Describe how the introduction and implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) and ISO9000 may impact on the performance of Pars Food Ltd
One of the long-term objectives of Pars Food is to reduce operation costs through minimization of waste and the cost of poor quality. To work towards achieving this objective, it is important that the company implement Total Quality Management (TQM) and ISO in service delivery and production. These two are quality control processes, whose introduction and implementation can have a huge impact on Pars Food Ltd., given that ISO9000 accreditation brings with it different elements of quality required as standards to the company’s products, while TQM dictates some elements required in the company’s management (Oliver, 2012)
Introduction of the concept of quality, TQM included, in a major way, has helped in business management, as opposed to the initial implementation of quality as a control tool (Belay et al., 2011). At its core, TQM has seven components, which when followed have a great impact on a company (Almansour, 2012). Ranging from commitment to quality, as well as the seventh component on continuous improvement, these components act as guides to companies in their quest for improvement of quality, and therefore improvement in performance.
One of Pars Food Ltd long-term objective is the improvement of “quality of both products and services” as a means of achieving customer satisfaction, while alleviating customer complaint. The third element of TQM has a focus on customers, with the eventual objective of customer delight and satisfaction (Almansour, 2012). Pars long-term objectives therefore perfectly align with TQM’s elements, an indication that by implementing TQM, the company will be indeed working towards achievement of its own objectives. According to Lakhal (2009), improving quality and customer satisfaction affects organizational performance and improves competitive advantage. Specifically, quality and customer satisfaction improves an organization’s competitive advantage via price, dependability on delivery, shorter product to market times and in product innovation (Lakhal, 2009).
Within Pars strategy, employees form an integral part of the organization; in fact, the employees are mentioned as the “heart and soul” of the company’s strategy. TQM’s second component is on employee involvement, while the sixth and seventh elements make reference to incentive and recognition system and continuous improvement (Almansour, 2012). As an integrative philosophy spanning across different elements and departments of an organization, TQM aims at quality improvement, employee involvement, and customer satisfaction, all these attained through the development of a culture of quality production and teamwork (Baird, Kristal & Reeve, 2011). Implementing TQM therefore not only improves organizational culture, but by involving employees, also goes a long way in the improvement of organizational performance in quality production (Lakhal, 2009).
Similar to TQM, ISO9000 certification focuses on the production of quality products. Pars, in its strategy, hopes to bring more value-added products, and in so doing, attract customers from Europe and across the globe. Implementing ISO9000 therefore is bound to have good performance impact on the company. Belay et al. (2011) opine that by implementing quality standards, companies not only improve their performance in the current dynamic market, but also reduce the rates of defects in product lines. Implementing ISO9000 standardization therefore may be the answer to the current concern by Pars’ board of directors over the level of rejection for frozen chips at the quality inspection and check process of the products.
Getting ISO9000 accreditation and implementing the certification elements additionally help in boosting customer confidence on the products and services offered by the company (Baird, Kristal & Reeve, 2011). Part of Pars’ strategy is gaining competitive advantage and differentiation, all of which the company aims at achieving through quality and safety in production. ISO9000 accreditation in its own way can give the company this competitive advantage, as through it, customers have confidence that the quality of goods supplied by the company have passed the accreditation test. This way more customers will look at buying the company’s products, which go a long way in improving the financial performance.Moreover, that can boost investor confidence, who may be willing to invest even more in the company, as it looks at becoming incorporated. The advantage can however, only be realizedvia the correct implementation of the standard. “In fact, competitive advantage in the operations area can be achieved if thestandard is installed externally coordinated with suppliersand customers and integrated with practices the companyalready has in place—and used—both in daily practice andas a catalyst for change” (Lakhal, 2009, p. 640)
Apart from checks on quality of products produced by the company, ISO 9000 accreditation requires evidence of process flow management; this element details implementation of a controlled process in production of goods (Lakhal, 2009). Implementing the controlled processes according to ISO 9000 accreditation criteria could help Pars in its quality, cost and reliability concerns in its current supply chain network. Not only does accreditation bring process control through statistical process controls but also information and data gathering, all of which can effectively be used in solving the issues within the company’s supply chain network, as well as in bringing new perspective, methods and approaches in the formulation and establishment of an effect supply chain network.
Research has however shown the counterproductive nature of implementing both ISO9000 and TQM at the same time. This is as a result of contradicting nature of some elements of ISO9000 and TQM, which in essence, create friction between the two. From the research, it is advisable to implement the two quality processes in isolation, even as ISO9000 acts a standards certification and the foundation for implementation of TQM (Baird, Kristal & Reeve, 2011). The isolated implementation of the two follows the fact that even with its good recommendations; ISO 9000 still lacks some elements present in TQM requirements. These include the need for continuous improvement, a focus on customers and development and participation of the workforce.
Describe how the Human Resource function could help Pars Food Ltd. to improve their competitiveness?
Pars’ strategy relies on its employees as evidenced by their mention as the heart and soul of the organization, and by extension the company’s strategy. With this in mind therefore, human resource management plays an important role in achieving the company’s competitive advantage, and as a means of improving the company’s overall competiveness. According to Terpstra and Limpaphayom (2012), human resource management is essential in gaining competitive advantage. In fact, with a shift to a service and information economy, human resource is essential to organizational success (Terpstra&Limpaphayom, 2012).
One of the functions performed by the HR department is the enlistment process, which involves interviewing, assessing and finally hiring of the successful candidate. Pars’ HR department consists of five individuals charged with the responsibility of recruiting, management of performance, personal development and training, staff payroll and employees’ health and safety. Among the organization’s short-term objectives is to increase the number of both permanent and temporary staff, as well as operational consultants to oversee the implementation of TQM and ISO 9001 for the company’s production lines. The recruitment process is particularly important for competiveness; thus, the HR department should ensure that it attracts and develops superior employees as a means of achieving efficiency and differentiation (Wright et al., 1995). By attracting such superior employees, organizations (Pars Food included) can have higher productivity given that the enabled employees can contribute cost-cutting measures; have low absenteeism and turnover rates, as well as implement differentiation efforts through creative ideas and better job performance (Wright et al., 1995).
Human resource function does not stop at recruitment, it transcends to training and development of the employees, orientating them to organizational objectives, performance measures, aims, goals as well as initiating them into the organizational culture. By developing the human resource, organizations make the resource rare, valuable, exceptional and inimitable (Barning&Rothweiler, 2010). To achieve competiveness through their human resource therefore, Pars Food must be able to attract and retain such unique employees by offering vacancies and carrier opportunities, benefits and experience, which make a difference to the employees. This the company can achieve through a refocus of it marketing objectives, to not only focus on the products and services offered by the company, but also on the benefits and opportunities available for talented employees in the organization. Moreover, such a refocus also affects the financial objectives, which must take into consideration advertising and hiring of such talented employees (Izvercianu et al., 2012).
Hiring the best employees marks one of the first steps towards achieving competitive advantage. Developing and maintaining these employees is a task unto itself, which the HR department has to perform. The current trend among HR departments globally is offering flexibility to employees, who can then easily balance work and life (Vokic &Vidovic, 2007). Such flexibility in working hours, telecommuting options and time offs allow for better employee positioning according to the employee ability. This improved balance of work and life gives more job satisfaction, ensuring that organizations can not only retains its competitive workforce, but also benefit from the expertise, innovation and dedication of the staff through improved service and production quality. Adopting such practices can therefore enable Pars Foods to maintain its top talent, and consequently its competitiveness, in addition to an improvement of the quality of products and services.
Organizational culture influences employees’ attitude towards the workplace and how hard the employees work. The HR department bears the responsibility of establishing an organizational culture that encourages hard work and innovation among employees (Vokic &Vidovic, 2007). By cultivating a competitive and innovative culture among employees, the HR department encourages employees to bring forth their ideas for the improvement of products and services. Ideas supplied by employees go a long way in augmenting organizational competitiveness, in comparison to strict organizations. It is noteworthy to mention that HR plays an important role in creating organizational culture through its policies and relationship with employees. Thus, a HR department that is consistent in the implementation of sound procedures, while at the same time encouraging risk taking among employees has a better chance of creating loyal employees, who work to improve the company’s performance.
Pars’ HR department is currently considering staff training and development for its staff. The training focuses on senior managers and line managers on ISO 9001, food hygiene for employees in production and customer service training for the administration, sales and marketing teams. Employee training and development are among the core functions of the HR department (Terpstra & Limpaphayom, 2012). The training programs are instrumental in equipping employees with knowledge on the operations, practices and projects undertaken by the company, and in so doing enabling employees to work more effectively and efficiently, pushing the company to the helm of the market. Additionally, refresher courses help in updating employees on new industry standards, consequently enabling organizational competitiveness.
While an organization works to establish its brand through quality products and services, it is also important that the organization work towards establishing a powerful employer brand. An organization must strive to meet its objectives in quality goods and service provision by attracting capable human resource and maintaining the human resource by delivering on its promise to the human resource (Izvercianu et al., 2012). To achieve this, the organization must consider some marketing activities includingsegmentation, targeting, positioning and brand values, and therefore change financial and marketing objective to align to the employer brand it seeks to create (Izvercianu et al., 2012). Through such radical reinvention of itself, it is possible then to attract quality in employees, whose objectives also align with the company’s ultimately creating a competitive company.
Given Pars Food’s marketing objective with the launch of products to both the basic and luxury markets, as well as their financial objective of eliminating redundancies, while avoiding any downsizing; investing in human resource for marketing and finances is important. This will enable the company to not only get the best individuals for the job, but also ensure the achievement of their objectives.
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