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Quality Systems Management

By:   •  June 24, 2012  •  Essay  •  2,832 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,131 Views

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INTRODUCTION

The modern competitive era has brought forward the issue of business sustainability. In lieu of improving quality of products, productivity and the speed, businesses have started to adopt new practices such as reengineering, benchmarking and Total Quality Management (TQM). Tremendous alterations have happened to the operational business plans but with little success to earn profitability in a sustainable manner. This tools and methods have steadily moved towards the role of strategy. When the management focuses on improving the overall activities of their firm, the emphasis on competitiveness of the company is lost. Concentrating on operational aspects of the firm is not adequate because though it necessitates better performance, it is very much easy to mimic them. In disparity, strategy means selecting a unique precious state based on the system of functions that are not matched easily (Harvard Business Review Article).

TASK 1

(A) STRATEGY: MEANING

Strategy refers to the method through which the goals and aims of an organisation are achieved purposefully and methodically over a period of time. The word strategy was derived from the Greek terminology "strategos", which was derived from two terms, namely,

• "Stratos" which means an army and

• "Ago" which means to lead, guide or to move.

As per the military terminology, the word is almost similar to stratagems which refer to the way through which a captain plans to overcome their enemies, along with plans and methods for the campaign, and for their moves and disposal style in battles. In today's world, definition of strategy is as an art to analyse, project and direct campaigns aimed at attaining particular organisational objectives. It does not mean the process of planning. It refers to the state of competitiveness exercised in an environment without any control. On the other hand, planning refers to dealing with conditions under environments which are totally controlled. Out of the great inventions of mankind, strategy can be said to be the greatest tool for winning. It provides the management with clear ideas on expected future encounters that they have to face. This enables them to act logically and alert fully thereby reducing the requirements of intuitions and guess works (http://www.easy-strategy.com).

ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGIC LEVELS

Strategy in an organisation can be categorised into three major levels, namely, corporate or strategic level, business or tactical level and operational level. The first level has to deal with long term decision making, the second level with medium term and finally the third level deals with day to day operations of the firm.

Corporate Level:

This is the top level strategy which is related to the organisation as a whole in terms of enhancing its scope, growth and value to various departments or units of the business organisation. It includes various aspects relating to geographical area to be covered, products and services differentiation, variations among departments and resource allocation among the organisation's various parts. This strategy is supposed to fall within the expectations of the stakeholders (especially shareholders). Corporate level of strategy reflects the long term objectives or missions of an organisation and forms the root for various other strategic decisions.

Business or Tactical Level:

This strategy, otherwise known as the competitive strategy or tactical level strategy is concerned about the different activities that come across in the corporate strategy in order to enhance competency to survive in their own markets. Examples of these strategies could be strategy for new pricing policies, product differentiation and innovation (quality improvement, new distribution channel, etc.). Thus corporate strategy is related to a business enterprise as a whole and business strategy is related to decisions for specific business departments. Specific business departments are popularly named as Strategic Business Units (SBUs) which form a section of a company and has a market for goods and services which is different from any other SBU.

Figure 1- (Source: http://www.google.co.uk/imgres)

Operational or Functional Level:

It is the third level in strategies. As the name suggests it is at the organisation's operational or functional end. This reflects the effectiveness of the implementation of the first two levels of strategy, that is, corporate and business. Operational level strategy operates with the help of people, processes and resources. In fact, the level of success of the business level strategy depends on the efficiency of the operational plans. Hence, integration of the corporate, business and operational level strategy is very much significant for the successful implementation of overall strategies (Gerry Johnson et al, 2008).

(B) EVALUATION OF SHERING WEIGHING GROUP'S STRATEGIC DECISION

Shering Weighing Group adopted a strategy to produce all products by itself instead of following the industry trend of outsourcing almost each and every component required for the business. This was part of their Corporate Level Strategy. Corporate level strategy is the top level strategy which is related to the organisation as a whole in terms of enhancing its scope, growth and value to various departments or units of the business organisation. It includes various aspects relating to geographical area to be covered, products and services differentiation, variations among departments and resource allocation among the organisation's various parts. This strategy is supposed to fall within the expectations of the stakeholders (especially shareholders). Corporate level of strategy reflects the long term objectives or missions of an organisation and forms the root for various other strategic decisions.

The concept of purchasing the different components from various suppliers' spread around the world, results in problems such as logistics, support and service issues. Shering followed the philosophy of reversing the trend prevailing in industry by developing facilities to design, manufacture and serve themselves. This enabled Shering to have uniqueness, flexibility and capability, facilitating control over their future and develop innovation in products which would be of supreme quality and revolutionary. This further would bring outstanding financial and operational advantages to their customers (http://www.shering.com/history.htm#).

(C) CHANGES IN TRANSFORMATION PROCESS

There are changes that can be noted in the organisation operations management transformation process. These are mainly classified into four main categories:

Align organisation to Process:

This helps the organisation to follow the proper functional systems within the firm. This is due to the increasing complexity levels of modern business. Various functions like manufacturing, production, distribution, sales, marketing and finance form the part of today's business activities. Business has to coordinate all these activities so as to ensure its smooth running.

Align to strategy:

An organisation must closely follow its set strategies for the success of its business. Strategies form the skeleton for designing an organisation's plan of action. So sticking to the organisational plans would help in better organisational performance. Further this would result in positive growth for the company and facilitates diversification.

Align accountability and incentives:

As the organisational functions need to be coordinated together, all the departments and employees need to be accountable and the incentives given should also match with the organisational objectives and systems to follow. In short, the company must be aligned to accountability and incentives provided.

Define and acquire the right skills:

The global market in the present situation is very complex and is subject to frequent changes. It is a difficult task to align people to these changes and adjust accordingly. In parity with the changing technology, the knowledge and skills of the human resource of the firm must also improve. Thus, defining and acquiring the proper kind of skills is another aspect.

All these aspects involve change and affect the organisation in one way or the other (http://findarticles.com).

Evaluation of Customer Type

Both the customers of Shering Weighing Group belong to the first category of aligning organisation to process. Both these customers focussed on maintenance of vehicles, reliability on these services offered, integration with business information system, preventing frauds and errors and finally safety and security to the requirements of a good and quality systems for weighing. This in fact marks their change in the transformation process at operational level as it affects their day to day or operational strategic level.

TASK

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