Quality Improvement

Using the notion of correct process management can definitely influence the business operation of a company. Primarily, a single process in the manufacturing sector can predict whether quality can be achieved on products or services offered to the end consumers. That is why it is very important to monitor the quality process of each segment within an organization.

The company in reference for process management is Wet Seal. The business is involved in the garments sector and in the distribution of apparel products for retailing and wholesaling. In line with this, the process to be analyzed is the Quality Control maintenance procedure. Primarily, this department is involved in making sure that the products meet the standards imposed by the company to designate customer satisfaction principles (Tech Target, 2006). Even though the main objective of the office is to induce customer satisfaction, the procedures do not have a formal platform which can be followed by all quality check personnel. In line wit this dilemma, an improvement in re-structuring the quality analysis program is needed.

The first main process in the Quality Control (QC) department is to obtain the apparel products from the distribution department which must acquire products from different distributors. Since the products are all mixed up, the first task of the Q.C. team is to segregate the merchandises according to brand. This makes it easier to identify the distributor which could have delivered sub-standard items. The next procedure is to assign the items to divided teams within the department. Say for example team “A’ is assigned to Brand “A”, team B is assigned to Brand “B” and so on.

This makes sure that each item from specific manufacturers is catered for quality check. On a team level, each of the members of the team will be distributed with at least 50 pieces of clothing styles. Each of the personnel will then conduct a thorough evaluation of each of the products’ integrity. Some of the most important aspects are identified in terms of seam strength, type of cloth material used, color saturation, and possible runs within the cloth. Once a piece of apparel is identified to be of good quality, it will then be marked with a sticker of approval.

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To have an illustrative identification of the proposed process, a diagram is provided below:

Distribution Dept. à Quality Control Dept à Team Assignment (By brand) à

End User ß  Runs Check ß  Color Check ß Material Check ß Seam Strength

If the strategic plan of the company is to be considered, the process involved within the Quality Check segment may have the most influential impact. This is so because primarily, the only investment that Wet Seal is involved with is the distributorship of the prodders to local market dealers. Because of such a case, it is directly involved on how each of its partner dealers will perform. Mainly, the process of quality check integrates the notion of good investment value and customer satisfaction. For example, if the QC team was able to identify defective products or those that do not meet quality levels set by the company, Wet Seal can then send back the items to the manufacturers for possible replacements of refunds.

This can save the business lots of money since it will be able to prevent the distribution of defective items from reaching the base market. Therefore it can save at least half of the chain process of sending the items back from the end-user to the manufacturer since Wet Seal stands as a “middleman”. On the aspect of passive profitability, if the processes in the Quality Department was able to send only items attuned to the demands of the consumers, then quality will result to greater customer confidence which in the long run can become a source of continuous market purchases. Of course, consumer satisfaction has a direct link to market performance (Hampshire, 2003).

When it comes to procedure effect to the customers, the processes in the Quality Department affects both internal and external clients. Basically, internal clients are identified to be that of entities which have long been partners of Wet Seal in apparel distributorship. In some notions, external customers can also affect the satisfaction of internal customers depending on the business arrangement (Lewis, 2008).

The main effects of quality assurance factors can be realized by being able to strengthen the bonds of business between a dealer and semi-distributor units. On the other hand, external customers can also benefit in the processes of quality checks since these newly established partners of Wet Seal will get a first hand experience of what the company can actually offer. There will be fewer chances for them to be involved in problematic business schemes since the quality assurance principles are already established

By the time all the members of the organization become aware of the improvement in the quality check procedures, Wet Seal can then delegate an approach to use a Quality Management Tool to see whether there is an effect (be it negative or positive) of doing the improvements within the department concerned. The most appropriate tool for measuring success is by conducting a survey study which will generate raw data for analysis. Wet Seal can invest a little more to study the direct patterns of consumers based on the supposedly “quality” items that have passed the Quality Check department. Dealers can be used to become channels in getting direct responses from their respective customers.

A carefully structured satisfaction survey can provide enormous info for the company’s decision-making capabilities (Welsh Assembly Government). On the other hand, a time-framed monitoring process can also be used to see whether the personnel are actually doing the right checking procedures of the products. Upon completing the data representing the consumer satisfaction ratings, amount of check errors and overall experience of the company, a statistical tool can then be used to analyze whether there was an actual progress in profitability after the improvement was made.

Since statistical analysis scan provide a certain number level of correlation, what Wet Seal can do is to utilize the data to see whether the initiative for improvement directly relates to that of the company’s metrics. An opportunity to ratify the main quality check process is also possible if the main errors are identified in it as according to the surveyed data values.

It would be good to at least estimate the level of improvement on profit margins based on the ratification of the Quality Control processes. One thing which can be realized is that a reduction of distributing defective products to the open market may increase sales values. Of course, it wouldn’t be feasible to provide a certain percentage value but most probably, customer satisfaction equates to greater credibility effects towards the products.

Identifying the weakness of a process in business can greatly affect the overall productivity of the company. Since each procedure influences the totality of the organization’s management style, it would only be appropriate to find problematic units of the company to help it resolve posing dilemmas and maintain the stability of the operation. In line with using the principle of Quality Management, an organization can be relieved from the potential experience of encountering market problems.

References

Hampshire, S. 2003. Customer satisfaction, loyalty and profit – understanding the links. Customer Focus Consulting. Retrieved January 26, 2008 from http://www.customerfocusconsult.com/articles/articles_template.asp?ID=3.

Tech Target. 2006. Quality Assurance. Tech Target-The IT Media Experts. Retrieved January 26, 2008 from http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/definition/quality-assurance.

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