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The purpose of this assignment is to develop your capability to understand project quality management practices (including foundations of quality management, project client satisfaction and engagement, continuous improvement, quality design, measure and control, total quality management, statistical quality control, six sigma and benchmarking). 


To start the Assignment, you will first need to:

1. Carefully select a global or Australian-based project to research, which contains sufficient supporting information for you to analyse, report on and provide improvement recommendations on, as part of a “lessons learnt” exercise.

2. Submit a project report by Sunday 21st October 23h59 through Blackboard. No late submissions will be accepted. If you have special circumstances, please make arrangements well before the submission date.

3. While preparing the written report of the project you may follow the following structure. 

Organization background

In the last few decades, the world business environment has gone under tremendous change. In the changing business environment product quality enhancement and continuous improvement have become essential tools used to get a competitive advantage (Chen, Choi, & Xia, 2017). In order to manage the quality and continuous improvement organizations use different strategies. Total quality management is one among these theories providing a competitive advantage to the organization to make their business more sustainable in the changing market. Along with these tools, organizations use continuous improvement tool to manage the quality enhancement process for a sustainable market growth (Ghazzawi, Alharbi, & Aziz, 2016). Continuous improvement tool is the strategic tool used to produce continuous improvement in the product quality to maintain the progressive quality management for the organization. This report discusses the total quality management tool along with continuous improvement strategy used to manage the product quality and make a business more sustainable (Ponte, Carvajal-Trujillo, & Escobar-Rodríguez, 2015). In order to understand the theory in a better way repost includes the total quality management strategy used by Lazada Singapore, an online retail business. Lazada uses this management tool to enhance its product quality in past years showing a continuous business growth in the competitive online market of Singapore.

In south-east Asia, Lazada is the No. 1 online marketing business. Lazada, the e-commerce business, founded in 2012 by Rocket internet and owned by Alibaba Group. As of 2014, the company is operating in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. The company has raised a total amount of around 647 million US$ from many investment rounds. Major investors of the company are Tesco, Temasek Holdings, Investment AB Kinnnevik, JP Morgan Chase, and Rocket Internet. In 2012, the company launched its site to sell inventory to its customers directly from its own warehouses (LAZADA, 2017). Next year in 2013, the company added its marketplace model allowing third-party retailers to market their products through the Lazada’a official e-commerce site. By the end of 2014, its sale has accounted for a marketplace of 65%. Company’s continuously fast-growing business model attracted Alibaba group. In 2016, Alibaba brought the controlling stakes of the company to support its own market expansion plan in Southeast Asia.

Lazada, with 300 million stake keeping units available, offers the widest range of products in the online market industry. Starting from beauty and care to household goods. In December 2017, the company became the first ever authorized online seller of Apple products in Southeast Asia. Delivering an excellent customer experience has been the main focus of the company. Along with this motive of serving excellent customer experience, it offers a hassle-free return through company’s own supply chain management comprising of approximately 100 logistic partners. This helps the company in serving a comprehensive customer care services. Majority of company stocks are owned by Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA).

In order to improve the quality management of any industry including service, manufacturing, and SME, total quality management, six sigma, benchmarking, and continuous improvement are identified as best strategies. Achieving success also has become prerequisite in the competitive global market. In order to uphold the concept as well as the practice of an organization to engage it in specific market segments to enhance the customer attraction Total Quality Management plays an important role. In the literature TQM identified as an integrated approach, aimed to improve an overall quality and services of the organization, comprising of principles as well as practices (Obeidat, Hashem, Alansari, Tarhini, & Al-Salti, 2016). Both the strategies of total quality management and continuous improvement act as a strengthening tool to take a competitive advantage in the global market. TQM mainly focuses on improving the quality of the product or service measured by customer satisfaction. Therefore, customer satisfaction is the first priority of a total quality management tool. Whereas, tools like six-sigma and benchmarking are used to achieve these objectives of TQM (Billewar, & Babu, 2012). This strategy of using six-sigma and benchmarking tools in total quality management practice lead the organization to some periodic changes in the pre-existing management strategies.

Total quality management

Employees from top to bottom are involved in this approach, and the capabilities of the organization are extended to make its customers satisfied with the products and services that the organization is providing. In order to improve the previously existing services, TQM helps in reducing the process variance (Ghavamipoor, Hashemi Golpayegani, & Shahpasand, 2017).

At the other end, six-sigma and benchmarking are used to make an effective strategy to implement the TQM process in an organization. Six-sigma approach is used to identify all the issues related to services, products, team management, staff, institutions and other competitive organization which need to be improved through TQM. In addition to this, benchmarking used to improve an overall performance as well as the competence of the organization in the market. This technique, in recent times, has extended its applicability from larger organizations to SMEs. This approach can be described with the help of below-given fishbone diagram showing every action of the implementation of the approach.

Fishbone diagram of TQM

(Source from: https://www.google.co.in/search?q=fishbone+diagram+of+lazada&hl=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitmeqV24_eAhXUe30KHQaQAE4Q_AUIDigB&biw=1366&bih=608#imgrc=KJBQEN4zKrKNAM: )

Literature of TQM states that six-sigma and benchmarking are the techniques used to improve product and service quality, by organizations since 1920. At this time, this was the very first hypothesis developed to improve the quality of products as well as services. At that time, this approach was known as total quality control (Govindan, Rajendran, Sarkis, & Murugesan 2015). Later on, in 1940, Americans made some changes in the system of total quality control which can be observed in the Japanese literature over management system. There are several primary segments introduced to describe the quality control of that time. Some of these primary segments introduced that time is inspection, management hypothesis, control, add up to the quantity and quality administration, and product quality. Scholars sought to shed some focus on the importance of Japanese management style and TQM in institutions of higher education (Laureti, Piccarozzi, & Aquilani, 2018). Other studies state the term total quality management as a divergence of cultures. In a wider context, TQM is described as a framework to direct the business in the direction of morality (Cui, & Pan, 2015). Efforts of those directly involved, either within the organization or from outside of the organization, are considered and rewarded in the practice of total quality management.

E-commerce businesses in the emerging world are integrating the practice of total quality management in their business growth strategies. Although TQM is showing significant results in every industry at the same time it has its own limitation in e-commerce businesses varying from industry to industry (Hahn, Sparks, Wilkins, & Jin, 2017). In order to achieve their desired objectives, many organizations have implemented total quality management but unfortunately, they did not get the expected results. Such in evidence support the limitations of TQM in e-commerce businesses (Akter, & Wamba, 2016). In terms of implementation and effectiveness, Lazada operating in E-commerce business of retail marketing also has its limitations. In e-commerce business, quality management is directly related to the services provided by the IT system of the business. In such environment surrounded by the information technology, TQM has several limitations like in terms of web designing, technical infrastructure of the company, security, content provided, and supplemental services (Yu, Wang, Zhong, & Huang, 2017).

Literature review of TQM

In the recent market environment e-commerce business measure their quality management system with the help of the number of customers joining or withdrawing from the business portal. Withdrawal of customers from a particular website might be due to the complex design of web page or a rapid change in the technology used for business. Therefore, in order to measure the quality of business services, customers’ feedback plays an important role (Subramanian, Gunasekaran, Yu, Cheng, & Ning, 2014). Organizations operating in the e-commerce market have their own challenges or limitations to implement TQM. Some of these limitations are in the form of a business environment, security of business, privacy, and service quality at the customer end. Organizations operating in e-commerce business have to work on overcoming all these challenges to make their business more sustainable in the competitive market (Wang, Wang, & Liu, 2016). Among all these challenges, business security has been the most challenging task for business in the e-commerce sector as cyber attackers are exploring the weaknesses of the business. With these cyber-attacks, organizations may lose their control over their own business. Therefore, organizations have to make effective policies for their business security and follow them strictly (Nasim, Iqbal, & Khan, 2014).

Being a part of the e-commerce market, Lazada has the same challenges for its business. Although, the business model designed for Lazada is quite different from other business, there are several challenges common to all business models operating in the e-commerce market. These common challenges arise due to certain business characteristics like competition, customer expectations, and service quality.

Along with these certain limitations of the e-commerce market, there are various challenges in terms of logistics supply of e-commerce businesses. Logistic supplies of the e-commerce business are responsible for the quality services providing the business to its customers and providing best customer services are most challenging in the emerging global competitive market. In the e-commerce market, businesses have to merge its adaptive business strategies to make changes as per new technical challenges introduced in the technical world. These mergers are on a periodic basis to implement the adaption of new technical changes. These changes are essential to improve their business quality in continuously advancing technical world.

Along with the several limitations or challenges, e-commerce businesses are associated with various issues or risks. E-commerce businesses like Lazada face these risks at a higher level (Aung, & Chang, 2014). While implementing the total quality management strategy in such big businesses, there are several risks associated with them and some of them are discussed below:

Asymmetry of information: Asymmetry of information is defined in terms of providing fake information while delivering the services. This is doing fraud in delivering the promised quality or sometimes delivering the ordered product. To avoid such practices TQM sub-characteristics the accuracy or any other issues that may cause such risk in the whole business system.

Issue of payment: Sometimes, online marketing companies demand advance payment as COD is not available for all products or all the time. In such a scenario, TQM helps the business to make deliveries flexible as proposed in Atkinson’s “Flexibility firm” model. Such issues can be resolved with the help of this flexibility firm model.

Privacy: Businesses operating in the e-commerce market collect their customers’ transactional information while making an online transaction. Safe storage of such confidential information may cause a risk threat for the organization. Privacy risk is associated with the security as well related to the customer details. In such issues, cyber-attackers may access customer details illegally and can make fraud payments. These risks are directly connected with the organization (Lewis, Tzilivakis, Warner, & Green, 2016).

Delivery time: In online retail market customer expect their products to be delivered at the given time. Moreover, customers would appreciate the delivery scheduled as per their expectations instead of retailer’s delivery plan. Supply and logistic failure may cause a delay in expected delivery that may cause a serious impact on the TQM implemented in the business model.

Taxation: In global market organizations are doing business in different countries still their respective tax collection authorities are monitoring their online transactions. Therefore, creating a simpler mechanism, for taxation purpose, may cause risks related to the violation of standardized policies and norms set by different governments. Lazada is operating in different countries of Southeast Asia which may cause such risk for the organization.

Lazada Group operating in Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market implemented the total quality management strategy to make its business sustainable in the growing market. Now Lazada is owned by Alibaba group that enhanced the business growth with high speed. Customers can buy online products in an easy way. In order to make a purchase offer, customers can visit the online website of the company or can order from their application. A monitoring management of the company monitors all the orders placed and delivered to measure the quality of services. To attract more and more customers company ensures the privacy of confidential information of customers. The company has its whole market at the online platform and makes business through the e-commerce platform only. It is the result of companies total quality management strategy that giant business group like Alibaba made an offer to Lazada and own it to expand its business in the Southeast region of Asia (LAZADA, 2018). Along with this achievement, the company took a competitive advantage as well with the help of its TQM strategy only.

To ensure the product quality, the company sells goods that passed a quality control check. In order to monitor these quality controls company ensures the inbounding checks, inbounding quality check, proper storage, product categorization, and ensures the packaging standards of the company. Inventory management of the company ensures the 6s standards followed by the retail stores, their daily stock updates and implementation of the cyclic count to match their actual stock with the online stock updated (Mateos-Ronco, & Hernández Mezquida, 2018). The company also ensures the replenishment by standardizing the stock requirements. Along with these inbound management implementations company follow some outbound management system to ensure the complete satisfaction of its customers. In order to satisfy customers, company follows various outbound standards like providing the charge of the order process to its customers, providing an availability of picking the packaging box to avoid mistakes.

Based on these findings it is very clear that the company has the potential of implementing changes to its existing quality management system and can take advantages in the future as well. This makes it able to adopt new techniques and systems to make its quality management more efficient. To improve its management Lazada should utilize the best plans of Alibaba Group to expand its business overseas. Adopting Alibaba Group's strategy will make it easier for the company to plan a more effective as well as efficient plan for the expansion. Also, the company should provide an independent platform to private enterprises to sell their product. This will attract more and more sellers and will increase the size of the business. This will showcase the success of the business and provide a competitive advantage as well.

Conclusion

The above report presented on the implementation of total quality management concludes that for retail business in the e-commerce market, TQM is the most suitable and effective approach to get a competitive advantage. This approach makes the business more adaptive for new technologies in the continuously changing environment. Literature of TQM shows that the business development in the last decades has seen through the implementation of this approach only. The report shows that the implementation of TQM has its own limitations or challenges associated with the e-commerce market. The global world demandsfor the mitigation of these risks to make any business operating in the e-commerce market to make it more sustainable in the growing competitive business environment. For this purpose of mitigating the challenges organizations use different business strategies. It concludes that successful implementation of TQM makes a business more sustainable and enables it to compete in the competitive market as well.

References

Akter, S., & Wamba, S. F. (2016). Big data analytics in E-commerce: a systematic review and agenda for future research. Electronic Markets, 26(2), 173-194.

Aung, M. M., & Chang, Y. S. (2014). Traceability in a food supply chain: Safety and quality perspectives. Food control, 39, 172-184.

Billewar, S. R. & Babu, D. H. (2012). TQM Solutions to B2C E-Commerce Problems. International journal of engineering inventions, 1(12), pp. 29-38.

Chen, J., Choi, T. M., & Xia, Y. (2017). Editorial to the Special Issue on Optimization of Industrial Systems with Market Disruptions. International Transactions in Operational Research, 24(4), pp. 687-696.

Cui, M., & Pan, S. L. (2015). Developing focal capabilities for e-commerce adoption: A resource orchestration perspective. Information & Management, 52(2), 200-209.

Ghavamipoor, H., Hashemi Golpayegani, S. A., & Shahpasand, M. (2017). A QoS-sensitive model for e-commerce customer behavior. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 11(4), 380-397.

Ghazzawi, A., Alharbi, A. & Aziz, A. A. (2016). TQM in E-Commerce: Issues, Implementation, and Challenges. International advanced research journal in science, engineering, and technology, 3(12), pp. 190-194.

Govindan, K., Rajendran, S., Sarkis, J., & Murugesan, P. (2015). Multi-criteria decision making approaches for green supplier evaluation and selection: a literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 98, 66-83.

Hahn, S. E., Sparks, B., Wilkins, H., & Jin, X. (2017). E-service quality management of a hotel website: A scale and implications for management. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 26(7), 694-716.

Laureti, T., Piccarozzi, M., & Aquilani, B. (2018). The effects of historical satisfaction provided services characteristics and website dimensions on encounter overall satisfaction: A travel industry case study. The TQM Journal, 30(3), 197-216.

LAZADA, (2017). Retrieved from: https://www.lazada.com/about-us

LAZADA, (2018). Retrieved from: https://www.lazada.com/documents/OPEX%20Booklet%20(partial).pdf

Lewis, K. A., Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D. J., & Green, A. (2016). An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 22(4), 1050-1064.

Mateos-Ronco, A., & Hernández Mezquida, J. M. (2018). Developing a performance management model for the implementation of TQM practices in public education centers. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 29(5-6), pp. 546-579.

Nasim, K., Iqbal, M. Z., & Khan, I. A. (2014). Antecedents of TQM implementation capability: a review with a conceptual model. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 25(11-12), pp. 1395-1409.

Obeidat, B. Y., Hashem, L., Alansari, I., Tarhini, A., & Al-Salti, Z. (2016). The effect of knowledge management uses on total quality management practices: A theoretical perspective. Journal of Management and strategy, 7(4), 18.

Ponte, E. B., Carvajal-Trujillo, E., & Escobar-Rodríguez, T. (2015). Influence of trust and perceived value on the intention to purchase travel online: Integrating the effects of assurance on trust antecedents. Tourism Management, 47, 286-302.

Subramanian, N., Gunasekaran, A., Yu, J., Cheng, J., & Ning, K. (2014). Customer satisfaction and competitiveness in the Chinese E-retailing: Structural equation modeling (SEM) approach to identify the role of quality factors. Expert Systems with Applications, 41(1), 69-80.

Wang, W. T., Wang, Y. S., & Liu, E. R. (2016). The stickiness intention of group-buying websites: The integration of the commitment-trust theory and e-commerce success model. Information & Management, 53(5), 625-642.

Yu, Y., Wang, X., Zhong, R. Y., & Huang, G. Q. (2017). E-commerce logistics in supply chain management: Implementations and future perspective in furniture industry. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 117(10), 2263-2286.

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