While new firms are emerging fast the competition is tough as ever, in order to survive most firms look for ways to cut down on their cost of production by investing in machinery that uses less input and gives a higher output, however some firms tend to improve the quality of their product, this presents their product with added value and increases consumer satisfaction, a strategy that exemplifies is the implementation of total quality management. Total Quality Management can be defined as the continuous process of reducing or eliminating errors in manufacturing, streamlining supply chain management, improving the customer experience and ensuring that employees are up-to-speed with their training. Total quality management aims to hold all parties involved in the production process as accountable for the overall quality of the final product or service. The strategy stated above can be best exemplified through the case study of Superking Tyres ltd.
Superking Tyres ltd. was established in the year 1982 with a small venture for making implement tyres and tubes. Gradually, with the help of technological advancements, high quality materials and latest machinery, SUPERKING started growing. Now, it produces Tyres and tubes for various applications such as Two wheelers, Cars, Van, Jeep, Utility vehicles, Go Kart, etc. It has developed markets not only in India but globally too. It is exporting tyres to USA, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Malaysia, etc. Superking boasts of many awards with the major ones being the CAPEXIL export award for five consecutive years (2011-2015) and the AIRIA product award.
Tire manufacturing is the process of producing the tread and the casing and assembling the core parts to build a unit of tire. At this stage, the raw materials especially for the rubber compound are mixed together at a pre-determined temperature. Following are the steps involved in production at Superking Tyres:
- Milling: thick slabs of rubber are continuously fed between pairs of rollers that mix the compound.
- Extruding: The tire compounds are directed into a die (i.e. mold) for generating various components (i.e. tread, sidewall, etc).
- Calendaring: The finished-rubber is coated with different kinds of fabrics to increase strength.(e.g. polyester, rayon, nylon, steel, etc).
A cutting machine is utilized for cutting the rubber compound into appropriate sizes for the manufacturing stage. Furthermore, the finished products are fed into a tire building machine, that pre-shape the various components of the tire (i.e. sidewalls, inner walls). Consecutively, a second machine applies the tread and belt to the prior components. A successful completion of these processes produces a tire without any tread patterns. In order to print the desired tread patterns the tire is vulcanized. Tire vulcanizing or tire curing is the process of placing an un-cured tire in a mold, applying high temperature and pressure, and producing engraved tread patterns. The finishing process is the last stage of tire production, whereby the tire is inflated to appropriate pressures, trimmed, and balanced. Subsequently, the manufactured tire is rigorously tested and inspected based on strict safety standards and regulations.
Superking tyres created a two step plan under TQM to improve their performance as well as profitability. The first step included reducing the number of tyres being rejected by introducing quality checks at every step of production; the second step was appointing internal auditors of quality in every department. These measures played a major role in the evolving of Superking tyres, and so this essay aims to investigate how significant has the implementation of total quality management been in improving profitability and sales at Superking tyres, hence the question How significant has the introduction of Total Quality Management been in Superking tyres ltd. To improve their profitability and sales?
To strengthen the case of how significant has the introduction of Total Quality Management been to Superking Tyres, profit and loss statement, sales activity report and their balance sheet before and after the implementation of TQM were collected and analysed. These documents will show exactly how effective the implementation of TQM was by either showing a profit or a loss as compared to the past year, even the comparison of sales activity report before and after the implementation of TQM will help by stating either an increase or a decrease in the sales. Hence the case study will examine the effect of TQM on the sales and profitability of Superking Tyres, if there is a significant decrease in the sales and profitability the strategy will end up as a failure, however if there is a significant increase in the sales and profitability then the strategy is a success.
Customer feedback form will help assess the significance of TQM on consumer satisfaction, whether consumers feel that the quality of the product and service is up to the standards or below the standard of their expectation. Positive consumer feedbacks state that the strategy is a success, while negative feedbacks will prove it as a failure.
Reduction in Rejection Rates
As Superking was facing higher costs and decreasing profits it was noticed that their tyres had a high rejection rate, which was much higher than the average industry standards, they decided to introduce quality checks at each and every step of the production process. The primary aim of the audit was to help with a decision about supplier quality certification, and to encourage their employees to achieve continuous quality improvement. To avoid mix-ups separate two roll mills were introduced for each compound and different colour indication were given to different tyre treads, these reduced the amount of scrap as there were lesser faults in the tyres. Control cards have been used at each an every step of the production process in order to be sure that the tyre matches the required standards, only if the tyre matches the required standards is it allowed to move ahead to the next step of production. They introduced a system called the cut tyre analysis which allows them to check the weight of the tyre before it is packed and shipped earlier this wasnt being done and they were shipping tyres with higher weights than required, this lead to increased costs as more material was being used and thus reducing profits. Cloth sheets of non-corrosive metals have been implemented on the floor to keep the tyres from trapping lesser dust, thus improving their quality and durability.
Compound recipes have been amended in sync with the international requirements as well as the national markets by using different combinations of rubber, polymer and chemicals, hence increasing the mileage, reducing wear-outs, and improving steering control.
Superking also introduced 3D tyre inspection laser, The 3D vision system uses software to search for light-to-dark transitions created by the laser line as it scans the object. A 3D image is created from combining the results of determining the width and height of the laser line as it scans the object, using smart 3D vision systems to inspect tires during the component preparation, tire assembly, and the finishing processes ensures the quality and consistency of the finished tire.
Appointing Internal Auditors and Weekly Meetings
it is necessary for the employees to have all the knowledge about the tools they are using to do their work efficiently
For every department internal auditors have been appointed, these auditors delegate work to their subordinates while making sure that the quality standards are being met, weekly meeting are scheduled within each department to discuss the problems that the staff is facing and how can these be overcome.
As Superking Tyres is capital intensive, it uses the most advanced machinery in its production process making it difficult for the employees to use each and every feature efficiently, hence monthly meeting are scheduled with the technical head wherein he trains the staff to use technology in the most efficient way.
The technical head also invites employees for one on one meetings to know their performances and to motivate them to do better this boosts the employees morale thus making them work productively and efficiently.
Superking tyres reviews their objectives and targets every month and take necessary action where the targets are not being achieved, reduction of scrap and seconds are being monitored regularly. With the analysis of their objectives and targets last year Superking noticed a shortage of demand in the export market so they created a revised production plan of 200MT/month and this decision turned out to be very profitable as now they were producing an amount that was demanded which lesser wasted stock and lower losses.
A management review meeting (MRM) is held every 4 months where all members of the management review community get together to discover the agendas of the business. The agenda of MRM are as follows:
- Follow up action from previous review meeting
- Results of internal audit
- Customer feedback and complaints
- Process performance and product conformity
- Status of preventive and corrective actions
- Change that could affect the quality management system
- Recommendation for improvement
- Quality policy and objectives
- Resource requirement
- Any other business
- Consumer Satisfaction
Edwards Deming who is known as the father of modern quality movement once said reducing variation and improving quality is a never-ending cycle of design, production and delivery, followed by surveying customers and then starting all over again. Superking motors was constantly noticing changes and improvements in quality, however one thing they were lagging at was consumer satisfaction and as we know consumer satisfaction is one of the main aspects of TQM so Superking aimed to improve customer satisfaction. Customers complained that their calls went unattended, some complained that the staff was very rude and misbehaved over the phone. The consumers feedback forms reflected some customers satisfaction while others dissatisfaction. With all the primary research the company had done they understood that their consumers werent satisfied which was costing them money as they were missing out on so many potential customers. Quality management must be understood by everyone in the organization in order to work, so Superking tyres decided to brief the staff on the importance of consumer satisfaction, and told them that customers were the organizations priority. A professional tele-marketer was hired by the business to look after customer queries and complaints and the complaints were looked after by their respective departments this helped Superking Gain consumer trust and loyalty. The organization also introduced support services, i.e. support provided after the product or service has been sold. The support services takes care of any consumer queries or problems related to the product that they have bought. With all these changes in the employees mindset and the structural changes brought into the organization the customers were much more satisfied with the firm than before and this is resulted in the customer feedback forms provided by Superking tyres.
Analysis Michael Porter's Five Forces Model
Michael E Porter's five forces tool according to me is the best to analyze any business. Therefore, with this analysis I will look at Superking through porters view...
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