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As mentioned earlier, Al Futtaim is conglomerate in the private sector. It has group companies that deal with the automotive industry, technology, services, retail, hotels, insurance, real estate and financial services. It has more than 65 companies. It is essentially a property development business chaired by Majid Al-Futtaim since 2000 after splitting of the family business. It was founded in 1930 and has continued to show constant and consistent growth over the years. This has been aided by different service quality tools that the group was applying. This ensures satisfaction of customers and makes sure that they always come back to buy their products. It also keeps away business organizations that carry out competing activities.
Success of this group has not been achieved by a lucky chance. It has been caused by strategies that it has constantly laid over the years in order to compete with other firms. It has faced problems in the past which even required intervention of the vice president of the United Arab Emirates who is the chairman’s friend. However, it has come out to be outstanding even after problems confronting it. This shows efficiency and effectiveness of methods and tools that the group uses in the service quality improvement. That is the reason why it gets better every day. Various awards that the organization has been receiving over the years are the proof that services that it offers are excellent. They may not be perfect, but they al least satisfy most of the customers.
The group has continuously continued to lay down its objectives over the years. For example, the objectives they set for 2010 were “provision of quotations within 24 hours, 95% immediate product availability with constant strive to achieve 100% within 72 hours to consumers, constantly evaluating customer satisfaction by on going performance evaluation and handling of emergency calls within 4 hours” (Milakovich 1995). The effect that these objectives had on the workers will extensively be discussed in the essay. Other than that, laying down of such objectives is an attraction to the customers. Even before delivering services to the customers, they feel that they have visited the right place. This is because objectives assure them of quality services, which cannot be compromised.
Use of Balanced Score Card
To start with, they have used the concept of the balanced score card. This is where a company clarifies the vision and turns it into clear objectives. The statement of the vision is vital for a firm. However, the most valuable part is whether the firm can change its dreams and visions into clear objectives, which the workers can relate to. The vision of this group is “to be recognized by its consumers as the company of their choice, whose service customs surpass those of their competitors. This is the vision that can work wonders for a firm. Comparing this vision with success of the firm, it is clear that the company has realized the set goals over time. This is because the customers that it has been able to acquire are lasting customers” (Kunst 1997). Their products seem to be preferred to those of their competitors. For example, the Kids Play is a company of Al-Futtaim which deals with the child entertainment. It is located in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. This company is popular to societies all over the world due to the services provided. They ensure that they create a suitable and friendly environment for growth and development of kids of all ages. This keeps their customers always coming back for more. Therefore, their competitors cannot be a threat. All this can be attributed to the vision of the company. It motivates the employees and keeps reminding the people in charge on the set goals and what should be done to achieve them.
Focusing on the Larger Picture in the Mission and Vision
The other tool that the business has used extensively is focusing on the larger picture. This is well shown through their mission. The mission of the group is “to continue investing in top notch-systems and high end technology”. This mission is applied in all the companies that make up this conglomerate. The automotives and electronics industries are the ones that are most affected by this mission. This is because they lie in the field that is the subject to changes in design, form and technology. These are exceptionally busy companies, which have many customers from all over the world. They are involved in numerous daily activities that may carry away minds of the leaders, as well as the employees. However, the mission is precise and clear. It helps the employees to focus on the bigger picture. It is true that they want to sell those individual vehicles every day. However, the bigger picture should not be overlooked. It is what guides the company in its day-to-day activities (Zeithaml 2004). The technology and distribution industry seriously needs this mission. It keeps the researchers in the company on toes in case application of the latest technology is required. This may be in various fields such as consultancy.
Empowerment of Employees
In the business itself, the employees and all the other people involved are empowered by such objectives. They are pushed by desire to remain at the top of the market even with the rising number of competitors. These are objectives that show clear intentions of the group. They have a goal of dominating business activities in the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, they are interested in supplying the customers with quality services. This ensures that customers are satisfied with services that the company is offering. Therefore, they opt for the services of the company as compared to those of its competitors. The impact of these objectives cannot be denied. The group has continuously received awards for provision of quality services to its consumers. The advantage of this group is that it is conglomerate. Therefore, the objectives that are set apply to all the firms and companies. They are made to be universal so that they can apply to all the companies in the organization.
This is another tool that has been extensively used in this group. It has constantly laid down different ways in which objectives are to be realized. The leaders of the group have gone on to be quite specific on the actions that need to be taken in order to achieve all the set objectives. This has been coupled by efforts to ensure that these stated actions are followed to the latter and that ethics are upheld at the work place. Through planning of the actions that are to be taken, the workers are able to know what exactly to do. They also know when to do anything. This is because these actions give a specific duration through which they have to be achieved. Therefore, the customer is able to acquire the quality service that is intended. This is a hugely fundamental concept for survival of any business or company that has competitors.
This group is in a region where competition is at its peak. Therefore, it has to enhance its competitive landscape as well as come up with formal design that can cope with the competition. This is the reason as to why the group opts to dwell on customer satisfaction. This is the best way of depriving its competitors of these customers. The surrounding businesses are also competent. They are based in the gulf region and in the entire world. These include Europe, Egypt, Pakistan, Arabia, Sri-Lanka, Syria, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Singapore. However, they are still able to make massive profits and market share. This shows that this is the organization which has the ability to set goals as well as implement them in the real world. The list of tools and concepts that the company has used in improving its service quality is endless. This is the reason as to why the business has been remarkably successful over the years. However, the group is not at its maximum. There are still some other tools which can be applied in order to improve the service quality.
The offering of quality services to the consumers might seem to be expensive in the short run. However, they reap many profits in the future and ensure that the business has lasting customers. Therefore, the business, which has high quality service, satisfies the needs of its customers. It also remains economically competitive since it has strategies to cope up with the market conditions. It is normally achieved by identifying problems that affect the business in the industry and by improving the operational processes. The business should also establish reliable measures for system performance as well as measuring customer satisfaction.
Comparison of the Strategy and Achievements
Results of this company have been seen each year. For example, in 2009 it won the HR initiative of the year award at the HR summit of the Middle East excellence awards. This is because it was able to come up with innovative HR infrastructure. It formed this from the SAP-based human capital management system and e-recruitment procedures. In the first three months of its inception, their job hunt web portal received more than 50,000 applications. This shows how successful business is as well as impact that it has on the society.
Al-Futtaim also uses empowerment of employees as a tool to improve the service quality. This group is under one management. However, it uses a decentralized approach when carrying out its operations. It allows for flexibility and versatility of individual businesses. This creates a favorable work culture for employees and sense of freedom at the work place. This is the best working condition that can be offered to an employee. When an employee has the freedom as well as trust placed on him, he performs wonders. The employees are able to do the extra ordinary (Oleson 2009). They do not only deliver what is expected of them. They exceed the expectations of the employer. This ensures that services that are being offered by the firm are quality services. It also makes the employees be innovative and new ideas are generated in the businesses. It is these ideas from the employees that aid in the achievement of services that are intended by the firm.
Sources of Competitive Advantage and How it Can be Maintained
The main quality servicing sources in the group which ensure that it has an advantage over the other businesses is customer satisfaction. Most of the tools and concepts that this organization has used are directed towards providing and offering quality products to consumers. This gives them an added advantage over the other firms which are emerging as well as those that have already been in the industry. This is because the customers who use their products are satisfied. Therefore, they cannot opt to go for products and services that are offered by the competitors. This is an advantage that can give any organization an upper hand in business. Therefore, it should be maintained at all costs in order to ensure continued success of the business. Its maintenance will depend on the efforts put in by the leaders. These efforts should be directed towards providing even better quality services to consumers. The group should continue advocating for ethics in the work place. This ensures that all the workers meet the customer’s expectations (Hardy 2003). The advantage can also be maintained by creating and maintaining a healthy business environment. This ensures that employees are comfortable as they undertake their duties. Therefore, they are able to deliver their services that are required of them. Even with extensive strategies, without strong and willing work force, service quality cannot be achieved. Therefore, the main aim of the business should be satisfaction of customers.
Ways of Improving the Organization’s Culture and Performance
There are other tools and concepts which can be used to better the performance of this already successful company. Even though it has achieved a lot in the past years, it can still do better in the world market if it applies some of the tools and concepts discussed.
Listening to the Customer Needs
The best way to find out the queries, tastes and expectations of customers is by listening to them. This group should come up with more ways through which customers can air their views. With improvement of technology, there has been extensive use of the internet. This is one reliable and effective way through which a business can come up with customer listening methods. Through the internet, the business should come up with platforms through which customers can air their queries. At the business premises, the employees that exhibit inefficiency should be identified by offering methods through which customers can comment on the services offered (ORIX 2007). This is a vital way to make sure that services that are provided to customers are of exceptional quality. The group should also encourage innovations on better ways through which customers can be listened.
Managing of Conflicts
For success of any business organization, integration is a vital factor. There needs to be the unity between the workers. They have to posses the ability to work together. With conflicts revolving around them this is impossible. Therefore, the business should come up with ways through which these conflicts can be identified. They might occur as a result of status of different people in the organization. There are many other reasons that could cause these conflicts. It is the duty of managers to make sure that these conflicts are fully settled and that the involved parties are still working together. One such act was seen during formation of this group. There was a conflict between Majid and his cousin. This had been caused by competition between them. It prompted intervention of the vice president of the United Arab Emirates. He was able to solve the conflict by splitting them into two. This has born desirable fruits since Maid’s group has grown to be one of the world’s greatest. On the other hand, his cousin has become one of the wealthiest people in the world. This shows that solution of conflicts can have favorable results in any business.
Employers and employees derive immense morale in realization of goals and objectives. Just the way the business sets its objectives, it should be quick to evaluate itself. At the end of each year, this group should come up with a way through which it compares its performance with the set objectives. It should then make this information known to its employees. This will show them results and fruits of their efforts as well as their ability to achieve the set goals and objectives (Rust 1993). When they establish this, they get the morale to work harder in the following year in order to achieve the set objectives. Therefore, the services provided to the customer will be of exceptional quality and class. This will ensure that competitors of the business do not get an upper hand at any time. This is because the customers will be constantly supplied with satisfactory goods and services. By applying these named tools, this group will be able to achieve its objectives and goals. This will ensure that it copes with the competition from the neighboring firms. However, the company should continue with its pursuit of satisfying customer needs. This has given it an upper hand in the past and can do the same in the future.
From the written above it is clear that strategies, as well as tools of quality service, applied by business organization are vital. It makes sure that quality services are provided to customers. It also ensures that the organization remains competent and competitive in the market. Therefore, success of the business with favorably service quality strategies is guaranteed. Although the external environment also counts, these strategies are the most important in the business. They increase the suitability of the business to survive in any environment.