Select an Australian manufacturing-based company with which you are familiar, and then choose a product from that company. Develop a House of Quality (HoQ) for the selected company and product to analyse the 'customer wants' and 'product hows', and benchmark your product with the rivals' product.
You are required to provide:
- The necessary/available background about the company and their quality management strategy.
- A brief literature review of five (5) published peer-reviewed articles on the importance of quality management in your report.
- A House of Quality (HoQ) for your selected product. You can use this HoQ template (XLT 739 KB)(QFD Online 2007) or create your own.
Identify the most relevant process strategy to your chosen product from Part A. Provide justification and academic discussion on why this is the most suitable process strategy for your product. Finally, select a layout strategy and design a layout that best suits your selected product.
You are required to provide:
- The necessary/available background about the process strategy of your selected company.
- A brief literature review of five (5) published peer-reviewed articles on process and layout strategies.
- Design a theoretical layout for production of the selected product.
The current manufacturing companies are turning away from traditional manufacturing techniques and quality management. The traditional approaches are commonly known for the inadequacy of leadership, short-term focus, and lack of customer focus. Inadequate system thinking and the high cost of production thus led to the creation of a new production method and product quality management. The following paper thus examines the quality management of Adelaide Brighton Cement Company with focus on the cement product.
Adelaide Brighton Cement (ABC) is a listed parent company of Adelaide Brighton Ltd that focuses on construction materials such as cement and employs about 1600 employees. The company originates from the Brighton that was rich in lime stones. The discovery was done by William Lewis who established Limekilns in 1880 at the Brighton and Shoreham; however, the operation came into halt due to low sales in 1883. In 1892, private investors such as William Shearing bought the company to form a private company known as the South Australian Portland Cement Company. The S.A. P. C. Company prospered in both in all scope until 1909 when a dreadful fire destroyed the productions that were at the Marino; this was a major financial set back to the company thus forced the company to seek Voluntary Administration in order to gain financial funding. The company worked very hard to meet the growing demand that was too much for it; this led to the introduction and registration of new business such as Adelaide Cement Company Limited that was funded by A.W.G. Pitt.
The registration of the Adelaide Cement Company Limited created competition with the S.A Portland Cement Company, forcing the Board to try to merge the two companies; however, the idea failed due to the inadequate enthusiasm from the stakeholders from both of the companies. The stiff competition forced the S.A. P. C. Company to upturn the production by increasing the employee number to 104, and adoption of some technology that helped the company to grow substantially however, due to lack of stone reserves, the company decided to relocate its works at Angaston that was vast in natural stones. In 1957, the merger talks between the S.A. P. C. Company and ABC Limited resumed with the focus of combining the resources to increase the supply of the cement that was being pressurized by the growing market demand. In 1959, the two companies came into terms with the sales conditions and profitable arrangement and operated till 1970 when the board of the two companies came into an agreement to form Adelaide Brighton Cement Limited with a major focus on clinker, cement and lime products.
Quality management strategy refers to quality techniques and standards that are applied and the various responsibilities that are undertaken to achieve a specified quality level during a product production (Xia, Fung & Guo 2018). The quality management strategy does not only help the quality of the products but also booms the sales of the company (Ghodousi, Atabi, Nouri & Gharagozlou 2017, p.598). According to the ABC 2018 sales report, sales volume rose from US$ 531m to US$593m in 2017 due to the following two major strategies: First is the optimizing the plant capacity and focusing on controllable cost that has seen the continuous empowerment of earnings in the cement and Lime Divison. The division forms the main earning driver the; ABC that has most of its sales in Queensland and Victoria (Hill 2018). The fluctuation and fall of cement demand in the region were managed through the reduction of imported products thus provides the cement producing assets to continues demonstration success; this formed the company’s long-term import strategy.
Quality Management Strategy
Secondly, the company has continually improved earnings through cost management of the organic growth of the regional quarry operation, aimed at counteracting the declining demand of concrete. The decline in demand is attributed to the high prices of the concrete, that force the company to reduce the price and recover the raw material cost through large volume sales of reduced price of the products.
Other management strategies include: New set infrastructure and the string markets in Melbourne and Sydney; The renewal of deals with the subsidiaries companies such as BHP Billiton that ensures the long-term relationship; The use of green power from 278.5MW wind farm, to facilitate the operations of some of the facilities such as in Adelaide and Yorke Peninsula quarry, helped the company in reducing the electricity usage and consequently cost that is critical for the company growth(Lee, Lim & Arditi 2011).Article 1 Title: The implementation of Quality Management System: A case study of Serbian Transport organizations
According to Å½eÅ¾elj (2013) the aim of the journal was to examine the attributes of operations in local transport companies in Serbia with an emphasis on the quality Management system as an essential competitive factor. According to the paper that was undertaken in 2012, managers and directors from 550 sampled of transport companies that were identified based on the size and the transport sector of the company were surveyed. The survey focused on issues such as the importance of the QMS, the importance of informing the employee about it, having skilled personnel to perform the quality, the attitude of employees to service QMS and the assessment of the success of the implementation of QMS. The results showed that the transport system companies have a low number of the quality management system and showed very little concern about seeking any consultation regarding quality management. According to Lee and Arditi (2011), the world market demands quality to ensure your survival. Traditionally, quality was controlled by the product manufacture who decides on the type of the product to be produced, however, currently, quality is determined by the buyer.Article 2 Title: The depiction of Total Quality Management during a Span of 2003-2013
Gupta, Garg and Kumar (2014) identify over the one decade of the quality management movement. Quality management provides an organization with an approach that helps in realizing the manufacturing strategy and fulfillment of corporate objectives. The article reviewed numerous papers between 2003 and 2013 and found that most of the articles identified TQM as the strategic factor in employee empowerment through engaging employees in various decisions making. Secondly, quality management helps in improving and developing production procedures for quality products and services.Article 3 Title: ‘The effect of the total quality management on organizational innovation in higher education mediated by organizational learning’
According to the article by Aminbeidokhti, Jamshidi, and Hoseini (2016) total quality management is identified as reinforcement of innovation and organizational learning. The changing business world needs organizations needs to learn how to develop new ideas, manage and disseminate them across all the stakeholders for the entire growth. Aliakbar et al., (2014) denotes that learning strengthens the innovative activity of quality; a significant element for the success of every organization. Quality management facilities the organizational learning that ensures that knowledge is equally and successfully distributed across all the stakeholders correctly interprets and implemented to achieve the desired organizational change. The process that happens in educational systems, and can be applied in the manufacturing companies too since organizational innovation is the development or the acceptance of an idea, behaviors or strategy that is new to the entire organization.Article 4 Title: Quality as a strategic support for businesses
According to the literature review done by Fernando José Pereira da Costa on the ‘Quality as a strategic support for businesses ‘denotes that quality is correlated to productivity and both enable the competitiveness of an organization. Quality management thus is an ideal explanation of excellent management and that is from conquering and constructing one reality. The literature identifies that quality management is a key to the sustainability and competitiveness of an organization in the market since it will help in developing a successful strategic plan that changes all the production and service systems.Article 5 Title: Quality Management Programs in the Construction Industry: Best Value Compared with Other Methodologies
The article defies quality as an approach that helps the organization to attain and tolerate high-quality product and services that are conforming to customer needs. The article identifies Japans as the origin of total quality management, in the 1950s and later spread across the world (Sullivan 2011). From the article, quality management is essential in the construction industry that requires the application of lean production. The leans production to focus on monitoring the resources that are used in product production by focusing on the needs of the customers, this is driven by the customer value.
House of Quality is a component of Quality Function Deployment and refers to a basic designed tool of quality function deployment used by companies to determine the future development of a product that will satisfy all the consumer needs and beat the competitive products in the market. (Ruiz-Vanoye, Díaz-Parra, Nolazco-Flores, Saenz, Hernández & Gongora 2013).The tool has the customer desires on one dimension and the correlated nonfunctional requirements on the other dimension; thus provides easy analysis of the requirements and dimensions. The attached below is an illustration of HoQ of the cement from ABC company.
Process Strategy refers to a pattern of decision that is made in managing processes to achieve the desired competitive priorities. The organizational process involves the utilization of the resources to provide a valuable product that fulfill the customer’s necessity within the cost and other organizational restrictions. In every production, the process strategy selected always has a long-lasting impact on the competence and suppleness of the manufacture as well as the cost and quality of products. The decisions made aiming at achieving competitive priorities through the process structure, customer involvement, preserve flexibility, and capital intensity. There are basically four types of process strategies, these are:
- Process focus majors on the low volume, high variety of products, broadly skill operators and high inventory.
- The Repetitive focus is encompassed in between the product focus and process focus, thus becomes the product oriented production process. The repetitive focus of production requires goods to go under a rapid succession of repetitive manufacturing system just like in an automated assembly process.
- The Product focus is a high volume strategy, low variety, and continuous process.
- The Mass customization focus entails rapid, low –cost productions that constantly fulfills customers changing desires, therefore, the process is about variety, customer needs at affordable prices.
From the above discussion, the chosen product is cement from the ABC limited, and when subjected through the House of Quality, customers’ requirements evolved around affordability, thermal mass and setting time. Therefore, the process strategy chosen for the production is the repetitive focus since the system ensures a long run and standardizes products from the modules that will ensure that large numbers of customers quantity need are met along with the quality needs. The strategy has few changes in job instructions that might bring confusion in the raw material feeding thus resulting in substandard products. Thirdly, the process is always scheduled to evaluate the rate of production.
Facility layout entails the configuration of the company sites with the lines, buildings, work stations, aisles and other applicable features such as the departmental boundaries (Azadeh, Moghaddam, Nazari & Sheikhalishahi 2016, p.568). The common layouts are process layout and product layout.
- The process layout primary found in firms that produce tailored, low-volume product and that may necessitate dissimilar processing needs and operational categorizations. The aim of the process layout thus is to produce goods that require numerous manufacturing requirements from the customers (Mandujano, Mourgues Alarcón & Kunz 2017, p.936). The layout possesses the following advantages: flexibility as the firm is capable to handle a different variety of product; employee motivation as the employees perform different task and; system protection since numerous multiple available have reduced mechanical failure.
- The product layout is majorly found in flow setting where a repetitive assembles and process is maintained. In these settings high volumes that require highly standardized repetitive process are always preferred, thus for the cement, this product layout is the most preferential as compared to the process layout. In this setting, two lines are used: paced and the un-paced lines. The paced lines use conveyors that carry the cement /finished product to the storage department/ loading point. Additionally, employees have the ability to perform other operations along the way, such as fixing stickers. On the other hand the un-paced line, employees are required to construct lines between the workplaces to admit adjustable work speed, thus making it unfit for the cement production. The advantages of the product layout are the capability to produce a large number of products over a short time and utilization of the equipment.
Part A: House of Quality Analysis and Benchmarking
According to Campagna and Formisano (2013), during the past, numerous companies operated on the basis of the mass customization strategies that aimed at selling products that satisfied customer’s needs, as well as preserving the benefits of the mass production in terms of efficiency and productivity. The mass customization system entailed series of challenges that companies faced difficulty in overcoming through the use of the traditional software tools that were designed for repetitive productions, thus different system was designed that supported the deployment of mass customization, the toll was known as product configuration system. The product configuration system allowed the representation of configurable products through product model and enabled the acquisition and management of products’ information.
Mass customization is expected to conceal the entire tailoring of product cycle from the customer order to the final product, however, the configuration system focuses majorly on the product configuration leaving out the cover aspects related to the production. Therefore, the product /process focus strategy enabled the constraint-based modeling of products and process. The PRODPROC Models entails the product model and process model to come up with coupling constraints that act as a bridge between the product instances and process instances and propagate both the direction chosen by the user. In case of failure due to the choice made by the user, the systems exploits coupling constraint that offers justifications and detailed explanation for the failure, as well as suggest better ways of making a recovery.Article 2 Title: Integrated product-process design to suggest appropriate manufacturing technology
The paper reviewed on the additive and traditional manufacturing technologies with respects to the product-process integration since the manufacturing process evolve rapidly subjecting numerous companies to high performances (Khaleeq uz Zaman, Siadat, Rivette, Baqai & Qiao 2017). The manufacturing process is not just entirely about constructing physical products, alterations in consumer requests, nature of products and economic of productions rather it entails product development process. The article identifies three major categories of manufacturing technologies: traditional, additive and hybrid, and further develops an integrated product-process design. The latter originated from Tichkiewitch and Veron with reference to process chain resulting into the following advantages: reduced production cost, environment conservation, and quality standardization (Primo, Calabrese, Del Prete & Anglani 2017). In conclusion, the article found out that the emerging technologies aids in process strategy thus addressing the product and process data effectively leading to stakeholder’s satisfaction.Article 3 Title: The process-centric modeling methodology for virtual manufacturing of ships and offshore structures in shipyards
An article by Lee, Kim, and Hwang and Shin (2014) is based on the complexity of the shipbuilding. The competitiveness level forced the ship production management to adopt virtual assembly modeling, and simulation technology to improve on ships. Over the past decades, the Korean shipbuilding companies were commonly known for their automation, later with the technological advancement of virtual manufacturing; a sound-tested technology with tremendous efficacy in most of the manufacturing process. The strategy is a made-to-order, or rather engineered to order; commonly known as product focus strategy.
The aim of the study thus was to establish the modeling methodology in regard to the virtual manufacturing technology in the shipbuilding industry (Yong-Kuk Jeong, Philippe Lee & Jong Hun Woo 2018). The literature identifies two types of simulation modeling: modeling methodology and information model all that is process-centric and are significant for the shipbuilding industry. The virtual manufacturing system thus requires four components of technologies: imitation modeler. The imitation engine, result in energizer and outcome watcher. All these are process focused.Article 4 Title: An elitist strategy genetic algorithm for integrated layout design
Part B: Process Strategy Selection and Layout Design
According to Jerin Leno, Saravana Sankar and Ponnambalam (2016), manufacturing organizations need effective product manufacturing layout to ensure the effective and efficient flow of the raw materials and finished products. Most of the manufacturing organizations always face firm layout problem (FLP), thus the article adopts an intergrade layout design for the manufacturing companies to ensure an effective path for both the raw material and the finished product. The firm layout procedure is composed of two phases: the Unit layout phase that specifies the size of each department while the detailed layout pages depend on the aisle structures, input/output points and; the Overall layout of the department (Jerin Leno, Saravana Sankar, Victor-Raj & Ponnambalam 2013, p.1581). Thus to overcome the limitations faced on the layout design, integrated layout design approach that uses intercell layout and material handling simultaneously should be adopted.Article 5 Title: A multi-skeleton modeling approach based on top-down design and modular product design for the development of complex product layouts
The article by Chu, Chu, Li, Lyu & Xue (2016), explores the integration of Descending product design and Segmental product design to develop a complicated product layout that is perceived to improve the quality and efficiency of the products. Generally, the complex product is always modeled by numerous part that different and function differently. The design process always aims at identifying the product layout that has the capability of linking the results in a conceptual design and detailed design phases. Thus most of the industrial companies are pressurized to improve on the product development efficiency as well as reduce the product development lead time in order to remain completive. As much as the use of both TDD and MPD to improve the quality of a product, the layout has the following problems: difficulty to exchange and reuse modules on different levels in a product hierarchy; the layout is time-consuming in case of modification or redesign modules due to changes of the other products descriptions; and evaluation difficulty especially where the detailed design solutions are unavailable.
The Adelaide Brighton Company to achieve the customers’ requirements on the affordability, setting time and thermal mass capacity of their product, the company should consider on blending the cement properties that will ensure that the end product contain all the three characteristics. The company thus should focus more on quality management and shift from the product focus strategy to process focus strategy as this will ensure the production of the desired end product.
Over the past few decades manufacturing companies are turning away from traditional manufacturing techniques and quality management. The quality management strategy does not only help the quality of the products but also booms the sales of the company after achieving a desired process and layout strategy. As the organizational process involves the utilization of the resources to provide a valuable product that meets the customer’s requirements within the cost and other managerial constraints; the layout strategy enables the configuration of the Firm sites with the lines, structures, work stations, aisles and other appropriate features such as the departmental boundaries. The utilization of these eventually leads to the total quality management that ensures that aspects of the production are aligned to the objectives of the company.
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