Russel and Bromley holiday apartments FREE ESSAY

In: English essay

Russel and Bromley holiday apartments

The case that I will study in this work is devoted to the problems of quality and methods of its improvement through the implementation of a number of techniques in the situation with Russel and Bromley holiday apartments. According to the report given by Rubina, apartments and their residents in particularly have been experiencing a lot of problems with the organization of their lodging and the service provided for quite a long time. So it becomes quite clear that the managerial staff of Russel and Bromley holiday apartments has a poor perception of good quality.

 In the beginning before revising the solutions of this problem it would be useful to remember what “quality” means. Though there a lot of the meanings according to the targets, to my opinion, the best for service will be one given by C.D. Edwards stating that "Quality consists of the capacity to satisfy wants." (1968). Thus, applying this phrase directly to Russel and Bromley holiday apartments, we can say that the managers completely forgot the importance of giving what they promised. Any holiday apartment management should understand that it is very frustrating for a resident to enter an apartment or house and see that basic things that were promised are missing. Therefore, by their day-to-day operation they should guarantee that they satisfy the wants of the residents. Property management should be at the disposal residents if any problems or any unforeseen events come up. Their aim should be to make the living in holiday apartments as smooth and enjoyable as possible by giving a personalized an affordable service of high level.

In order to understand if provided service corresponds to the quality requirements, the seven basic tools of quality, first emphasized by Kaoru Ishikawa, a professor of engineering at Tokyo University and the father of “quality circles” can be implemented (Nancy R. 2004). According to Ishikawa, 95% of quality-related problems can be resolved with these basic tools. The key to successful problem resolution is the ability to identify the problem, use the appropriate tools based on the nature of the problem, and communicate the solution quickly to others. These tools are as follows:

  1. Cause-and-effect diagram (also called Ishikawa or fishbone chart). It helps to identify many possible causes for an effect or problem and sort ideas into useful categories. The cause and effect diagram is sometimes called an Ishikawa diagram after its inventor. It is also known as a fish bone diagram because of its shape. A cause and effect diagram describes a relationship between variables. The undesirable outcome is shown as effect, and related causes are shown as leading to, or potentially leading to, the said effect. This popular tool has one severe limitation, however, in that users can overlook important, complex interactions between causes. Thus, if a problem is caused by a combination of factors, it is difficult to use this tool to depict and solve it.
  2. Check sheet: a structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data; a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes. Check sheets help organize data by category. They show how many times each particular value occurs, and their information is increasingly helpful as more data are collected. By showing the frequency of a particular defect and how often it occurs in a specific area, check sheets help spot problems. One can easily see where to set priorities based on results shown on the check sheet.
  3. Control charts: graphs used to study how a process changes over time. A control chart displays statistically determined upper and lower limits drawn on either side of a process average. This chart shows if the collected data are within upper and lower limits previously determined through statistical calculations of raw data from earlier trials.
  4. The construction of a control chart is based on statistical principles and statistical distributions, particularly the normal distribution.
  5. Histogram: the most commonly used graph for showing frequency distributions, or how often each different value in a set of data occurs. The histogram plots data in a frequency distribution table. What distinguishes the histogram from a check sheet is that its data are grouped into rows so that the identity of individual values is lost. Commonly used to present quality improvement data, histograms work best with small amounts of data that vary considerably. When used in process capability studies, histograms can display specification limits to show what portion of the data does not meet the specifications.
  6. Pareto chart: it shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant. The Pareto diagram is named after Vilfredo Pareto, a 19th-century Italian economist who postulated that a large share of wealth is owned by a small percentage of the population. This basic principle translates well into quality problems—most quality problems result from a small number of causes. Quality experts often refer to the principle as the 80-20 rule; that is, 80% of problems are caused by 20% of the potential sources. A Pareto diagram puts data in a hierarchical order, which allows the most significant problems to be corrected first. The Pareto analysis technique is used primarily to identify and evaluate nonconformities, although it can summarize all types of data. It is perhaps the diagram most often used in management presentations.
  7. Scatter diagram: graphs pairs of numerical data, one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship. A scatter diagram shows how two variables are related and is thus used to test for cause and effect relationships. It cannot prove that one variable causes the change in the other, only that a relationship exists and how strong it is. In a scatter diagram, the horizontal (x) axis represents the measurement values of one variable, and the vertical (y) axis represents the measurements of the second variable.
  8. Stratification: a technique that separates data gathered from a variety of sources so that patterns can be seen (some lists replace "stratification" with "flowchart" or "run chart").

To analyze the situation in Russel and Bromley holiday apartments Rubina have chosen a check sheet. The reason of such choice is that this tool can clearly structure the data collected, as mentioned above check sheet shows how many times each particular value occurs. By seeing the frequency of a particular problem and how often it occurs in a specific area, Rubina can spot problems and set priorities for improvements. Rubina’s check sheet looks as follows:

Week

Grounds

Parking

Tenant issues

Electrical/ plumbing

Dining hall

1

***

*

***

**

2

*

***

**

*

***

3

**

****

**

*

4

**

**

***

**

****

5

*

****

****

6

*****

**

*

*

7

*

**

*

***

Thus, from this check sheet it is clearly seen that there was a rising problems with parking and dining hall. Also some problems with tenant were arising from time to time.

Having analyzed all this data Rubina’s next step should be the selection of best suitable quality improvement techniques that can help improving service quality. There are many methods for quality improvement.  The most common ones are:

  1. Kaizen —from Japanese - means for change for the better; the common English term is continuous improvement.
  2. Zero Defect Program — created by NEC Corporation of Japan, based upon statistical process control and one of the inputs for the inventors of Six Sigma.
  3. PDCA — plan, do, check, act cycle for quality control purposes.
  4. Quality circle — a group (people oriented) approach to improvement.
  5. Taguchi methods — statistical oriented methods including quality robustness, quality loss function, and target specifications.
  6. TQM — total quality management is a management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. First promoted in Japan with the Deming prize which was adopted and adapted in USA as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and in Europe as the European Foundation for Quality Management award (each with their own variations).
  7. TRIZ — meaning "theory of inventive problem solving"

These cover product improvement, process improvement and people based improvement. It is important not to underestimate the people factors, such as culture, in selecting a quality improvement approach. Any improvement (change) takes time to implement, gain acceptance and stabilize as accepted practice. Improvement must allow pauses between implementing new changes so that the change is stabilized and assessed as a real improvement, before the next improvement is made (hence continual improvement, not continuous improvement). Also improvements that change the culture take longer as they have to overcome greater resistance to change. It is easier and often more effective to work within the existing cultural boundaries and make small improvements than to make major transformational changes.

So, having elder people in majority as service recipients Rubina has to e very careful in selection of this or that improvement method. To my opinion the most successful technique in the case with  Russel and Bromley holiday apartments would be TQM (total quality management). TQM is a management philosophy that seeks to integrate all organizational functions (marketing, finance, design and production, customer service, etc.) to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives. By using this technique Rubina may create awareness of quality in all organizational processes, such as tenant service, dining hall service etc.  For example, Rubina needs to revise how the budget and finances are distributed to see if there is no robbery or inappropriate use of assets. At the same time she should not forget which areas need to be strengthened by the larger financing (food, kitchen staff). Also improvements should touch such area as customer service, because the check sheet clearly shows that there a lot of problems in this sphere. Complaints about cleanness of toilets, food temperature, organization of activities, constant heating issues mean that the housekeeper doesn’t care to bring good service to the people and doesn’t satisfy the requirements that should be fulfilled by her position. In this Rubina may standardize all the operations of the housekeeper brining them to the required level and fulfill constant control of the work done.

            Other major problem that caused a lot of smaller ones in the dining hall was the change from the local supplier to the multiple ones. It naturally affected the quality of the food served and the variety of dishes in the menu. For Rubina it should be the next step, either to continue the supply policy of the housekeeper or to listen an advice of the experienced cook. In this case she should consider advantages and disadvantages both a single supplier and different suppliers.

First of all, having a single supplier will certainly reduce the amount of logistic and organization involved the receipt of the merchandise. Also some of the greatest advantages of having a single supplier is that you can be assured that the quality of the merchandise you bought are consistent with the previous one. This makes the quality assurance of your service easier to conduct and you can expect to have lesser difficulties and even lesser resident complaints. Having a single supplier will also enable you to establish an intimate relationship with your supplier because they will be able to understand your specific requirements and needs. In addition, the said supplier will also aim to please you because you are ordering products from him in good quantities. Your relationship with the supplier will certainly be better if they are your sole provider because this will establish a cooperative relationship between you two rather than knowing that there is another suppliers.

Along with these advantages though, come several disadvantages. One of the most obvious disadvantages is that you will become highly dependent on a single supplier to give you all the merchandise you need. So in case an unforeseen event happens and affect your supplier adversely, your service will likewise suffer. You will also have lesser negotiating leverage if you become dependent on a single supplier who supplies your needs. And then there is the issue of complacency, the supplier may become complacent because they know that you cannot find a better supplier than them. Thus they may not provide you with the necessary service you deserve.

There are some businesses that do decide to stick with one supplier though because of the above mentioned advantages. However, there are also companies that decide to take advantage of having several suppliers to lessen their exposure to risks. Actually though, you can take advantage of both. You can do this by having a single supplier but at the same time you also know of a back up supplier who can satisfy your requirements when the first supplier fails to deliver.

As to me the latter mentioned way is the best one for Rubina. She can continue with the existing and already proved supplier, but also can make a search for new supplier in case the serving one fails. This allows her to negotiate with this single supplier and also guarantee the quality of the products and the service provided.

In trying to improve the quality of the service, Rubina will face the many internal challenges. The starting point to improve service quality is for apartment management to provide both experienced and loyal employees. She should bring the idea of high quality service to them and achieve the fulfillment of all requirements.

Then her next step will touch financial side of the business. Perhaps, it will cost some money to the apartment management, but there are some implications needed to be done. It concerns the solution of the problem with parking lot. She should restructure the parking lot and guarantee the fulfillment of the set procedure for the parking.

Next financial involvement will be connected with the renovation of the apartment facilities. Thus it mainly concerns the heating system, the electricity problems, the grounds around apartments and landscaping. Even if it seems to be quite expensive to organize all this work done, the result will be obvious, firstly in satisfaction of the living residents and, secondly, in attracting new ones.

Also Rubina should pay a lot of attention to the kitchen organization, as the complaints about it seemed to be one of the most prevailing. Her close work with the cook as to the elaboration of the new menu, products order and purchase and eating time-table will help to solve many problems with the existing disorganization and dissatisfaction.

In conclusion I would say that the maximum customer satisfaction through providing quality products and services should be the major concern in Russel and Bromley holiday apartment operation process. There is a clear need for more precise measures of quality. Because now the concept of quality is only dimly understood by the managers.


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