Quality management ensures that products and services offered by the company are comprised of good quality. The quality management includes four components such as quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality improvement. The organization focuses on the quality of the product and services provided by them to the customers.
The report is based on the case study on the bed industry, the bed industry in the UK is growing the industry and quality management plays a vital role in this industry. The market of UK is growing due to increase in the population and trend is changing towards the beds and mattresses. This is identified that most of the people bring the changes in their household products when they move house and according to the national bed federation statistics, the current replacement cycle is around 7 years (National Bed Federation, 2017).
Quality in Bed Industry
Quality is standards of something as measured against other things of similar kind. Quality of products and services varies from products offered by the company. In bed industry, bed or mattresses that provide the satisfaction to the customer is having excellence quality.
There are many parameters that define the quality of the mattress. The laboratory test method is used by the company to establish these parameters such as pressure distribution, edge support, skin microclimate, hygiene, long-term stability (Park, Min, Subramaniyam, & Lee, 2014). Some of these parameters have been developed by the Duncan Bain who is working on the behalf of the UK’s Medicines and the health care products Regulatory Agency.
The firm mattresses are recommended to the stomach and some back sleepers and soft mattresses are suggested to the people who are side sleepers. The medium mattresses are suggested to the majority of the back sleepers. It is available for different types of mattresses that provide the comfort to the customers, the double mattress is available with the firmer and the softer part with adjustable firmness levels. These beds are basically for the people having different preferences and they share a bed.
In the case study, it includes how the market moved towards the delivery of the product to the client. This indicates towards the supply chain used by the industry, from past few years a client would place an order for a bed and have to wait for 6 weeks for the delivery of the products. Now, the advancement in the supply chain made it easy for the company to deliver the product within days of order. The client also makes use technology to order the products as the facility of the online booking of the bed or mattress is also available.
Stages of supply chain
The industry might make use of the supply chain which helps the company to make the product available to the customers (Flynn, & Zhao, 2014). The supply chain of the beds and mattress manufacturing industry is given below:-
Supply chain considering retailers
Supply chain considering online dealing
The company provides the product to the customer who makes the online order and along with that, the company provides the products through retailers because in the UK 50% of the people purchase a bed from a store and 40% from online and rest through phone (National Bed Federation, 2017).
- Manufacturing of the mattress- The manufacturer needs the raw material while manufacturing the Mattress and bed. There is need of the bed base, a heavy cloth that contains the straw, hair, cotton, foam rubber and Furness. The manufacturer in the UK gets the raw material form the suppliers of the raw material.
- Storing of bed in warehousing- The bed industry store some of the products with them for the instance demand by the customers. There is a proper way to keep the bed in the warehouse, it is said that the bed or mattress should be kept flat on the floor or slanting with the support of walls but the correct way to keep it is to compress two mattresses together like a sandwich and keep it (Belleville, 2017).
- Trucked products to retail store- The transportation to the retail stores is important to make it available to the customers. In the case study, the company provides the product online so they can transport the product directly to the customers.
- Selling it on retail stores- The prices are kept by the UK retailers vary from the demand of the customers but in general Euro 1.6 billion is the retail value of the bed in 2016 (National Bed Federation, 2017).
- Delivery of product to customers- The Company make the product available to the customers at their places. The customer who orders the product online they get the product at their place within few days.
The supply chain consists of the stakeholders who are involved in the supply chain; the stakeholders can be internal and external. The internal stakeholders consist of employees, manager, owners, customers, suppliers, creditors, and society or government (Monczka, Handfield, Giunipero, & Patterson, 2015). The stakeholders play a vital role in the supply chain management of the bed industry.
Measures could be used to assess Quality in the Bed Industry
The mattress and bed industry is growing in the UK, the market of UK consists of 120 and 134 mattress manufacturing businesses (National Bed Federation, 2017). British products are subject to stringent quality and safety. The manufacturing phrase is the most crucial process where the manufacturer needs to follow the measure to assess Quality in the Bed Industry. There are certain measures that should be taken care by the company to maintain the quality of the bed and these measures need to be taken care while the process of a supply chain. Some of the quality measures that assess quality in bed industry discussed below: -
- The right level of firmness in a mattress provides the quality to sleep. A good mattress helps the human being to get refresh without waking up with the pain and stiffness (O’Brien, 2016).
- The manufacturer should use firmness that properly supports the feet, shoulders, head, and hips by doing so quality can be managed.
- The right level of foam, air, and water need to be filled in the mattresses so that the customer needs can be satisfied because in the UK 43% of the foam mattress sold are imported which shows that quality of foam mattress is not good (National Bed Federation, 2017).
- The size of the bed varies so manufacturer produces the mattress of standard sizes and shape. The manufacturer makes use of raw material considering the shape and size so that they can provide the comfort and quality of a mattress. Some of the size and shapes are - Twin (39 inches* 75 inches), Full (54 inches* 75 inches), Twin-XL (39 inches* 80 inches), Queen (60 inches* 80 inches) and king (76 inches* 80 inches).
- The standard size and shape of the bed can give the assurance to the customers for the quality along with the ILD ration on a mattress. The indentation load deflection varies from 12 to 50, 12 indicates softness of mattress and higher number provide the firmer feel (Fitzgerald, 2017).
- To assure the long-term storage the place of storing the product should be clean.
- To protect the mattress from any kind of harm that can ruin the quality the manager covers the mattress.
- Climate controlled device could be used by a manager as leaving the mattress in the wrong climate can lead to the trouble. The temperature of the warehouse should not be too warm and not too stuffy it should be similar to the temperature of the home.
- The manager should maintain the form and the placement of the product. Storing it on their side long-term can dislodge and ruin the springs, coil and the inner workings.
Tools and techniques of quality
The company can make use of different tools and techniques to bring the improvement in the quality of the products and services provided by the company. In the bed industry, the company should make use of the Kaizen tool.
Kaizen is a lean manufacturing tool that brings the improvement in the quality, productivity, workplace culture, and safety. The aim of the tool is to bring the changes in the product on daily basis and result in the major improvement (Goetsch, & Davis, 2014). The companies involved in the Bed industry can implement Kaizen.
The implementation of the Kaizen starts with Plan-Do-Check-Act, the company will find the problem first. Finding the problem in the company is the initial step and then comes the planning (Bulsuk, 2009). The planning is important for the companies involved in the bed industry because there one wrong decision leads to the many other problems. In the bed industry the planning might include; choice of the stuff, equipment’s to be used and proper use of stuff should be planned to reduce the wastage.
(Source: Bulsuk, 2009)
After the planning, the next step is executing the plan in the organization so that they can bring the improvement in the quality. Once the execution is done then the company managers should check the results as these results help the managers in identifying the changes which are required to bring in the planning. The company act after evaluating the changes required in the planning that helps in enhancing the quality. The continuous implementation of the Kaizen tool and technique in an organization will bring the improvement in the quality that meets the customer expectation and satisfies their needs.
Just-in-time is one of the effective tools that are used by most manufacturing companies. The company implements the Just-in-time to enhance the performance by decreasing level of inventory, reducing operations, and cost of inventory by eliminated wastage from the processes and the reduced the unnecessary production (Oakland, 2014). The bed industry of UK should make use of this tool so that they can bring the efficiency of the products manufactured by them. Generally, in the manufacturing industry, there is a possibility of waste and this waste is going to be eliminated with the implementation of the just in time in the company.
Efficiency brings the quality of the products manufactured by the company. The implementation of the Just-in-time in the bed industry includes following steps (Karkhanis, 2017).
- Getting the approval from the top management
- Gaining the co-operation of the work-force and starts with the training.
- Assembly of the product and this reduce set-up time, level of production, and achieve mixed model production (Hirano, 2016).
- Balancing fabrication rates at the time of the final assembly.
- Keeping the products in the warehouse and later movement of the product to the retail stores.
- Extend just-in-time to vendors and stabilizing the delivery schedules and ask for the frequent deliveries and this provides the quality assurance and negotiates long-term contracts (Heizer, 2016).
- The company makes the product available through online stores.
The implementation of tools and techniques of total quality management shows that this whole process is linked to the supply chain of the bed industry. The company should implement the tools and techniques in the whole supply chain. The implementation of tools and techniques will surely bring the improvement in the quality of the bed and mattress provided by the companies in the UK. The improvement in the quality will reduce the imports of bed and mattress in the country.
The report throws light on the quality management of the bed industry. The UK market of bed industry is growing which is clearly shown in the details shared in a case of study based on the Bed industry. The report shows the quality in the bed industry supported by the stages of the supply chain and the stakeholders. There is a description of some of the measures could be used to assess the quality of the industry and considering the case study. To bring the improvement in the quality of the product's tools and techniques are recommended that brings the improvement in the quality of the product offered by the company. The implementation of a tool is undertaken by the company while moving from one stage of a supply chain to another stage.
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