QM

FitXC Co. Ltd pride itself in quality retail, sells sport goods, gear, footwear, and apparel. For the past 10 years, FitXC has enjoyed 20 percent annual growth sales despite many challenges. Back in 1990s, when the company was entangled in industry downturn, rising production cost and declining demand, FitXC launched Total Quality and Human Resource effort to improve customer experience instead of downsizing. 

FitXC is committed to customer. The two key drivers of total quality effort were people and process. The focus on quality improvement was led by human resource department dedicated to quality improvement and partnered with quality department. Total quality was defined as “managing an enterprise to maximise customer satisfaction in the most efficient and effective way by involving people in improving the way work is done”. Being in retail industry, FitXC believes quality begins at the point of interaction between staff with customers. The HR and Quality department (TQHR) reengineered their infrastructure based on this philosophy. 

• Seek regular customer feedback. Continuously review and rethink improvement process. 

• Servicing line managers must attempt to meet employee needs. Managers become role model for continuous learning. 

• Practice what is preached in terms performance improvement.

• Act as one unified department with a portfolio of products and services. 

TQHR department focuses to reengineer various activities including business process improvements, publishing, facilitation, management consulting, reporting management, operations learning centre and counselling to sustain organisational quality infrastructure. 

Training and recruitment are believed to be the core competency to build sustainable quality to handle changes arising from new customer and competitors’ expectations on service quality. TQHR job is to increase its effectiveness first. Eventually TQHR is designed to help employees to cope with changes related to processes, to handle customers and competitors. The effort has helped to create new TQHR paradigm where employees worked directly with customer areas and therefore at the front end of the business and total quality. The reengineered, customer-focused department is described as “easy to do business with” which is accessible, nimble, and agile. Essentially TQHR is part of quality service design.

 

Discuss FitXC’s approach to blend human resource management with total quality. What lessons can be applied to your organisations? 

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