering total productivity is found by dividing the total number of outputs by the inputs, then the desired number of inputs is established if the productivity and the outputs are known. Inputs are measured by knowing the total costs that will be allocated to capital, labor, technology and raw materials (Vom Brocke and Rosemann, 2010).
Inputs and supplier quality are improved in the department through supplier-management approach. The approach in such a case should be one that controls the activities of supplying products within the company. Prioritizing allocation would be the best supplier-management approach to put in place. Allocation should be highly considered among the customers that make their payments on time. Supplier management approach help in avoiding the supply of products to unworthy customers who take time to pay for the products. Customers associated with long-standing loyalties should also be prioritized when it comes to the supply of products. It would be hard to lose such customers especially if their needs are addressed on a regular basis, with their needs, in this case, being to receive products on time. Prioritizing allocation would hence be the best approach that would effectively work for the management of the organization.
It is, however, necessary for the department to note that prioritizing allocation also comes along with some disadvantages. For example, new customers not willing to pay on time should be avoided simply because emphasis is already put on the existing customers. The problem of focussing on existing clients is stagnancy, considering that there is no room for growth. Additionally, costs have to be incurred considering that supplying products includes movement from one area to another which calls for transportation costs.
Customers should come first in any organization. They directly determine the performance and the growth of any company. With the case of the department that has 7% of unsatisfied customers, it is upon the department to ensure all customers are satisfied. The quality development plan established above would best fit in the scenario. The six sigma management approach is highly recommended and this, as seen, helps in the reduction of the errors that are likely to occur. To avoid the loss of customers, re-engineering is also essential as it gives room to the establishment of new ideas and products. The COPIS model should be a guide to the management of the department especially in coming up with measures that can help the company achieve its goals. The models incorporate things that are directly associated with customers. Outputs, inputs, suppliers and the processes involved are all held together by the needs and the desires of the customers. If they are well addressed within the department, then it would be hard for the department to receive complaints from customers. Prioritizing allocation helps to retain the already existing customers, considering that they are offered the best reliable and fast services. Customers should not feel the delays of products during the supply process. In short, customers should always come first when addressing issues associated with organizations, because the profitability of the company is dependent on customers satisfaction.
Burns, R. C., Graefe, A. R., & Absher, J. D. (2003). Alternate measurement approaches to recreational customer satisfaction: Satisfaction-only versus gap scores. Leisure Sciences, 25(4), 363-380.
Ramanan, L., Kumar, M., & Ramanakumar, K. P. V. (2015). Knowledge Gap and Its Impact on Product and Process Quality. In Applied Mechanics and Materials (Vol. 813, pp. 1176-1182). Trans Tech Publications.
Schippers, W. A. (2001). An integrated approach to process control. International journal of production economics, 69(1), 93-105.
Vom Brocke, J., & Rosemann, M. (2010). Handbook on business process management (p. 3). Heidelberg: Springer.