Albawardi Enterprises has been in operation since 1980. It has served divergent needs within the United Arab Emirates since its formation. The company has established ventures in the energy sector, IT field, corporate sectors and also in the contracting business. It has integrated a number of businesses that trade in its name. These businesses include operating divisions, joint ventures, and some subsidiaries that have been established in different regions. AE today comprises of about 150 international firms and several others operating in the UAE.
The company has sponsored some firms like ORACLE, Accenture, and IOTA among others. AE also acts as a business incubator in the UAE, supporting businesses with important infrastructures, market intelligence, and other services like financial support and human resources. According to Bloomberg Business Week, “Al Bawardi Enterprises LLC operates in trading, contracting, services, oil and gas field products, and electrical equipment, and computers and telecommunications sectors over the world” (2012, 1).
The company, therefore, offers a wide range of services and that is what it exists to serve. In short, the company has established ventures in Oil and Gas sector, conglomerates, construction, consumer goods, education, information technology, media services, telecommunications, and transport sectors.
This wide range of business requires the company to implement effective Quality Management Tools and Techniques. This is the area this paper seeks to address using AE as a case study. The paper involves reviewing the literature review relating to the adoption of quality management tools and techniques by AE and interviews conducted with some management representatives.
The company’s Vision
The company’s vision is to become the best private equity company in the UAE region where it is based.
The company’s Mission
The company’s mission is defined by a number of activities it seeks to accomplish within UAE. The company seeks to contribute significantly to the development of the economy in the region. It also aims to create stakeholders wealth in order to ensure it always offers the best business environment. The company wishes to achieve these targets by ensuring proper management of its investment portfolio and growing the value for its partners among others.
The mission will be considered accomplished when the company will create reasonable stakeholders wealth, become the most preferred partner by the customers and also generate enough profit that will enable the company to motivate its employees, train, and develop them. The customer must also achieve maximum customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction can only be achieved when the company understands their requirements and meet them. Abiding by the universally accepted business ethics is not optional for Albawardi Enterprises.
The company also seeks to achieve its mission by developing a proper organization structure and adopting the best practice, processes, and systems and improve them on a continual basis. The company must also abide by ISO 9001:2000 standards which create a favorable environment for implementation of quality management tools and techniques.
ISO 9001:2000 basically describe the kind of Quality management system that a company should have (ISO, n. d). It specifies the requirements that such a system should have. For instance, it requires the company to produce products that are in keeping customer needs and other related regulatory requirements.
Albawardi Enterprises implementation of quality management tools and technique
Every company in the 21st century is striving to improve its quality management. Quality management improves the activities of the company in all departments and also helps in mitigating costs and material errors. Albawardi Enterprises has been working hard to deploy effective management systems that will ensure that it delivers quality services to the customers. The company’s insistence on quality and defect-free performance has led to its recognition as a company that values Total Quality Management.
Quality management is highly valued within the entire AE group companies. The same attitude towards management and leadership has been embraced by all companies that are under the AE umbrella. They all seek to keep on improving their quality management in the entire company. AE has, therefore, been known as a strong advocator for Quality Management Systems. As a result, the company has adopted a number of quality management tools and techniques that it has successfully implemented.
For instance Telematics, a company under AE has fully implemented Six Sigma and balanced scorecard as quality management tools and techniques. Six Sigma is one of the techniques that the company should consider implementing. It basically means acceptable defects rates in a factory in the course of a production. The technique was introduced by Motorola and has played a significant role in improving quality management in many organizations. The aim of this technique is to mitigate the production of commodities that are not acceptable by 6 standard deviations, hence the name Six Sigma.
The technique anticipates that there will be at most one defect for every 3.4 million commodities that are produced (Basu, 2004). The companies that are considered compliant to the standards of Six Sigma are given Green Belt and the Black Belt as certifications. Six Sigma is a process that is aimed at developing and delivering products and services that are near perfection. It measures the process of develop a product or a service deviates from perfection.
The Six Sigma applied by Albawardi Enterprises is more than just quality management. It touches the very structure and nature of the organization. The technique establishes world-class business-performance benchmarks and provides organizational structure and road map for realizing these benchmarks (Truscott, 2012).
The technique is directed towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of all processes, tasks, and transactions of Albawardi Enterprises. The tool provides a world-class standard or benchmark for product and service characteristics and for process parameters. The customer’s adoption of Six Sigma quality level has ensured that the company attains high market share growth.
The balanced scorecard is another tool used by Albawardi Enterprises in quality management. The use of Balanced scorecard enables the company to deliver excellent customer service. It also helps in mitigating defects and their causes. The company has been ensuring that its internal processes are streamlines and work together to achieve the highest level of efficiency (AME Info FZ LLC, 2002).
The company also has fully implemented quality control charts technique. The charts are very important because they help the company monitor the production process to ensure that the products have few or no defects. This enables the company to ensure that the products being produced meet the intended specifications. It tells of the degree by which the produced products fail to meet the intended outcomes. The product may deviate from one or more desired specifications or results.
The quality of goods and services by this company is, therefore, a combination of some factors involving the implementation of several quality management tools and techniques. According to AE, The Company also offers services such as “Knowledge management as well as vertical solutions such as e-Government, Healthcare & Customer Relationship Management solutions” (2012, p. 1).
A combination of all these tools and techniques has contributed to the high performance that the company has exhibited in the market. This kind of attitude provides the company with a structured approach to quality management while delivering the services. Mike Atkinson also stated that the company is also considering adopting multiple quality management tools and techniques that it has not managed to implement.
The company believes that the adoption of Six Sigma and Balanced scorecard, for instance, will enable the company to deliver excellent customer service. It will also help in mitigating defects and their causes. The company has been ensuring that its internal processes are streamlines and work together to achieve the highest level of efficiency (AME Info FZ LLC, 2002).
ITQAN also won the Dubai Quality Appreciation Programme because of having an effective and well-implemented Quality Management Systems that integrates a number of tools and techniques. A good example of the department that has adopted a balanced scorecard in order to manage the performance of the company’s workforce is the human resources department. The Public Relations Department was also created to provide the clients with PR services based on the client’s needs and expectations.
Other beneficiaries of these services are the employees, principles and the offices of different branches. Services such as Agency Agreement Registration and Renewal, legal affairs, Clearing and Forwarding among others are offered by this department. The use of effective tools and techniques that enable the company handles up to 5000 applications. Commenting on this note during the interview, the managing director of Telematics, Mike Atkinson, said that the world has become cautious about the quality and everyone in AE is working hard to conform to the benchmarks to ensure that the expected quality is delivered.
The quality management tools and techniques not implemented
There are a number of quality management tools and techniques that a company can put in place in order to achieve high-quality service delivery. The companies that employ a combination of quality management techniques manage to improve service delivery in all departments. The errors and costs are also mitigated. Albawardi Enterprises has been effective in serving its customers in UAE because of adopting some of these techniques discussed above in its quality management. However, there are more techniques that the company should consider implementing in order to be more effective than it is today. These will be discussed in the paragraphs below.
The company should adopt the Pareto Chart as a quality management tool. The Pareto chart is a specialized kind of histogram that is mostly applicable where the company want to check if there any issues that lead to a disproportionate amount of a company’s quality problems. The principle of the technique is that one should generate 80% results from 20% of the work done. This is cost benefits method that tries to ensure that the resources of the company are utilized optimally (Basu, 2004).
The resources used are compared with the results that they generate. For a company that has an effective quality management system should use 20% of the resources to generate 80% of the results. The technique involves drawing a Pareto Chart that demonstrates how the concept works. There a column for time and resource and another one for benefits gained. The chart ensures quality control in a number of ways. This is accomplished in a number of ways. It should track down the source problems, assist in setting priorities, determining the etymology of the problem, and finally focus on efforts where there is the biggest impact.
The company may also use Cause –and- Effects Diagrams. This is also known Fishbone Diagram and is very applicable in quality management. According to Basu, (2004), this is a very useful technique in quality management. It is used by the management to identify as many causes of a given problem as possible. The quality teams use the information contained in these diagrams during their brainstorming session. The aim of this technique is to identify each main cause of the problem. This is a major step in the plan, do check, and act cycle of quality programs that are very vital in quality management.
The other quality management tool is the Run Chart. This chart portrays what happens within the organization over some time. It enables the management to visualize the expected direction of the company’s performance, trend, and pattern over time. The variables are plotted against time or sequence, and the trend and pattern observed (Basu, 2004). Time or sequence is plotted on the X-axis and the chosen variable in the Y-axis.
The Run Chart helps the organization to monitor the performance of its processes over time. The change that may occur during a process is also easily detected. It is, therefore, an effective tool in monitoring the on-going performance of the organization. The performance of a process is well monitored over time. The trends are easily detected, and improvements made where necessary. The Run Chart makes it possible to investigate the causes of a problem and eliminate them.
The company also has the mandate to use Scatter Diagrams as its quality management tools. A scatter diagram is a plot of points that helps in studying and identifying the possible relationship between two variables characteristics or factors. This method is used before regression to give a rough idea about whether the variables are associated.
There is also a flow chart which the company should also consider implementing. This charts track the details that are present in a project and how they are related to one another. The flow charts help in ensuring that all activities in a process are followed strictly without skipping any. If an activity in a project is skipped, the product cannot meet the specified qualities. The company, therefore, needs to check on that.
The proposed improvements
The first step in the improvement of the company’s quality management systems is to implement the tools and techniques that were recommended above. The company will be in a position to utilize its resources optimally by adopting the Pareto Chart. It will be aiming at achieving the highest return from the resources employed.
The company will strive to obtain 80% of the results from utilizing 2% of its resources. The company should also adopt Six Sigma which will help in the production of products that are near perfection. The defects are minimized and high-quality products realized. Generally, the company should implement the techniques that have been discussed above because they will improve its quality management. The proposed tools and techniques include Six Sigma, Pareto Chart, Run Chart, and Cause –and- Effects Diagrams among others.
Albawardi Enterprises has grown tremendously over the past few years due to implementing effective quality management measures. The company has subsidiaries and operating in different lines of business. There is, therefore, a need to come up with effective quality management tools and techniques. The company can improve its quality management by enhancing the use of techniques such as Six Sigma, Pareto Chart, Run Chart, and Cause –and- Effects Diagrams.
The performance of the company has improved at a commendable rate due to the use of these tools. The company should ensure that these tools are always used optimally so that all processes in the company may be carried out in a way that will ensure that all the specifications expected in production are met. The tools should be used together where necessary because each tool seeks to address a specific need in the business and not all.
The use of multiple tools and techniques will ensure that all the quality concerns of the company are addressed. The company can be ranked at a higher level on a scale as far as addressing quality concerns is concerned. It has implemented most of the major tools and techniques and also sought to comply with international standards like ISO, a concept not discussed in this paper. Quality management is given the first priority in this company.
AE. (2012). Scope of present services.
AME Info FZ LLC. (2002).Telematics gets ISO certification.
Basu, R. (2004). Implementing Quality: A Practical Guide to Tools and Techniques. New York: Cengage Learning EMEA.
Bloomberg Business week. (2012). Industrial Conglomerates: Company Overview of Al Bawardi Enterprises LLC.
Truscott, W. (2012). Six Sigma. New York: Routledge.