Tesco is the most successful supermarket chain in UK because of its well-known good services and product quality. To maintain this loyalty, they go greater lengths to improve and sustain quality.
Tesco define quality assurance and quality control as an ongoing approach to providing 100% customer satisfaction by providing error free, waste free and accident free products and services.
To establish this quality process, each functions management staff attends meetings every day on total quality management and on leadership of quality between functions to achieve objectives.
Within the company, a quality improvement team meets weekly to lead and monitor the quality process. The organisation as a whole has principles that it operates on to ensure quality mainly: –
* A must to meet customer requirements and satisfaction all the time
* Prevention of defects and errors of any kind
* Measurements to verify the processes are meeting requirements as intended
Improving quality in products is done in many ways. Starting with products produced by Tesco itself to meet their customer needs, products are inspected and tested at various points during production.
Staff are highly trained to maintain quality and also keep personal hygiene so that they don’t contaminate the products with germs. The products also have expiry dates which also monitored so that the expired ones are quickly removed. Most fresh products are not sold after 24 hours but instead removed and replaced with new ones. The place is regularly cleaned to maintain hygiene. The quality control & assurance management is concerned with detecting and cutting out the products that fall below set standards.
This process takes place after these products have been produced. Quality control is carried out by Tesco employing quality control inspectors. Inspection and testing are the most common methods Tesco uses to carry out quality control.
Quality assurance occurs both during and after the event, and is concerned with trying to stop faults from happening. Quality assurance is concerned with making sure products are produced to satisfactory standards. Quality assurance is the responsibility of the workforce working in teams. Quality standards should be maintained by following steps set out in Tesco quality assurance system.
Tesco produce their very own basic household products to satisfy the needs of various consumers. There are various processes involved in adding value in the process of their products. Tesco add value to their products by adding more information on the products.
Even when a product remains the same, packaging information may have to be altered because of a change in legal requirements, changes in nutritional concepts, or advances in food preservation and cooking. For example, a product might have its packaging altered to indicate that it could be suitable for microwave cooking. It will therefore be necessary to test the product in their laboratory. Here they insert fibre optic probes into the product. This allows Tesco to monitor the temperature of the product whilst it is cooking, in order to ensure that it reaches a high enough temperature for it to be consumed with safety and this is how Tesco adds value to its goods so that customers are tempted and attracted to buy them.
Tesco products are continually monitored and tested for their quality and customer acceptability; this is their product evaluation. Tesco staff and management procedures are also monitored to ensure that they maintain the highest standards; this is quality assurance. Below are the quality systems which Tesco use in their production process to add value.
Total Quality Management (TQM) – this is the most complete and complicated form of operations management. It is concerned with encouraging everyone in the workplace to think about quality in the business and use different management techniques within each department. Tesco does not prescribe any particular system of standards such as BS5750 or ISO9000. This is because they set their own standards through product specifications, detailed analytical specifications and codes of practice like preventing diseases from entering the food chain. Within the product process, they also expect their suppliers to have identified the critical points in the production process controls and premises by one of their technologists. However, if a supplier chooses to use BS5750 or ISO9000 as part of its discipline, they have no objection whatsoever. So therefore Tesco uses its very own quality standards to produce and sell its products.
In terms of services, Tesco staff are well trained to deal with customers even in the most difficult moments when they are angry. They are always expected to be polite, smile when serving customers and also say bye after serving them. To enforce this, they are regularly monitored by managers and supervisors and anybody not obeying the regulations faces disciplinary action.
Tesco not only has well trained staff but also a whole lot of other things including free car parks with easy access for shoppers who have cars, free wide trolleys with special seats for babies and young children, special tills for the disabled people which also decreases long queues, the supermarkets are well organised that a shopper can easily find what they are looking for and also the chances of getting lost around the places are very minimal, they have got staff always standing by to help, tight security with guards and CCTV cameras to maintain customer safety, some stores have free busses that customers can use, children’s play areas so that they don’t get so bored, it has got online orders where customers make their orders and get free delivery to their door steps, shops are always open to make it more reliable for customers to shop, some stores are open twenty four hours a day and many are adopting this idea, chairs around the place which customers can sit on when tired, free loyalty cards for customers who wish to sign up therefore saving on their shopping, Tesco not only provides western food but also ethnic foods to cater for the ethnic minorities, free scanners that shorten queues, special offers like buy one get one free, there is a variety of product s in the stores, more facilities including:
-electric, books, music & video stores
Tesco is definitely meeting its quality objectives. They have been awarded quality prices and granted as the best supermarket chain in the country. Their sales are always growing and the only time they fall is when the whole economy is not doing well which means people are in recessions. Because the business is able to deliver good quality services and products, it is increasingly expanding with stores all over Europe and also being the first UK supermarket chain to expand into Asia.