Pro-quality strategy - How to improve the company's operations?
Pro-quality strategy - basic assumptions
In a pro-quality strategy, the key factor that links the various aspects of a company's operations is quality. On the one hand, it may seem to be a fairly obvious concept, but in reality, through its multidimensionality, there may be problems with correct interpretation. In the strategic (market) dimension, quality means a set of characteristics that distinguish a product/service from its competitors (e.g., a good that has a higher quality than its counterpart is often better perceived by a potential customer, and thus has a better chance of increasing its market share). From the customer's point of view, quality is the fulfillment of the customer's requirements and the suitability for use of a given product. In a broader context, it is also important to maintain quality in relations with shareholders, employees and the community. This fits into the vision of corporate social responsibility.
The pro-quality strategy is comprehensive in nature. This means that many factors must be considered during its development, which are divided into internal and external factors. Internal factors include research, production, marketing and management capabilities. External- contacts with the previously mentioned interest groups and the company's environment (e.g., globalization, technical progress, trends, ecology). In addition, quality must be visible at every level of the company's operations.
Since the implementation of the new strategy takes place on many levels and it is assumed that the company's organizational culture is being transformed, there is a need to involve employees at all levels. It is therefore important to motivate and make the team aware so that they improve their skills and take an active part in implementing the transformations set forth in the plan undertaken. To this end, mass employee training can be a useful tool.
The company's activities should boil down to maximizing customer satisfaction. The final customer satisfaction consists of satisfaction of the customer's needs and expectations (if possible, the company should make efforts to go above and beyond), the quality of the products and services offered, their price and availability. If the consumer perceives that the goods offered by the brand bring him the assumed benefits, he thus builds loyalty and trust towards the enterprise. This is important because regular customers generate the highest profit. In order to understand the current and future needs of potential customers, it is worthwhile to take care of a comprehensive analysis of the market and the competition, and solicit feedback from your customers. Increasing quality, contrary to appearances, can sometimes be less costly than increasing sales in terms of expanding profits. Operating costs generated by promotion and advertising turn out to be higher in the long run than costs incurred by improving the quality of the good offered.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management strategy that emphasizes continuous efforts in an organization made to maintain high quality customer service and satisfaction. One of the basic tenets of the aforementioned strategy is the idea of "continuous improvement." Quality improvement is about improving and finding new efficient ways to deliver the required value to stakeholders. It is a process that, as in the "Kaizen" method, makes changes through a series of small steps toward improvement. An entrepreneur should never think that work on various aspects of doing business is finished, as new problems and business and technological challenges arise. Pro-quality activities enable approaching perfection (understood as an absolute and ideal image of the enterprise), achieving the set development goals, but it is recognized that it is impossible to catch up.
Business areas of the company (EFQM model)
When designing a new pro-quality strategy, it is worth looking at all areas of the company's business separately. It is necessary to carefully analyze strengths and weaknesses, as well as realistic prospects and directions for improvement. Proper identification of the current state of each area of the company's operations will allow the selection of the optimal strategic plan. The EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) excellence model divides the areas of activity into two basic groups-enterprise potential and effects. Their elements are:
- Leadership (how leaders develop and enable the vision and mission of pro-quality development)
- Policy and strategy (how the company achieves its goals through established policies stakeholder-oriented strategies)
- Personnel management (how managers develop and unleash the potential of employees)
- Resources (how effectively the company's available resources are used)
- Processes (whether the implementation of processes supports the established strategy and is moving towards continuous improvement)
- Customer satisfaction (how the company meets expectations quality of products/services offered)
- Impact on the environment (what has been achieved in relations with the local community and how the company's presence affects the environment)
- Performance results (whether the results achieved are in line with previously adopted goals)
Pro-quality strategy - implementation
The process of implementing a strategy seeking to improve quality in order to streamline the company's operations is time-consuming and requires a great deal of effort and motivation. Executives must therefore prepare properly before they make long-term decisions and begin to implement the process. It is worth emphasizing that each step should be accompanied by appropriate control measures, so that inadequate decisions do not turn out to be detrimental to the company in the course. Here are five steps to follow when putting the strategy into action:
- Identify the company's processes (essence of operation, company policies and goals, define strategy)
- Strategy planning (defining the activities to be implemented in the various stages and processes, determining the measurement and control of the changes taking place, determining the resources needed to implement the strategy)
- Implementation and measurement of established strategic actions (involvement of the entire team in the company's transformation, ensuring that the plan is properly implemented)
- Process analysis (interpretation of the results of quantitative and qualitative data on the operation of the company after the introduction of the strategy)
- Improving the company's strategy (adapting to the current market situation)
A pro-quality operating strategy is a common practice in companies. Many companies use it to improve their operations in a market that is placing increasing demands on the quality of products and services offered. The purpose of the described strategy is to maximize the use of one's strengths and reduce the impact of threats and weaknesses, thus developing a stable position in the market. Implementing a pro-quality strategy is a major undertaking. A comprehensive and all-encompassing view of the business opens up to completely new opportunities for development, such as introducing new products and services, upgrading technical facilities, supporting employees, reaching new customers. All this contributes to increased profits. However, it is important to remember that the success of the discussed strategy is the result of hard work, discipline and risk-taking.