Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company is situated and operates within the UAE with its headquarters in the city of Dubai. “The federal government of the UAE is a 40 percent shareholder of the company while the rest of share holding is distributed among the public who own 20 percent shares, TECOM which owns 20 percent, and Mubadala Development Company that owns 20 percent besides enjopying a listing in the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) under the name, du” (Press release, 2010).
The company’s core business activities are in fixed mobile services. In addition to that, the company’s services are targeted at individual customers and businesses. These customers are provided services on broadband connectivity by providing very high data communication rates. The company has relentlessly pursuit a strategy to position itself in the market by tailoring call tariffs to be identical and even slightly lower than competitor rates in the market.
The company was launched in the month of December, the year 2005 with the goal of becoming one of the most competitive mobile service providers in the whole of the UAE. The company operates under the brand name commonly referred to as du. It is a legal entity that is recognized by the UAE. It aims at becoming the leading company in the provision of mobile services since its launch in the year 2005. That, however, is evident from the financial results and growth rate that have been recorded over the few years it has been in operation.
In addition to that, the growth rate of the company is reinforced by the fact that since its inception, it has recorded a growth rate of 32 percent, a significant growth rate for the short time it has been in operation. The other aim is to persistently retain a strong market position in the face of unstable economic conditions that have evidently prevailed in the global market today.
That is particularly evident with the financial results that were posted in the year 2009. At the end of the financial year, the company registered impressive financial results that demonstrated sustained growth after its establishment in the year 2005. The results were impressive as the company recorded a 35 percent revenue growth.
The management hierarchy is divided into the board of directors and the management in general with respective positions. The board of directors is led by Khaled Ali Al Bustani who takes the position of the vice chairman of the company. On the other hand, board members include Sharif, Yateem, Al, Muhairi, and Zaabi.
Osman is the chief executive officer under the management of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company. The chief financial officer’s position is occupied by Shuttleworth, the post of the executive vice president is occupied by Holiday, the position of executive vice president technology s occupied by Mahajan, and the post of vice president corporate affairs is occupied by Faridooni.
The management of the telecommunications company and the employees in general value total quality management and have implemented the whole concept of total quality management in the pursuit of quality in the provision of products and services to the customer within the UAE. The management ensures that the company provides customers with services tailored for customer satisfaction. That is in addition to the exemplary services provided by the management and the company’s employees in general.
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s passion for success is reflected in the unrelenting pursuit of quality in the provision of products and services to the customer. Customer needs and expectations characterize the influence on the overall pursuit of quality within the company. The passion for quality is also influenced by the fact that executives of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company have become increasingly aware of the importance of establishing a strong partnership with customers in order to retain a strong position in the market.
A strong market position translates to well sustained profits and a strong brand name. In addition to that, a strong brand name is always synonymous with impulsive buying and exerts a strong influence on customer buyer behavior. The distinguishing strategy is a total quality management that is integrated into the activities of the Telecommunications Company. These are achieved under the leadership of Osman Sultan, the chief executive officer.
The company’s core business is the provision of mobile services and other data communication services as mentioned above. The company’s total quality management is achieved through a number of strategies that are tailored towards enhancing its market leadership. As part of its pursuit in providing quality products and services, the company has strategized to launch the fastest data network covering a 98 percent of the total population of the UAE both in the provision of mobile series and broadband data transmission services. In addition to that, the company intends to improve the quality of service provided to the customer, to meet customer needs and expectations and even surpass customer expectations by providing data speeds of up to 16 times the current speeds for both homes and business users of the company’s infrastructure.
Continuous Quality Improvement
Continuous quality improvement is Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s organizational-wise tool with the strategic objective of achieving higher product and service quality targeting customer needs and satisfaction through planning by conducting an evaluation and reevaluation of the infrastructure, quality of services, approaches to improving and attaining the desired level of quality, and endeavor to implement continuous quality improvements by doing what has been identified critical, then studying the impact of what has been implemented, and acting again on the new suggestions aimed at implementing continuous quality improvements.
In addition to that, the company achieves total quality by implementing the concept of continuous quality improvements on products and services offered at the company at all levels of the organization. Continuous quality improvements within the company is characterized by the company’s concerted efforts to improve the data carrying capacity of the network infrastructure for telecommunications services making the data transfer rates the fastest in the region.
In addition to that, the company has implemented broadband data communication services with the aim of covering up to 90 percent of the UAE’s population. These services are tailored to focus at the growing customer needs and expectations. Besides that, the services are characterized by continuous process improvements that are characterized by total involvement by the management of the company and the employees in general.
The management ensures that effective communication exists between the employees at the lower hierarchies and that communication channels are always open. In addition to that, customer inquiries are promptly attended to and in case a delay is experienced, the customer is informed in advance of the likely delay to prepare to wait longer for the requested service. The process of continuous quality improvements within the company is all inclusive and no result is assumed to be a perfect solution to any problem (Schneiderman, 1999).
Each problem experienced at any level of the company calls for active participation in addressing it and suggestions are always open to improve the quality of services that are offered by the telecommunications company.
Continuous quality improvements have led the company to provide such enviable quality of services through employee involvement in which every department holds a responsibility on the final quality of services that are offered by the company. Organizational employees offer services that are characterized by total employee involvement in the overall quality of the services offered at the company. In addition to that, employees and the organization ensure that the company’s communication infrastructure provides data and voice communications of such integrity that it is desirable to the customer (Marin-Garcia & Pardo, 2008).
The management of the company ensures that the communication pattern is clearly defined and that all information about the manner of providing product and service quality is clearly defined in the company’s organizational policies. There are interdepartmental coordination to ensure overall organizational involvement in the final quality of telecommunication services are desirable and of the quality needed by the customer.
In addition to that, the culture of total quality is clearly expressed in the organization’s policies to ensure all employees understand and incorporate the culture in their daily activities. In addition to that, good and distinct communication channels are used to provide clear communication about the organization’s continuous quality improvement culture and the role each employee plays in achieving continuous quality improvement to the success of the company.
The manager ensures that vertical and horizontal communication is open and any employee can reach the manager directly if need arises. In addition to that, the top level management always holds meetings with employees to explain the whole concept of continuous quality improvements and the value of appreciating the implementation of continuous quality improvements in the daily activities of the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company for the benefit of the company, employees, and ultimately the customer (Crosby, 1984).
Each of the continuous quality elements is uniquely implemented in the company and plays a critical and concerted role in implementing total quality within the organization (Antony, Antony, Kumar & Cho, 2007). These elements include the leadership of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company who identify and define characteristic processes that lead to the improvement of quality within the organization as the first step.
Every employee involvement, excellence of services and products provided by the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company indicates that the quest for continuous improvements is unquenchable. Each of the elements and steps are tailored to focus on customer needs and expectations, training of employees in the provision of services that meet customer expectations, incorporating the quality element by integrity and ethical practices that meet the needs of the customer and reflect total quality for the mobile device products and telecommunications services uniquely characterize the implementation of continuous quality improvements in the company.
In addition to that, reliable interdepartmental and employee communication within the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company adds value to continuous quality improvements as one of the critical elements in achieving total quality. It is important to note that the management of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company has incorporated continuous quality improvement as an integral part in achieving total quality within the organization at all levels of the organization (Antony, Antony, Kumar & Cho, 2007).
Achieving total quality is a passion at the heart of the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company. The management has tailored all provision of service and products within the company tailored to meet customer needs and expectations as discussed below. The concept of implementing continuous quality improvements gained success with the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company shortly after it was established to offer service and products in the telecommunications company. Sanguine managers realized that to achieve customer satisfaction and customer delight, they had to employ from the onset the whole concept of total quality management strategically targeting customer satisfaction through continuous quality improvements.
The first step involved creating a business strategy that was relevant to the need and expectations of the customer and tailoring the telecommunications services to the satisfaction of the wider market. All data communication needs were dully addressed within the driving forces or critical success factors that propelled Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company to its current market position and customer base within the number few years it has been operational emphasized on.
Each of the products and services are tailored to address customer needs in data and voice communication. The quality of data and voice communicated through the technology platform of the company is according the expectation of the customers. In addition to that, data and voice communication is in real time and network connectivity is always excellent.
Further, the management realized that the overall management structure has to be influenced by managers who were well trained in project management skills. The management of the company factored intensive training programs for Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s managers. In the process, it became a critical success factor for the company. Company executives were able to deal with issues related to product and services quality for the customer, focusing at customer needs and expectations and overall customer satisfaction satisfactorily (Antony, Antony, Kumar & Cho, 2007).
It was further realized that, integrating another critical success factor in total quality management as a strategy for implementing total quality called upon the infrastructure of the organization to be tailored to meet standard requirements for total quality management. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company targeted data and voice communication infrastructure and the whole management structure as a driving force behind the critical success factors in the implementation of continuous quality improvements.
It is worth noting that, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company could learn from past mistakes and improve on them. Such improvements were contributing factors to the implementation of continuous quality improvements in achieving total quality. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s management maintain a keen eye on the response of customers to their products and services and endeavor to improve every aspect of their core services and products to not only stay afloat in the market, but to stay ahead of others by tailoring the quality of the company’s service to meet customer needs and expectations and even exceed these expectations (Press release, 2010).
Another strategy that has been tailored to achieve continuous quality improvement is to provide enhanced connectivity services by using newer telecommunications technologies particularly the most recent Global IP VPN technology with the aim of linking different business partners from different parts of the globe in real time (Bhuiyan & Baghel, 2005).
The mobile services company has not stopped there. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s executives have identified a number of products and services that are critical to the achievement of continuous quality improvement focusing at the customer needs and expectations and, as already pointed out elsewhere, the company’s executives know well that a strong partnership with the customer translates to a strong revenue base, sustained profits, and a strong brand name (Easton, 1993).
Implementing Six Sigma to Achieve Total Quality
To achieve total quality, the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company has integrated the whole concept of the six sigma steps in the pursuit of organizational goals and objectives. The six sigma steps characterize every aspect of product and service provision and is cross functional, spanning all employees in the management hierarchy of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company.
The whole concept total quality management to achieve total quality is implemented across the whole organization by integrating the six sigma steps in the company’s pursuit and passion for excellence. Each of the six sigma steps is uniquely implemented across every department of the organization with the whole objective of achieving total quality to the delight and satisfaction of the customer (Marin-Garcia & Pardo, 2008).
At the heart of the six sigma steps, the management of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company has undertaken a process of identifying what customers need most and tailored strategic methods of addressing the needs of the customers. At the onset, the need for voice and data communication was intense. In addition to that, the speed with which data and voice could be transmitted between destinations was a critical success factor.
The company set out to provide a voice and data communication platform that was tailored to the strategic objectives the company. There was a notable rise in the revenue base of the company based on the financial announcement of the performance of the company in 2010. This can be discerned in the words of the chief executive officer who affirmed that “I am delighted to be able to say we have passed a significant milestone” (Press release, 2010) and continued to assert that “with our active mobile subscriber base growing beyond 4 million.
By the end of August we had an estimated 37% market share of active mobile subscribers and expect this to have increased further by the end of the quarter, which is an outstanding achievement in just three years. This is testament to the strength of our product and service offering, our tailored marketing strategies but most importantly our ability to deliver to our customers” (Press release, 2010).
A survey of the financial performance of the company indicated the need to raise more capital for infrastructure investment to meet data and voice communication in real time. That was partly influenced by a survey that was conducted to identify areas that needed improvement in meeting customer needs therefore leading to customer satisfaction. The survey revealed that customers were not satisfied by the rate of data transfer and at times the infrastructure or communication platform was most of the time congested.
That compelled the company to raise more capital to invest in the infrastructure of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Press release, 2010). One such areas of infrastructure expansion was when Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company purchased Nokia’s Siemens Network solutions and services to the improvement of services delivered in the form of data and voice communications.
In addition to that, the company’s executives realized the need for products and services delivery by providing value for the customer’s money. That implies that customers and business organizations that are linked to Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s telecommunication services enjoy data and voice speeds that are 16 times faster than they previously enjoyed. That was also partly due to the improvement in the band width and data carrying capacities (Antony, Antony, Kumar & Cho, 2007).
No sigma step characterizes a company’s success except that the current system is measured in terms of specific parameters that impact on total quality. That was the case with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company. The skilled management of the company, under the directorship of Osman Sultan, measures was made of the speed of data and voice delivery to different destinations and the need to install infrastructure that could provide speedy data delivery were integrated into Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s infrastructure (Amaratunga, Baldry & Sarshar, 2001).
In addition to that, the speed with which customer complaints were handled was also measured. Results from these calculations led the management to determine the average waiting time for any customer. They set to educate respective employees on the need to reduce the waiting time of the customer by incorporating total quality strategies in the provision of services while serving customers. The results were desirable. After possible causes of a slow network, customer dissatisfaction, and the quality of services provided by the employees, the company strategized to identify possible avenues improvements, the manager and organizational employee made the sigma steps a cross functional tool in achieving total quality management as discussed above (Press release, 2010).
That led to the next sigma step of improving quality. As mentioned above, the management and organizational employees set out to implement the solutions already mentioned above. That led the organization to provide value for the customer’s money. Another approach to the six sigma steps was when management endeavored to improve the quality of mobile phones by integrating the aspect of continuous quality improvements (Total quality Management Process (TQM), n.d).
Further achievement of total quality at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company was characterized by controlling new processes that were incorporated into the company’s infrastructure (Bedi, 2010). The company continuously endeavors to provide a data communication bandwidth and mobile phone innovations with new functionalities to the satisfaction of the customer as the last step of the six sigma steps. Thus, the six sigma steps have proved a strategic and valuable tool in implementing total quality at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company to the satisfaction and delight of the customer (Press release, 2010).
A Balanced Scorecard to Achieve Total Quality
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company is a unique one in achieving total quality. The company has strategized to achieve total quality through the integration and use of total quality management tools. Strategically, the balanced scorecard has been a tool that emphasizes on the use of total quality tools to achieve organizational goals and objectives that are tailored towards steering Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company towards attaining its vision for growth (Schneiderman, 1999). These tools include the six sigma steps, continuous quality improvements, and the balanced scorecard concepts.
One of the essential components in the balanced scorecard is the use of tools such as checking any inherent variations from the organization’s target plans. Among the target plans for the company is to amass an overall market population or base constituting a total of over 90 percent of the total population of the UAE. In addition to that, the target plan also identifies a sustained subscription base and sustained revenue generation as some of the measures that are critical to the success of the company.
In addition to that, the scorecard is characterized by subscribing to the international standards that provide a benchmark against which organizations measure the quality of their services. A typical example is ISO 2000 and other standards (Schneiderman, 1999).These standards provide a benchmark against which health standards are measured, employee working conditions are measured, and compensation and pay packages are measured among other requirements (Kaplan & Norton, 1992). The whole of these processes and elements critically factor elements such as the formulation of strategies to achieve total quality.
The whole concept of a balanced score card endeavors to provide quality services and products by from the perspective of the customer in terms of the quality of data and voice on the data communication infrastructure. In addition to that, the company ensures that mobile phones are continually innovated through a continuous process achieved through the learning perspective by the management of the company based on what customers say about the quality of products and services, critically reviewing internal business processes and measuring the quality standards through performance measurement systems that measure up to the benchmarks used by the company. In addition to that, standards are measured based on the financial perspectives such as the relation between profitability and total quality focused at customer needs and expectations as illustrated below (Norreklit, 2000).
On the other hand, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s management and employees as a whole concertedly define and identify any process that needs to be improved by identify individual responsibilities towards the improvement process, and conduct a documentation of the processes to be improved. The company uses various tools to achieve total quality in the process (Norreklit, 2000).
As a strategy in the balanced scorecard strategy, the company’s management identifies processes to be improved by conducting process performance measurements both by the employees and the communications infrastructure. Infrastructure performance of the telecommunications company is measured in terms of bandwidth and data communication speeds and capacity. In addition to that, performance is measured in terms of the response time to customer queries and complaints. In addition to that, financial performance that also reflects the customer base and revenue generation factors is considered in the process (Norreklit, 2000).
To completely implement and realize the benefits of total quality management, the management of the company, under the sanguine leadership of Osman the director endeavors to understand why the need to adopt higher bandwidth and other quality improvement services are Incorporated into the company’s activities.
In the implementation process, a solution specific option such as the purchase and implementation of the fastest data communication network besides employee improvements in the provision of services is important. The management under the directorship of Osman endeavors to test the systems’ functionality to identify weak points that may need improvements to achieve total quality in the process of implementing continuous quality improvements within the organization (Kaplan & Norton, 1992).
Each employee is held responsible for the quality of work done and the overall contribution of their skills to the provision of quality work within the organization. A number of techniques are used in the process to ensure total quality concept is integrated to every stage of total quality management discussed above to achieve a balanced scorecard mentioned above.
One such strategy that is used by the organization is brainstorming. Each employee is encouraged to generate ideas and issue that affect the performance of the organization in its pursuit of organizational total quality improvement objectives. In addition to that, the speed at which data is communicated is always evaluated to verify compliance to customer needs and expectations and the need to meet continuous quality improvement strategies (Norreklit, 2000).
A number of positive issues experienced when implementing a balanced score card include the ability the management to identify weak areas that need performance improvements such as employee skills that may need to be refreshed to use the new infrastructure, identifying training and development needs, employee motivation and their change in cultural orientation, and ability to measure uo to the standards for implement total quality to meet customer needs and expectations.
On the other hand, the negative side is based on the resources required to implement the concept. A cost benefit analysis does not show short term gains and tools to measure the level of benefits that may experience. In addition to that, time, a balanced score card may inculcate negative feelings when their productivity and performance, despite being of good quality, may not measure up to the standard requirements based on standards being used to evaluate employees.
How TQM Concepts are Applied in the Company
In the pursuit to satisfy the customer and meet customer needs and expectations with the objective of placing the company at a strategic position in the market, total quality is Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s philosophy. That is especially characterized by the application of the concept of total quality management within the organization. Among the approaches used at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company in applying the concept of total quality management is the integration of the concept of continuous quality improvements, the six sigma steps, and the implementation of the balanced scorecard at different levels of the organization.
In addition to that, there may an intertwining in the application of the concepts without distinct boundaries in their application to achieve total quality. One critical element to the success of the integration of the concepts is the involvement of organizational employees and the management or the company’s leadership. Managers inspire employees to work for the success of the organization by endeavoring to accomplish quality goals that are defined at every level of the organization. It is a cross functional approach and effort. It is concerted in nature. In addition to that, the three concepts are always intertwined to obtain the best results in achieving total quality (Amaratunga, Baldry & Sarshar, 2001).
As a critical element that distinguishes the concept of continuous quality improvements to achieve total quality. Each employee spanning the whole organization is actively involved in making improvements by reducing the response time to customer inquiries and complaints. The management ensures they provide good direction and leadership.
Interdepartmental communication is enhanced and made effective, conflict resolution is achieved through open communication, communication channels are made open, employee motivation is enhanced, training programs are implemented organization wise, and continuous quality improvements are evaluated to identify the impact on the total performance on the organization.
In addition to that, employees and quality improvement teams meet on a regular basis and incorporate a large number of suggestions for quality improvements, and the impact of continuous evaluation of quality improvements are evaluated. In addition to that, total quality implementation is rapidly implemented by involving specific employees who made particular suggestions for improvements (Bedi, 2010).
On the other hand, economic incentives are used to achieve total quality in the process. The sole aim of using economic incentives by Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company is to motivate employees to improve productivity and organizational performance by increasing the revenue base while focusing at the customer as one approach to achieving total quality.
In addition to that, the management ensures the total quality improvement is implemented throughout the organization spanning the company’s operations, the marketing department, purchasing and supplies, the human resource management of the company, the after sales and after service services, the technical department, and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s management as a whole.
As one of the steps of the six sigma steps of defining any process in the departments mentioned above, the operations and technical departments ensure transformative processes in the provision of mobile phones tailored to meet customer needs and expectations are integrated in every aspect of product and service provisions. In addition to that, the departments are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that data and voice communication’s continual excellence is achieved as one of the elements of a balanced score card. In addition to that, the element of a balanced score card is inherent in the pursuit to provide data and voice communication according to ISO standards.
A balanced score card element such as the quality policy that spells approaches and standards for data and information communications, quality planning that lays down strategies for achieving total quality management and total quality, implementation of product and services realization to meet customer needs and expectations, measurements and analysis of the quality of services and products against customer needs and expectations, identification of areas of improvement within Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, and a review by the management over the degree to which total quality has been integrated and achieved are evaluated and appropriate gaps filled using appropriate standards and measures. However, implementing total quality within the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company comes with positive and negative sides of the implementation process using the concepts of the six sigma steps, continuous improvements, and a balanced score card.
The positive side of the implementation of total quality within the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company based on the three concepts is evident from a number of benefits that have been realized by the company. These benefits include an exponential rise in the customer base since the company entered the telecommunications market. That has particularly been due to the fact that training programs, data and voice communication integrity, customer focus, continued improvements of the communications infrastructure, excellent leadership, and employee involvement have made the company achieve the level of subscriptions it is experiencing currently. These elements are also unique to the marketing department.
The management of the company has ensured that the integrity of data and voice communication is maintained as one of the continuous improvement strategies. It has been demonstrated Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company has over 90 percent of the customer base in the UAE, subscription base. In addition to that, the financial performance of the company reflects rising revenue, evidence that Company is experiencing growth in profits, a fact directly related to a strong market share and customer base and the application of the whole concept of total quality management. Besides that, employees feel motivated by the observable manner they conducts their activities.
Value for the customer is the key driving force behind the success of the company, customer satisfaction is the focus, and continuous quality improvement is the driving force behind the levels of customer satisfaction that have been achieved so far. That is because continuous quality improvement focuses on customers. In addition to that, the management of the company ensures that ISO standards as a key concept for implementing a balanced score card to achieve total quality. A balanced score card for the implementation of quality ensures that data and voice communication adhere to the standard requirements for voice and data communication as implied in ISO standards.
On the other side, the company’s management endeavors to analyze any problems that may be related to data and voice communication and identify the root cause of the problems. Then, organizational employees of particular departments endeavor to define a clear cut process for identifying and diagnosing the problem in real time. The process is concerted in nature, involving the top management and employees in general.
A number of benefits are realized in the process as a result of incorporating these elements which are characterizing elements of the six sigma steps. These include improving quality of data and voice communication that meets customer needs and expectations. Each of the department’s plays a concerted role in the whole process of total quality management (Kaplan & Norton, 1992).
However, there are negative sides of implementing the three concepts of total quality management inherent within Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company. The top management finds it difficult to create a standard against which continuous quality improvements can be measured. In addition to that, the cost of training employees sometimes does not guarantee positive results. The investment can end up being an investment in futility.
In addition to that, the training and development may fall short of focusing at the customer. Sometimes, continuous quality improvements may fall short of the integrity of the communications infrastructure and may lead to the failure of the customer to communicate as required. And when such standards are created, the returns may not assure the management that such standard measures are critical to achieving organizational success in terms of satisfying the customer.
Some of the measurements used are at times not quantifiable and results obtained from the analysis are not specific performance issues that can be enforced to achieve total quality. That is in relation to the use of one of the elements of the six sigma steps coupled with a balanced score card targeting standard requirements for the services and products offered by the company. In addition to that, the root causes of problems that may lead to data and voice communication may not be clearly identified as suggested elsewhere in the paper.
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s management went ahead and implemented an ambitious plan to expand the company’s infrastructure communication platform for data and voice communication, a prohibitively costly venture that was necessarily not the cause of the data and voice communication delays. Another negative side of continuous quality improvement was that the concept never worked well and required further evaluations before reaching the final conclusion to implement the infrastructure project.
Another negative side that has been experienced with the integration of continous improvements and the six sigma steps to achieve total management spans organizational employees and the management of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company.
That is in relation to the failure of a section of the management of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company to fully comprehend and appreciate the benefits that may accrue as a result of implementing the concept of total quality management to achieve total quality improvements. Total quality improvements could lead to customer satisfaction and to a delighted customer. That could generate a strong partnership between the mobile user and the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company. Such partnership comes with a variety of benefits that are discussed elsewhere in the paper.
Another problem that has been experienced when implementing continuous improvements is the failure to come up with clearly defined policies that are tailored towards driving the organization to achieve quality improvement goals and objectives. In addition to that, a failure of total employee involvement is another area of concern. As mentioned elsewhere, the continuous quality improvement is a concerted effort and not just management’s obligation.
Among the issues that have to be addressed when implementing continuous quality improvements include the availability of time to commit for the implementation of continuous quality management, management commitment to implementing the concept through the organization, ability to appreciate the potential benefits of implementing the quality concept in the running within the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company. In addition to that, the need implement a new organizational culture and new business practices that reflect a change in culture.
Employees have not been trained to appreciate and critically identify salient features that characterize continuous quality improvement. A failure by the employees to understand the distinguishing features of continuous quality improvements has had a significant negative impact on the quality of services and products offered by significantly Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company.
These features include the durability requirements for the innovated mobile phones, reliability of the communications infrastructure, safety of the employees operating environment, aesthetic nature of the products and appealing nature of the services, and conformance to the standard requirements that are used as a benchmark to measure compliance to standard requirements.
In addition to that, the whole process of continuous quality improvements is not entirely implemented within the company or has not been appreciated by the organization’s employees. Therefore resistance to change is a critical failing factor contributing to the problems experienced in implementing the whole concept of continuous quality improvements. therefore, there is a problem with the synergetic model for achieving continuous quality improvements.
Other problems are with the bureaucracy that defines the management, government regulations, and the limited nature of applying the whole concept of continuous quality improvements. In addition to that, the management and organization in general have failed to adopt measures for changing the organization’s culture to embrace the elements of continuous quality improvements.
The management is always eager by expecting quick results after every step of implementing continuous quality improvements. Not sufficient resources are committed to achieve total quality management or continuous quality improvements and the failure to empower employees in driving the organization towards achieving continuous quality improvements (Total quality Management Process (TQM), n.d).
The failure to identify the gap between customer needs and expectations as demonstrated in the gaps model illustrated below is a critical problem with the telecommunications service industry. Service and product provision remains fundamental in the operations the company.
Based on a thorough evaluation process of the approach used in implementing the concept of continuous quality improvements, the positive and negative sides of the implementation process, issues with implementation process, and problems experienced in the process, the results indicate a number of findings.
One of the findings indicates that there is a critical vacuum in management involvement in the pursuit of continuous quality improvements. When the management creates a vacuum in the organizational pursuit for quality, there is lack of leadership and consequently the concept lacks leadership’s driving force to effect the changes. Another finding indicates that there is lack of a concerted effort on employee involvement. Employees see the whole concept of continuous quality improvements as management responsibility and not part of their responsibilities leading the whole concept to be the concern of top level management.
There is also need to incorporate all the elements of the six sigma steps and a strategic tool to achieving continuous quality improvements. It has been demonstrated that the concept about the sigma steps is poorly implemented with the company, denying it the actual benefits that are experienced by any organization when the six sigma steps are clearly integrated into the policy and strategy of an organization (Easton, 1993). It is important to note that the achievement of total quality is synergetic within the company. On the other hand, the balanced score card is a concept and tool that has been identified as critical in the pursuit of total quality.
Each of the employee’s work is benchmarked and the benchmarking is replicated throught the whole organization. That concept is largely implemented by identifying process performance measures that impact on the quality of data and voice transmission targeted at meeting the quality objectives to the delight and satisfaction of the customer. The aim is to achieve total quality by focusing at customer needs and expectations. In addition to that, the balanced score card has found its way into the activities of the company, a characteristic reflected in the approach used by the organization in sourcing for infrastructure technologies to achieve good quality data and voice transmissions.
Further still, the concept is emulated in the approach used to create an environment that is exclusively congenial to the working employees. The employee’s working environment is tailored to their satisfaction as outlined in the standards such as ISO. It is a motivating approach with desirable results. It is a concept that synergetic with other concepts. The synergy gained by implementing the three concepts besides the negative side of their implementation is overwhelming and comes with desirable results.
Based on the discussion and findings on the implementation of continuous quality improvements within Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, analytically, the company has been successful in implementing the whole concept of continuous quality improvements. The services and products offered by Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company in its pursuit to fulfill the needs of the customer and meet their expectations to their delight is evidently demonstrated in the company’s quality initiatives that are critical success factors.
That is evident despite the problems and failures that have characterized the implementation process of the concept of total quality management to effect continuous quality improvements in Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company that are experienced by the management and organizational employees as a whole. The success is well demonstrated in the company’s rising revenue base and the number of customers who subscribe to their services and products.
One can agree that the number of mobile users has experienced an annual increase that is exponential in nature. In addition to that, the customer base has been estimated to be 90 percent of the total population that uses mobile phones and data communication devices within the UAE to the delightful experience of the employee and the management. However, the management needs to be critical to evaluate the benefits Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company has thrived in due to the whole concept of continuous quality improvements using the six sigma steps.
In addition to that, the subscription base may be impulsive rather than quality driven, therefore the need for the organization to critically evaluate the driving forces and endeavor to design continuous quality improvement policies to achieve the organizations continuous quality objectives.
On the other hand, an analytical view of the implementation of a balanced score card reveals that the management under the leadership of Osman has endeavored to factor a balanced score card leading to employee satisfaction that has translated to the provision of quality services. In addition to that, a balanced score card seems to be a tool that the management has realized is critical in the success of the company in achieving total quality.
Therefore, the organization has endeavored to apply the concept in the provision of data and voice communication services on a platform that measure up to the standards such as ISO. Besides that, employee welfare is critical to the company as various measures have been put in place to provide the motivation and working environment tailored to meet standards such as ISO, despite the downside negative side to such standards such standards. These may include the cost of resources needed to implement the standards and the failure of the standards to keep abreast with ever changing customer needs and expectations or customer changing behavior.
Adhering to these standards sometime may lead to customer dissatisfaction with the overall impact being negative on customer persceptions. However, it is important to note here that sometimes it is difficult to quantify the benefits of implementing these concepts and moreover, the need to be patient before the implementation bears fruits is overwhelming leading to a potential state of disappointment. However, the benefits outweigh the challenges and other problems that may be experienced in the implementation process with the aim of achieving total quality.
Based on the findings and the above discussion, the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s management has achieved impressive results under the directorship of Osman who has been very keen in implementing the whole concept of continuous quality improvement. The director’s able leadership has seen Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company integrate the six sigma steps as a strategic tool in achieving impressive organizational performance in terms of increased customer subscription base.
In addition to that, the continuous quality improvement concept has led the company to post impressive revenue returns each New Year. That has led the company to heavily invest in new infrastructure and other innovations that are focused at customer needs and expectations and even to exceed such expectations. However, a number of problems and issues have characterized the company’s continuous quality improvement process. Issues of time, employee involvement, management involvement, educating employees to contribute to the whole process of quality improvements, and the resistance to change the organization’s culture have adversely impacted the pursuit for continuous quality improvement.
In addition to that, the problem of registering with ISO standards due to the failure of the company to address critical issues that drive an organization towards measuring up to the standard requirements for registering with the ISO standards are problems among others. However, due to the impressive performance of the company, there is reason to critically evaluate the benefits Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company has enjoyed due to the integration of whole concept of continuous quality improvements using the six sigma steps.
In addition to that, the subscription base may be impulsive rather than quality driven, therefore the need for the organization to critically evaluate the driving forces and endeavor to design continuous quality improvement policies to achieve the organizations total quality goals and objectives. Over and above all, it is true that a balanced score card is a critical component in the company’s passion to achieve total quality.
A balanced score card plays a critical role in providing a benchmark against which employee productivity is measured, employee motivation and working environment are measured, data and voice communication infrastructure are implemented, and the whole of the organization’s internal and external environments are measured in the drive to achieve total quality as established in some of the standards such as ISO.
Despite the negative side such as inability to quantify benefits and the demand for resources that may overly be invested, and sometimes making the processes too formal, the positive side of the balanced score card are reflected I the benefits that have been experienced such as improved product quality, data quality and performance of the infrastructure, employees, and the management, it is a synergetic pursuit with the overall impact being more than a mathematical aggregate of the impact of the three concepts to the success of the company and delight and satisfaction of the customer.
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