One of the most crucial aspects that businesses have concentrated in the last 25 to 30 years is Quality. Taking into consideration the competition on the market, Quality has become a key ingredient for success running a business. Today we can look at how Virgin Atlantic uses quality as a factor to succeed. We will also have a look at how others uses different method of the provision of quality.
One of the greatest types of successful functions management in the airlines sector is the functions management procedures in Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic was found by Sir Richard Branson in 1984. In 1984, when Virgin Atlantic started out with a leased Boeing 747 & now after 16 years Virgin Atlantic has 38 aircrafts in its fleet. Virgin Atlantic has added many places to their airfare list. Virgin Atlantic concentrates more on customer joy to set a typical of service for all of those other industry to follow. They ensure that they provide the best business product in the air, increase our leisure business even further, and run a competent but effective global air travel.
Virgin Atlantic has effectively illustrated the practice of Total Quality Management to be able to effect a result of continous improvement in their service and in doing so increasing revenue of the airlines.
This study explores the operational strategies and quality techniques utilized by Virgin Atlantic to attain a competitive advantages over other competitors in the airline industry.
Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited is a British airline owned or operated by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group & Singapore Airlines. Virgin group is the owner of 51% of the company and Singapore is the owner of 49%. Virgin runs between the United Kingdom and THE UNITED STATES, the Caribbean, Africa, the center East, Asia, and Australia. Virgin Atlantic has been renowned for its quality customer support and innovation. Every time a passenger literature a Virgin Atlantic air solution he thinks there could be something new again. The slogan of Virgin Atlantic is 'Service the Virgin way'. Virgin has placed the standards for quality in the air travel industry.
Virgin Atlantic firmly believes they are an integral part of the service industry rather than the transport industry. Virgin Atlantic has an effective vertically integrated resource chain which is very strongly integrated with the customers so that they can understand their customers and what they need.
Competitive priorities will be the central operational dimensions a company or even a process or a source chain must own to satisfy its inside and exterior customers both in present as well as in the foreseeable future.
Competitive priorities on which Virgin Atlantic has handled the sky of success are as follows:
Quality: Virgin has always given more give attention to the quality of service rather than prices.
It is designed as giving affordability. Their tickets are costly compared to airlines like Ryan Air but there is absolutely no comparison in the quality of food and service. Virgin feels in making passenger's quest memorable with their service
Time: Virgin Atlantic has the capacity to deliver the tickets once a traveler places the order online. Virgin is known for causing innovations. It takes virtually no time in improving the amount of service.
Variety: Virgin has different products for different individuals. Virgin Atlantic offers three classes of travel - Upper class, Premium Market and Market all with award-winning in air travel entertainment.
On applying the Porter's Universal strategy, it has been noticed that Virgin Atlantic runs on the blend of differentiation and customer emphasis. Virgin Atlantic has different type of services for different people like they have fashion show & jazz strap for travellers who are interested in fashion and music. They have video games and music for passengers who like entertainment, collection for individuals who prefer to read and massages centers for individuals who want to relax. Therefore, we can say that Virgin Atlantic employs the basic principle of differentiation.
Virgin has always tried out to understand people' needs and exceed their expectations. Although it details itself as a niche flight for those individuals who would like value for money, its requirements could charm to a wide spectrum of customers. It includes managed to provide both sophisticated, challenging executives and easy going, price-sensitive leisure tourists in the same aircraft. According to the Marketing Director Mr. Steve Ridgeway, Virgin seduced a broader selection of customers than its competitiors because of computer monitored this coexistence between traveler groupings well. Virgin Atlantic primarily was an economical airline for young people who bought Virgin data and shopped at Virgin Shops but little by little its focus on shifted.
Ryan Air is one of Virgin Atlantic's rivals as a UK structured airline. Whenever we apply Porter's universal strategy to Ryan Air we can make out how different is Ryan Air's functions from Virgin Atlantic. Ryan Air centers more on the cost factor alternatively than customer satisfaction. They have the least expensive flights to many destinations and also have a standard service for all your customers.
Total quality management is a viewpoint for handling an organisation in ways which enables it to meet stakeholder needs and anticipations proficiently and effectively, without reducing ethical principles. TQM is focused on making certain the right things are done right first time. TQM tries to boost quality by making sure conformance to inner requirements. Total quality Management is a idea that stresses on three key rules for reaching high levels of process performance and quality. Three principles are customer satisfaction, employee engagement and continous improvement.
The Total Quality Management (TQM) school of thought of management is customer-oriented. Hence, the flight businesses must be developed to be able to steadily deal with the improvement of their operation through the ongoing involvement of all employees in problem resolving efforts across functional and hierarchical limitations. TQM incorporates the principles of service quality, process management, quality assertion, and quality efficiency.
Customer satisfaction: Customers, external or internal, are satisfied when their prospects regarding something or service is found or exceeded. Often, customers use the word quality to describe their level of satisfaction. Client satisfaction includes conformance to specs, ideals, fitness for use and support.
The mission assertion of Virgin Atlantic is security, security and consistent delivery in everything we do. Virgin Atlantic's current economic climate service is segmented into Top quality Economy and Overall economy. Virgin Atlantic's Economy class aims to provide maximum value for money. It provides contoured, space-saving seating with the average seats pitch of 31", state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system including video recording on demand, a selection of three entrees and free beverages and an amenity kit. Passengers may also check in online for those plane tickets except from the Caribbean. Virgin Atlantic's top quality class features enhanced ergonomics for increased comfort and is the largest chair in its class. It offers leather seat covers and increased seats width of 21. The seating have laptop ability in all seats on LHR airplane; individuals can enjoy goal boarding, a separate cabin, pre-departure drink, state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system plus much more. Virgin Atlantic's higher class suite differs from anything else flying. The top class passengers obtain the most comfortable foundation and chair in the air. They are also provided with a luxury leather armchair to relax. It really is a first school product for an enterprise school fare. These travellers even acquire limousine exchanges and drive thru check in and many other benefits.
Employee Engagement: An application is employee involvement includes changing organisational culture and stimulating teamwork. Whenever we think about Virgin Atlantic the very first thing that comes to our brains in Advancement. Who brings this creativity? It's the employees. An company or a business is merely a word, what makes it alive are the people. Employees will be the face of the company and they're the main one who package with the clients or passengers every day. Who can understand the clients better than them? Virgin Atlantic will involve its employees in every decision or every change they make. They get valuable feedback from them which provide them with a scope of improvement. Virgin Atlantic uses the way of teamwork where they make clubs of individuals and allocate activity to them.
Continuous improvement: Constant improvement is dependant on a Japanese principle called Kaizen which demonstrates on continually seeking ways to improve processes. Continuous improvement involves determining benchmarks of excellent practice. The emphasis is to reduce wastage, such as lowering the amount of time necessary for any process to complete. Virgin Atlantic as an company continues brings about changes in their procedures and their operations to increase customer satisfaction. For example, they give more baggage allowance to students compared to Ryan Air.
Now that we have protected what Total Quality Management is all about let us discuss about another widely used Quality strategy called Six Sigma. Six Sigma depends heavily on TQM tool is a versatile system of sustaining and increasing success of the business by reducing flaws and variability in operations. Six Sigma's target differs from TQM. It really is driven by an understanding of customer needs.
Six Sigma is a five step process to boost performance. Five steps include define, measure, analyze, improve and control. The common example of a business who does all this is Air Canada that was founded in 1936 which is the largest air travel in Canada that files to 178 places worldwide.
Air Canada establishes the characteristics of the end result which can be critical to achive customer satisfaction & they identify any spaces between quality and process. For e. g. prolonged security procedure while before boarding a air travel. They use stream charts and process graphs to obtain a picture of the process. Once they identify the spaces or the defects they quantify it and make a plan. Once an idea is ready they perform process analysis through the use of tools like Pareto charts or Cause and Effect Diagrams.
Below is an exemplory case of a Pareto chart
Once they review the flaws they redesign or simply alter their existing solutions to increase the performance of the process to meet the performance objectives. For instance, modify the method of security check in, like use an programmed machine which picks up restricted what to be taken in a airfare rather than security guard physically examining it.
Once they process is modified or a fresh process is unveiled the work is not done. It very important to monitor its success to ensure that the goals are found.
Customer centric: An company exists because of its customers; when there is no customer then there's no service or product. Every business must adjust its operations or techniques to the customer's need. For example, if a bank or investment company takes seven days to process financing and if the customers are not satisfied or not inclined to wiat for 7 days the bank must change its process to meet up with the customer demand or they have to close down.
Customer reviews: It is vital for the business to find out if its customers are satisfied with its functions or is there anything they need to change. Responses of the clients will also help them to bring about advancement in their product or process. For instance, Nokia handsets were very user-friendly in comparison to Sony Ericsson but customer were not happy with the sensible quality, Nokia acquired this feedback from its customer(exterior and internal)and they unveiled N series which had an awesome acoustics quality like Sony Ericsson and it was a major hit between 2007 to 2009
After sales service: Companies should give property warrantee for his or her products. This creates the feeling in the thoughts of the customers that the company is reliable as it will take responsibility if anything moves wrong with the product once they purchase it. For instance, Samsung Gadgets in India don't possess the best of quality however they are successful because of their productive after sales service.
Monitoring: Companies must keep an eye on their processes regularly to ensure that it is meeting the prospective. If anything runs wrong necessary steps can be studied to repair.
Clear picture of accomplishment: Customer should notify the shareholders, employees and administration about their accomplishment so that folks can define an image of the business. Virgin Atlantic does not prepare its twelve-monthly budget for the general public.
Plan B: Whenever a process has an idea in place and if anything goes wrong while executing it they must have a backup plan as its said that reduction is preferable to cure.
Process related strategy: Companies should not stick to just 1 quality procedure. Quality approach a business follows should be based upon process. For example, Ford might be using six sigma for production however they can also use Total Quality Management because of their sales.
Before Quality for me was an over-all standard or a feature of a product or service.
For example, UPS's quality is they are quick or Dell's quality is that they create customized personal computers.