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Question:

Given that you have been/presently employed/involved in some project/company/organization (manufacturing or service) - clearly identify the project/company/organization you have been/presently involved in. You do not have to have been the Quality Engineer/Manager, but could have played some role in the project/company/organization.

Required:

Answer the following questions in the context of the project/company/organization:

Q1. Clearly outline the quality objective(s) of the project/company/organization’s product(s) and/or service(s) and show how the objectives meet with the definition of quality adopted in this course.

If a manufacturing company/organization:

Q2. Describe how well the product does its job (Effectiveness).

Q3. Explain how the product looks good (Presentation).

Q4. Clearly show how the product is trouble free (Reliability).

Q5. Explain the basis of the product price (Cost).

If a service company/organization:

Q2. Describe how the service provides what it is supposed to (Effectiveness).

Q3. Explain how the service is provided in a way that appeals to its customers (Presentation)

Q4. Clearly show how the service is provided on time (Reliability).

Q5. Explain the basis of the product fees/charges (Cost).

 

Answer:

Introduction

Quality management is an upcoming field of study which is essentially involved in ensuring that a firm at large engages in activities which ensures that the products or services produced are consistent in nature. The main aspects of Quality Management involves quality planning, quality control, improvement of quality as well as quality assurance. According to Fortune.com. (2018), initially it was believed that Quality is just associated with the manufacturing products but it was later on formulated that quality management is also largely concerned with the service management. Hence, the Quality Management looks out to use the medium of quality assurance to ensure that the products are of better quality (Aquilani et al. 2015). The subject related to Quality Engineering largely involves ensuring that the practices as well as principles of quality assurance as well as control are implemented well into the family functioning’s of the organization at large. The primary aim of the report is to highlight the concept of quality engineering and management along with highlighting the role of quality in a manufacturing organization of Apple Inc. Moreover, the four aspects of quality like the Effectiveness, Presentation, Reliability and Cost will be discussed. The related results and achievements will also be highlighted.

Background/Theory/Literature Review

According to Molina-Azorín et al. (2015), Quality Engineering can be described as the engineering discipline which is primarily concerned with the practice of maintain product as well as the service quality. Quality forms the basis of any business operations and in order to assure long term success with respect to the various business operations, it becomes critical for the businesses to engage in quality engineering and adopt related strategies with respect to assuring quality for the business. The quality assurance aspect is concerned with the development of the product as well as production and related development of software.  The Quality engineering comprises of a specific body of knowledge which comprises of various domains like the Quality system, management as well as leadership in relation to quality, the elements of the quality system, the classification of the characteristics of quality and the design of the process.

O’Neill, Sohal and Teng (2016) state that the Quality engineering body is a relatively large body of knowledge which comprises of no only the quality system and design but also the verification of the design, the design inputs, Reliability as well as the different control and planning tools which can be used ensure that quality is maintained throughout the different processes of the workplace. Moreover, it also seeks to ensure that different corrective and preventive actions are also considered to ensure consistency in the firm. According to Papp (2018), the Risk Management and Statistical process control is also an effective part of the Quality engineering which ensures to consider that the consumers are provided with the optimum quality products and procedures

An organization in order to gain new customers and to increase market share of the company they tend to design and develop new and improved products in order to ensure that they achieve a competitive edge in the chosen market. Although the new innovative strategies ensure that they are successful but as there exists a large number of products in the marketplace, quality can be stated to be the only aspect which needs to be used to differentiate the particular product.  Hence, as stated by Oakland (2014), the businesses tend to make an effective use of the various Quality Engineering methods and tools to assist them with the product conception, implementation processes and development which will ensure that the customer request is heard and that proper quality is built into the product and thereby does not have an impact on the costs of the firm. Reijers, Mendling and Recker (2015), state that the Quality Engineering tools if used in the right way tend to have a great impact on the cost of the product as well as the procedures of the firm.

Ross (2017) has laid down the various methodologies as well as tools of the Quality Engineering which thereby help an organization and assist them in ensuring that the goods manufactured along way the processes undertaken are able to ensure success of the firm. The methodologies include instilling a Quality Management System, Integration of the VOC in the processes, implementation as well as monitoring of the process controls and development of appropriate tests which will ensure that the process controls becomes effective (Slashdot.org 2018). Hence, if Quality engineering is applied in an organization it will ensure long term success and a competitive edge.

 

Assignment Questions

Quality Objectives of Apple

The objectives are as follows:

  • Apple aims to ensure that minimum defects are present in the product and the primary motive is to ensure that only 0.1% of the products fail the quality conformance.
  • The durability target of the product is set to at least 20000 hours.
  • To ensure that the customer satisfaction index of the company is maximum.

Analysis of Objectives with the Definition of Quality

Hence, from the given analysis, it can be rightfully stated that the Apple organization takes the quality of its products very seriously and that it is very crucial for them to ensure that the different products which are produced by them are of the top quality and tend to ensure customer satisfaction.  According to Medium.com.  (2018), quality can be described the degree to which a particular commodity meets the requirements of the different customers in the beginning of its life cycle. It is not necessary to use the ISO 9001 quality management system. Additionally, the primary effects of the Quality are largely experienced by the different customers and the product quality is largely defined by the different design specifications and the manufacturing standards which are delivered and achieved.

Hence, quality can be described as the reliability of the features of the product and Apple ensures whether the product is an iPhone, Mac Laptops or iPads, the specifications are delivered at large.

Effectiveness of the Apple Products

The reason why the products of Apple are successful and are good in its domain is because its focus is largely based on the people and their wants. Other companies often tend to design their product based on the technology but often lose out on the people aspect of it. Their engineers create the products based on the manner they want to use them and based on a real customer. Hence, the features are basic yet perform well which then makes the lives of the different customers very easy. Moreover, another effectiveness of the Apple Products is that they are easy to use (Mikelee.org. 2018). The products as well as the software’s used are intuitive along with the fact that it appears to be stylish which thereby connects with the behavioral aspects of the people. Moreover, their procedure of the phone is quite simple, as it tends to minimize the decision making process for the customers which makes the product more effective. In addition to this, another reason why the product is successful in the market is because their products tend to integrate well. Apple ensures that their products form a good combination with respect to the hardware as well as the software and conduct the specific tasks which it is meant to do well (Moore et al. 2014). Moreover, the idea that the company spends a large amount of resources for the design and development of the product, makes it approachable to the different customers and increases its effectiveness.

 

Presentation of the product

Another notable aspect about the Apple products is that the products are quite fine looking. All the products whether the iPhone or the Mac Laptops have a unique look and design which is sleek, appealing as well as durable. The primary reason behind this is that the designers aim to make the products look distinctive with their exceptional design process. At Apple the products are designed in a manner such that the different product designers brainstorm and thereby come up with various incarnations which are then approved from the senior management and the feedback is incorporated and then either the cost or a feature is compromised upon to ensure that the budget remains intact. However, the product design is never compromised upon and this is the reason why the end product is so beautiful. The Apple products are high in quality, innovation as well as invention (Macworld.com. 2018). The strategy which Apple applies is based on quality over quantity and although Apple does not comprise of exceptional features but all its products are of an optimum quality which thereby makes it impressive to the audience at large. The products are crafted in a manner such that they make a lasting impression and has good circuit boards, elegant finish and connect with the different consumers.

Reliability of Apple Products

In addition to the previously mentioned features, another exceptional feature of the Apple products is that they are quite reliable in nature. The Rescuecom took out a Reliability Report whereby the Mac products of Apple scored a reliability score of 665 whereby it left behind the other companies by a score of 400 to the least.

Apple has earned an A+ Grade for reliability and the products of the firm represent just a percentage of 3.2% for all the repairs which it makes. The given number is particularly low when compared to the total production of Apple laptops (Kwon, Lee and Shin 2014). Even with respect to the products like the iPhones, iWatch and the iPods, the products are highly reliable with each product lasting at least two years without any trouble. Such a high reliability rate of the organization thereby represents that the quality of the Apple products is optimum in nature and that the firm ensures long term success of the products which is the worth for money.

Cost basis of the Apple product`s price

The cost basis of the Apple products also tend to form an effective basis of considerations with respect to the Quality and a good quality product can be described as one which is worth the total amount of money to be paid. Although the product prices of Apple can be considered to be considerably higher than its competitors, the product features, reliability and design make up for the high prices.

The products have a larger shelf life and particularly with respect to a MacBook, the brand makes sure that its products last longer and that they do not break down easily which ultimately makes them last longer than the other brands who cost less than an Apple product. They provide flawless consumer experience and great value for money (Kalpakjian, Vijai Sekar  and  Schmid 2014). The products of Apple do not undergo depreciation easily. Moreover, the main cost basis of Apple comes from the research and development in which it engages in in order to ensure a better product.

Results 

Therefore, from the given analysis, it can be rightfully stated that, the given study on the Apple organization reflected that Quality Standards can be considered to be a crucial aspect of any organizations success at large and that if a firm wants to gain a competitive edge in the long run, it needs to engage in the differentiation of its products based on quality rather than other factors like price and marketing strategy (Zeng, Phan and Matsui 2015). This is because the quality of a product tends to speak for itself. The given analysis undertook an examination of the Apple products based on the different dynamics of quality which are price, reliability, looks and the reliability with respect to the performance (Hitomi 2017). With respect to the Appearance aspect, the products of Apple can be stated to be one of the best products present in the telecommunications industry and have a large audience appeal with respect to their unique as well as sleek design. Moreover, its appearance and hold have been one of the Unique Selling Points. Secondly with respect to the reliability, the product has a long shelf life and lasts much longer than the other competitor brands. In addition to this, although it can be stated that the price of the Apple products can be considered to be reasonably high but it is value for money as these products are associated with good quality and appreciated for their reliability aspect as well (Goetsch and Davis 2014). Lastly, the examination also revealed that the Apple products are a class apart when the performance aspect is considered which makes them exceptionally good with respect to the competition which exists in the dynamic business environment.

 

Discussion 

The given discussion on the concept of Quality engineering and the manner in which quality provides market sustenance went a long way in clarifying and elaborating upon the aspects based on the kind of quality which the different customers expect in their purchased product and how the concept of Quality can be rightfully used as a competitive advantage and assist in differentiating the product from the others as present in the business environment. The paper presented a review of literature based on the concept of Quality engineering and the importance of the chosen component and context in the organization at large (Hartley 2017). Moreover, the next section presented an analysis of the different aspects of Quality and its presence in the organization at large. It was believed that Apple has been performing considerably well and many competitors often wondered the reason behind Apple`s sustained success which can now be understood well with respect to the fact that the Quality of the products of Apple with respect to aspects like cost, reliability, presentation and performance are commendable (Jacobs, Chase and Lummus 2014). Hence, this study was a significant one as it helped in the understanding of the concept of Quality Management at large and thereby signified the importance of it for an organization like Apple which is one of the most successful firms as present in the international business domain.

Conclusion

Hence, from the given analysis based on the organization Apple and in consideration to the Quality of any product it can be stated that the concept of Quality has a major role to play in an organization and that to achieve long term success it should be the objective of any organization to ensure that the quality aspect is maintained as it assists the firm to be able to gain a competitive advantage with respect to quality which is difficult to copy and acts as a point of differentiation. The study outlined the concept behind the present subject along with highlighting the importance of Quality Engineering. Along with this, the literature available on this topic was analyzed as well which reflected that the concept of Quality Management and the growing use as well as importance of the subject Quality Engineering. Moreover, the latter half of the report highlighted the different quality dimensions and then compared it to the performance of the Apple products in the market. The results achieved reflected that the reason behind Apple`s success is its good quality and thereby an example to the other competitors.

 

Recommendations

Therefore, it can be rightfully stated that the given study based on the concept of Quality Management and Engineering has a key role to play in the coming few years where the competition between the different brands has become considerably difficult and thereby for this purpose, it is crucial that the different organizations realize this and act on it. However, this study in the paper can be stated to just a fragment of the concept of Quality Engineering and management and the following recommendations for the further improvement of the study has been presented as follows:

  1. Firstly, most of the studies based on the secondary research analysis as well as data analysis which generally likes a face to face evidence or a real life evidence or proof as adopted from the company leaders and other crucial managers (Dale and Plunkett 2017). Hence, the different studies will be required to ensure that the primary research is also undertaken.
  2. In addition to this, although it has been discovered that it is not only the quality of the product which matters but also the quality of the services to be provided, not much has been analyzed about the quality of the services at large and hence, it can be recommended that in order to bring about an improvement with respect to the present studies, an holistic approach can also be presented towards the service organizations so as to present a new paradigm of quality.
 

References

Aquilani, B., Silvestri, C., Ruggieri, A. and Gatti, C., 2017. A systematic literature review on total quality management critical success factors and the identification of new avenues of research. The TQM Journal, 29(1), pp.184-213.

Dale, B.G. and Plunkett, J.J., 2017. Quality costing. Routledge.

Fortune.com., 2018. Apple products [online]. Available at:    https://fortune.com/2018/03/12/apple-macbooks-most-reliable/ (Retrieved on: 23 Oct. 2018).

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Hartley, J.R., 2017. Concurrent engineering: shortening lead times, raising quality, and lowering costs. Routledge.

Hitomi, K., 2017. Manufacturing Systems Engineering: A Unified Approach to Manufacturing Technology, Production Management and Industrial Economics. Routledge.

Jacobs, F.R., Chase, R.B. and Lummus, R.R., 2014. Operations and supply chain management (pp. 533-535). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Kalpakjian, S., Vijai Sekar, K.S. and Schmid, S.R., 2014. Manufacturing engineering and technology. Pearson.

Kwon, O., Lee, N. and Shin, B., 2014. Data quality management, data usage experience and acquisition intention of big data analytics. International Journal of Information Management, 34(3), pp.387-394.

Macworld.com., 2018. The secret of Apple`s design success- the humane interface [online]. Available at:   https://www.macworld.com/article/2025988/the-secret-of-apples-design-success-the-humane-interface.html (Retrieved on: 23 Oct. 2018).

Medium.com., 2018. Why Apple products look perfect [online]. Available at:   https://medium.com/@khalilliouane/why-apple-products-look-perfect-30a748d12260 (Retrieved on: 23 Oct. 2018).

Mikelee.org., 2018. Apple products [online]. Available at:   https://bizthoughts.mikelee.org/why-apples-products-look-so-good-and-why-others-dont.html (Retrieved on: 23 Oct. 2018).

Molina-Azorín, J.F., Tarí, J.J., Pereira-Moliner, J., López-Gamero, M.D. and Pertusa-Ortega, E.M., 2015. The effects of quality and environmental management on competitive advantage: A mixed methods study in the hotel industry. Tourism Management, 50, pp.41-54.

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A. and Stohlmann, M.S., 2014. A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 4(1), p.2.

O’Neill, P., Sohal, A. and Teng, C.W., 2016. Quality management approaches and their impact on firms? financial performance–An Australian study. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, pp.381-393.

Oakland, J.S., 2014. Total quality management and operational excellence: text with cases. Routledge.

Papp, J., 2018. Quality Management in the Imaging Sciences E-Book. Mosby.

Reijers, H.A., Mendling, J. and Recker, J., 2015. Business process quality management. In Handbook on Business Process Management 1 (pp. 167-185). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Ross, J.E., 2017. Total quality management: Text, cases, and readings. Routledge.

Sallis, E., 2014. Total quality management in education. Routledge.

Slashdot.org., 2018. What is the special appeal of Apple products? [Online]. https://apple.slashdot.org/story/17/05/02/1916223/ask-slashdot-what-is-the-special-appeal-of-apple-products (Retrieved on: 23 Oct. 2018).

Zdnet.com., 2018. Consumer Reports. [Online]. Available at:  https://www.zdnet.com/article/consumer-reports-apple-still-tops-in-reliability/ (Retrieved on: 23 Oct. 2018).

Zeng, J., Phan, C.A. and Matsui, Y., 2015. The impact of hard and soft quality management on quality and innovation performance: An empirical study. International journal of production economics, 162, pp.216-226.

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