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Study about Melrose Company

 Part II A)
Produce a critical audit of Melrose’s current management of Quality and make some recommendations to improve their capability to achieve BRC accreditation.
Quality refers to the ability of a product to conform to the needs of the consumers. Products of high quality have high level of functionality, appearance, reliability, and durability. A company should also improve the quality of services attached to a product. This can be achieved by improving the recovery process and increasing contact with customers. The recovery process determines the resolution of problems associated with a problem (Evans, Lindsay & Evans, 2008).
Melrose has been operating for more than 40 years, and manufactures and sells rugs and flooring materials. The customer base of the company ranges from UK retailers, mail orders and e-commerce. Melrose has a quality assurance manager to monitor the quality of all products manufactured by the company. The company has also employed design manager. The company recycles wastes from the production process, and this helps clean the environment (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012). Melrose has covered about 15 percent of the UK market (Melrose Textile Co. Ltd website, 2012).
The company has contracted with suppliers to deliver materials. The company monitors the performance of the suppliers before establishing a contract. This strategy ensures that the company gets the best materials in the production process. In addition, the company ensures that the supplies are reliable, and that they deliver the materials in a timely manner. This strategy has improved the performance of the company, and the products manufactured are of high quality. The customers get the best quality of products because the company has a stringent quality management system. The suppliers are sourced from different parts of the world, and this has improved the efficiency of the production system because the company does not depend on only one supplier. Therefore, the company is assured that there cannot be a failure in delivery of materials. Most of the suppliers of the company are from Belgium (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
Melrose has established partnership with several retailers to market its products in different parts of the country. The company has also established partnership with foreign companies to market the products in the global markets. This strategy has improved quality management systems of the company because the company can easily reach the end consumers. The retailers provide the company with consumer feedback about the quality of products, and this helps develop and improve the quality of products manufactured by the company (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
Melrose has a well-structured organization chart. The organization chart shows the flow of power and authority of the senior employees to the junior employees. The organization structures help in the management of quality in that duties are managed appropriately. There is no confusion in the management systems because there is a clear flow of authority in the organization. In addition, the organization structure has helped in making good decisions to run the company appropriately. With a good flow of power, the top management has the authority to make the ultimate decisions. The junior employees are consulted during the decisions making process. The opinions of the junior employees are sought when making the ultimate decisions of the organization. The top management oversees he implementation of the decisions, and monitors the achievement of the goals and objectives of the organization (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
Melrose has improved the quality of inventory management. The company has a clear system of managing inventory to ensure that the company does not run out of stock. The company also manages the supplies so that the customers can get their products at the right time. The company manufactures products depending on the prevailing demand in the market. The company has improved the production process to ensure that there is efficiency in the inventory management processes (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
However, even though the company has been successful in managing quality, there are a few weaknesses. An interview with the leaders of the company shows that there are weaknesses in the quality of human resource management, as well as other strategic management issues. The leaders point that decision making has not been included, and the executive management does not involve the junior employees in the process of making decisions. The company has experienced employee turnover,and this has affected the implementation of key strategies (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
Recommendations to improve their capability to achieve BRC accreditation
The BRC develops standards that manufacturers should apply in the production and marketing of products. The BRC was established to protect consumers against poor quality products. The standards apply to companies operating in the UK market as well as companies exporting products to the market. The BRC standards address the safety of products manufactured, the packages as well as the packaging system. In addition, the storage as well as the distribution processes is monitored. The BRC also monitors the price inflation on products, value added taxes are also regulated as well as adherence to EU legislation (Kill, 2012).
It is important to recommend that the management of Melrose Company should improve the quality of the products to achieve BRC accreditation. Some of the recommendations are:

The company should provide quality assurance to ensure that the products are safe for consumer use. This can be achieved by ensuring that the materials used in the production of the products do not harm the consumers. The materials should have high quality, and the chemicals used to manufacture the products should not affect people who have contact with the products.
The price of the products should be reasonable to avoid exploiting the consumers. The price changes of the product should be monitored to ensure that the price inflation does not affect the consumers. This can be achieved by comparing the prices of the product with other similar products in the market. In addition, the price changes should not change with great margins over a given time.
The company should promote consumer confidence by fulfilling all the consumer expectations. The gap between the consumer expectations and the actual performance of the products should be small. This means that the products should perform as required, and malfunctions should be minimized. This can be achieved by informing all the consumers about how to use the products. Educating the consumers about how to use the product will improve the efficiency of using the products, and consumers will be satisfied. However, failure to educate the consumers will cause misuse or wrong application of the products. This will not yield the expected results and the consumers will be dissatisfied. Therefore, consumer education is very important.
The company should pay the value added tax. It is a requirement that all manufacturers should comply with the tax systems. This will ensure that the company fulfills the regulations of the country.
The company should also comply with EU legislation.

Part II B)
Evaluate Melrose’s Operational performance using the performance dimensions

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a performance dimension used to measure the gap between the needs of the customers and the fulfillment of such needs. The difference between customer expectations and actual performance of products determines the ability of a company to manage the operations. Failure to satisfy the needs of the customers causes a decline in the demand for the product. Therefore, the sales and profits of a company decline when the customers are not satisfied.
Melrose has improved the operational performance because the demand of all products has been increasing. The demand for Littlewoods product has been increasing over the years. The graph below shows that, in 2009, the performance was at the lowest. The 2010 curve is above the 2009 curve. The 2012 curve is above all the other curves. This shows that the demand for Littlewoods product is increasing over the years (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
The performance of JDW product is also increasing. This is indicated by the curves which are higher than the previous years. In 2009, the performance was at the lowest level, but in 2010 and 2012 the performance has improved (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
The demand for Grattan product has been slightly better. In 2010, the demand was lower in the beginning of the year. However, in 2011, the demand started at a higher level. This shows that the operations performance of the company has improved (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
The demand for the Express product has been increasing over the years. In 2009, the demand was high but it declined from July. In 2010, the demand was low at the beginning of the year but a tremendous increase was experienced as the year progressed. The demand of the product in 2011 started at a very high level, and this is an indication that the demand of the product is increasing (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
 
The demand for Argos has been fluctuating. The product has not experienced a remarkable increase or decline over the years. The demand patterns oscillate, and this is an indication that the product has not been performing well in the market.

Suppliers

Melrose has been successful in obtaining reliable suppliers. The company has not experienced delays in the supply of materials. The suppliers of the company are Balta, Betap, Beaulieu, McThree, Pashalidis, Domo, NC John, Yorkshire Fur Fabrics,Interfloor, Gokyildiz, Pan Overseas, and Rugmax. Most of the suppliers are from Belgium. The suppliers are competent, consistent, committed and have the capacity to supply the company with adequate materials. The company has regulated the cost, quality and services delivered by the suppliers (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).
Stock management
Stock management is an important aspect of operations management. It involves regulating the amount of stock available and the value of stock ordered. Stock management ensures that the production process is not affected due to shortage in stock levels. In addition, the stock levels ensure that the customers get a continuous flow of goods and services in the market. The value of stock declines when the company fails to manage the inventory systems properly.
The stock value of the Melrose Company has been increasing over the trading meeting week 13 to 23. This shows that the company has managed the stock value at high levels. The company has not experienced any shortage in stock or excess stock. The value of stock has always been increasing, and this is an indication that the stock management has been efficient. The graph shows that trading meeting week 13 had the lowest stock value. The stock value increased towards trading meeting 23 (“Melrose audio interviews”, 2012).

Justify how your recommendations from 2A could improve their performance, how you would measure this, and how this could impact their competitive factors and priorities

The company should provide quality assurance to ensure that the products are safe for consumer use. This can be achieved by ensuring that the materials used in the production of the products do not harm the consumers. The materials should have high quality, and the chemicals used to manufacture the products should not affect people who have contact with the products.

Improving consumer safety will increase consumer confidence. Improving the quality of materials used in the production systems will ensure that the customers are satisfied with the products of the company. Achieving customer satisfaction will attract many customers, and customer loyalty will be achieved. This strategy will improve the performance of Melrose in that the sales of the company will increase. Consumer safety can be measured by applying the BRC standards. The standards provide guidelines to be followed to achieve high quality. Therefore, the company should compare the products with the standards provided when measuring the effectiveness in protecting consumers. This strategy can increase the competitive nature of the company in that, the company will achieve consumer loyalty. Therefore, most customers will prefer the products of the company to similar products from other companies in the market.

The price of the products should be reasonable to avoid exploiting the consumers. The price changes of the product should be monitored to ensure that the price inflation does not affect the consumers. This can be achieved by comparing the prices of the product with other similar products in the market. In addition, the price changes should not change with great margins over a given time.

Reasonable prices will improve the performance of the company in that customers will be willing to buy the products of the company. Exploitative prices decrease the demand for products. The company can measure whether the prices are reasonable by comparing prices of competitors in the market. In addition, the profit margin should be used to compare whether the company is exploiting the customers. The company should provide a reasonable profit margin for the products. This strategy could impact the competitive strategy of the company in that customers will be attracted to buy the products when the prices are favorable. The demand for the products of the company is elastic, and reducing the prices would attract many customers.

The company should promote consumer confidence by fulfilling all the consumer expectations. The gap between the consumer expectations and the actual performance of the products should be small. This means that the products should perform as required, and malfunctions should be minimized. This can be achieved by informing all the consumers about how to use the products. Educating the consumers about how to use the product will improve the efficiency of using the products, and consumers will be satisfied. However, failure to educate the consumers will cause misuse or wrong application of the products. This will not yield the expected results and the consumers will be dissatisfied. Therefore, consumer education is very important.

This strategy will improve the sales of the company because consumers will have the loyalty of buying from the customers. This can be measured by evaluating the repeat purchase behavior of the customers. This strategy will promote the competitive position of the company in that many customers will be attracted, and the sale of the company will increase.

The company should pay the value added tax. It is a requirement that all manufacturers should comply with the tax systems. This will ensure that the company fulfills the regulations of the country.

Paying Value Added Tax (VAT) promotes the performance of the company that it complies with the tax systems of the country. This protects the company against any legal action from the tax collectors. In addition, the company can sell its products freely, locally and globally. Measuring this the adherence to tax system can be done by checking compliance with the tax systems of the country. Any instances of tax avoidance can affect the company. Adhering to the tax system of the country will improve the competitiveness of the company in that the company will sell its products freely in the local and international markets.

The company should also comply with EU legislation.

Adhering to the EU legislation will help improve the performance of the company because there will be minimal law suits. Failure to adhere to the EU legislation can cause law suits because the affected stakeholders can seek legal redress. Obeying the EU legislation also improves the image of the company. It is easy to measure whether the company is adhering to the EU legislation because there are clear guidelines which companies should follow. The legal provisions allow all the stakeholders to follow legislation, and there are several acts which have been enacted to ensure that businesses follow the laws. Adherence to the EU legislation will improve the competitiveness of the company in that the image of the company will be improved. In addition, the company will not incur losses as a result of lawsuits, fines and other legal remedies that the company may be forced to pay. The company will gain international acceptance because the international community is concerned about the legal authenticity of companies. The company will expand into the international markets easily when all the legislations are followed. This strategy will place the company at a strategic position, and it will compete successfully in the local market as well as the international markets.

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