Total Quality Management (TQM) in the United Arab Emirates

Abstract

This paper is aimed at investigating the level of Total Quality Management (TQM) in a company in the United Arab Emirates. This analysis will gauge whether TQM is used to the highest level in the operation management of the particular company. The major focus of this paper will be to describe how TQM is applied in the company’s activities and an analysis of the company when it uses the method and when not using it will also be detailed here.

Introduction

In order for a company to be competitive, the quality of its products cannot be compromised. The quality management systems that are employed by a company must be integrated into their normal activities and routines conducted daily. TQM is therefore not a theory but a fundamental part of the overall development of a company’s products and services (Oakland, 2001). The process must be used right from the design phase of both products and services and must be continuous over time to reflect improvements in the initial products developed.

TQM has been adopted by a large number of companies throughout the world. The United Arab Emirates (popularly UAE) has not been left behind in realizing how fundamental the process is in order to maintain a competitive advantage. The Galadari Brothers Company is one such company that has been extensively engrossed into TQM in all of their products and services. The group has investments in big sectors of the country’s economy namely automobiles, industrial, trading, hospitality, retail, real estate, IT, tourism and travel, media and engineering. The company has a plan that is aimed at ensuring that their products and services cut across international borders so as to expand their interests. For this dream to come to fruition, the company’s management agrees that TQM is integral.

TQM in the Radisson BLU, Dubai Deira Creek

This is a five star luxury Hotel in Dubai. It is located in the bustling business district. The hotel is owned by the Galadari group and is the main focus of this analysis. It has a wide variety of facilities including 276 luxury rooms, 11 restaurants, 3 bars, a cake shop and a dhow. The hotel has created a reputation for having some of the best Chinese, Persian, Italian and Dubai’s seafood. In addition, there are 2 ballrooms all together accommodating over 1,500 guests. For this facility to gain and maintain its reputation, there are a few management aspects that have been established.

TQM involves the management of all factors in the day-to-day activities of an organization. This principle has been used in the hotel and began by making sure that the right culture is established. Consideration has to be given to the fact that cultures are influenced by different factors either internal or external. The hotel has categorized their cultural aspects into those that they have control over including performance, efficiency, task focus and clarity of roles.

All these are external factors and have been grouped as being rational aspects. In the internal controlled aspects, there are those that constitute the hierarchical culture including centralization, stability, control and predicting outcomes. This shows that nothing is left to chance and the organization has a pre-determined plan of action that details the outlook of all undertakings. The company also insists on teamwork, participation and also in empowering its employees to perform to the best of their abilities. This usually involves having an open door policy and also constant training and retraining of staff. The hotel has a “Yes we Can” mantra which combines the one-to-one hospitality with other clever service concepts. All this is meant to make the guest stay easy. Radisson BLU boasts of a unique service experience with a 100 % guarantee on guest satisfaction

The customer in the service industry is integral in the general experience. Therefore, the measurement of TQM in this industry is much more complex as the quality has to be consistent and is delivered many times over. In the Radisson BLU, the focus of the management is mostly on training the employees to be sensitive to customer needs at all times. This point can never be overemphasized as the ambassadors of the hotel are ultimately those that are directly interacting with the guests. The fact that service is intangible and thus cannot be stored presents a major problem for hotel managers everywhere as attention to detail at every service undertaking is fundamental since an unsatisfied guest is very detrimental to the overall outlook of the organization.

In order to better analyze the performance of TQM in the Radisson BLU, all the tenets of TQM have to be put into the hotel’s context. TQM involves 3 major tenets namely: focus on the customer so as to define and achieve quality, teamwork in unification of company goals and a scientific approach to decisions based on data gathered from stakeholders including partners and guests. The management of the Radisson BLU has emphasized on quality when serving guests. Though the focus is largely on the way the service is conducted, the hotel has ensured that the quality starts with the purchase of raw materials that go into the crafting of the final products in the service bouquet received by the customer. The hotel has partnered with the most reputable suppliers to guarantee quality of the food, décor and other raw materials consumed in the hotel. Here, the management has invested a lot in ensuring that quality is always key when serving guests.

The other major focus of TQM is teamwork. The management of the Radisson BLU believes that the total sum of the efforts pooled by all employees outweighs that of the sum of the individual efforts. This stems from having clearly defined roles that avoid duplication and overlapping. Every employee, although having a clear job description, has the obligation to intervene in another task not allocated to him/her to ensure that all operations are running smoothly. The management insists that the company should either prosper as a whole or fail as a whole. Therefore, everyone has to put in extra effort to ensure the smooth running of the organization and eventual success.

The last tenet of TQM is having a scientific approach to both decision making and the evaluation of products and services. This is very tricky since as discussed above, service quality cannot be benchmarked as it occurs at very many points in the course of the hotel operations mostly simultaneously. The United Arab Emirates being a Muslim country has rigid set of cultural norms. In the overall guest satisfaction scenario, there are a number of activities that may not augur well with the cultural norms of this community. This may present a problem for the maximization of guest experiences through TQM.

There are a number of other criteria that can be used in the analysis of the Radisson BLU that are alternative to TQM e.g. performance appraisal. While analyzing the performance of the hotel through performance appraisal systems, one can determine and evaluate the quality of its service and other operations. Using this system, it is possible to determiner that the management has performed very exemplarily in ensuring that the hotel is a leader in the provision of hospitality products in a very competitive environment. Through the appraisal of individual departments, each seems to be doing their jobs t the best of their abilities as is evidenced by the profitability of the outlet. The performance appraisal mechanism although successful in the evaluation of individual departments does not focus on the long-term objectives of a given company. Therefore, where it may reflect good performance, TQM may reflect a lack of consistency in the product and service delivery.

Conclusion

The Radisson BLU is undoubtedly a major player in the hospitality scene in Dubai. Its performance has been lauded and awarded by having repeat guests who always choose it over many others in the same location. This has been assisted by the fact that the hotel (Flynn and Saladin, 2006, pp. 583) right from the product and service design phases has emphasized on quality. In the subsequent development of the products and services from their initial phase the aspect of quality is always integral.

In the discussion above, it is evident that the focus of TQM is on the interaction of the customer who is the major focus and to whom the quality of the products has to be guaranteed. The organization has to function as a single unit in ensuring that all tasks are completed in a comprehensive manner so as to complement the overall operations. Finally, the service and the customer experience have to be evaluated to determine whether they are consistent with the standards designed by the organization from the onset.

References

Flynn, B.B. and Saladin, B. (2006). Relevance of Baldrige constructs in an international context: A study of national culture. Journal of Operations Management, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 583. Web.

Oakland, J. S. (2001). Total Organizational Excellence: Achieving world-class performance. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. Web.