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ZCMA6062 Operations Management and Decision Analysis

TecSmart Electronics designs, manufactures, and repairs electronic power supplies for a variety of original equipment manufacturers in the computer, medical and office products field. The company’s focus is summed up by three simple words: quality, service and value. The top management team started its quality journey in the mid-1980s, basing it on Deming’s 14 points. They established a Deming Steering Committee to guide the process and champion each of the 14 points, and trained most of the employees by sending them to Deming seminars. Although the Deming philosophy provided the foundation to carry the company into the twenty-first century, the current CEO decided to pursue a Baldrige focus and began a process of self-assessment against the criteria to identify opportunities for improvement.
As a first preparatory step, the executive team spent a day off site to think about its management practices and create an initial list of its strengths, which are summarized here,
•    Senior leader set company objectives and guide cross-functional teams to review and develop individual plans for presentation to employees. Each department manager develops a supporting objective, and nearly every employee works on team to support these objectives.
•    Senior leaders participate in quarterly communication meetings with all employees to discuss company issues and answer questions. All employees receive full financial information from their mangers each month.
•    Senior leaders teach courses in TecSmart university on change management, customer service, quality, and leadership; meet with customers, suppliers and benchmarking partners; and are actively engaged in professional and community organizations,
•    The company collects operational data in every department and evaluates its information requirements in a monthly senior staff meetings and cross-functional task team meetings
•    TecSmart sets six sigma goals for most of its processes and converted processes measurements to parts  million on all products line 
•    All employees are trained in a five-step problem-solving process based on defining problems, collecting data , analyzing the cause of the problem, developing a solution, and implementing change.
•    Inputs to the strategic planning process include customer feedback, market research, and benchmarking information from customers, suppliers, competitors, and industry leaders. Team analyses are evaluated at an off-site planning meeting by all managers, resulting in long-range strategy planning documents, which are discussed with the rest of the workforce as well as major suppliers for feasibility. Once agreed upon, department teams develop detailed action plans with measureable goals. The CEO reviews process every month
•    TecSmart uses more than a dozen different processes to gather customers information, and validates the information by consolidation and cross-referencing.
•    All employees receive customer relationship training. Customer service employees help define service standards, which are tracked on a routine basis.
•    All complaints are handled by the vice president of sales and resolved within two days. The vice president is responsible for ensuring that any process that generated a complaint is improved.
Customer satisfaction data is acquired from sales representatives, executive phone calls and visits , and satisfaction surveys. These data are reviewed and compared by the executive team during the strategic planning process. 
TecSmart uses self-managed work groups in which employees make most day-to-day decisions while managers focus on coaching and process improvement. Hourly workers can make process changes with the agreement of only one other person, and sales-people are authorized to travel whenever they it necessary for customer service.
 The average employee receives 72 hours of internal quality internal quality/ service-related training, and quality training is mandatory for all sales-people , engineers, office staff, and managers. 
 Employees are surveyed each year to gauge how effectively the company implemented Deming’s 14 Points, rating each on a scale of 1-10.
Cross-functional teams guide product development which includes four interim reviews by executive management. Meeting are held with customers to identify needs and requirements and to review progress at the end of each phase of the development process.
New product introduction teams with design engineers and customers to ensure that design requirements are met during manufacturing and testing. All processes are formally documented , using statistical process control to monitor variation and provide a basis for corrective action. Statistical methods are used to optimize processes.
 Quality is assessed through internal audits, employee opinion surveys, and customer feedback.
Suppliers are involved in early stages of a product development program. Quality requirements for suppliers have been identified, and certified suppliers ‘ materials are exempt from incoming inspection.
Discussion Questions:
1.    Problem identification / problem analysis 
2.    SWOT analysis .

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