Quality and Performance Management of M&S

"Quality is the second of three value components (Finch, Byron J. , 2008). The commitment to producing quality in services changes process from just producing to producing things customers want. The development of the methods and techniques to control quality and a culture of employees who wish to produce quality reaches the heart and soul of any successful business".

INTRODUCTION

This Chapter includes an insight into what quality and performance management, reaching customers' anticipations at Grades and Spencer. I am going to touch on its history and the effect of quality management at the business will be analyzed. The foundation of choosing M & S is because of the fact that it is a more developed company. More like an organization. Also I improve the company.

About M&S

For 125 years M&S has been respected by customers to offer high quality products at great value. It is continuing to grow from a Penny Bazaar stall to become the UK's leading retailer of quality clothing, food and home products. With more than 21 million UK customers, the business is an broadening international force, now in 40 territories. A team of 78, 000 people and over 2, 000 suppliers form the bedrock of its business, making sure their brand will continue steadily to offer Quality, Value, Service, Development and Trust. These key beliefs are as important today as they ever before have been. They are all about doing the right thing which is, simply, how they do business (M&S, 2009).

Michael Mark started out the business enterprise in 1884 selling items at only a penny. The business was subsequently signed up with by Tom Spencer when the relationship started. The business grew steadily and by 1926 there were about 125 stores. Marks & Spencer has been built on the next values

offering customers a selective selection of high quality products;

encouraging suppliers to keep high quality expectations in production and working environment;

store expansion planned for the convenience of customers, with a larger width of product choice;

simplified operating types of procedures;

supporting United kingdom industry and purchasing abroad only when new ideas, technology, quality and value are not available in the UK;

fostering good human being relations with customers, staff, suppliers and the city.

(Whitehead, 1994).

An understanding into quality management

Quality is "conformance to requirements" (Crosby, 1979), with focus on zero defects. (Swanson, 1995) however, implied quality management to be the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to gratify given needs. Implicit in this assumption is a person with needs and objectives to be satisfied. Quality is a measurable effect; quality management improvement is more about the trip than the result. What we do and how we do it establishes quality and the actionable elements of quality involve the procedure rather than the outcome. Top quality reduces the cost of rework, waste, claims and returns and most importantly, creates satisfied customers (Slack, 2007).

Marks and Spencer has what's called a 'golden guideline' to always take ownership of helping their customers and also getting responses about their services. Staffs at Marks and Spencer are expected to adhere to the next three rules when offering customers
  • acknowledge every customer with a howdy or a smile
  • build a romance by speaking and interacting with the customer
  • saying 'good bye and also have good day' to customers.

Some feedback is done through internet surveys and some directly with their customers using survey forms. The result from the study enables M&S to examine areas of improvement.

I strongly believe quality of services is M&S's competitive edge. The 'golden guidelines' means treating the clients with courtesy, interacting and participating with the clients doing the sales with a smile, always helping to pack on the till, asking customers when there is still other things we can do for the coffee lover. Each one of these are characteristics of good customer services. Good customer support provides the possibility that the customers would still want another. Mr David Williams, an M&S customer just lately stated "It creates a pleasant day for me personally" when a staff of Markings and Spencer says many thanks for waiting, attending to their customers when there is an extended queue. Regularity with these prices make the clients always want to come back which goes quite a distance in a small business.

Furthermore, from the company's perspective it also means treating their workers with humanely, with dignity and admiration. These in turn encourage the employees to be similarly hypersensitive to the needs and targets of the clients. "If staff seems that their work are being rewarded and this future effort will also be rewarded, their quality of work is likely to improve. In this way, total quality can be increased. Additionally, where incremental strategic change is dependent on individual customers of staff, acting upon, opportunities and threats, the compensation system must be appropriate and motivating" (Thompson & Martin, 2010). From my experience, I have observed that whenever staff is not happy, they'll not have the ability to deliver a good service to the clients, which might then affect the business.

As a worker of Markings and Spencer, I could objectively say we are highly cared for well. Staffs are rewarded in so many ways. A number of the bonuses are 20% off any items in the store, advertising opportunities, recognition within the business and pension plan. Also the business provide bonuses, flexible working arrangement for everyone moms and graduate program for new graduates. Each one of these rewards and bonuses are motivating factors that enable staff to perform to their extreme level in providing customers in a satisfactory way.

Rewards depend upon the success of the Organization as a whole as well as specific, contribution to the success (Thompson & Martin, 2010).

As an employee of Marks and Spencer, one thing that I have noticed was that when customers sessions the store, they have got the assurance they are going to get exceptional services. Grades and Spencer are not trading operating quality gimmicks but also concentrate on presenting what we call 'exceptional basic principles' i. e. being attentive very carefully to their customers and offering thoughts with their needs and providing what they really need. For example they provide
  • three items for the price tag on two
  • 'collect by cab for customers' if the client require a cab after shopping
  • sending customers special order to them within three working days v
  • effective and efficient refund policy. Markings and Spencer offers full refund with their customers with the receipt or if has been lost, a credit voucher is issued

Marks and Spencer mastercard - details and vouchers receive to all or any the credit card holders frequently which I consider would encourage customers to utilize their Grades and Spencer mastercard to pay at the till

Marks and Spencer train their staff for taking possession in everything they certainly.

(Thompson & Martin, 2010) emphasised on " determination to customers services, quality and constant Improvement". It's this focus on detail that counts in providing good customer support to the clients. There is little or nothing more Vital that you Markings & Spencer than their customers and attaining a superior quality of service. The company encourages three things i. e. , creativity, initiative and frame of mind. Attitude is one of the main element traits that management at Grades and Spencer imbues on the employees regardless of the training and skills developed. It's the quality reflection that packages us in addition to the competition. "Marks and Spencer have increased in their product offerings and looks like they hire people with good attitude that requires great delight in providing exceptional service. " commented by one of the clients. It is this kind of attitude viewed by their employees that causes innovation and ingenuity. For example, there was a time a deaf man arrived to the store for shopping, he had written all he needed in a sheet of newspaper. Grades and Spencer already have some employees that help the blind and the deaf because of their shopping. After aiding him, he was so happy that he now thinks that everybody is treated just as without discriminating. Also if a person likes a specific product that was recommended and is also not in store and in order to satisfy the client, they take total ownership to be sure they make arrangement to get more stock to be available for the next visit of the customer in store. Marks and Spencer also observe their product through studies to learn how well a particular product is executing.

As explained by (Kanji, Gopal K: Asher, Mike, 1996) "To comprehend the process of total quality management (TQM), where all work sometimes appears as 'process' and total quality management is a continuing procedure for improvement for folks, groups of men and women and complete organizations. Why is total quality management not the same as other management processes is the focused focus on ongoing improvement".

Most of Grades and Spencer customers knows about their quality and will be ready to pay more for the value. M&S offers all most ever before week, merely to inspire customers to buy at the mentioned price of other opponents products like Tesco and Sainsbury merely to let customers is aware of that there price continues to be exactly like others however the quality differs. Markings and Spencer makes these offers to pull customers' attention. They may have been successful as shown my regularly increasing their market show.

Also there targets is to exceed their expectation to deliver good quality to their customers and to achieve zero defects. They design their product to try to prevent errors taking place. Though, it is always impossible to prevent mistakes.

"Knowing the existing quality requirements of the product or service in your customer's hands is the first stage of being in a position to improve. You can make mistake and you can assess your improvement if you know the base you are starting from. Getting the facts necessary to manage the business enterprise by any means levels and supplying that information to everyone so that decisions are structured upon fact will be the important aspect of Quality Management" (Kanji, Gopal K: Asher, Mike, 1996)

Marks and Spencer hardly ever get formal complaints but when there is certainly any they deal with it with the customer plus they always pay attention to customers complain which by the end customers feels delighted and satisfy.

(Kanji, Gopal K: Asher, Mike, 1996) "Satisfying decided customers' requirements'- pertains to internal customers as well external ones it's important to achieve successful inside working relations to be able to gratify the needs of the exterior customers".

"The main element is service recovery; this is why empowerment is so important". (Slack, 2007) Marks and Spencer teach their to turn around any negative experience they may have into positive ones before the customers leaves the store and not to allow the client to go back home unhappy. It's well worth the effort.

Giving exceptional service is definitely the motto of Marks and Spencer for a long time up till now. It really is popular to everybody about their good customer services. In addition they get tremendous responses from their customers and that is the more reason that a lot of customers always want to come back despite the prices with their products. Older people are also contributed to their shopping list by assigning a member of staff to the client to do the shopping. It offers the customer self-assurance to know that their shopping is performed with their satisfaction. Among M&S's customers, Mrs Johnson commented that "price is not the determinant factor for shopping at M&S; it is the good customer services and the way staffs attends to me considering I have been shopping here for over 25 years. All of them are well mannered, always with a smile on their face, they take possession and always wanting to help to load up our shopping" Among the key tasks of procedure management is to ensure that quality goods and services are provided to both internal and external customers (Finch, Byron J. , 2008). Grades and Spencer value their customers; queues are watched and customers are often thanked 'for holding out' and are given the offer to pack their searching for them. It really is more than reimbursement to recognize someone so when a member of staff, I often notice from customers that how pleased and happy they for the interest that is given to them. The professionalism shown by the M&S employees emanated from working out provided and also interacting with customers makes our job more interesting. (Finch, Byron J. , 2008) Contends that "The best response to a customer's questions could come only from the staff directly accountable for a good customers services to the customers"

M&S offers customer choice. They have got different range for customers, for the elderly women it is called typical range. This range originated as result of the study that was carried out. Among the survey participants, a customer known as Ms. Williams in the survey wrote "It will fit perfectly ok with no modification or complain, I just cannot go anywhere else to buy my clothes than Marks".

Another range for the center age is named 'Peruna', these are long lasting but very costly. Customers are happy to pay for what they get because of "the grade of the completed products and is visible to see" said one of the customers. "An excellent is the amount of fit between customer's targets and customer belief of the product or service". (Slack, 2007)

Marks and Spencer respond quickly to customer demand. "One key element of quality management is the dependence on empowered teams to report and then streamline operations predicated on team knowledge and knowledge of customer needs and expectation. Areas customer requirements often flunk of defining customer needs and goals" (Swanson, 1995)

If a product was not in store. Markings and Spencer take responsibility to ensure they find an alternative solution way to get the product and send it to the customer address simply for getting together with the customer's expectation also to make sure they meet customer demand.

Dimensions of Quality

(Finch, Byron J. , 2008) determined eight product quality proportions and five service quality measurements which consist of the followings

Performance - pertains to the identified characteristics of the product.

Features - the excess or secondary capabilities of a product or service.

Reliability - steps the dependency and exactly how consistently it achieves the assurances given about the product/service.

Durability - offers just how long the product/service previous for.

Serviceability - usually deals with after sales in conditions of repairs warranties and complaints image resolution.

Aesthetics - deals with the appearance and design of the product/service.

Response - the relationship between the product/service supplier and the client.

Reputation - deals with the understanding of customers on the company.

In addition to the above mentioned (Finch, Byron J. , 2008)also determined five measurements of service quality which include

Reliability - in terms of the business keeping to its promises.

Responsiveness - handles how promptly the business responds to their customer needs.

Assurance - coping with trust and self confidence between your customers and employees.

Empathy - handles how employees are sensitive to the needs of the customers.

Tangibles - demonstrating good care and attentions with regards to the physical facilities and written materials available at the company.

Marks and Spencer provides both products and service with their customers and fully conforms to all the service/product quality measurements mentioned above. This I believe has led to the steady domination of market show in the retail industry by M&S.

Cost of Quality

Cost of quality pertains to the price associated with ensuring quality of the product/services in addition to costs incurred in correcting defective items. (Finch, Byron J. , 2008) discussed cost of quality as the cost associated with preserving and sustaining goods/services which can be categorised into mostly internal and external failure costs, protection cost and appraisal costs. All of these costs are identifiable with M&S. A good example of external failing i. e. cost incurred after copy of ownership to customers at M&S are the returns made by customers when something will go wrong with the things purchased at the store when replacing would have to be produced in additional to employee time involved in dealing with the defective product. Internal inability cost i. e. costs which may arise scheduled to inadequacy of quality before copy of possession to customers occurs at M&S when inspection staff have observed a defection in a product line and had to be withdrawn before achieving the floor level. All the costs associated with this faulty product including creation and distribution costs aggregates to the internal inability costs. The appraisal costs are those cost associated with getting together with quality specification which might include inspection, trials and sampling. At M&S this category of quality cost are incurred before the products are allocated to various stores. Usually the product quality audits are taken taking samples from millions of product what to ensure they meet quality specification. (Finch, Byron J. , 2008) stated that "a recurrent cause of poor quality is the inability of system that are designed to maintain quality. " Hence organisations must ensure their quality system is audited to ensure that they meet their quality requirements and in doing so reduce their appraisal cost. The cost associated to minimizing appraisal costs can be categorised as avoidance costs. Some these costs includes cost of training, improving the process, quality planning activities. Where more efforts are put in prevention, it should impact in lowering the other category of quality costs. However, as can be seen from shape1 below, quality cost boosts as quality problems reaches customers.

Figure 1 (Finch, Byron J. , 2008)

Cost of quality

Prevention

Internal failure

External failure

Cost of quality from Reduction to external failure

Total Quality Management

As defined by (Chartered Institute of Management Accountant, 2002), TQM is a programme that means that goods or services provided are of the highest quality. However, (Feigenbaum, 1986)

defined TQM as an "effective system for integrating the product quality development, quality maintenance and quality improvement attempts of the various groups within an organisation so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels that allows a full client satisfaction". TQM as a process must encompass everyone in the organisation and with full dedication of senior management. (Finch, Byron J. , 2008) put forward that TQM is dependant on three ideas
  1. customer focus
  2. continuous process improvement and
  3. total participation.

With customer emphasis, the customer identifies what quality is. A differentiation is required between what is known as internal customers that are employees within the company and external customers who will buy the products or services. Each employee in the organisation should have a well defined customer so that there is what is known as supplier-customer romantic relationship extending from the inner customers to the ultimate consumer who uses the product. For example in M&S an outcome from a staff (internal provider) then becomes and insight for another staff (inside customer). This string feeds itself in to the last consumer. If the procedure is cracked i. e. the supplier-customer romantic relationship and the quality needs of the inner customer is not fulfilled, it is bound to affect the ultimate consumer.

Continuous process improvement is approximately reducing or eradicating variability from quality functions. Outcomes from procedures should be predictable and when this isn't the case it may become difficult to constantly meet customer goals. Constant process improvement at M&S has an extremely low variability if all any. Ongoing process improvement is part of M&S 'Plan A' which is quality management plan that contains a comprehensive set of aims that governs how M&S will business. The plan had become in January 2007 and commits to changing a hundred things over five years. Plan A is makes a genuine change to the environment, customers, employees and folks employed in the M&S's source chains. Through Plan A, M&S have unveiled products and services to help customers live in a sustainably way, sustained contribution to local communities and with additional income generated ploughed back to the business enterprise. M&S engages all of its 21 million customers by building Plan A attributes into most of its products and assisting customers to build up their own Plan A eco-plans. M&S has integrated its Plan A from being a 'Plan' to 'How We Do Business' by integrating it into techniques and providing its workforce the skills, tools and determination required to make a difference. (M&S, 2009)

I believe that it is the dedication from management and the active participation of employees in growing and employing their quality targets 'Plan A' which may have contributed to the success of the company. To keep to sustain the amount of self-assurance of quality assurance, managers must ensure that everyone constantly abide by their standards and ensured it is continually measured and watched. Where necessary corrective action should be taken as advocated by (Deming, 1982) to make use of of the Shewhart's PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act), as an approach to process evaluation. This cycle inevitably brings about redesign and improvement in quality.

Tools for solving quality problems

There are several functions designed for quality improvement including DMAIC(Design, Solution, Analyse, Improve and Control) and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyse, Design and Verify) of Six Sigma improvement projects. DMAIC can be used for existing procedures where performance is below what's expected while DMADV is made for producing new products/service in order to meet the desired quality level. Also you have the PDCA pattern as illustrated by (Finch, Byron J. , 2008) where he discovered seven steps to quality improvement summarised as follows

Figure 2 PDCA Quality Improvement tool (Finch, Byron J. , 2008)

Most organisations including M&S can improve their quality by putting into action any of the available quality improvement procedures. Any process used need to be supported through the use of appropriate tools for every single step. There are various tools and techniques that may be applied as illustrated in shape 3 below

Analytical tools

Mostly used

Frequently used

Idea Era Tools

Consensus tools

Process Definition

Data Collection

Analysing Cause & effect

Analysing & displaying data

Planning tools

Meeting management tools

Benchmarking

Questionnaires

PLAN

Problem identification

Analysis of current situation

Analysis root causes

CHECK

Selection & planning of solution

Check result

ACT

Standardise

Conclusion / next cycle

Figure 3 Quality Improvement Tools & Technique Matrix (Swanson, 1995)

In using the above mentioned tools and techniques, analysts should list activities to be carried out and the expected result/results of every step. Though not prescriptive in character employees or analysts can be flexible with the tools they apply depending on the situation they're encountered. The quality improvement models determined above provides an iterative steps but do not provide how the steps should be prosecuted but there are tools to help the accomplishments of the steps discovered within the product quality improvement model. These tools as recognized by (Swanson, 1995) aren't exhaustive but majority of them have been changed into a matrix as illustrated in body 4 below.

Idea Era Tools

Consensus tools

Process Definition

Data Collection

Analysing Cause & effect

Analysing & showing data

Planning tools

Meeting management tools

Benchmarking

Questionnaires

Figure 4 Tools and techniques matrix

Quality Awards and Quality Standards

Many customers are quality guaranteed knowing a business has quality award accreditation. It provides the client with the assurance that they are buying quality product or quality service. In many cases businesses use quality prize as marketing tool that are visible in their marketing and advertising. In some instances some businesses can afford to fee at a premium therefore of quality accreditation. An excellent award enables a business or company to conform to certain specified standard. A standard that must be consistently adhered to and in which a business conducts its business internationally, it may well be a necessity to acquire and internationally recognised quality standard accreditation. Two internationally recognized standards are the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Prize and the International Criteria Company. The ISO is one of the very most world-acclaimed quality standard award/accreditation is the ISO quality requirements amongst others. Matching to (International Standards Organisation Discover ISO, 2010) the targets of the criteria where implemented, are to permit products/services to become more efficient, safer and cleaner; trade facilitation; assist governments with technological base for legislation in health & safe practices; posting of good management practice; safeguarding of consumers and making life simpler. With all the insistence of experiencing ISO quality standard in place, it means that skilled company have the capacity, ability and infrastructure open to produce quality products/services. (Finch, Byron J. , 2008). There are many other specific awards with regards to the industry. Marks and Spencer especially in the last year or two experienced several awards in reputation of its performance when compared to its competitors on the market. Some of these awards include are the following.

Awards

Position

Environmental Exploration Agency's Supermarket refrigeration table

Winner

Cosmopolitan Mag Awards

Winner of all Ethical retailer

Carbon Trust standard

Certification

Pesticide Action Network UK supermarket pesticide league table

Winner

Ethisphere World's Most Ethical Companies

Top 100

Consumer Focus 'Green to the Center' supermarket category table

Joint Winner

Greener Package deal Awards

Retail Leadership Award

RSPCA Good Business Awards

Fashion Commitment Award

Letsrecycle. com Awards

High Avenue Recycling Champion 2009

International Wine Challenge Awards

Environmental Effort of the year

Forest Footprint Disclosure Project

Best Basic Retail Sector Performer

Business in the Community 2009 Corporate Responsibility Index

Platinum performer

The Separate Green Awards

2010 Best Supermarket

ENDS Carbon

2009 Brand Emissions Leader

Figure 5 M&S Awards (Grades and Spencer, 2010)

Conclusion

Most organisations including M&S make an effort to continue to gratify or meet their customer requirements. M&S over years have constantly developed and sell quality products with their consumers. That is reflected as they continue steadily to dominate their industry and the actual fact that consumers is convinced that whatever they obtain M&S, it is essentially an excellent item. Total Quality Management is a continuing process and must have the contribution of everybody in the organisation from the corporate leadership right down to the shop floor personnel for the organisation to keep to meet their responsibility in delivering quality. Organisations with quality expectations and awards must regularly review their processes and find ways to continue steadily to improve to be able to maintain their market show and most essentially their success and competitiveness.

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