UNIT 17: QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN BUSINESS

UNIT 17: QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN BUSINESS
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Unit 17:
Unit code: QCF level: Credit value:
Quality Management in Business
R/601/1100 5 15

Aim

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand the concept of quality and quality management and define it in the context of business and service operations.

Unit abstract

‘Quality’ has a wide range of meanings and is a term that can be used in a variety of contexts, so it is hard to define. ‘Total Quality Management’ seeks to ensure that all processes relating to the production of goods and services are of the highest quality. Quality control is concerned with maintaining quality standards by monitoring and taking action when actual quality falls below those standards. ‘Quality assurance’ is a term used where a supplier guarantees the quality of goods and allows the customer access during the production period. Customer satisfaction is at the heart of quality management but this, in itself, implies a different concept of quality. Customers are becoming more sophisticated and more demanding, requiring superior performance from the goods or services and quicker responses from the suppliers. Quality has been defined as ‘fitness for purpose’ but needs to be aimed at the needs of the consumer, driven by what the consumer wants and will pay for. Learners must ensure that their evidence relates to the hospitality industry.

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Unit content

1. Understand the different approaches to quality management appropriate to commercial operations Define quality: identifying customer needs and providing systems to meet/exceed expectations, notion of self-assessment to establish the current position of an organisation Inspection and assurance: mass production and mass inspection, the early years of quality control, quality systems and accreditation, the race for awards eg BS 5750, ISO 9002, EN 29000, EFQM, Qest, Chartermark, Citizen’s Charter, Investors in People, the middle years of quality assurance Approaches: the works of eg Deming, Juran, Feigenbaum, Crosby, Ishikawa; Quality planning, quality control and continuous quality improvement through teams and facilitators, measurements as an aid to rational decision making, self assessment, costs and benefits of quality, communication channels, macro issues of theory and prescription Similarities and differences: structures of schemes, applications, costs, implementation periods, use of documentation, application of standards, identification of actions required, assessment methodology, orientation towards customer/staff or organisation, effectiveness as a means to improve service quality

2. Understand the benefits of quality management in a business and services context Customer satisfaction: the voice of the customer, customer needs and expectations, understanding the customer, responding to customer demand, meeting or exceeding expectations, value for money, added value and repeat custom Continuous improvement: from customer needs to customer needs and expectations, quality gaps, internal and external customers, moving quality into the service sector and its associated problems, the mature years of continuous quality improvement Added values: lower costs, reduced waste, saving time, reducing need for support activities, customer loyalty Improved customer information: opening times, location, price lists, promotional material, raising awareness, creating true image, targeting all groups, value for money   digital marketing

3. Understand a range of quality controls and how service to the customer can be improved Measurement of quality: systems documentation, procedures for all operations, evaluating own procedures, comparisons with past performance/future plans (business aims and objectives), competitors, industry standards, priorities for action, benchmarking, emphasis of approach eg Statistical Quality Control, quality circles, TQM, six-sigma User and non-user surveys: profile of users and non-users, regularity of visits, facilities used, likes, dislikes, preferences, suggestions, expectations/perceptions of service, barriers to access, action required, encouraging and converting non-users Consultation: questionnaires (distributed internally/externally), suggestion schemes, complaints procedures, focus groups, open meetings, direct approach to group leaders and groups Complaints: distribution of forms (send out/collect), internal/external, framing questions, customer friendly/IT friendly, easy to analyse, areas for improvement, response time, period for remedial action, communication with complainants, measurement of customer satisfaction

4. Be able to apply the principles of quality management to improve the performance of an organisation Self-assessment: validity of self-assessment, egg subjective, bias, one dimensional; judgement based on current practice, comparison eg with past performance of organisation, against competition, against benchmarks for future; comparisons with similar organisations/industry standards Communication and record keeping: importance of communication across whole organisation (vertical/horizontal), establishing agreement through consultation, notifying actions required, currency, accuracy and relevance of records kept, comparison with historical data, similar organisations elsewhere, industry standards, record keeping Staff consultation: setting the scene, explaining rationale (objective of quality scheme), processes involved, requirements and commitment from staff, communication and reporting mechanisms, keeping team updated and engaged, implementation, feedback and review Service improvements: application of concepts, documentation, administrative processes for communication, applying standards, monitoring, action on improvements, performance indicators, response times, feedback and review

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria
Learning outcomes
Understand the different approaches to quality management appropriate to commercial operations Understand the benefits of quality management in a business and services context Understand a range of quality controls and how service to the customer can be improved Be able to apply the principles of quality management to improve the performance of an organisation.

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

Assessment criteria for pass
LO1 Understand the different approaches to quality management appropriate to commercial operations

The learner can:
1.1 discuss definitions of quality in terms of business and services provision
1.2 illustrate the processes of inspection and assurance
 1.3 discuss a range of approaches to quality management
1.4 explain the similarities and differences between the different methods

LO2 Understand the benefits of quality management in a business and services context

2.1 discuss what is meant by customer satisfaction
 2.2 explain the meaning of continuous improvement
 2.3 illustrate the type of added values to be gained
 2.4 describe the types of information made available to customers and the importance given to effective marketing

LO3 Understand a range of quality controls and how service to the customer can be improved

3.1 explain how quality management can be measured
 3.2 evaluate the benefit of user and non-user surveys in determining customer needs
 3.3 list the methods of consultation employed in one quality scheme to encourage participation by underrepresented groups
 3.4 identify the value of complaints procedures and analyse how they may be used to improve quality

LO4 Be able to apply the principles of quality management to improve the performance of an organisation

4.1 report on the role of self assessment in order to determine an organisation’s current ‘state of health’
4.2 evaluate the importance of communication and record keeping
 4.3 follow guidelines on the stages of staff consultation necessary for effective implementation of a quality scheme
 4.4 propose new systems or modifications to existing systems that could improve service quality
Guidance

Links
This unit addresses a wide range of issues relating to management and can be linked with all other units in the qualification. Tutors should seek to integrate this unit with others to underpin the relevance of the issues being studied.
This unit links with the following Management NVQ units:
A1: Manage your own resources
 A2: Manage your own resources and professional development

 A3: Develop your personal networks.

Essential requirements
Examples of quality management manuals, policies and strategies will support learners’ work. Case studies at this level will need careful preparation and management. There are numerous examples of case studies focusing on business excellence in the public domain, frequently through appropriate journals. Learners must be encouraged to read the trade and specialist press and associated websites regularly.

Employer engagement and vocational contexts
Centres should try to develop links with local businesses. Many businesses and chambers of commerce are keen to promote local business and are often willing to provide visit opportunities, visiting speakers, information about business and the local business context.

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