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MGT510 - Total Quality Management - Lecture Handout 30

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Creating Business Excellence

Before we look at excellence models, let us see why sometime these initiatives fail.

There are many reasons for Quality Programs failures, including the following:

  • The efforts were too narrowly focused, as with statistical applications on the shop floor.
  • The efforts were mis-focused, limited to improving only “quality of work life” issues for employees rather than also addressing issues of strategic concern.
  • The managers relied on traditional methods and assumptions, ad were not equipped with the right tools, techniques, and theory to improve quality.
  • The managers were too focused on tools and techniques, and did not understand how to transform themselves, their employees, and the organization.
  • The managers were too impatient, with a short-term focus, and unwilling to stay the course, overcome initial barriers, and wait for long-term gains.
  • The managers never care for the culture change in organization.

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MGT520 - International Business - Lecture Handout 43

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Product strategies:

  1. Product strategies depend on the specific goods and customers. Some products can be manufactured and sold successfully both in the home market and abroad by using the same strategies. Other products must be modified or adapted and sold according to a specially designed strategy.
  2. Industrial goods and technical services are good examples of products that need little or no modification. Other products, because of economics, culture, local laws, level of technology, or the product’s life cycle, require a moderate to high level of modification.
  3. There are many examples of how economic considerations affect the decision to modify a product. As a very simple example, in the United States, packets of chewing gum often contain 10 to 20 sticks, but in many other countries the weaker purchasing power of the customers necessitates packaging the gum with only five sticks. Economics is also important when the cost of a product is either too high or too low to make it attractive in another country.
  4. In some cases a product must be adapted to the different ways people are accustomed to doing things. For example, the French prefer washing machines that load from the top, while the British like front-loading units. In fast-food franchises such as McDonald’s, parts of the menu are similar throughout the world, but some items are designed to cater specifically to local tastes. Culture also influences purchasing decisions made on the basis of style or aesthetics. Convenience and comfort are other culturally driven factors that help explain the need for product modification. Others include color and language.
  5. Local laws can require the modification of products to meet environmental and safety requirements. For example, US emission-control laws have required Japanese and European car importers to make significant model changes before their vehicles can be sold in the United States.
  6. Another reason for modifying a product is to cope with the limited product life cycle of the good. Ford Motor, for example, was extremely profitable in Europe during the 1980s, but these earnings disappeared by the early 1990s because it did not develop new, competitive products.

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