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Fujairah Marine Services & Trading Company LLC is a marine service provider strategically located in the Port of Fujairah. The company was established in 1988. It has capitalized on the experience it has gained over the years to become one on the best shipping services and husbandry services for a number of customers trading in the Arabian Gulf with their ships and fleets (Fujairah Marine Services & Trading CO, 2006a). Mostly, the company provides services to the ships that dock at the anchorages/ports in the United Arab Emirates, especially at Fujairah Khorfakkan and Kalba. The company's services are provided 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and 365 days per year. The company has a shipping agency division that also provides shipping services on a 24/7 basis throughout the year. They are provided at all ports in the United Arab Emirates within the vicinity of Kalba, Fujairah and Kharfakkan. The agencies with the professional staff are in charge of providing a number of husbandry services, which include clearing and forwarding (storing services, the provision of spare, etc.), receiving consignments/mail and coordinating the forwarding, garbage and slop collection services, the supply of fresh water, the provision of bankers and lubricants, medical services, the communication storage and offshore supply services for ships (Fujairah Marine Services & Trading CO, 2006b). The supply of water is done by Fujairah Fresh Water Production Co. LLC. Other its subsidiaries are located in the Port of Fujiarah. It can deliver any quantities of fresh water to any location around Fujairah Khorfakkan and Kalba upon demand. The company boasts its ownership of a spacious warehouse and yard providing the storage services for keeping the shipment landing from vessels. It further boasts the possession of the efficiently qualified and experienced personnel. Most of the staff have gained their experience through working for the firm and the provision of onboard services. The company's quality statement and philosophy espouses its commitment to provide quality services to customers (Fujairah Marine Services & Trading CO, 2006c).
Approaches Used by the Team
The team will employ various approaches to acquire the information about the state of the company. The team will then proceed to use this information conduct as a critical gap analysis of the company and to provide recommendations for the implementation of quality management systems within the company to improve its services.
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The first approach that will be employed by the company is the use of interviews to ask the employees at the company as well among the company's customers. Interviews will be conducted at the convenience of respondents; and the interviewing team will seek to gain more information about the services provided by firms. The interviews will generate the qualitative information about the company's quality management system. They will be conducted via telephone calls. The second approach that will be used to collect the information is the use of questionnaires. Questionnaires will be structure to generate the specific information about the company form both its employees and its customers. They will be prepared and emailed to respondents who will fill them and email them back. The questionnaires will generate the quantitative information. Finally, the third approach that will be used to gain the information about the company is the secondary literature, which includes the company's records, media reports about it, and the press statement made by the firm.
All these methods will seek to interrogate the current quality management approaches being practiced by the company, to identify weaknesses, strengths and gaps recommending improvements of the quality management systems at the organization. This is done in order to meet the standards stipulated by ISO 9000. The company's employees and records will provide the critical information about the service production practices and measure in place to oversee the production of quality services. On the other hand, customers will provide the critical information regarding the quality of the services offered by the firm as well as their satisfaction level as far as these services are concerned. Finally, it will help to determine whether there is a feedback system that allows customers to give the feedbacks and suggestions and whether this has been used to improve the QMS.
Alongside these approaches, a checklist will be used to map the current activities at the organization. The team has chosen the use of a checklist because such ones provide the best tool for identifying gaps within the quality management systems. The checklists and questionnaires are provided in the appendix.
A gap analysis is a very useful in determining the gaps in the Quality Management Systems at the Organization. This analysis will compare the current quality management practices and what they should be like (Khanna, 2007). This is necessary to determine the shortcomings in the current quality management systems and to help determining approaches that will be used to improve the current system to the level it should be.
Overall Existing System and Document Control
The company has a quality management system in place. The firms' system is most geared at improving the services' provision processes at the organization and enhancing the quality of services issued to customers. However, the quality standards are not definite and well documented. The main quality standard that the organization operates by is the quality promise given to customers through its quality statement and ambition stated in the organization's mission statement (Fujairah Marine Services & Trading CO, 2006b). The organization does not have a comprehensive quality manual. This quality manual is an indispensable instrument in the management of the quality of services delivered to clients. It stipulates the quality objectives and provides a pathway for the achievement of these goals. It stipulates the step followed in delivering services and what the conduct of the employees should be like, the management responsibility, and the management of resources
The organization further exercises the adequate document control. There are several documents necessary for a robust quality management system. The company has adequate documentation for quality creation processes that stipulate how services are supposed to be delivered, personnel documents, internal audits, management and records for release of consignment. However, there are gaps in the documentation. There is no documentation of improvements and appraisal of improvements, corrective actions, and preventive actions, documentation of customer requirements, documentation of customer feedback, and documentation of non-conformity.
Management responsibility is very critical for the realization of the consistent improvement in quality (Vintara, 2009). The management team of the organization exercises the appropriate control over quality. Firstly, the management has a commitment towards the quality improvement and takes charge of overseeing the creation of QMS, reviewing them, communicating to responsible parties, and availing the adequate resources (Evans, Lindsay & Evans, 2008). The management has also taken several measures to ensure quality including the customer focus, the quality policy, the management review, and the authority.
The management must ensure that the quality management systems must identify customer requirements in all areas of the service provision (Vintara, 2009). It should ensure that the requirements have been satisfied. Despite this, there are no deliberate efforts to collect the customer suggestions and feedbacks being useful for improving the quality of services.
The company has a quality policy in place with the main goals that the organization seeks to achieve in the provision of quality of its services (Khanna, 2007). The quality statement espouses broad goals of the organization as well as the parties responsible for the realization of goals. The statement further communicates the company's responsibility to its customers, the commitment to the customers' satisfaction and some quality management standards of the day. However, it is not communicated throughout the organization; and neither is it frequently reviewed for suitability.
Planning is paramount and ensures the organization meets the specific quality objectives. Planning starts by developing the specific and measurable objectives in regard to quality (Vintara, 2009). The QMS planning also involves planning how the QMS objectives will be achieved. The company does not have any specific quality goals and objectives. It does not deliberately plan the QMS.
Responsibility Authority and Communication
Responsibility and authority are well defined within the organization (Vintara, 2009). They meet quality management standards since the effective communication relies on the ability of management; and everyone in the organization should communicate properly and understand the responsibilities and positions within the company. Internal communication within the firm is excellent. However, the organization does not have a management representative to oversee the quality management systems within it.
The management conducts a review of the organization's performance (Vintara, 2009). The reviews identify some problems in the provision of services and address the customers' complaints. The reviews generate the outputs for improving the performance of the organization.
Resource management is critical for the implementation of quality management systems. Resources include people and materials as well as support to ensure the provision of services is successful (Vintara, 2009). All this must be provided in quantities and qualities ensuring that the company meets its quality management systems.
The organization has employees with skills and competencies that enable them to meet their duties. They have the skills and abilities to perfectly perform their responsibilities under the current organizational structure and quality policies, although they have education and training. Most of their productivity comes from the experience they have gained from working at the organization. The improvement of the quality management systems to ISO 9000 will require the additional training to encourage employees to practice the best practices (Song & Panayides, 2012). The organization did not have retooling training opportunities for its employees. This is why the consistent dependence on their initial education, training and experience. This is certainly an area that the organization should improve in order to enhance the productivities of its human resources. Although the company indicates the availability of training plans, there are no records of the actual training happening.
The organization has the adequate infrastructure to support their services' provision and provide quality services to its customers. The infrastructure comprises of the work space, work equipments, and supportive services that employees use to provide services to the company's customers. The firm has provided all the infrastructure needs to facilitate the provision of quality services to customers.
The work environment at the company provides employees with the adequate opportunities and enhances their ability to work effectively to meet the customers' expectations and stipulated quality standards. The company's environment empowers employees to creatively become involved in the provision of services to clients with proper employees' and equipment safety rules, the pollution control and environment protection/integrity.
Product and Service Realization
This starts with planning for the realization of services (Vintara, 2009). The organization clearly concerns itself with the steps and procedures involved in the provision of its services and products to customers. An effective QMS must have a clear path that is to be followed from the starting point to the final stage of services' provision. This ought to be planed, and significant steps or stages must be noted down. The FMS has clear steps that are incurred in the provision of services and products to its clients. The steps are followed by employees when providing services to clients. In addition, the presence of these steps clearly tells them what to expect at every stage of the service delivery. Secondly, in the product realization, the customer-related processes are critical. They include determining needs related to services, reviewing the needs related to products, and communicating with its customers.
Determination of the Needs Related to the Services
As dictated by the ISO 9000, the determination of the needs related to services involves assessing the company's process requirements (Vintara, 2009). This consists of the demands derived from customers, dictated by law or recommended standards within the industry (Hoyle, 2012). Although the organization consistently seeks to meet these requirements, most of them are met with those stipulated by law and recommended standards within the industry. Requirements from the customers' perspective are not fully met since there are no deliberate efforts to collect the feedback from the customers.
Review of the Needs' Related to Services
It is necessary to consistently review the requirements to ensure that the services provided have been met. Although the FM conducts these reviews, they are minimal and also have a little impact. They seek to ensure to ascertain whether the requirements are clearly defined, the firm has the ability to meet them; and the changes in processes and documentation.
Communication with Customers
Communication is a critical component in the realization of a quality management system. The effective QMS ensures the effective communication with the firm's customers. At the FM, there is a good communication between the organization and its customers. The organization has kept its clients informed of services. When the service provision is ongoing, the respective customers are constantly informed of proceedings. Customers are also informed on how they can contact the company and negotiate for services.
Design and Development Planning
This involves redefining stages involved in the production of services or products and identifying the responsible parties and examining the responsibilities. However, the FM rarely seeks to redesign its products although only few improvements have been made over time.
Design and Development Inputs
To design and develop the unbeatable products all relevant factors must be taken into consideration. These factors include some regulatory and legal requirements among other demands of the industry or standardized services. The company consistently sticks to these demands; and this has ensured the marketability of its services.
Design and Development Outputs
This shows how the requirements dictated by the inputs are being met by outputs. It should provide the specifics on how the services are organized and must be accompanied by the appropriate documentation. The company clearly meets this requirement through a clear illustration of how the inputs are used to generate the final services and also maintain the proper documentation of the service provision.
Design the Development Review, Verification and Validation
It is important to review the new design of the product verifying the information generated by the review and then validating the product. The FM conducts the review whenever improvements in the design of its services verify whether the services meet the required standards before validating them.
Purchasing is a critical process uncured by every organization. For ISO 9000, organizations must have a controlled measure for dealing with suppliers. Suppliers must be evaluated, and their products to be purchase should be thoroughly verified before the purchases are made. The FM consistently evaluates its suppliers and performs diligent purchases after the verification of its products.
Production and Service Provision
The service provision at the FM is highly controlled. Many verification and validation processes accompany the service provision. The company uses a set of approved validation procedures and the qualified personnel to ensure that services produced and given to customers to meet the industry standards. There are also several control measures and monitoring means to protect the customers' property and also ensure the traceability of goods.
Measurement, Analysis and Improvement
It is important to find out whether the Quality Management Systems within the organization are functioning properly and yielding the desired outcomes (Vintara, 2009). The organization must, therefore, develop several techniques for monitoring mechanisms and devices to ensure that the QMS implemented have been successful. These mechanisms include the determination of the customers' satisfaction and modalities of improving the satisfaction, internal audits, monitoring and measuring of processes and products, controlling products that do not conform to products, collection and analysis of information regarding the QMS. The FM has instituted some of these mechanisms to ensure the proper implementation of its quality management systems. There is an initiative to meet the customers' satisfaction and internal audits that are consistently conducted to determine how the organization is performing. The company has an adequate measure for monitoring a service provision process and the services themselves. This is meant to ensure that the services meet the promise and commitment made to customers. The company makes evaluations and audits for the non-conformance as well as collects and analyzes a range of information related to quality standards. Improvements are also beneficial. In fact, the QMS is meant for the continuous quality improvement. The improvement can be realized through corrective and preventive actions. Corrective actions involve the identification of problems, determining their main causes and preventing their recurrence. Preventive actions are the measures taken relating to corrective ones. They are taken to prevent the reoccurrence of the problems that trigger the corrective actions. It may also be done by identifying the issues before they occur and preventing their occurrence
Conclusion and Recommendations
Fujairah Marine Services & Trading CO. LLC certainly appreciates the importance of quality management systems in the continuous improvement of shipping and husbandry services the company gives to its clients. There are several measures in place to ensure that the services given to clients are of the excellent quality. A good number of these measures is excellent. They meet the standards stipulated by ISO 9000. However, several measures are not properly implemented. Below there is a set of recommendations that the company should adopt in order to ensure that all components of its quality management system meets the requirements stipulated by ISO 9000. The improvement of these areas will place the company in a good position for ISO 9001: 2008.