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Case Study :: Bringing Back Customers to 'Just Shop Here'
by OS Balaji - a Quality Management Professional with experience in implementing Quality management systems across diversified industries. Worked along in ISO 9001:2000, CMM, CMMi, Six Sigma & TS 16949. Click here for his blog.

Pranav was a worrisome manager of ‘Just Shop Here’, after he started getting complaints from customers at a rate of 3 complaints for every 10 customers serviced. Supermarkets are highly customer service oriented business. The complaints were targeted towards deficiency in service. The state of business started giving Pranav sleepless nights.

After spotting this trend for one month he called in all his departments heads, brainstormed, discussed with facts and boiled down to set of causes that were the sources of problem. All areas spanning across - men, material, methods were put under introspection. He was all set to find solution for various causes undermined. (1)

This is when he roped in Veeru, a freelance consultant to help him out of trouble. On analysis they found major causes for service deficiency:

  • Non-availability of few of the regularly bought food packets
    Poor inventory management of shelf items and ‘to be ordered’ items.
    Veeru’s guidance: First analyze which are the most sought out items depending on their demand and cost. Segregate all items to three different classes then decide the best fit inventory control for them. (2)
  • Inconsistent supplier performance
    They boiled down on this cause after collecting and plotting data of supplier’s on time delivery over a period of six months for key stocks. The trend thus seen was analyzed.
    (3)
    Veeru’s guidance: ____________________________
  • Poor quality wallets returned by customers
    Inadequate inspection mechanism for wallets prior to acceptance for sale.
    Veeru’s guidance: As wallets are purchased in lots of thousands, devise a checking mechanism so that a representative lot could be taken for inspection and acceptance rejection limits could be defined. (4)
  • Low employee morale
    Veeru’s guidance: Introduce a system encouraging employees to give small improvement suggestions akin to Japanese continual improvement system. Analyze them and implement them quickly and reward the employees for participation. (5)

After six months things changed dramatically and it was the day, Pranav called Veeru and said "Veeru, thanks a lot. After implementing all your suggestions we are doing very well and you know what, I am on the way to collect the Best Supermarket award for the region".

  • Questions

a. What are the five different quality techniques/tools that had been made used in various situations
    marked against (1),(2),(3),(4),(5) by Veeru and Pranav?
b. What would have been Veeru’s guidance for problem related to 'inconsistent supplier performance'?

 

Click here for ANSWERS