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Quality Management System and Plan Miller Construction Ltd.

Executive Summary

Miller Construction (UK) Ltd., a subsidiary of the Miller Group Ltd., is a leading organization in the industry and pays utmost attention to provide un-matched services to its customers. One of the main goals of the organization is to increase efficiency by delivering quality through its construction business. Quality has many forms and an appropriate program in the field can yield the maximum benefits to the organization. The study in the field helped in analyzing the major stakeholders in the program and clear emphasis for training and co-ordination among all this is very essential for the business. Also, there are huge benefits recognized for implementing such a system along with specialized benefits for the construction industry.

There are a lot of tools and techniques in the industry to carry out the successful implementation to gain from the huge base of benefits for the construction business. Also, ISO standards are clearly defined and gauged for increase in quality services at all levels. Miller Construction Ltd. should pay close attention to follow the standards to get international recognition for its quality management program and assurance to the customers.

Table of Contents

1      Introduction. 4

2      Miller Construction Limited- Company Overview.. 4

3      Literature Review.. 4

3.1       Literature- Introduction. 4

3.2       Presentation of the Literature. 5

3.2.1        Quality Management- Definition and Concept 5

3.2.2        Benefits of Quality Management 5

3.2.3        Stakeholders in Quality Management 6

3.3       Literature – Conclusion. 7

4      Importance of Quality Management in the Construction Business. 8

4.1       Quality Management Plan for the Construction Business. 8

4.1.1        Standard Setting. 8

4.1.2        Devise the Actual Plan. 9

4.1.3        Doing it Right at First 9

4.1.4        Checking for Deficiencies. 9

4.1.5        Quality Culture. 9

4.2       Quality Costs Involved with the Construction Business. 9

4.3       Quality Management Techniques for the Construction Organization. 11

4.3.1        Quality Assurance (QA) 11

4.3.2        Continuous Improvement 12

4.4       Quality Control Tools. 13

5      Quality Standards. 13

5.1       ISO Standards for Quality Management 13

5.1.1        Requirements of the ISO.. 14

6      Conclusion. 15

7      References. 16

1           Introduction
Quality Management is an essential component for every organization, irrespective of the size, type and industry. It helps in attaining efficiency in terms of business goals and customer related activities. It is very important that the organization consider quality at every aspect of its business. This can be related to its Production, Supply Chain Management, Employee Management, Customer Services, etc. In the evolving era, various standards have been developed for check and balance of organizations to boost their procedures up to industry levels.

2           Miller Construction Limited- Company Overview
Miller Construction Limited has been operating in the industry providing leading services to its customers, and since 2000 operates under the Miller Group Ltd.’s corporate umbrella. It has a number of clients from different businesses to its portfolio which include industries, health, commercial, education, etc. (Bloomberg Business Week).

3           Literature Review
3.1         Literature- Introduction
Construction is a very huge business today and a lot of emphasis should be paid on quality management in this industry. Since there are a lot of complexities involved, all companies in this business should pay attention to the guidelines that are supposed to be practiced. In the evolving technology today, the customer demands have also increased at a fast pace, thus putting stress on the quality standards that are being followed. Total Quality Management is the tool introduced in the industry to cater to the quality management as well as profitability of the business.

3.2         Presentation of the Literature
The literature review helps in getting a thorough understanding of the following:

3.2.1        Quality Management- Definition and Concept
Quality management can be categorized according to two main perspectives one from the number of defects and other from the number of satisfied customers. There are different dimensions of quality that define its meaning and purpose (Franks 2009). These include product and services dimensions. The manufactured products dimensions comprise of performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability and aesthetics. The services dimensions are timeliness, accuracy, completeness, responsiveness, courtesy, accessibility and consistency.

3.2.2        Benefits of Quality Management
Considering cases of quality management implementation and quality plan at organizations there were huge benefits that were identified. These include:

Quality Cost Reduction -A well defined quality plan helps organizations in following a defined path for quality through predefined steps (Giles 1997). This enables to reduce costs attached to delivering quality products and services to customers along with retaining their satisfaction levels.

Employee Satisfaction- This is yet another tool to attain quality management in an organization and achieve its goals. Employee satisfaction can be obtained as the employees do not require re-visiting the dissatisfied customers and they have rules to follow and achieve the optimal results in their services (Pheng & Teo 2004).

Recognition – Recognition is also achieved through better performance by employees and highly satisfied clients. TQM helps in attaining and maintaining an organization’s reputation, through its quality plan and management (Serpell 1999).

Relationship with Sub-Contractors and Suppliers – Once the organizational goals of quality management are devised, these can help in attaining optimal levels at all stages of the supply chain management. The check and balance mechanism in this case also helps in closer relationships with the relevant parties involved, eliminating the need to worry later on. These can be well communicated once and that too in the beginning to enjoy the benefits throughout the life of the business.

3.2.3        Stakeholders in Quality Management
The following are the main stakeholders in the Quality Management Plan and implementation of Quality Management System:

Sponsors

For implementation of any such system, it is very important to conduct a feasibility study by the organization so that right investments can be put into place. The sponsor for such a system will always be any authority from the organization itself as the quality will benefit the organization at all levels. Sponsors need to be convinced that the kind of investment on their part will provide huge benefits which will overcome the costs involved.

Top Management

The Top Management has to provide the lead effort for conducting analysis in the field and identifying the benefits attached at all levels of the organization (Srdoc, Sluga & Bratko 2005). Complete co-ordination and support will also be required from these personnel in order to communicate the relevance of all such systems

Customers

The customers are the most important stakeholders in the Quality Management System. All the planning is done through customer preferences and requirements and the level of success is also determined by how the customer perceives quality. One of the measurement criteria would be the conformance to customer requirements; the higher the rate, the better the quality of service (Zu 2009).

Employees

All other company employees also play a major role as their consent and co-operation is desired from all aspects. They are the main implementers of quality through their working responses.

Members in the Supply Chain Management

All the members involved in the supply chain like the suppliers, sub-contractors, etc. also have to be taken into confidence for implementing a Quality Management Plan so that same standards are maintained at the organizational level and benefits can be realized.

3.3         Literature – Conclusion
The literatures in quality Management help us in gaining a thorough understanding of how quality can benefit an organization, what models and tools are available and who is responsible to achieve goals in the whole process. It is very important to consider all these factors at the time of taking into account the implementation of quality standards into the processes and business procedures.

4           Importance of Quality Management in the Construction Business
Quality Management is important in every organization regardless of its size, industry, type, etc. The construction business has evolved over a period and includes huge time and costs, therefore its very important to consider quality in terms of what is being delivered and what has been asked by the customer. With huge components and complex processes a lot of planning is required in the construction business’ quality management and maintenance plan (Goetsch & Davis 2009).

4.1         Quality Management Plan for the Construction Business
The quality control and management in the construction business should look into the following three important aspects:

Building development according to the clients’ requirements
Quality should conform to the price
Time for the plan and management of quality in the complex industry
Thus, quality planning should involve the following steps to carry on quality management:

4.1.1        Standard Setting
The quality standards should be defined in accordance with the customer requirements and expectations for the construction design. This standard will help in benchmarking of the services to be provided.

4.1.2        Devise the Actual Plan
This is the plan of how the desired quality will be achieved. In the construction organization this is done through identifying the construction methods, planning on the equipment and materials to be used and planning on the formation of the teams to perform the task.

4.1.3        Doing it Right at First
Construction requires that accuracy should be given top priority as the business is huge and complexities are involved. Therefore, focus should be made on building right the first time, allowing no margin for errors.

4.1.4        Checking for Deficiencies
If after the design and development, any deficiencies are identified, these must be corrected and thoroughly attended.

4.1.5        Quality Culture
For long term quality goals, the organization should plan and implement proper quality control mechanisms for further references. This can be done through proper quality culture at all levels of services.

4.2         Quality Costs Involved with the Construction Business
In order to implement a Quality Management System, it is important to analyze all the costs associated with it so that management can pay proper consideration to all such costs during the planning phase. These include:

Cost Category
Costs
Description
Prevention Costs
Planning Costs
This involves the quality Management Plan costs associated with the business.
Designing Costs
This involves implementing quality characteristics in the product design.
Process Costs
These are the costs associated with the processes involved in implementing the quality standards.
Training Costs
This involves costs of providing training to all the Personnel involved in the quality management implementation.
Information Costs
These are costs associated with gathering all the necessary data on quality provision.
Appraisal Costs
Testing Costs
These are the testing costs of materials and equipments used in construction.
Equipment Costs
These are all the cost for the equipment that is used for testing.
Internal Failure costs
Scrap Costs
These include costs related to any discards of materials or parts due to the failure.
Rework Costs
These are the costs that are incurred due to any reworking required after the failure
Process Costs
These involve process failure costs and any time involved in closing down processes to fix the problems of failure.
Price Reduction Costs
These are all the costs of downgrading prices due to poor quality.
External Failure Costs
Customer Complaints Costs
These involve costs that are required to process customer complaints due to poor quality.
Product Return/Warranty Costs
These are costs that are a result of failure, and customers return or claim warranty against the product or services.
Liability Costs
These are costs associated with the customer injury.
Lost Sales Costs
These are costs incurred due to losing further business from the customer for the poor quality.

4.3         Quality Management Techniques for the Construction Organization
The models and techniques that can be used by Miller Construction Ltd are:

4.3.1        Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality Assurance is the process of maintaining quality at all levels through defined standards. This is done through defining the structure of quality management along with the tasks and duties of the responsible personnel. There are two type of faults that can take place in the Construction Business.These are design faults and construction faults and QA should be done appropriately at both the levels for provision of best services to customers.

4.3.2        Continuous Improvement
In the construction business like that of Miller construction, the process of continuous improvement should be used. This represents an ongoing theory of improving the quality at all levels.

PDCA Quality Cycle

For the Miller Construction, the Deming’s Cycle (also the shewhart Cycle) can be used which has four steps to continuous improvement. These are:

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management is another tool for establishing quality through customer satisfaction. It is based on a new Management Model of quality, recognizing the role of everyone in the organization. TQM focuses on relationships with key stakeholders along with the Information technology trends which include software and infrastructure necessary to support a quality program.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is another technique that can be used for quality management, which intends to deliver almost perfect (having a very slight deviation) products and services (Benbow & Kubiak 2005). The six sigma focuses on team management, training of statistical procedures, analysis on monitoring and control of problem solving, and quality management culture and environment within the organization.

4.4         Quality Control Tools
These are the tools that can be used by the organization for quality control. These include:

Pareto Analysis -This gives the identification of the causes that lead to major problems in quality. This is depicted in the form of histograms to rank the problem areas.

Flow Charts -These depict the flow of processes to help identify the problem area and redesign where necessary.

Check Sheets -These provide a basis for understanding the defects and their frequency of occurrences which can be used for further analysis.

Control Charts – These give a diagrammatic view of processes that take place over a period of time.

Fishbone Diagrams- These are also diagrammatic representations that help teams to focus on causes of the problems.

5           Quality Standards
It is very important that quality standards should be followed to benchmark the whole process of Quality management at all levels. The best standard of international certification is provided by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

5.1         ISO Standards for Quality Management
Miller Construction Limited should focus on enhancing its quality Management Procedure through the ISO standards which will help in higher customer satisfaction and profit margins. Irrespective of the industry, type and size of the organization, ISO standards’ main aim is to enhance quality measures within an organization (Cook 2003). According to these standards the quality management program should cater to the following:

Risk Reduction

The implementation of quality standards should help in identifying all risks areas to control them. Once these risks are identified through the standards, back-up plans can be devised to eliminate or reduce these risks.

Quality Improvement

These standards help in quality improvement within the organization. Since there are a lot of benefits attached to quality management in the construction organizations, this will boast the performance to the maximum.

Effectiveness Measurement

This is yet another important benefit that is achieved through the ISO standards. An appropriate measurement of effectiveness will help further increase the business and its profit margins.

Increase in Productivity and Profit

All the above benefits help an organization to achieve its long term goals. The overall impact will be a better reputation in the market (Jim Trade).

5.1.1        Requirements of the ISO
ISO has the following requirements:

The standards require the Quality Management System to be well documented, well tested, checked and measured.
The key to quality Management is commitment from the Management
Company objectives should drive the Quality Management System.
Appropriate Resource allocation for the management of such a system should be done.
System should be updated as and when necessary
Accessibility of the system should be provided to all the employees within the organization.
6           Conclusion
Quality Management has gained much recognition nowadays and has to be taken into consideration for all types of organizations. The construction is a huge and complex business and quality at all levels is very important. Any slight deviation could lead to major problems. Therefore, Miller Construction limited can carry out a thorough analysis of its quality Management program through the techniques available. Also the control tools identified can be of much value to the company’s progress.

Furthermore, by fulfilling the requirements of the ISO standards for quality management, the company can get the certification for acceptance through international standards, where the creditability and the overall reputation of the organization can be increased. The company can pay close focus to its customer, which is its prime concern in the business. To put into a nutshell, Miller construction Ltd. has a very good opportunity to further enhance its operations and excel in its performance of providing leading services to its customer.

7           References
Benbow, Donald W. & Kubiak, T.M. 2005, The certified Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook, ASQ Quality Press

Bloomberg Business Week 2010, Miller Construction, (UK) Ltd., investing.businessweek.com

Cook, Christopher D. 2003, What is ISO 9001:00 and why is it important to my organization, http://www.entrepreneur.com

Franks, Oswald 2009, ‘A theoretical model for implementing quality management in an automated environment’ International Journal of Control and Automation, vol. 2, no.2

Giles, R. 1997, ‘ISO 9000 perspective for construction industry in the UK’ Training for Quality, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 178-181

Goetsch, David L. & Davis Stanley 2009, Quality Management for Organizational Excellence: Introduction to Total Quality, 6th edn., Prentice Hall

Jim Trade 2006, ISO 9001 for Construction Industry, Jimtrade.com

Pheng, Low Sui & Teo, Jasmine Ann 2004, ‘Implementing total quality management in construction firms’, Journal of Management in Engineering, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 8-15

Serpell, A. 1999, ‘Integrating quality systems in construction projects’ International Journal of Project Management, vol.17, no. 5, pp. 317-322

Srdoc, Alira, Sluga, Alojzij & Bratko, Ivan 2005, ‘A quality management model based on the deep quality concept’ International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol.22, no.3, pp.278-302

Zu, Xingxing 2009, ‘Infrastructure and core quality management practices: how do they affect quality?’ International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol.26, no.2, pp.129-149

 

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