1. Explain why it is difficult to obtain a single, universal definition of quality
The definition of quality depends on the person defining it. Most people have a hard time defining quality although they know it when they see it. For example, one may have an opinion of the best manufacture of the best “quality” cars. This implies that everyone has their own idea of what makes something a quality product for example in terms of cost, reliability, customer service, and name brand based. It will be difficult to define quality in standard and precise terms. As a result, there is no single universal definition of quality. While some people view quality as a performance to standards, other view quality as a product meeting the customer’s needs/ or satisfying the customer.
2. Describe the relationship between quality and personal values
While quality can be generally defined as how good, strong and sturdy and worthwhile an item is, value is how much the item is worth.
3. Discuss the importance of employees and information technology in the delivery of service quality. Use two examples of service firms to help support your discussion.
The services of employees actually represent the organization in the eyes of the customer and therefore can have an impact on the company’s image and reputation. When the employees’ services provide accurate service, the company gains positive reputation and attains a higher market share.
At the same time, the rapid development of science and technology is fundamentally changing people’s lifestyle and the social modes of production. To remain invincible in the market, organizations should depend both on the development of the physical product as well as on good service delivery. For example, service firms in the hotel industry, with a strong and well developed customer oriented service culture and highlighted employer satisfaction, can influence customer satisfaction and hence influence profitability.
4. Identify two key components of service system quality. Explain why these components are particularly important to service system quality (when compared to manufacturing system quality).
Customer feedback: customers are the foundation of an organization’s success in the service industry. It is therefore critical to determine the services of your customer by focusing on groups, buying patterns to determine customer feedback.
Continual quality improvement: this is because quality management systems are constantly improving and it is critical that the system include a constant revision to always improve its QMS. This is done by setting regular reviews to see a sustained customer satisfaction.
5. Explain the challenges for top management in implementing the vision, mission, and guiding principles.
In order to take an organization forward, leadership and support from the top management are needed to help achieve the company’s vision and mission. However, how to implement the company vision, mission and performance management with a true outcome focus is always a big challenge for the top management. Management may have challenges in implementing the above from its staff who may be rebellious. Basic disagreements about where to take the company in terms of its vision, mission or its guiding principles means that it is not likely to be effective.
6. Beginning with the step of customer needs and expectations (expected quality), identify and describe the remaining steps in the customer-driven quality life cycle. (hint: drawing a diagram may be helpful)
The basic steps of customer lifecycle are:
- Attracting present and new customer
- Acquiring new customers
- Serving the customers
- Retaining the customers
7. Explain job enlargement, job rotation, and job enrichment. Why are these seen as ways to improve employee satisfaction and productivity?
Job rotation: this is the systematic shifting of workers from one job to another to sustain their interest and motivation. Here, basically the workers who perform the tasks are systematically rotated across various tasks although the tasks themselves stay the same.
Job Enlargement: This is also called horizontal job loading and it involves expanding a worker’s job description to include other tasks previously performed by other workers and after job enlargement, it means workers have a larger job to do than previous task.
Job Enrichment: Job enrichment is a further development of Job Enlargement and Job Rotation and employees are provided with opportunities to advance, achieve and grow.
8. Differentiate between value-creation (core) processes and supporting processes. Provide an example of each process.
Value creation processes are the cross functional process which span across the organization, the organization departments or between enterprise and provides a complete end-to-end view of value creation. These core processes are responsible for creation of value/ deliver of product to the company’s end clients.
An example of primary process includes Credit card company’s card application processing and fulfillment process.
Supporting processes are those that are developed to support the core processes and they are directly responsible for providing all that kind of support and resources or simply the infrastructure that is required by the primary processes. These do not directly deliver value to customers although core processes do.
An example of support process is information technology management.
9. Discuss the major differences between traditional management accounting and activity-based costing.
There are some major differences between traditional management accounting and activity-based (ABC) accounting. Traditional management accounting normally uses a single overhead pool which is a single accumulation of costs that are not directly certain as labor or product costs. this thus includes supply and management expenses, depreciation, allocation for management salaries, etc. ABC uses a lot smaller and more targeted cost buildups that are accumulated based on the “activities” carried out. For example, if a machine setup is needed for the processing of some parts, then only the cost of the parts in the set up are to be included.
10. Discuss the concept of best practices.
The concept of “best practice” is broadly used in business management and it implies “the most efficient and effective way of doing things” this implies that the ways make use of minimum of resources but give optimum returns. It is worth noting however that the concept of “best practice” does not mean that the process or outcomes are perfect, nor that there are no constraints on what can be accomplished, but it should indicate that by having utilized evidence based practices (EBP), the best that could be achieved given a specific situation, with a specific set of people and circumstances, resulted.