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Question:

Description

This task is an opportunity to develop and demonstrate your knowledge, skills and ability to apply quality management concepts in the context of a service industry.

Story

Quality is regarded as a vital component of every organisation and will continue to remain important for improving organisational performance and achieving competitive advantage in a firm's industry - be it a service organisation (e.g. healthcare; airlines; retail; tourism; or financial services) or a manufacturing organisation (e.g. electronics - including computer, TV, radio, phone; heavy engineering; checmical; or food products).

In today's service economy, there has been gorwing emphasis on the application of modern management techniques including quality management in the service industry to improve service performance and overall organisational performance.

Assume you are hired by a service organisation (e.g. healthcare; airlines; retail; tourism; or financial services)  as a quality management consultant to assist them in the service quality improvement process. Your task is outlined below.

Task

Your task is to prepare a Quality Management Report covering the following aspects:

  1. Identification of current practices, issues, and future trends of quality management in a service industry of your choice using various concepts and principles of quality management covered in the course. In addressing these aspects, you need to: 

    a) discuss definitions of quality in services
    b) discuss a range of relevant approaches to quality management,
    c) identify issues in their implementation
    d) analyse the current and future trends by reviewing the relevant quality management literature.

  2. Examine the influence of quality management practices in improving customer satisfaction / service performance / organisational performance. In addressing this aspect, you need to: 
    a) discuss what is meant by customer satisfaction / service or organisational performance
    b) explain which aspects of quality management practices are associated with these outcomes and why.

  3. Recommend what kind of initiatives the service organisation of your choice should take to successfully implement quality management practices for improving their performance.
 

Answer:

Discuss a range of relevant approaches to quality management

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDSA) is among the leading and most comprehensive aero-medical organizations globally. It provides primary and emergency health care amenities for people living in remote, rural and local areas of Australia (Australian Government: Department of Health, 2018). Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia is a non-profit organisation that offers healthcare to individuals who cannot gain access to a medical center or general practice owing to the huge distances of the Outback.  Just like any other healthcare organizations, RFDSA understands that quality management is a critical requirement.  Despite the fact that it is non-profit organization, RFDSA aims at ensuring every person they serve is adequately satisfied with their services. Managers believe that people’s satisfaction is one amongst the most vital factors that lead to establishment of creditability and reputation among the public (Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, 2018).

There different approaches to quality management that Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia apply in order to achieve the aforementioned objectives of public relations. The most basic approaches include quality circles, statistical process control, process improvement, process deployment automation, and high-technology circles (Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia , 2016). Every person who works with RFDSA is adequately empowered to come up with solutions to emergency issues. Various authority buffers have been cut to ensure every person can make reliable and splendid decisions. In addition, management at RFDSA has cut tolerance buffers by tightly monitoring operations. All operations are thoroughly monitored to ensure efficiency. Periodically, RFDSA analyzes its response processes to figure junctures which need some improvements. In addition, most of the processes this organization follows in its rescue missions are automated in order to ascertain efficiency. It also applies high technology tools such as aircrafts and first aid toolkits to ensure that patients reach the nearest hospital safe and sound. These approaches have made RFDSA the best Flying Doctor not only in Australia but also in other parts of the world.

Identify issues in their implementation

Despite its success in ensuring quality management approaches are well-implemented, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia faces some issues which to some extend thwart their efforts. The fact that this organization is a non-profit lacks sufficient resources to carry out some of the preconditions required in quality management.  Sometimes, for example, this organization’s desire to train, coach, and empower all its workers appears a big challenge due to its inability to raise funds required to facilitate the processes (Vidot, 2017). Same case applies in its quest to ensure full deployment of high-tech requirements since most of them are costly or require huge capital outlay for them to be procured. Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia is having an issue with maintaining its workforce. This is an issue mainly in rural areas where life might be hard-hitting. So, despite the organization’s incessant efforts of ensuring exceptional services, some of the workers are subjecting it to some internal challenges of disinclinations. Another issue hindering implementation of the quality management is extreme rigidity. Some of the processes which needed some improvement, for example, are s rigid and inflexible and as a result not all implementations lead to the intended results. Patients’ and the organization’s requirements are continuously evolving and therefore quality management must evolve as well. Process and even machines must be improved over time to remain consistent with the changing circumstances in the organization. Of course this will enhance quality in the services provided but it has become a big issue in Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia due to too much rigidity. 

 

References

Australian Government: Department of Health, 2018. Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Program. [Online]  Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/royal-flying-doctor-service-programme [Accessed 24 January 2019].

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia , 2016. How you can help >. [Online]  Available at: https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/assets/annual_report/file/RFDS_SE_SECTION_201617_YEAR_IN_REVIEW.pdf [Accessed 24 January 2019].

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, 2018. About the RFDS. [Online]  Available at: https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/about-the-rfds/
[Accessed 24 January 2019].

Vidot, A., 2017. Rural healthcare concerns highlighted in Royal Flying Doctor Service survey. [Online]  Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-01/flying-doctor-service-survey-highlights-healthcare-concern/8763856 [Accessed 24 January 2019].

OR

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