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Quality management – Driving Customer Satisfaction Essay

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There have been many organizations that have worked their way up to success and are currently known to be the market leaders. These organizations vary in many managerial and other aspects regarding the way they conduct business and the way they deal with their surroundings. The one common aspect that I have noticed while studying different organizations that are market leaders in their categories is they focus on quality and providing customer satisfaction. The major factor that most organizations focus while carrying on their business is the customer psyche. The customers of the current world are very aware and informed about everything that is going around the World. By saying this I mean that they know the difference between real and fake, high quality and low quality and etc. In the same way organizations have also realized the importance of studying human nature especially of those who are the potential customer to their products. The concept of learning and using ones knowledge to produce effective and efficient results has been a trend followed by humans since a long time. It is not surprising to find out that people share knowledge and spread it naturally, without even knowing it sometimes. Every time we talk or carry on the process of communication we are imparting and gaining knowledge. Since the start of globalization humans have realized the importance and worth of knowledge.

Organizations tend to store historical data and structure it into useful information in order to improve their business processes and generate greater revenues. The presence of knowledge is every where and the fact that it is part of our daily lives is not a new one. Currently the most advance and detailed use of knowledge is being done in the working environment. Organizations started storing data way back and now they use it in the form of knowledge to study customer behavior. A separate field of Information Management has taken shape in recent years. Systems have been developed that learn from past experiences and store knowledge to make future decision. Important decision in every field is heavily relying on the knowledge areas.

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The concept of quality management is closely related to customer satisfaction. The fact that level of customer satisfaction varies from customer to customer is understood by intelligent organizations. Though another fact that comes up which is unnoticed by many is when an organization determines the level of satisfaction of the customer. This is a much complex theory. The concept here is simple when an organization develops a product that is liked by a consumer in any way it becomes the best product for the customer and the customer achieves maximum level of satisfaction from that product. Thus organizations themselves set customer’s level of satisfaction. If a company starts building systems that monitor and control quality at each and every step of the supply chain the company can easily establish an effective and efficient quality management system. I personally think that many factors collaboratively work to make an organization reach a point where it can provide maximum customer satisfaction. The factors might not be directly related to the concept of customer satisfaction but do help in some way or another in driving a company towards providing customer satisfaction.

The foremost and most important aspect is Focus. In the current world scenario most businesses face stiff competition. As the world turns in to a global village and communication and distance gaps shorten Focus is the most important factor that is continuously addressed by many organizations. Focus on every aspect of the business functions is very essential in order to be successful. There are many strategies that successful entrepreneurs can implement in order to make sure that focus is maintained in their business. The two most effective and efficient strategies to measure the focus of the business with regards to its business goals are:

Control
Compare
By Control we mean checking and measuring of the effectiveness of the business strategy being implemented by the organization. Control can be carried on through different methods. High Control can be achieved through an effective feedback system or through the comparison of objectives and goals of the organization with the results of the business strategy. The second method of Comparison is basically how well the business is doing as compared to its competitors. Comparison can be done through various methods. One of the ways is to measure the standing of the organization in the industry. Another effective method to compare yourself with your competitors is through comparing your product or service quality with the average of the industry (Hogan, Lakhani and Marti, 2008). The second factor that can help and organization reach maximum customer satisfaction through quality management is effective leadership. The perfect organization to point at when looking for strong leaders is Dell. Organizations tend to look for hard working and dedicated staff all the time but to really point out the best among the lots you need some luck and a good validation test sort of a thing (Edgar H. Schein, 2004).

The scholars who have researched on the factors that bring out the best from your work force emphasize on the fact that effective and proper leadership can bridge the gap and can lead your work force to do wonders. The importance of effective leadership leading to a strong and positive organizational culture has been recognized by most of the modern day organizations. Though this has been an old concept but the level of importance it has achieved in recent times is surprising and is quite justifiable. The organization needs to determine organizational leaders that set standards and benchmarks for the followers. They need to lead the pack and give directions. Apart from the leading role they also play the role of a friend and a guide. For leaders it is important first to create a good relationship with the subjects, the leader needs to understand the people around him in a depth that he knows how they will react to certain situations. If the leader has worked on his or her strategy positively and comprehensively there is no doubt that he or she can help build a strong organizational culture. These leaders can lead employees to think in a critical way and present innovative ideas to improve the level of quality of the products. These leaders can also help motivate employees in a way that they give out their best and produce effective drastic results in terms of quality management and sustaining high levels of quality.

A very good example would be Dell. Dell has always focused on bringing out strong leaders in their organization. For this they have also sustained a level of intrapreneurship inside their organization. This helps them foster innovative ideas and use them to bring in strong concepts that can differentiate them from their competitors. Another reason that Dell is so successful is the fact that they possess one of the strongest organizational cultures. Organizational Culture is a very strong notion that can be used to manage quality management and sustaining a high position for the organization. Organizational culture starts to develop through the early days of the organization. If a strong and focused leader takes hold of the reins of the organization at that time it is very doubtful that the organization won’t succeed in the long term. Quality Management can be embedded in the organizational culture by a strong leader. This is not an easy task but can drive the company to provide maximum customer satisfaction. Providing high quality is directly proportional to customer satisfaction, but not alone factors like focus, strong leaders and a strong organizational culture play an important part. In fact many scholars agree that strong and effective leaders are the sole source of a successful organization, the meaning here is that effective and strong leadership tends to give the organization a sense of direction and protection.

This results in the development of a strong organizational culture, which determines how the company will perform or initiate its long term strategy and how the external environment will affect it. Basically a leader tends to maintain a sense of direction in the employees he or she teaches the employees how to manage their time schedule their tasks and work in teams. It’s the leader’s job to motivate the employees in any form that he or she thinks is most appropriate. In fact most organizations seek leaders in the managers they have and are always looking for opportunities to utilize their skills. A perfect example for a strong organizational culture is Dell, known to be a very strong presence through out the world. Dell focuses on customer first strategy and makes sure the customer gets what they want and how they want. A company is nothing without a good supply chain. Dell has worked very hard in the past years to develop a strong supply chain that is of a very high class. The supply chain is defined as all the places or objects that affect the product during its conduit from the preliminary stage that is from the unrefined material structure to the ultimate product. Supply chain has recently been termed as an imperative aspect of the business. The possibility that the supply chain can modify the course of a business has been proved and business’s now view the supply chain as a significant integral part.

An effective and efficient supply chain can help an organization in managing quality. To establish a World Class Supply Chain is not an easy task but once it is established the organization can divert their focus from many aspects regarding suppliers and retailers and put them on their core competency. If you have established institutional trust in between your supply chain partners then getting the best quality in terms of raw materials and deals is possible. Having high quality deals and raw materials will always benefit your organization in terms of quality and cost. Reduction in cost and being secure in deals with your partners means a more focused approach towards your core competency, meaning a better quality product. A very good example for this is Dell which has a very high class Supply Chain and manages relationships with their partners that are more like alliances.

To conclude I would like to mention that Quality Management is an umbrella term that carries many aspects and theories under it. I firmly believe that organizations do not achieve success by only one single factor. All the factors are strongly inter-related and present a web like structure. Loosening on one can damage the whole structure of the web. This idea has been discussed through out the paper and has been supported by factual reasoning and examples. Providing customer satisfaction has to be effective with strong quality and quality management techniques, which are further reliant on strong organizational culture, leaders, focus of the business, and the level of supply chain.

References

Edgar H. Schein. (2004). Organizational Culture and Leadership. Jossey-Bass

Hogan K., Lakhani D., Marti M. (2008) The 12 Factors of Business Success: Discover, Develop and Leverage Your Strengths, Wiley