Total Quality Management - Part 4
Total Quality Management 1 - Total Quality Management introduction. Concepts and Applications of TQM at Ritz Carlton Hotel Total quality management is a criterion for managing people, tasks and processes to ensure the best quality service/product which guarantees complete customer satisfaction. It is an aspect of management which solely focuses on quality as its prime success factor. Total Quality Management (TQM) is the set of management processes and systems that create delighted customers through empowered employees, leading to higher revenue and lower cost.
The focus of a company on accuracy closer to Six Sigma is essential for the application of TQM. * Prevention is better than cure: Avoiding mistakes from happening in the first place is essential for TQM application. * Quality is product meeting the description: Since the customer is the king, the product description should match the requirements completely. * Standards should be maintained: The product should be benchmarked and standards should be maintained throughout. Zero Defects: Crucially important and correlates with the fact that if standards are maintained, there will not be any defects in the product. * Continuous Improvement: There cannot be TQM achieved unless there is a constant improvement in the quality of the product or service. * Employee Involvement: It would be unwise for any organization to expect TQM without the important input of its employees. A combination of all the six steps above result in the implementation of true total quality management practices.
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Without a balance in the above elements, it is not possible for there to be true TQM in any organization, be it a product manufacturing company or a service firm. Ritz Carlton hotel has devised programs for each of these elements in order to ensure that the customer gets the right service the first time, the service quality does not go down the next time and that the employees contribute towards greater development in order to improve the overall quality of the service 2. TQM and Ritz Carlton
Ritz Carlton has an especially trained team of quality management executives who spend about one fourth of their time on discussing and resolving quality related matters. Weekly meetings are held to discuss product and service quality, guest satisfaction, profits and competitive status in the industry, competition and market growth and development. Ritz Carlton believes that the secret to effective quality management is to hire efficient staff that understands the guests’ needs and caters to them immediately Quality Planning
In the hospitality industry, quality is of extreme importance but unfortunately so far the focus has only been on training front line staff to ensure guest satisfaction. When a customer stays at a hotel, his perception of quality is defined by reliability, assurance and empathy. Ritz Carlton has set this perceived quality as its target and to achieve it emphasizes on predictability, integrity and timeliness. All three factors combined lead to customer’s satisfaction. Quality Control Some measurement techniques have already been adopted by hotels including Ritz Carlton.
Advance technology is being utilized to the maximum benefits by employing automated building and safety systems to computerized reservation system; Ritz Carlton is coming up with more user friendly mechanisms to enhance customer satisfaction. The employees are trained to note down the likes, dislikes and preferences of guests and this data is entered in a database which ensures a quality service to repeated guests as per their preference Quality Improvement The hotel industry can achieve quality improvement without the using the sophisticated statistical techniques normally used by the manufacturing industry.
The company collect and analyze information regarding customer satisfaction, product and service quality, cycle time (time take to recognize and satisfy a customer need), financial data and employee records and compare this information with industry benchmarks and corresponding data of competitors. Ritz Carlton compares their quality standards to competitors and other hotels in the industry is a major obstacle since it is hard to find quality related information on the industry.
Other than the financial data neither the individual competitors nor the industry as a whole has any recorded or documented quality standards and other relevant information. The company decided to reduce the cycle time (the time delay between recognizing a customer need and satisfying it) and set a target of 100% customer retention. 3. Benefits of TQM at Ritz Carlton The Ritz Carlton Baldridge quality standards set the foundation stone for the hotel industry and demonstrate how the entire industry can set the quality criteria to develop a successful and effective quality assurance plan.
But for that a quality culture needs to be developed and the top leaders can take the initiative to build that Working to improve the quality of service in the hospitality industry not only has a positive impact on the hotel sector and the customers but the employees as well. Their working value increases leading to job commitment and satisfaction, employee empowerment and involvement improves communication and encourages teamwork . Management leadership, reduced costs and customer loyalty add to the competitive advantage of an organization which is working to continuously improve its service and products to better serve its customers.
The aim of the entire quality management program at Ritz Carlton is not only to attain customer satisfaction and to meet their expectations but also to provide them with a memorable stay that goes far beyond their expectations. Carlton does operate Total Quality Management and it is only because of this consistent TQM that the company has retained its customers over the years and continues to satisfy them and provide them with a luxurious stay. Assessing the organizational culture and adapting it to suit the diversified cultures of the guests staying in is another important factor that needs to be worked on.
A group of top managers and executive staff from different areas and departments of the company need to sit together and critically analyze and examine the organization to assess the fit between the TQM principles, organizational culture and customer requirements 4. Five Areas for development Strategies and policies implemented and information communicated is one aspect of TQM which Ritz Carlton needs to work on specifically regarding issues of how quality control policies are established and how are they linked to the long and short term plans of the organization.
The authenticity of external and internal information collected and the effectiveness of its communication to concerned parties is one factor which has been totally neglected by Ritz Carlton and needs to be considered in order to successfully achieve TQM in its products and services offering. The five areas for development at Ritz Carlton are as follows: a. Benchmarking: Ritz Carlton operates in an industry where benchmarking is a subjective exercise. Being a luxury hotel, it cannot actually select any other hotel for its benchmark.
However, it should define one and strive hard to meet its standards. Plan for Benchmarking: * Asking the customers for their desired service benchmarks. * Adopting international hotel standards as defined by hospitality management institutions. Implementation of the benchmarking plan will enable Ritz Carlton to become the benchmark of other hotels in the region and distinguish itself from its competitors. b. Teamwork: There are a multitude of services provided in a hotel to a single customer by multiple segments of the hotel.
Teamwork and collaboration amongst them is a key issue that needs to be implemented. Plan for Teamwork * Training drills according to the most linked services. * Installation of communication plan enabling all sections of the hotel to be updated regarding customers’ needs and demands. Implementing a teamwork plan will improve the customer service experience and generate positive reviews about Ritz Carlton in the industry. c. Zero Error Rate: Mistakes are sins in the hotel industry.
The managerial focus should be to ensure that there are zero errors so that no negative customer views are generated. Plan for Zero Defects * Implmenting customer “information” plan where customers communicate their requirements clearly and are maintained on the record. * Employees should be instructed to deal with each customer uniquely. * Asking the customer for clarification if needed is better than making a mistake. The focus on meeting the customers’ requirements and shifting from standards if it is asked for by the customer should be part of the script at Ritz Carlton. . Demand Estimation leading to minimized wastage: In this era of recycling and focus on minimized wastage, Ritz Carlton should adopt a strategy that would minimize its resources wastage and work for a global no-wastage cause. Plan for Demand Estimation leading to minimized wastage: * The hotel’s approach towards usage of resources should be reflected to its customers. Hotels like Ramadah Plaza have adopted such strategies and have done quite well. Ritz Carlton can use the same strategies, if it feels it does not need to modify them.
The hotel can expect its corporate image to rise and shine and thus rely on the “green” customers to come back again because of their focus on minimized wastage. e. Quality Training: Training and constant re-invocation of tricks and tips is necessary if Ritz Carlton is to establish total quality management practices efficiently. The hotel can look forward to establishing an ongoing training program where existing and new employees can be trained specifically according to Ritz Carlton standards in order to “do it right, the first time” because in the luxury hotel industry, that is what matters