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Greenwich London College

EDEXCEL BTEC LEVEL 7 EXTENDED DIPLOMA


IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

UNIT 11: STRATEGIC QUALITY AND SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT

ASSIGNMENT TITLE
Strategic Quality Management for Mark and Spencer
UNIT CODE: H/602/2327

JUNE, 2013

Assessor: Emmanuel Manano

Submit by:
Shyam Hari Maharjan
Student ID: 4481

Table of Contents
Background of M&S .................................................................................................................. 2
1.1 Importance of effective operations management in achieving M&S objectives ................. 2
1.2. Evaluate the success of existing operations management processes .................................. 3
2.1 Importance of effective quality management for M&S ....................................................... 4
2.2 Evaluate the success of current quality management process of M&S ............................... 4
3.1 Plan a strategic quality change ............................................................................................. 5
3.2 Define resources, tools and systems to support business processes .................................... 5
3.3 The wider implications of planned strategic quality change in M&S ................................. 6
3.4 Systems to monitor implementation of planned strategic quality change ........................... 7
4.1 Implement a strategic quality change in M&S .................................................................... 9
4.2 Embed a quality culture in M&S to ensure continuous monitoring and development ...... 10
4.3 Examine how a strategic quality change can be monitored during its implementation..... 12
5.1 Evaluate the outcomes of a strtegic quality change in M&S ............................................. 13
5.2 Recommend area for improvement to a strategic quality change ...................................... 14
References ................................................................................................................................ 15

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Background of M&S
Marks & Spencer is one of the UKs leading retailers, with over 78,000 people working
across the 700 UK stores. It offers stylish, high quality, great value clothing and home
products, as well as outstanding quality foods.
Marks & Spencers leading position in the highly competitive marketplace depend on its
ability to stay one step ahead of other retailers, because of highly imaginative people, who
can set objectives, establish priorities and allocate the proper time for effective operation and
quality management (Spencer, 2013).
Vision: The standard against which all others are measured
Mission: Making aspirational quality accessible to all
Values: Quality, value, service, innovation and trust
Objectives:
Improving the stores environment, developing the M&S Brand and focusing on clothing at
the end of 2013.
To establish M&S as an international multichannel retailer within 3 years since 2010 between
2013.

1.1 Importance of effective operations management in achieving M&S objectives


Operations management is concerned with those activities that produce the products and

deliver the services required by customers. (Barnes, 2008)


(Brown, et al., 2005) explained that operation
activities focused with all activities which perform
an organisation to change a range of inputs such as
materials, energy, customers requirements,
information, skills and finance etc. into desired
outputs for the final customer.
Figure 1 source: (masterclassmanagement, 2011)

The effective operations management is most


important for M&S to achieve its organisational
objectives. So, M&S should manage and evaluate
all the daily operations is performed in an effective way. The operations do not focus on one
specific area of the company. Rather, different kinds of operations will perform
simultaneously in the whole of the organisation. For example, M&S received good raw
material via improved supply chain and executing the transformation process (design and
highly skilful workers) effectively, that brings the excellent output (Per Una brand clothes) in
the market. Furthermore, the organisation should undertake various operations (order good
quality material, inventory handling, logistics, information processing and office
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administration) to perform that task within time period and delivers the products to the
customers in desired place.
So that operations management is very important in effective business operations since its
establishment. It deals with the design, operation, staffing, marketing, purchasing, finance,
administration etc. which produce and deliver the organisations products and services in the
market. Suppose marketing and finance, it is a functional body of business with specific
management roles. It operates their various activities efficiently and effectively, so that M&S
was able to achieve its organisational objectives of quality, value, innovative and excellent
services. (Vidler, 2001)

1.2. Evaluate the success of existing operations management processes


The success of operations management process describes how efficiently M&S utilised
available resources to perform day to day activities to deliver quality products with
reasonable price at the right time for satisfied the customers wants. In return, M&S achieved
higher operating profit, work efficiency, increase sales, good customer feedback etc. These
activities indicate M&S has successfully met its organisational objectives.
M&S has implemented their plan wisely in order to achieve its targeted objectives in defining
period. According to the M&S full year report 2012/13, it indicates that international sales
increases by 4.5%, new rolling out store performance increased by 3% and home furniture
sales rose by 2% because of effective operations and faster delivery times on a number of key
lines, which shows great success of operation their business effectively and effeciently.
In other hand, M&S clothing sales were down 2.4% in 2012. It faced difficult trading
conditions because of highly promotional clothing market and unseasonable weather. In order
to increase the sales of clothes, M&S appointing a new management team and delivering
improvements in operational execution via stock management and supply chain system. For
instance, develop a new team, listening carefully what customers suggested as well as
restated its commitment to effective operation management, promising to deliver the M&S
difference on every single product than competitors (M&S, 2013).
Fish Bone diagram
Other

Human

Process

Lack of Leadership
Delay in delivery
Lack of Coordination
betweenManagement Delay in customer Service
Lack of good promotion Team

High Competitive
Market

Decrease Cloth Sales


Unseasonal Weather
3.5% Inflation
increase

Environment

Unclear Stock system


No Self Service Machines

Technology

Figure 2 Source: http://e-university.wisdomjobs.com/production-and-operations-management/chapter-1567-295/quality-control_quality-control_9640.html


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2.1 Importance of effective quality management for M&S


Quality management is known as continuous effort to ensure long term customer loyalty and
customer satisfaction with the products and services provided to them. Quality can be
measured in terms of durability, reliability and usage. This is the kind of process, which is
continuously improve the quality of products via regular feedbacks and research and
development. (Managementstudyguide, 2013)
Quality management is an important aspect of operations management in M&S. M&S is
more conscious about the quality products and services provided to the customers. It is a
major part of operations management, which helps management and employees to continuous
improvement of their products meet the customers' taste and preference at all. (Chiwawaa,
2009)
M&S believed that the product they sells are high quality and more innovative, which is only
available in their stores. They operate rigorous quality management systems, which have
been developed with its suppliers. These operate on a precautionary principle and are
supported by a range of on-site audits and product testing. Suppliers are required to meet a
range of quality, safety, environmental and social standards to maintain their quality strategy.
(M&S, 2013)
Therefore, quality management is very important for M&S to maintain their standards of
quality goods and services provides to the customers. It ensures that their customers were
always satisfied with what they perceived. The good quality management helps M&S to
reduce waste, damage of products and inventory, which helps to increase the revenue and
profitability. All these activities will help to achieve its corporate objectives.

2.2 Evaluate the success of current quality management process of M&S


John Dixon, Executive Director; General Merchandise of M&S expressed that Were
reasserting our quality and style credentials to give all our products the M&S difference.
(MarksandSpencer, 2013)
M&S core value and objectives are providing high quality, innovation and value goods and
services to the customer. It was a success in the retailer business because of the quality they
maintained and trusted by customers. According to Annual report 2013, M&S reassert quality
credentials, responding to customer feedback. For Instance, it improved styling, better fabric
and superior finishing, that resulting Classic 6 white T-shirt sales uplift of 15%. M&S
believes that clothes should be good in size, cut or sub-brand, which is fitting in body of
customers. As committed, improved in quality and faster delivery times, housing market
furniture sales rose by 2% on a number of key lines (MarksandSpencer, 2013). These
successes achieved by M&S cause of effective quality control, quality management and
improvement made according to customer feedback.
Recently, daily mail reporter Watkins report that M&S is reeling from a strategic disaster of
poor-quality clothes aimed at the wrong customers, critics have warned, as the store prepares
to register a slump in fashion sales (Watkins & Masters, 2013). This news revealed that
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M&S quality management is failing to be consistent in the quality of clothes. Furthermore, its
women ware sales are decreasing unexpectedly directly impacts in their operating profit.

3.1 Plan a strategic quality change


The quality change is important to improve the performance and well-being of an
organization by facilitating a process of development. Furthermore, planning wisely and
implementation of necessary changes in the current situation helps to improve in quality
(Millward, 2005). Change is necessary for M&S, to sustain the business, fulfil the customers'
expectation and compete the competitor. The market is changing rapidly, because of highly
influenced by social network and heavy advertising campaign. M&S could not rely on the
same marketing strategy, production process and old customers. Therefore, M&S has been
running various project plans since 2007 to date and continuing till 2015 to improve quality
and profitability, business performance and long run sustainability.

M&S is dedicated to improving and maintain the product quality defined in Plan A. Recently,
the news published in dailymail reports that M&S product quality is very poor (Watkins &
Masters, 2013). While, M&S revealed that 45% of its products sold is Plan A quality such as
Fairtrade and organic. However M&S now used the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in over
900 products, including jeans and lingerie.
These are the plan for strategic quality change in M&S.
Objectives:
- To improve the quality, 25% of cotton fabrics directly supply from sustainable suppliers by
2015.
- Increasing the advertising campaign through TV programs, social media and the newspaper
at the end of 2013.
- Reducing at least 50% checkout time to eliminate long queue of customer by 2014.
- Improving 30% stock level of product availability in store by the end of 2013.

3.2 Define resources, tools and systems to support business processes


A business process is a series of activities that define required resources, tools and system to
perform tasks effectively (UWI, 2013). Resources such as physical, human and financial are
the keys of business process. Thus resources are the crucial elements to support quality
change.
Human Resources: Management team and staffs play important role in quality change,
because all essential tasks are performed by them. M&S is improving its supply chain and
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giving necessary training to the staffs. However, effective supply chain management built the
good relation between supplier and customer, which helps to reduce the cost price and deliver
the product in right time, make customer delight.

Physical Resources:
To improve product quality and increase sales, M&S upgraded its IT system (stock
management system, e-commerce) in order to quick process of stock level. The new
packaging system improves the food quality and keeping fresh for longer use (M&S, 2013).

Financial Resources:
The internal cash flows and bonds issued by M&S generate sufficient fund to reinvest in the
business. Which should be used in the right way, in technology, new innovation and store roll
out project promote to increase the sales.

Technology:
Furthermore social networks (Facebook and Twitter) and e-commerce (online platform) is
right tools to provide adequate information for customer regarding quality, style and new
offers. By using Facebook M&S directly links to the customer, where it has got lots of
feedback and comments related to product quality and design. In this way M&S will able to
improve product quality, design, style and pricing according to customers demand and
interest.

3.3 The wider implications of planned strategic quality change in M&S


A good planned strategic quality change shows positive influence in the M&S. The changes
introduce wide opportunities and competitive power to compete with rivals. The great
combination of quality cotton fabric and improves in stylish design helps M&S to
repositioning its market share. The heavy advertisement promotion reappears their brand
loyalty between customers and improved supply chain speed up the delivery time. However,
right proportion of stock availability in the store helps to increase the clothing sales. M&S
have a mixture of different brand quality and price depends upon the brand. For Example;
autographs are excellent quality and higher in price rather than classical brand.

M&S sales most of clothing products in their own brand name, so planned for quality change
assure the quality and value deliver to the customer is high in standard. The quality strategy
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implemented in M&S definitely stronger their brand position and able to attract new
customer. By providing seasonal design, good combination of colour contrast and stylish
British eye catching items. Furthermore, this initiative empowers their human resources to
perform well and improve in technology enhanced the performance of M&S.

3.4 Systems to monitor implementation of planned strategic quality change


There are different systems available to monitor the implementation of planned strategic
quality change such as quality systems; quality circles; ISO 900 , TQM etc. These systems
helps M&S to monitor how quality change affects the increasing the sales of clothing? Does
new technology and innovation helps to improve the quality of products and services?

Total Quality Management: Chorn (2007), explained total quality management (TQM)
offer a systematic approach to improving the strategic and operational performance of the
organisation. It is customer-focused, strategic and systematic approach to continuous
improvement in quality, service and even innovation of M&S.
a) Customer Focus: TQM approach whereby all suppliers of M&S systematically improve
their performance relative to customers need. This is closely monitored by collecting
feedback from customers, related to the new design, style and cotton fabrics used for product
development. If positive feedback is higher in percentage, indicates that the implementation
of the quality change process is more success otherwise need to further plan for
improvement.
b) TQM improves overall organisational
performance: TQM helps to improve
performance by continual measurement and
external comparisons with competitors. For
example: sales turnover of M&S is 10b in
2012/13, whereas John Lewis only 9.5b
for this year (Hawkes, 2013). This figure
reveals M&S operational performance is
higher and more efficient.

Benchmarking: The main objectives of


benchmarking are to achieve the best

Figure 3 Source: http://management-class.co.uk/learners/strat_cases.html

practices in all the measurable activities in


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M&S with competitor (Chorn, 2007). Such as understanding of marketing strategy, pricing
structure and day to day operation strategy as well. For example; John Lewis provides
excellent customer services and free delivery for customers, in order to compete M&S also
improving its supply chain. Where supplier received prompt delivery order via the online
system and perform the delivery process very soon. Furthermore brand positioning of M&S is
highly competitive with John Lewis. However, advertisement promotion strategy of John
Lewis is highly effective, therefore M&S also improving its promotion by presenting a TV
advert, Newspaper, in-store display campaign and fashion shows. These promotions help to
increase brand position as well as sales of cloths.

Flow Chart diagram for order delivery process

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4.1 Implement a strategic quality change in M&S


The implementation of strategic quality is not easily accepted by employees, shareholder. In
order to implement it successfully, the necessary plan should be developed and disseminated
the relevant information at the right time and right place (PennState, 2009). The action plan is
an appropriate method to implement a strategic quality change.

Action Plan for M&S starting Jan 2013 to Dec 2013


Objectives

Tasks

Success

Timing

Resources

Jan Apr

-Sustainable

Criteria
Increase quality

- Identify sustainable -Customer

of cloths

suppliers to buy

Feedback

suppliers

quality cotton

- Employee

- Well trained

- Organise the staff

Survey

staff

training to

-Adequate Funds

understand about

-Designer

quality material
delivered via
suppliers
Reduce customer

-Increase the

-Increase

queues during

checkout points

sales

Check out

checkout

- introduce self-

performance

Machine

checkout system

-Measure

-Sufficient staffs

profitability

-Training

Maintain stock

Online stock

Daily

availability

management system

inventory

- Trained staff

checklist

Jan-Jun

Mar-Aug

-Install Self

-Well trained
staff

Increase

-Marketing campaign -Compare

Aug-Dec

-Close link with

Advertisement

with celebrities

sales

Celebrities

Promotion

-TV advert

turnover

- Reputed Media

-Social media

-Feedback

-Experience
marketing team

Source: http://www.aztemplates.org/action-plan-template.html

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Resource Planning: M&S should use available internal resources effectively to achieve its
objectives of increase quality, minimise the customer queue during checkout. For example;
introduce the new self checkout machine and increases the service tills. And hired the new
designer who is excellent in develops latest design and styles. The well organised planning of
resources gives success to implement quality change.
Communication: The implementation of quality change must communicate through proper
channel, this will lead to success. Suppose, seminar, sharing program and staff meeting is
appropriate methods for communicating with employees for informing clear understanding
of quality changes. Which is relevant to improve product quality and introduced new selfcheckout machine. Once staffs understood benefit and necessity of the new strategy, they are
fully supported to implement change.
Staff training: M&S can organise different level of staff training that enhance their skills and
knowledge. Once empowered the staff, they are able to speed up their customer checkout
service as well as effectively participated in maintain the stock level of the store. The training
gives broad ideas about supply chain system, thus they are more committed to deliver best
services to implement strategic quality change.

4.2 Embed a quality culture in M&S to ensure continuous monitoring and


development
Bering et al. (2010) state that Quality culture is an organisational culture which contributes
to the development of effective and efficient care for quality (Harvey, 2004-13). M&S
embedded quality culture to monitoring and continuous development of quality in their
company. According to Harvey and Stensaker (2008), there are different kinds of quality
culture such as Responsive quality culture, Reactive quality culture, regenerative quality
culture, reproductive quality culture etc.
i) Responsive quality culture: M&S focused on fulfilling the external demands of
customers, takes a positive approach to opportunities and seeks and shares good practice, and
tends to view quality-related activities and strategies as a solution to externally-driven
problems or challenges. Furthermore listen carefully what the customer said and dedicated to
improving the quality they deserved for their value.
ii) Reactive quality culture: This culture embedding the employees and driven by
compliance and accountability, seeks opportunities for rewards, tends to delegate Quality to
a delineated space (eg. Quality office, quality workplace)

(Harvey, 2004-13). The

combination of these two quality culture embeds employees and customer to improve quality
in each and every level of business operation. These quality culture help in monitoring and
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improve the consistency in quality of product and services, deliver to customers. Thus, it
empowers the staffs, develop excellent communication channels and build up good
relationships with customers. In addition, M&S organised a series of workshops for
managers, union representatives, supervisors and store staffs for creating a quality
environment based on participation and empowerment (Thetimes100, 2013)
The Quality Culture approach endorsed by the EUA (cf. EUA 2006, 2005), dedicating more
attention to development-oriented and value-based aspects. The approach demands the
involvement of multiple internal and external stakeholders. It needs to be embedded in an
overarching framework that is in line with the M&Ss objectives and focuses on continuous
improvement (EUA, 2007). For example, M&S have 7 pillars of Plan A, that involved
internal and external stakeholders for continuous development of quality culture by organised
various activities. Such as, improve quality of product and services M&S involve a customer
through survey and feedback. And Health & wellbeing programmes ensured customers will
get fresh and well labelled food products, provides awareness about nut allergies. However

minimise the food contamination.


Kaizen, continuous improvement
Quality Circle or Kaizen, continuous improvement, encourages all employees of M&S so that
they perform their tasks a little better every day. The Kaizen system helps to generate and
implementing employees' ideas on the organisation. So, M&S can improve quality and
productivity, that enable it to offer best products at affordable prices increase their market
share. Kaizen assumed that business process (e.g. Production methods, supply chain system,
stock management) can always be improved gradually (Riley, 2012). The group of staff
voluntarily involved in quality improvement activities, in order to identify and analyse work
related problem and recommended solutions to management for further development. In this
way, worker are more concentrated in quality process to improve product quality, effective
stock management. However, it enhanced the performance of workforce cause speeding up
the checkout service of M&S.
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4.3 Examine how a strategic quality change can be monitored during its
implementation
The monitoring is necessary to identify the success and failure of implementation of strategic
quality change. M&S has developed some monitoring system such as, regular feedback,
survey, annual report, and plan A report.

Feedback: M&S regularly collecting the feedback from customers to ensure the delivered
product are high in quality and addressed the customers expects and demands. Social media
like a twitter and Facebook is the best sources for getting right comments and suggestions
from customers. The positive feedback measures how successful of implementation of quality
change in M&S.
Survey: M&S has launched the You Say survey. That involves the employees to find out
the effects of strategic quality change and how the new strategy helps them to improve their
performance and quality of service . The greater participation of staff in the survey could
give broad ideas and identify the problems related to quality constrains implemented in M&S.
In this way, survey continuously monitoring the activities performs to implement quality
change.

Reports: M&S generate the business reports in quarter basis. The reports help to monitor
implemented strategic quality change regularly. The report shows the quantitative and
qualitative data, if sales turnover, profitability, and liquidity ratio are increased during
implementation of quality change, that measures M&S is getting success to achieve its
objectives. Furthermore reports presents, employees skills and performance are increased and
successfully build up the good relation between customers and suppliers also indicates the
success of implementing strategic quality change.
The quarterly reports or annual reports indicate that the sales are increased by 2% after a
marketing campaign launched in M&S. That compares the sales increased between previous
year and this year by performing this advertisement promotion.
If the reports said that quality improvement are effectively applied in stock management
system, then M&S need to develop strategies and plan, which can monitor the daily inventory
level of stores to improve the standard quantity required in the shelves.

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5.1 Evaluate the outcomes of a strategic quality change in M&S


An outcome evaluation is an evaluation that covers a set of related strategy intended to bring
about a definite outcome. Such evaluation assesses how and why outcomes are or are not
being achieved in implementation of strategic quality change and role M&S has played
(UNDP, 2002). There are various tools to evaluate the outcomes of strategic quality change.
Action learning: Action learning tool is used to evaluate the
outcomes of strategic change. This involves the group of staffs,
enables them to review the action they had taken in a quality
change process. This should help staff to improve performance
in the future (Robertson, n.d.). For example, one outcome of
quality change is 25% quality increased in clothing at the end of
2013. To achieve this outcomes employees actively participate
in quality training, actively listen how to do and sharing the ideas and experience with
colleagues. During this action learning process, employees are more focus These actions
oriented activities improve their skills and performance that help M&S will success to
achieve defined quality increment objective.
The effect on sales and profit: The increase and decrease of sales and profit of M&S
evaluate the success and failure. This is the quantitative evaluation method, which measures
percentage or numerical increment in profitability and sales turnover.
For example; a new quality change plan to improve the relation with sustainable suppliers
through the supply chain system, that enabled M&S can purchase high quality material
(cotton) via fair trading with a sustainable supplier globally. Thus, M&S can produce high
quality products with a competitive price increase the sales. Which helps M&S can generate
more profit.
The successful implementation of new checkout points minimises the queue during checkout
affects customer are more likely to visit a store frequently increase the sales that boost the
profit.In addition, more stock available in store promotes customers to buy more products
that directly links the increase the sales and profit of M&S.
Moreover heavy advertisement promotion attracts customers to buy more products. The
increase in sales evaluates the success of the marketing strategy plan.

Customer feedback: The customer feedback can be used to evaluate success of planning
strategic quality change. It is taken as consideration to make an excellent decision for
improving quality and design of products. That fulfils the expectation and needs of
customers. The continuous improvement of quality services (quick deliver, decrease the
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queuing time during checkout and latest design or style) attracts the customers to buy more
products. Thus, M&S sales are increasing as well as market share. This performance indicates
the success of implementing strategic quality change.

5.2 Recommend area for improvement for a strategic quality change


The successful implementation of strategic quality change in the organisation is not enough
to carry out the quality. So regular update in technology, training of staffs, establish excellent
communication channel and continuous follow up of quality circles etc. is necessary to
improve the quality in the daily business process. As a quality inspection manager, following
improvement will recommended to establish strategic quality in M&S.
Quality circle: During the quality inspection there is a lack of quality circles in M&S, so it is
highly recommended to establish different divisional quality circles, which helps in
continuous improvement of quality in services, business process. By doing these activities
M&S will able to engage workers in the process of finding and addressing concerns.
Moreover, M&S should be tracking customer complaints or product defects on a regular
basis, and be able to act (Staff, 2010).
Regular training: It is recommended that M&S should set up a new staff initiated program
that trains workers to focus on quality issues from their first day on the role (Staff, 2010).
And M&S organising regular training session for new staff as well as existing staff to
improve their skills and knowledge in order to develop quality in M&S.

Finally, it is recommended that M&S should develop a system that will define the quality
standard of product. M&S plans their product quality is in the Plan A standard, which is not
cleared for the customer. So, it is better to implement international standards of quality
measurement for products and services to reassure the quality and trusted by customers.

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Strategic Quality and Systems management/GLC/Shyam/4481

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