How RAK Ceramics apply quality in production of ceramics

 
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Methodology, Data Collection And Analysis

Methodology

The following paper is a qualitative research paper. The purpose of doing this research is to understand how RAK Ceramics applies the concept of quality and quality management in its production of ceramics. The paper uses secondary data which will be collected through a comprehensive literature review of books, journal articles, and company website.  Secondary research is convenient for this research because it helped in determining the concepts and theories of quality management and how RAK Ceramics can apply them to produce high-quality ceramics. It is also less costly as it involves the use of data and information gathered by others. Secondary provides this research with already existing information which is available in the library and the internet. The research was organized into five main sections. The first section aimed at identifying the customer service approaches that RAK Ceramics uses. This information was obtained from the company’s website and journal articles. The second part constituted the identification of RAK Ceramics’ quality integration approaches. This information was also obtained from the company’s website, Books, and electronic journal articles. The third section constituted the determination of RAK Ceramics’ policies and strategies for sales and marketing. The fourth section constituted the determination of the RAK’s customer satisfaction levels. The company’s website was a useful source of this information. Finally, the fifth section consisted of a study of the asset management methodologies which can be applied at RAK Ceramics to improve the quality of ceramics.

Data collection

A literature search is the main source of secondary data used to conduct this research.  The main subject domain is quality management and how it can be applied in the production of ceramics by ARAK ceramics.  A literature search was mainly designed to accomplish research objectives including identifying the customer service approaches used by RAK, identifying  RAK’s quality integration approaches, determining the sales and marketing strategies of RAK,  and to explore the RAK Ceramics’ performance modeling. The literature search was conducted through visiting the library and selecting books and journals which deal with quality management and how quality management principles can be applied in the production facilities and organizations. Also, the literature search was conducted through the internet where he researcher mainly retrieved journal articles, eBooks, and news articles dealing with the concept of quality management and how it can be applied in organizations.  The KAK ceramics’ company website was also one of the most useful sites where secondary data concerning the operations of the company was obtained.

Results and Data Analysis

Customer Service Approaches

The use of a customer oriented mission and vision statement was found to be one of the customer service approaches used by RAK Ceramics to improve the quality of its customer services (Massaad, 2013). The company’s mission statement is increased on the values it put in its customers. The company aims to be as close to its customers as possible and to listen to their needs and adapt to the market requirements. This is a clear indication that RAK Ceramics puts more emphasis and more value on meeting and satisfying is customers’ needs. This ensures that the company is capable of producing ceramic products which are of high quality and are capable of exceeding the expectations of its customers. The company’s mission statement also aims to redefine the product design and innovation processes. The company also has a mission to be committed to the society by contributing towards meeting the needs of a healthy environment. This shows that the company values the environment where most of its customers reside in and as such, puts more value in meeting the environmental demands of its customers. There are several factors which can determine customer service quality. These factors include producing ceramic products in a timely and convenience manner, giving personal attention to the customers, being reliable and dependable, empathy, assurance, and easily available ceramic products.  A customer focused mission, and vision statements are an important indicators of customer service quality. Such mission statements must focus and guide the actions of employees, help in setting and managing customer expectations, and must contribute toward instilling a culture of customer orientation within a company. the company also encourages its customers to report complaints and suggestions. The management insists that all complaint systems must be easily accessible to all customers.

Putting up competitive frontline employees is also one of the strategies RAK Ceramics uses to achieve its customer focus and high satisfaction levels.  Employee professionalism and competency is one of the determinants of quality of services to the customers. In most situations, the levels of customer satisfaction normally boil down to the contact customers make with the frontline employees, and as such, empowered employees always strive to the customer oriented mission statements, cultures, and standards into focus.  RAK Ceramics follows the famous golden rule which dictates that a company should treat its employees well so that they can deliver quality services to the customers.  The company provides its employees with all the needed tools including thorough training. This ensures that the employees are more flexibility and well equipped and empowered to solve customer problems.  The company also provides several recognition and awards to its frontline employees. Employee training and reinforcement  is usually done after a period of time and this ensures that the front line employees of RAK Ceramic can avoid some mistakes which may affect customer perception of the company.

RAK Ceramics also conducts customer satisfaction and surveys as one of its strategies for improving customer service quality.  The company does this so that it can stay as close to its customers as possible so that it can meet their needs.  Customer surveys ad research provides companies with actionable steps which can improve the performance o of the entire organization as well a meeting the customer needs and demands. Customer research and surveys may also reveal to an organization the market trends ad industry demands which may significantly affect the performance of a company regarding its ability to offer quality services to its customers.

RAK Ceramics’ Quality Integration Approaches

The products of RAK Ceramics Company are certified by the EN ISO 90001 certification standards, by far the most global expression and complete for any industrial company.  RAK Ceramics Company became the first company in the United Arab Emirates to be awarded an ISO 9001 certification by the European Committee for Standardization, an internationally accredited certification body for its bath ware and ceramic tiles.

The company later implemented ISO 9001- 2008 series certification be the Bureau Veritas Certification. This certification and standards cover design, development, and production as well as the supply of ceramics and porcelain wall tiles and floors, vitreous china bath ware and porcelain slabs.

RAK has also integrated quality into its production and design by implementing the ISO 9001:2004. The company also produces tiles which comply with the American national standards specification (ANSI A 137.1 – 1988, and the latest international standards for ceramic tiles as per ISO 13006:2016 (e).

The integration of quality management through the ISO 9000 series of standards has several benefits for companies.  ISO 9001 standards ensure that the Quality Management systems which are adapted to the organization work to improve the business. According to Chiarini (2015), the ISO 9000 standards implemented by RAK Ceramics are easy to understand and learn, and thus, facilitates employee training to deliver high-quality products and services to the customers.  These certifications provide the senior management with an efficient management process and enables companies such as RAK Ceramics to tender for public sector work within the United Arab Emirates and other countries where it has a presence.  The certifications also enable management to identify deficiencies, reduce the cost of operations, and provide a continuous assessment and improvement framework. Most importantly, Bonavia and Marin-Garcia (2011) explain that the implementation of ISO 9001 standards facilitates better process integration. Looking at the process of interactions through the lenses of ISO 9001 enables organizations to find improvements in an efficient and cost effective way (Honore Petnji Yaya, Marimon, and Casadesus, 2011; Sampaio et al., 2011).  It enables the elimination of wastes which can result in inefficiencies and financial losses.

RAK Ceramics’ policies and strategies for sales and marketing

RAK Ceramics has very strong brand equity I both the local and its international market as an international organization which delivers quality products at affordable prices. The company continuously penetrates new markets and develops new products to minimize the risk of adventuring into new products. The company conducts market research and has concluded that the real estate developers are the major drivers of urbanization not only in the United Arab Emirates but also throughout the world and that this trend is set to continue into the foreseeable future. The company distributes and sells its ceramic products through its appointed dealers (Baker, 2014). The company’s strengths lie in its wide array of professional expertise, and its ability to unrelentingly pursue excellence and knowledge of the business environment through continuous environmental scanning and market research.

The international strategies for market expansion and revenue expansion have several benefits for companies such as RAK Ceramics.  The ability to access international markets presents RAK Ceramics with a wide market base which can translate into improved revenues and sales (RAAK Ceramics).  This may also lead to improved profitability and hence the ability to satisfy its shareholders’ financial needs. Going into the global market for improved revenues and market share ma also provide an organization with both short terms and long term security (Meissner, 2012). The ability to get international markets and gain high market share shows that the RAK Ceramics Company is capable of producing high-quality products which can appeal to a wide variety of audience and customers.

The Asset Management Methodologies

RAK Ceramics’ assets are managed based on sustainability principles both in the short run and in the long run. RAK Ceramics’ corporate social responsibility was voted as the Bes Brand Award and the best CSR Company Award in the Middle East Business Leaders’ Summit Awards. The company is the founder of the Emirates Green Building Council, an organization which supports the development of sustainable buildings in the United Arab Emirates. The company’s sustainability efforts were also recognized by the UAE Ministry for Environmental and water when it was awarded the Environmental Performance Certificate in 2013.  RAK Ceramics is probably the only company to offer ten variants assets in the United Arab Emirates. The variants include the salt and pepper products, the full mass products, the reverse feeding products,  the double charged products, the high definition digital tiles, the rustic –products,  the double charged products with soluble salt printing products, the multicolored granular products polished and honed finish, and the soluble salt products (Akter, 2015; Ibáñez-Forés, Bovea and Azapagic, 2013). To effectively manage its products and assets, RAK Ceramics puts more emphasis on collaboration with all of its stakeholders in its supply chain.  The suppliers must meet a series of requirements for them to enter into purchasing agreements with the company (Khalili Shavarini, Salimian, Nazemi and Alborzi, 2013).  For example, the suppliers must comply with booth the national and local regulations and laws regarding employment practices, health and safety, anti-discrimination, and benefits.  Also,

Asset management is an important function for some reasons.  First, assets are an important investment which needs security and protection (Brown and Humphrey, 2005). Second, most of the public services heavily rely on assets to support their delivery.  Third, it is important to conduct an assets management to prevent asset failure. Baumann, Meulenberg, and Buchkremer (2013) illustrate that a failed asset can negatively impact an organizational investment needs. Asset failure may also spoil an organizational reputation as more customers may view the company as one which produces products of low quality. It can also have both economic and social impacts on an organization.

 

 

Reference list

Akter, S 2015. RAK Ceramics (Bangladesh) Limited.

Baker, M.J 2014. Marketing strategy and management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Baumann, S., Meulenberg, W.A. and Buchkremer, H.P 2013. Manufacturing strategies for asymmetric ceramic membranes for efficient separation of oxygen from air. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, vol. 33, no. 7, pp.1251-1261.

Bonavia, T. and Marin-Garcia, J.A 2011. ‘Integrating human resource management into lean production and their impact on organizational performance.’ International Journal of Manpower, vol.32, no. 8, pp.923-938.

Brown, R.E. and Humphrey, B.G 2005. Asset management for transmission and distribution. IEEE power and energy magazine, vol. 3, no. 3, pp.39-45.

Chiarini, A 2015. ‘Effect of ISO 9001 non-conformity process on cost of poor quality in capital-intensive sectors.’ International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 32, no. 2, pp.144-155.

Honore Petnji Yaya, L., Marimon, F. and Casadesus, M 2011. ‘Customer’s loyalty and perception of ISO 9001 in online banking.’ Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 111, no. 8, pp.1194-1213.

Ibáñez-Forés, V., Bovea, M.D. and Azapagic, A 2013. ‘Assessing the sustainability of Best Available Techniques (BAT): methodology and application in the ceramic tiles industry.’ Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 51, pp.162-176.

Khalili Shavarini, S., Salimian, H., Nazemi, J. and Alborzi, M 2013. ‘Operations strategy and business strategy alignment model (case of Iranian industries).’ International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 33, no. 9, pp.1108-1130.

Massaad, A 2013. RAK CERAMICS IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Asian Ceramics.

Meissner, H.G 2012. Strategic international marketing. Springer Science & Business Media.

RAAK Ceramics. Sustainability program. Viewed 2nd March 2017 <http://www.rakceramics.com/africa/en/company/#section-sustainability>.

RAK ceramics.  Company Profile. <http://www.rakceramics.com/africa/en/>.

RAK Ceramics. 2011. Corporate Social Responsibility. Viewed 2nd march 2017 <http://static.globalreporting.org/report-pdfs/2012/36a8fc64cd8a0167fc56b51a0a2569cd.pdf>.

RAK Ceramics. 2014. Annual Report. Viewed 2nd March 2017 <http://corporate.rakceramics.com/app/uploads/2016/09/RAK_Ceramics_Annual_Report_2014.pdf>.

RAK Ceramics. 2014. Corporate Profile. Viewed 2nd March 2017. <http://www.rakporcelain.eu/files/actualite/actualite-40140/file-61590/corporate-profile-2014-flip.pdf?cb=20150421054206>.

RAK Ceramics. Quality management. Viewed 2nd March 2017. <http://www.rakceramics.com/africa/en/company/#section-quality>.

Sampaio, P., Saraiva, P. and Guimarães Rodrigues, A 2011. ‘ISO 9001 certification forecasting models.’ International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 28, no. 1, pp.5-26.

 

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