Quality Management Journal - July 2019 - ASQ

Quality Management Journal - July 2019

Volume 26 • Number 3

INTRODUCTION

ARTICLES

  • Packaged Food Industry: Wake up, Your Complex, Costly Equipment Extends Lead Times—and Hides Pathogens
    By Richard J. Schonberger
    This article advocates major changes in the way the packaged foods industry equips and operates its factories: minimal numbers of complex high-cost, high-maintenance, multipurpose production lines that dump massive quantities of goods into distribution channels well out of sync with customer demand. It calls instead for multiple low-cost, low-maintenance, easy-to-clean and set-up product-focused lines or cells—a formula long known in the lean/JIT production community. This configuration is alternatively labeled concurrent production (CP) in that it turns out many different product types concurrently. The CP way of engineering the production process enhances competitiveness by reducing outsized distribution inventories and getting the right mix of goods to customer entities with much shorter lead times, and in packaged foods at the same time reduces high exposure to pathogens. The economic benefits of the simple-equipment formula—“right-sized” for flow opposed to “monuments” and batch production—are established in the literature. Applications are found in diverse sectors, from metalworking and electrical to airplanes. However, CP is largely unrecognized in consumer-packaged goods in general—and hardly at all in packaged foods and beverages—a travesty inasmuch as the CP configuration greatly reduces frequency and difficulties that accompany equipment changeovers and clean-outs, which are dominant havens for pathogen incursions.
  • Measuring the Influence of Service Quality on Patient Satisfaction in Malaysia
    By Christine Nya-Ling Tan, Adedapo Oluwaseyi Ojo, Jun-Hwa Cheah & T. Ramayah
    The healthcare industry is increasingly becoming more competitive, with patients now demanding a higher level of service quality. This study aims to model the impact of service quality (medical care procedures, administrative practices, hospital image, trustworthiness, patient safety, infrastructure, personnel quality, and social responsibility) on patient satisfaction. Using a structured questionnaire, data were gathered from 194 patients from public and private hospitals in Melaka and Johor. The data were analyzed using a second-generation analytical software, SmartPLS. The results suggest the model can explain 58 percent of the variance in patient satisfaction. Hospital image, patient safety, personnel quality, and social responsibility were the significant predictors of patient satisfaction. Personnel quality was the most important predictor. The implication is that to keep patients satisfied and willing to return for subsequent treatments, the hospitals should invest more on training their personnel.
  • Operations Strategies Alignment Patterns and Service Quality: Airline Global Analysis
    By Saleh Alkhatib & Yazan Migdadi
    This article aims to analyze airline operations strategies to identify possible alignment patterns and their effect on airline service quality worldwide. An intensive analysis of more than 350 airlines’ operations strategies (schedule and capacity) and their combinations was conducted. Then, the effect of each combination was examined using different analysis methods to identify the best airline operations strategy alignments across regions worldwide. Out of the 18 alignment patterns identified, six have a significant effect on airline service quality. Finally, alignment patterns that fit with each region were also identified. The results of this study help academics and decision-makers alike. The academics have results regarding the theoretical strategic alignments, best strategic alignments, and the adopted strategic alignments of airlines operations strategies across regions. These results are a good source for teaching purposes and future research. Therefore, propositions and hypotheses could be formulated according to this research results. Decision-makers of each region have better insight about the effective and ineffective strategic alignments.

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