The Emirate Airlines Total Quality Management

Introduction

Business excellence is a term used on a set of organisational management practices that ensure that the organisation engages in outstanding practices that would lead to achievement of results. Business excellence is based on different sets of practices that are hinged on eight fundamental concepts that are used as a guide towards achieving this form of management. Total Quality Management is one form of management approach that provides a guideline on areas to be focused on for an organisation to achieve management objectives. Total Quality Management, usually referred to as TQM, can simply be described as a culture, attitude, and a form of organisation that a company adopts in its strife to provide its clients with services and products that are satisfactory to the clientele (Vialli, 2011, p. 17). TQM requires the upholding of quality at all levels of production and management with minimal wastes of resources being experienced. The paper uses the Emirate Airlines as a case example of a company in a bid to address its quality management strategy. As applied in this company, TQM is hinged on the following key elements that make it a success when used- ethics, integrity, trust, training, teamwork, leadership, recognition, and communication.

The Emirates Airlines

The Emirates Airlines is a United Arab Emirates-based airline in Dubai that operates flights all over the world. It is a twenty-year-old company owned by the government of Dubai with flights to over 122 cities of the world in 74 countries. The airline is one of the biggest in the world in terms of operating capacity with over 2500 flights per week with a fleet of over 116 planes of different sizes. The airline has an order of 182 planes to be received including 58 A380 airbus model that is the biggest plane ever to be manufactured. This has made the airline one of the most successful in terms of operation and coverage of destinations.

Emirates Airlines Business Excellence and Quality Strategy

Ethics

The Emirates Airlines operates on strict ethical lines that adhere to all the business ethics required of an airline as well as an international business company operating on a global scale. To achieve its goal for ethical standards, the airline has set a code of ethics expected of its employees as a standard guide to how they would conduct themselves while at work. The code of ethics for employees requires them to do their work as professionally as possible. This helps in erasing any form of bias and prejudices that employees might have towards different groups of clientele. With its operations being on a global scale, the airlines’ staffs encounter people from different backgrounds thus bringing the need to be professional when handling them as a way of keeping their trust in the company (Vialli, 2011, p. 18). It also involves the incorporation of a given staffs’ personal values that should be acceptable to all people while at work.

Integrity

The company has been able to achieve integrity by winning the trust of its employees, clients, and business partners. This outcome has been achieved through a platform of operating on a high level of goodwill that erases any form of conflict between it and its partners. It employs practices that are sound in the industry as well as friendly to the environment as a way of playing its part in social corporate responsibility. This achievement has therefore enabled the airline to acquire licenses to almost all flight routes in the world thus making it a company to beat (Vialli, 2011, p. 16). The Emirates Airlines contributes to conforming to environment management issues by employing environment friendly policies. The policies are one of the big contributors to the carbon credit scheme that strives to reduce carbon emissions to the air.

Trust

The Emirates Airlines has developed over time by winning the trust of its stakeholders in terms of delivery of services. It has won the trust of its investors by coming out as a profitable company that is worth investing thus enabling it to expand rapidly. The airline started paying dividends to its investors since 1999. Each year has seen a rise in profits as well as dividends. It has won the trust of its clientele by delivering on its services, which include timely flights that do not have so much delay, quality cabin services, quality planes for travelling, quality customer care services, and quality lounges for passengers who are travelling. This achievement has made most travellers have confidence in the airline due to its policy to deliver quality services.

Training

The Emirates Airlines employs some of the finest people in the industry to work for it. These people have achieved high levels of training in their various fields of work thus delivering in terms of quality of services. The airline attracts people of different nationalities and qualifications. Thus with this requirements met, it is able to deliver on the different international fronts in which it operates. The Emirates Airlines has its own training program that any staff working for it must go through as a way of achieving its own in house quality assurance program. It also has a continuous training program for its staffs as a way of keeping them up to date with the changing trends of the industry (Vialli, 2011, p. 17). This has enabled it to have some of the most qualified personnel in its table who ensure that quality service is delivered.

Teamwork

The Emirates Airlines’ personnel have been trained to work as a team for achieving the airlines’ objectives. Staffs in all stations and postings assist each other in ensuring that the services of the airline are delivered without any problem or hitches. The airline operates on a policy of collective responsibility, which at the end of the day allows each employee to participate in the delivery of services. Under the label of Emirates Airlines, information and resources are shared between the offices around the globe thus enabling a smooth delivery of services. Teamwork makes employees of the organisation own the working process from top to bottom with both the blame and accolades being shared equally (Vialli, 2011, p. 18). Though most of the staffs comprise foreigners, teamwork has enabled them to come together and work as a unit with the sole purpose of achieving the same objectives.

Leadership

The Emirates Airlines has had a stable leadership since its inception in 1985. At the helm has been Prince Al Maktoum who provided the first $10million as the start-up capital for the company. Al Maktoum has provided a stable leadership to the company all the time by allowing the company’s experts to draw up a future for the company, which is uninterrupted. Stable leadership in a company allows a consistent pursuit of the company’s goals and objectives. This strategy has seen the airline achieve its expansionist objectives through the leadership. The leadership has also provided a good working environment by creating ties on behalf of the company with other potential market nations.

Recognition

The Emirates Airlines recognises the efforts of its employees through different award schemes that act as motivational factors to them. The scheme recognises exemplary performances by employees in different fields by awarding them in different ways as per the management’s decision. This strategy is a motivational tool for the employees as it drives them further to give their best thus the best for the company. It also makes them become innovative in their fields of work thus coming up with ingenious ways of making the operations of the company a success.

Communication

The Emirates Airlines has invested in personnel who can communicate in different languages of the world. This has enabled the airline to tap into all clientele that can be available due to their ability to communicate to them and know their need. The airline has a good communication network for its administrative functions with the use of the internet as one of them. This strategy ensures timely communication between different posts or stations thus providing a smooth flow of information. Communication between all levels of management ensures that there is timely feedback and action taken to solve an issue and hence a timely solution to the issues. The Emirates Airlines has a modern communication network that allows fast information flow between all levels of management flowing from top to bottom, bottom to top, and horizontal.

Its Key Resources and Capabilities

The Emirates Airlines has its key resources and capabilities in its ability to raise capital for its projects. The airline, being a government corporation owned by the government of Dubai, has been able to raise capital for its fleet expansion from the initial two leased aircraft to a total of over one hundred planes fully owned by the airline. The government of Dubai, which is rich with oil money, has been able to provide some of the capital that has spurred the growth of the company. The airline boasts of some of the best human resources in the industry, which have seen it grow from a capital base of just about $10million to annual profits of about over $500million. The airline being a subsidiary of the government has benefited from government policy that has allowed it to grow faster than most commercial airlines. This is a key resource that has so far played a major role in the company’s expansion. The Dubai government has an open-air policy that allows other airlines to open routes to Dubai without so much restriction. This has enabled the company to enjoy the same good will from these connections it has established that have enabled the airline acquire routes in many countries. The airline has its capabilities in the ability to operate in many routes through the many planes it has acquired. This has enabled it compete favourably with other airlines in the industry thus coming out as profitable.

Its Distinctive Competencies and Potential Source of Competitive Advantage

The airlines’ distinctive competencies arise in its ability to operate on sustainable costs that see its staffs satisfied with the pay they are given as well as the company working on profitable terms. Staffs at the airline are paid reasonably good salaries, which are not seen as a burden to the company and which are not oppressive to the staff. This strategy has seen the staffs remain highly motivated to work and deliver on their duties. At the same time, the airline operates on sustainable costs due to it having its own facilities at the Dubai international airport, which have seen the airline to have ample parking space for its planes, which has led to the cutting of parking costs. The staffs of the airline also provide distinctive competencies due to their training and diverse backgrounds. This achievement gives them an all round advantage of understanding the different markets. The airlines’ potential source of competitive advantage is in its being a subsidiary of the Dubai government. The airline has an advantage in its ability to procure cheap fuel from the government. This advantage has seen it make huge profits when the airline industry has been facing many challenges from the high cost of fuel. Another form of its sustainable advantage arises from advantages of economies of scale it enjoys.

Recommendations

The airline should diversify its activities from air passenger carrier to other forms of transport like operating cruise ships because the airline industry has so many players with many more coming in day by day. Thus, the company will not be assured of a profitable future. The company should therefore invest its profits in other forms of businesses like sea transport that will see it survive in different fronts. The company should also move out to acquire or construct airports in other countries that are possible lucrative destinations for the future. This strategy can happen in the African countries that do not have developed infrastructure despite having the potential to grow in the future. Acquiring airport facilities can be done in partnership with governments of the countries in which the company wishes to invest. By investing in airports and such facilities, the company will be able to save a lot in parking fees in foreign destinations. The company should also invest in research for the future. Research will enable the company to come up with innovative ways of doing business through inventions that will see it operate in a green environment. Most airplanes in use are some of the greatest pollutants of the environment and investing in green energy will be a positive move for the company.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Emirates Airlines stands out as one of the most competitive airlines in the world in almost all aspects as revealed in the paper. It has seen tremendous growth within a very short period through the acquisition of some of the most modern aircrafts in the industry. The Emirates Airlines is one of the few airlines in the world that operates the long haul flights across the Atlantic. This strategy has made it become very competitive by securing the route, which stands out as being very tricky in terms of costs and operation. Therefore, as exposed in the paper, the ability of the Emirates Airlines to withstand challenges facing the industry like high fuel costs and a lot of competition has seen it cement its place in the industry. The airline’s fleet is one of the youngest implying that the fleets are most recent and were bought new. This achievement is a guarantee to the airline’s future as it can plan over a long period to come without thinking of the age of its fleet.

Reference

Vialli, G. (2011). Improving Airlines Management through TQM. International Journal of Economics and Management Sciences, 5(8), 15-24.