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Total Quality Management - Research Paper Example

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Vanderbilt University
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According to Westcott (2013, p. 291), Total Quality Management is a methodology applied to the management of an institution meant to achieve long-term success through customer satisfaction. Ideally, any TQM process encompasses the participation of all members of an organization by being required to improve the processes, services, products, and culture, which are part of their work functions. TQM makes use of a strategy, effective communications and data to integrate the principles of quality into the activities of an enterprise.

Westcott (2013, p. 292) outlines eight principles of Total Quality Management. The principles include being customer focused, incorporating total employee involvement, being process centered, having an integrated system and focusing on continuous improvement. The other principles include fact-based decision-making, using strategic and systematic approaches, and effective communications.

According to Melsa (2009, p. 3), Total Quality Management makes use of a variety of tools. Melsa (2009, p. 3) further states that while there is no tool that is best for every application, it is always best for a practitioner to be conversant with most of the available tools. Examples of the tools are process maps, statistical tools, force field analysis, root cause analysis, loss functions and fishbone diagram.

1.1.2 Quality Assurance

Bucki (2017, para. 1) states that Quality Assurance is a process that encompasses approaches used to systematically monitor different aspects of service and product production while seeking to identify defects and correct them. Essentially, it is a process that identifies variances to predetermined standards and works upon to their realignment to the standards. Hence, quality assurance is a form of checks and balance which helps an organization maintain consistency of desired levels in the production of goods and services.

Bucki (2017, para. 2) further states that quality assurance is a concept employed by businesses, government agencies as well as non-government organizations. In these types of entities, quality assurance may be established and represented by a department whose functions are to address quality assurance issues. The purpose of considering a quality assurance in an organization is to benefit from building a positive reputation harnessed from reliability and consistency (Konieczka and Namiesnik 2016, p. 16). Consequentially, the positive reputation earns an institution customer trust and confidence thus increasing the competitiveness of the entity. Therefore, the gains of quality assurance make the application of a concept in an organization a prudent undertaking.

Analyse the Principles of a TQM policy within British Airways.

Madar (2015, p. 128) states that British Airways implemented Total Quality Management with the aim of shifting from an engineering based company to one that was dictated by the market. In 1987, it was the belief of the company's management that for it to be the best and a world-class airline it should employ strategies that form a vision and inspire employees to trust the company. The companys management realized that the belief could only be realized through the application of TQM. Consequently, the airline implemented TQM under the division dubbed the British Airways Technical Workshop. The Technical Workshop team felt that the airline could be the best in the industry by focusing on teamwork, consumer satisfaction, profitability, and reputation.

Madar (2015, p. 129) shares that the implementation of TQM in British Airways focused on certain areas for improvement which were arrived at after data was collected from a survey issues to the staff. The areas included the companys managerial style, communication, implementation of changes, system and procedures, facilities and conditions, the attitude of employees and the way the employees perceive the companys management.

A publication by British Airways provides a similar but in-depth perspective of how the company implemented TQM. British Airways incorporated a number of measures that would serve as principles in its implementation of TQM. One of the principles was putting people first where the managerial team ensured that the interests of the employees and customers were considered. Secondly, it treated all of its employees as its internal customers thereby eliminating the ineffective attitude it had to its employees before TQM. Thirdly, for TQM to be implemented, the organization undertook cultural and organizational changes meant to make TQM realizable. The changes included pattern breaking, experimenting with processes, and bonding. During pattern breaking, the airline reduced its workforce by 30,000 employees. Most of those dismissed had resisted changes in the airline (British Airways 2010, p. 19). While experimenting on processes, the company engaged in a participative management style where it ceased using a bureaucratic and militaristic management style and began using a market-driven and service-oriented style (British Airways 2010, p. 10). In bonding, British Airways started treating its employees as potential customers (British Airways 2010, p. 12).

The benefits of the application of TQM began manifesting itself two years after its implementation. For instance, the company's turnover increased by 23%, and the number of its aircraft increased to 33 only two years after the implementation of TQM. It also increased its passenger numbers by to 83.1% (Madar, 2015, p. 130). British Airways (2010, p. 15), also reports that the airlines profits increased by 13% and the company become the 4th largest airliner. The fact that the airline flies to more than 160 destinations in 90 countries and more than 25 cities in the United States is attributed to its application of TQM.

Evaluate the Application of the Policy

The evaluation of the application of TQM in British Airways will consider the costs and benefits the company obtained.


Oakland (2014, p. 17) states that the application of TQM brings about the benefit that an organization will be able to reduce its expenses. British Airways was able to reduce labor costs by undertaking restricting process which led to the sacking of workers. Similarly, TQM is credited with increasing morale of employees in an organization (Mitra 2016, p. 9). In the case, employee morale was positively impacted when the company began treating its employees as internal customers (British Airways 2010, p. 12). When it engaged in participative management style and eliminated bureaucracy and militarized management, employees began feeling valued hence their morale increased. Lastly, the airline benefited from improved customer satisfaction. The assertion is evidenced by the way the airline experienced an increase in the number of passengers to 83.1% (Madar, 2015, p. 130).


One of the drawbacks felt in the application of TQM in British Airways was that it required and resulted in a lot of frequently undesired changes. Perhaps one of the most undesired change was the need to retrench workers. According to Weyer (2012, para.4), before the implementation of TQM, British Airways undertook a restructuring process that was necessitated by the company's privatization. Retrenchment is often a difficult decision that management has to make and the employees have to accept.

Secondly, another drawback of applying TQM is that it takes a considerably long time for planning, execution and consumes a huge amounts of resources (Goetsch and Davis 2014, p. 38). Madar (2015, p. 129) states that the planning process encompassed multiple activities including conducting surveys, obtaining support from staff members, educating managers, initiating changes and reviewing progress. Similarly, the results of the concept take a considerably long time to manifest itself as evidenced by British Airway's case where it took two years (Madar 2015, p. 130).

2.1 Discuss What is Meant by Customer Care

Customer care is described as a concept where an entity is aware of and strives to satisfy the needs of its customers mostly by ensuring that they are happy and contented with the goods and services that they were provided. Despite the fact that a company provides quality products or services to its customers, it an organization's attitude towards customer service is poor; it may as well lose its business to competitors. It is based on this fact that various scholars coined the adage make a customer, not a sale,' which accentuates the fact that businesses benefit more from having repeat customers that making a single sale. The assertion has further supported the statement that whenever there is a 5% increase in customer retention, there will be a corresponding increase in profits by an estimate of 25%. The reason is that retained customers are likely to recommend other potential customers in a way that make the possible promoters. Additionally, the retained customers are more susceptible to upselling since they are already satisfied with previous service and product provision.

Some principles guide performance in any field such as customer care. One of the principles that form a basis for excellent customer service is speed. According to Pascal (2016, para. 4), speed or prompt responsiveness is a great determinant of service quality. When a customer is served expeditiously, his or her satisfaction increase but when the speed of service slows, customer satisfaction lowers. Besides being fast, it is important that service is accurate and consistent. The accuracy of responses has a minimal effect on customer satisfaction. However, inaccuracy or responses greatly diminishes customer satisfaction. In addition to accuracy, customer care should be honest and transparent. Customers are often turned off by dishonest replies from customer care representatives. According to Deming (2010, para. 4), friendliness is another important principle in customer service. Friendliness serves the purpose of making customers feel valued, appreciated and respected. It is also important since it makes customers feel they are dealing with the human side of an organization.

According to Bhasin (2017, para. 6), business benefits from having good customer care by obtaining the organic word of mouth marketing which is often more affecting than other forms of marketing. Exceptional service prompts clients to refer the business to other customers such as friends and family members in anticipation of receiving a similar experience. Bhasin (2017, para. 10) further states that exceptional customer service provides a company with competitive advantage. Good customer care is a basis for which companies compete on since they have the ability to either attract or repel customers, therefore, making it a determinant of sales for a company.

Frumkin (2015, para. 9) further states that customer care is essential to keeping customers and cutting costs. Customer care contributes to making clients satisfied therefore converts them to repeat customers. On the other hand, cost saving is attained based on the fact that it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep the ones one has. It, therefore, makes it more practical and beneficial to keep customers once acquired.

2.2 Analyse the Principles of a Customer Care Policies of London Marriott Hotel

The London Marriott Hotel enhances its provision of customer services by having a database where it stores the personal information of its residents. The companys database is heavily secured to prevent a data breach, and it is shared with all Marriott hotels around the world. Using the personal information, t...

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