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EDUC6048 Business Research Methodology

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EDUC6048 Business Research Methodology

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Course Code: EDUC6048
University: The University Of Newcastle

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Country: Australia

A colleague once had a new car and the inside edge of a front tyre was worn away after only 10,000 miles. 
The car was taken back to the main dealer with a request for the steering and suspension geometry to be checked and a new tyre to be fitted. 
The dealer said all the geometry was within specification and charged for a new tyre. An appeal to the car manufacturer failed. The colleague has never purchased another car of that make. 
Having zero defects alone was not enough, what was really needed was a combination of zero defects and reduced variability of individual items, as in the distribution of parts provided. 
This reduction in variability comes about through better process control and process improvement, not by tightening design tolerances which tends to lead to more demanding and expensive manufacturing methods. 
Based on the given example and other findings (from your research) write a report where you: 
1. Discuss the quality control tools, techniques (P1), processes and applications of SPC (P2) applied to an industrial environment to improve efficiency. 
2. Explain how effectively quality tools and techniques have been used (M1) and suggest recommendations for the application of statistical process control in that particular application (D1)
3. Examine how the concept of total quality management and continuous improvement underpins modern manufacturing and service environments and is key to delivering high quality performance.  Analyse the principles, tools and techniques of TQM and continuous improvement (P6) and how they could help in delivering high quality performance within businesses (P7).  
4. Research and compare a number of relevant case studies to discuss (M4) and analyse (D4) how the application of TQM and continuous improvement in tools and techniques affects quality performance in the manufacturing and service environments.

The main aim of this report is to analyze the case study by providing depth detail of quality improvement tools and techniques. Quality improvement is deemed as key requirements in any production system that gives products or service as its outputs (Yeh, Pai & Yang, 2010). Hence, it is a key objective in any manufacturing industry. The car making industry is required to spend a lot of efforts in handling and developing the quality of the products utilizing a range of control tools and techniques. It has been found that the quality concerns affect the whole company in every competitive environment. It is not essential to decrease the wastage, but also to content satisfaction of the customer and constant cost reduction. The discussion will be made on the various tools and techniques which should be entailed in the process of the company for the purpose of increasing the enthusiasm of the employee.
The role of quality control tools, techniques, processes and applications of SPC
Statistical process control (SPC) is a philosophy, a strategy, and a set of a technique for continuing development of systems, processes, and outcomes (Tsung, Li & Jin, 2008). Quality control tools can be concerned with product expansion, manufacture and marketing also.The quality control is meant to assure the customers by delivery of defect-free products (Garcia-Sabater, Marin-Garcia & PerelloMarin, 2012). The quality control tools are able to understand the process so that they can be developed by means of systematic approach needs the better understanding of a general tool or techniques. The effectual use of these tools and techniques needs their request by the people who really work on the procedures, and their obligation to this will only be likely if they are guaranteed that management cares about recovering quality. The tools and techniques most commonly used in process improvement are brainstorming, control charts, process flowcharting, check sheets and Histograms. This tool should be applied in the industry as they help in increasing the efficiency of the employees and improving the quality of the products. The SPC approach is relied on learning by data and has its underpinning in the theory of disparity (Furuhjelm, Swan & Tingström, 2011).
The role of quality control tools, techniques, processes and applications of SPC is wider in the car making industry because they help in making good products with high quality.
Pareto Diagram is an effective tool that manages items in order to the magnitude of their contribution, thus recognizing little products wielding utmost influence. This tool is utilized in SPC and quality improvement for precedence projects for development, recognizing products on which most complaints are gained, recognizing the nature of complaints happening most often, recognizing most normal reasons for rejections (He, Tang & Chang, 2010). The Histogram tool helps in collecting data and arranging in ascending order and divides the huge range of values into a convenient number.
 SPC has been applied most recurrently to domineering built-up lines, it applies evenly fine to any process with a quantifiable output (Lim, Antony & Albliwi, 2014). Key tools in SPC are control charts and cause & effect diagrams focused on continuous improvement. According to case study, it is required for the company to keep the focus on quality models so that the issue of wore tyre could not rise again as it can destroy the image of the company and affect the income of dealers. It has been found that SPC must be exercised in 2 phases: the initial phase is the first establishment of the process, and another phase is the continuous production use of the process. In second phase, company make decisions as per proper examination which is entirely relied on the change in 5M&E conditions (Man, Machine, Material, Method, Movement, Environment) and have on the rate of components utilized in the developed process such as machine parts and fixtures). The main benefit of SPC over other process of quality control, like inspection, is that it highlights untimely recognition and protection of issues, before the correction of issues after they have happened (Gérard, Grandhaye, Marchesi, Kafrouni, Husson & Aletti, 2009).
Effectively quality tools and techniques and recommendations for the application of statistical process control in that particular application
The company has been used poor quality tools and techniques as it can be seen from case study that the customer had to face issues of the worn tyre after only 10,000 miles. There was no proper specification of how to use quality tools in making improvement in products. There should be a proper strategy in the industry in which car dealer should focus on test driving and customer feedback because as it has been read that customer faced issue in tyre in initiating level of purchase.  It has been found that there are major three phases of application of SPC such as understanding the process and the specification limits, eliminating assignable sources of variation so that the process is stable and evaluating the ongoing production process, facilitated by the use of control charts, to detect significant changes of mean or variation (Montgomery, 2009). It would be helpful in reducing the waste and increasing the customer satisfaction.
Recommendations for the application of statistical process control
There is some application of statistical process control which should be improved for making changes in the process. It has been recommended to the organization in the application of the understanding of the process, the company needs to provide a training program to the employees for the purpose of making improvements within the operation. SPC is an effective process improvement technique to help in keeping a process on target with minimal variation. It has been recommended to the dealer to apply the SPC so that the process of manufacturing the car and tyre can be done in an efficient manner (Goetsch & Davis, 2014).
The concept of total quality management and continuous improvement
Total quality management is considered as a management philosophy which highlights on the people and work process, with the major concern for making satisfied the customers and developing the performance of the organization. It entails the effective coordination of work processes which permits for constant improvement in all business units with the objective of meeting the expectations of the customers (Barczak, Griffin & Kahn, 2009). It highlights the totality of quality in all surfaces of an organization with the objective of deducting waste and rework to decrease cost and amplify efficiency in production. Total quality management is applicable to any kind of organization irrespective of size and aims even the public sector organization will soon initiate adopting the philosophy for the aim of making them effectual in meeting demands of the public (Bergman & Klefsjö, 2010). On the other hand, the acceptance of the ideas by the most organization has been troubled due to their nonconformity with the measures and principles of Total Quality Management implementation. With respect to manufacturing industry, it can be elaborated that the US and Japanese Total Quality Management gurus emphasized and elaborated their task mainly to manufacturing, and therefore the application of total quality management in service was only given secondary attention (Ross, 2017).
The concept of continuous improvements helps in delivering high quality of services in manufacturing the products so that the image of the company could not get affected due to lack of performance (Tsung, Li & Jin, 2008). It encompasses the nine central commandments of continuous process improvements. These elements help are practical learning, waste should be eliminated, employees should be involved in the improvement process, increased productivity, any location should apply, transparent communication, the greatest need of improvements should be focused, improvement in the processes and prioritize the improvement of people (Lim, Antony & Albliwi, 2014). It has been analyzed that these elements help the business in making perfect products for the purpose of delivering high quality of the products.
 Analyse the principles, tools, and techniques of TQM and continuous improvement
Along with, it has been analyzed that these tools help in making improvement in the manufacturing process and in delivering the high-quality performance within the business. The concept of TQM is being applied by manufacturing companies that increase the productivity of the business. TQM has the main concept to focus on the customers, continuous improvement, quality improvement, accurate evaluation and involves all employees that would be helpful for the business in providing high quality of services to the customers (Fotopoulos & Psomas, 2009). On the other hand, continuous improvement facilitates the business to provide high quality services through increasing practical learning by which the reduction in quality of services will be done. Continuous improvement could help in not making bad products such as a low quality tyre of the car which could be the reason of losing the life of someone. It has the strategy of involving employees in the improvement process (He, Tang & Chang, 2010).
Comparison of case studies that affects quality performance in the manufacturing and service environments
It has been found in the case study of Toyota Company that the company is practicing the three components of total quality management namely employee involvement, continuous improvement, and customer satisfaction. Toyota Company has belief in investing TQM so that their manufacturing process can be improved in an efficient manner and they can provide a high quality of services to the customer for the purpose of remaining in the competition. TQM and continuous improvement concepts are integrated into every aspect of the operation of the company, including information systems (Unger & Eppinger, 2011). As per the case study of Ford, it has been found that the Six Sigma Master Black Belt who runs Six Sigma Practices at Ford, “Waste and lack of quality on various levels.” This is fact especially when one focuses on claim system of the Ford. As of 2008, the warranty repair rate for Ford by utilizing Six Sigma decreased by 60%. The company has introduced the Six Sigma implementation for 2010 product which helps in the quality operating system to identify the issues in the manufacturing process (Ross, 2017). 
It has been cleared from above case studies that many manufacturing companies are incorporated the continuous improvement and TQM in the process for the purpose of making improvement in the car making process so that they can provide high quality services to the customers. It has apparent that the dealers should focus in these strategies so that the customer could not face any issues regarding manufacturing because it would decrease the customer loyalty towards the company that can affect the sales of the company.
It can be concluded from the above discussion that the role of SPC is great in making continuous improvement in the process for the purpose of attaining better outcomes. Quality control tools can be concerned with product expansion, manufacture, and marketing. The discussion has been made on the SPC tools and its effectiveness because it can build the strong process which increases the revenues of the company. It has been analyzed that there should be a proper strategy in the industry in which car dealer should focus on test driving and customer feedback. The role of TQM and the continuous improvement in providing a high quality of services have been elaborated under this report so that the further implementation can be done with efficient manner without any flaw.
Barczak, G., Griffin, A., & Kahn, K. B. (2009). Perspective: trends and drivers of success in NPD Practices: results of the 2003 PDMA best practices study. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26(1), 2-23.
Bergman, B., & Klefsjö, B. (2010). Quality from customer needs to customer satisfaction. Studentlitteratur AB.
Fotopoulos, C. B., & Psomas, E. L. (2009). The impact of “soft” and “hard” TQM elements on quality management results. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 26(2), 150-163.
Furuhjelm, J., Swan, H., & Tingström, J. (2011). Creating value through lean product development: applying lean principles. In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11) (8 pp.) Copenhagen: The Design Society.
Garcia-Sabater, J. J., Marin-Garcia, J. A., & PerelloMarin, M. R. (2012). Is implementation of continuous improvement possible? An evolutionary model of enablers and inhibitors. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries, 0(0), 1-14.
Gérard, K., Grandhaye, J. P., Marchesi, V., Kafrouni, H., Husson, F., & Aletti, P. (2009). A comprehensive analysis of the IMRT dose delivery process using statistical process control (SPC). Medical physics, 36(4), 1275-1285.
Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.
He, Y., Tang, X., & Chang, W. (2010). Technical decomposition approach of critical to quality characteristics for product design for six sigma. Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 26, 325-339.
Lim, S. A. H., Antony, J., & Albliwi, S. (2014). Statistical Process Control (SPC) in the food industry–A systematic review and future research agenda. Trends in food science & technology, 37(2), 137-151.
Montgomery, D. C. (2009). Statistical quality control (Vol. 7). New York: Wiley.
Ross, J. E. (2017). Total quality management: Text, cases, and readings. Routledge.
Tsung, F., Li, Y., & Jin, M. (2008). Statistical process control for multistage manufacturing and service operations: a review and some extensions. International Journal of Services Operations and Informatics, 3(2), 191-204.
Unger, D., & Eppinger, S. (2011). Improving product development process design: a method for managing information flows, risks, and iterations. Journal of Engineering Design, 22(10), 689-699
Yeh, T.-M., Pai, F.-Y., & Yang, C.-C. (2010). Performance improvement in new product development with effective tools and techniques adoption for high-tech industries. Quality & Quantity, 44(1), 131-152.

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