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Quality Management Tools & Techniques Project: Al Ain Dairy farm

In the past time, the quality management practice became important for most national companies and multinational firms around the world. There are a lot of tools and techniques that were developed. They are used to manage and control the quality of production and service processes. The tools give a company a good chance to work more successfully in the market. It can also control its everyday revenues and expenses more effectively.

This essay describes the quality management tools used by a large UAE milk products’ supplier – Al Ain Dairy (full name – Al Ain Farms for Livestock Production). First, it provides the company’s history in short. We will also discuss the necessity to organize quality management team. Then, the analysis of implemented quality control is presented. Finally, we will conclude on the paper. We will show some further developments in the quality management policy of the company that could be put into practice.

History of Al Ain Dairy starts at the year 1981. The company was formed as a not very big farm and produced fresh milk and yogurt products. Twenty years later the company opened its second large plant which could make up to 100,000 liters of milk every day. Constant growth of the firm showed that it was necessary to form the Quality Assurance Team. Al Ain Dairy initiated its quality management program in order to get the HACCP certificate. This increased prestige of the company at the home market of dairy products. Al Ain Company also received the “Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award” in 2005 and the “Emirates Quality Mark Award” in 2009. This moved the company to become a leader in its production niche. Today Al Ain Dairy is a highly innovative, diversified and technologically advanced supplier of dairy products. It operates under international quality standards ISO 9001: 2008, ISO 14001, ISO 28001 and ISO 22000:2005 (Interactive Al Ain Dairy History, 2012).

Al Ain Dairy created the quality management system which was based on the Deming Cycle PDSA, flow charting and gap analysis. The scheme is based on the requirements of ISO 9001: 2008. The company used these tools for all its processes. This brought notable increase in consumer satisfaction, corporate income and level of output quality.

Management of Al Ain Dairy believes that Deming Cycle PDSA is a useful tool for managing its operating activities. The company develops its procedures in accordance with the scheme: Plan-Do-Check-Act. This cycle was applied first when the company organized the quality management team. This department planned to arrange the quality control system according to the ISO 9001.  Every process of the organization was checked via gap analysis. Then, the company found out all the gaps and made necessary changes in its production processes. The reformation of the firm followed the “do-check-act” system. Finally, this improved the quality of produced output. The Deming Cycle acted as the basement for the whole quality management procedure.

Flow charting is used for production and delivery processes of Al Ain Dairy. The charts are constructed in order to assist the company’s staff to work faster and more accurately. A good example of the firm’s flow charting is the “Cold Chain Process”. This chart is shown on Al Ain Dairy’s main web page (Al Ain Dairy – How we operate, 2012). It explains eight stages of the company’s production process, starting from “The cow” and ending with the “Consumers” point (see Appendix 1).

The most important tool for Al Ain Dairy’s quality management is the gap analysis. Its professionals checked all of the company’s processes and found out its weak areas. Then, they formulated optimal solution modes. This approach follows the methodic of quality control described by the ISO 9001Gap Analysis Tool. So, Al Ain Dairy used the international standard rules and improved its operational effectiveness a lot (ISO 9001:2008 Gap Analysis Tool, 2009).

Gap analysis tool is a good system to regulate processes of the company. It standardizes its operations in one common way. After examination of gaps, the Quality Assurance team developed detailed action plan for each department of Al Ain Dairy.

As an example of the company’s gap analysis one can take the communication process. The Quality Assurance specialists believed that there was a gap in Al Ain Dairy’s communication. According to the Gap Analysis report for the year 2009, the channels of communication were defined correctly. Still they needed more orientation on the “environment, quality and safety”. Further, some steps of the correction plan were formulated. The team concentrated mainly on the environmental matters, relations with the government and social responsibility of the company (Al Maani, 2011, p.8). Al Ain Dairy started the customer relations activity. It was one of the first companies who used recyclable packaging materials. The firm also became a UNICEF partner.

As the result of quality management policy, Al Ain Dairy saw large growth in sales revenue and operating income (Al Maani, 2011, p.11). One can sum up several factors that are most important for the quality control of the company. They are: better efficiency of production process, more recognition on the market, customer reliability, and cost savings procedures.

Still, I believe that Al Ain Dairy should make a few more steps in its quality management practice. This will further improve the company’s market position and financial results. Successful realization of gap analysis tool could be followed, for example, by more advanced FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) process. FMEA includes both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of an organization’s activities. More developed quality management will definitely give Al Ain Dairy competitive advantages over other companies.

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