The Oman Aluminum Processing Industries LLC (OAPIL) is currently the market leader in manufacturing aluminum conductors and rod in Oman. Founded in the year 2008, the company has experienced steadfast growth as a major player in Oman’s industrialization. Despite having been in the market for less than ten years, the company has quickly gained control of the aluminum processing sector due to the strategic quality management of its operational processes and tactical performance modeling in a mix of input to give optimal output (OAPIL 2016). This paper reviews the OAPIL’s quality assurance strategy as responsible for its high performance.
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Organization’s Quality Strategy and Policies
Since the OAPIL operates in a dynamic and customer-oriented market, the company has rolled out a series of quality strategies and policies to guarantee sustainable business performance. To begin with, the company has a quality product policy that ensures that the production process meets very high standards and specifications of customers. This policy acts as a quality management instrument for sustainable performance.
In order to achieve this, the OAPIL has rolled out a quality strategy that is geared to “meet the specific requirements of the customers for aluminum rods and overhead line conductors, while creating benchmarks in terms of quality, environment, health & safety” (OAPIL 2016, p. 6). This culture of excellence as a quality strategy has become the blueprint for creating short and long-term production plans. As a result, the OAPIL has become ISO certified since its integrated management system (IMS) is very effective in managing quality assurance in the production mix.
OAPIL’s Quality Assurance Strategy
Despite the constant changes in the operations strategy in the dynamic manufacturing industry within Oman, the OAPIL has become very proactive in developing and implementing effective quality assurance strategies. The company is one of the most efficient and proactive organizations within Oman due to its quality assurance system functionality that is developed to manage the aspects of quality output and business sustainability.
Basically, the aspect of quality assurance in a manufacturing environment entails “strong and systematic planning and actualization which functions simultaneously to cut down costs in operation modeling to ensure that the output meets the expectations” (Escrig-Tena et al. 2011, p. 18). This means that quality assurance is an ideal tool for quantifying optimal organization input-output functionality at the most competitive angle.
In relation to the OAPIL, there are systems that are created within the production and sourcing departments to ensure that inputs meet the set quality standards. Besides, the output within each complete production cycle is passed through a quality testing system to ensure that customers only receive the best quality of aluminum products. This quality monitoring system is constantly upgraded and monitored periodically to create an environment for multiple testing of different products for their quality before being released into the market (MacKay & McKiernan 2008).
As a strategy for the complete functioning of the quality assurance mechanism, the OAPIL has created a dynamic quality assurance department to micromanage all aspects of quality in the raw materials and finished products.
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The OAPIL’s has created a quality tracking mechanism to meet the demand in the dynamic market for aluminum products within Oman. This quality tracking mechanism has been customized to constantly review customer comments or complaints. These reviews are then monitored and passed through tests for their practically after which they are integrated into the production function (Grant 2011).
For instance, in the year 2012, the OAPIL introduced a live customer feedback tracker as part of its quality assurance strategy to get an insight into the market response. Within the first six months, most of the reviews suggested that the company should provide an alternative of customized products, especially to serve mega projects that require special aluminum rod. This common opinion among customers was integrated into the product matrix, and the company launched a customization alternative for customers.
Apart from relying on customer feedback to track the quality aspect of product management, the OAPIL has been proactive in creating a standardized production system to ensure that the raw materials sourced and products generated to meet the market quality. This standardized production system has become instrumental in steering the company towards self sustenance since it can independently review current, future, and actual product design for quality instrumentation as part of complete product functionality (Grant 2011).
For instance, the company’s standardized production system has become responsible for high confidence level among the stakeholders since the AOPIL is renowned for quality aluminum products within Oman. The high positive review is as a result of the integration of the IMS to generate live data about quality over a long period of time. The data is often used by the company to create short-term and long-term production efficiency instruments.
The IMS system has increased the probability of product quality by almost 95% since it has integrated technology to track and micro-manage each complete production cycle. As a result, the OAPIL has been able to balance the product quality success variables such as value addition, value delivery, and production flexibility without compromising the entire process. The elements of the OAPIL’s quality strategy are discussed below.
Functional assurance as a process
Since the OAPIL often outsource raw materials across the globe to make aluminum products, the company has extended its quality assurance strategy to coordinate the production and the sourcing sections into a single quality chain. The single unit is responsible for tracking the quality of the raw materials against set standards, which are reviewed on a need basis. This process is meant to ensure that the company is only using quality raw materials to void compromising the output (Soumendu 2011).
Since the raw materials are ordered before delivery, the OAPIL has come up with an interesting strategy for tracking their quality against costing by using the cost allocation concept as a quality parameter. This allocation strategy balances the quality of the supply function and systematically manages the focused quality assurance to predict market reactions. The AOPIL is then able to make improvements on the basis of any recorded market response.
Quality assurance as a tool
The topological structure of the OAPIL’s quality assurance strategy is organized as a tool for integrating optimal resource allocation and use to generate optimal output when all other factors are held constant. As a tool, the quality assurance strategy at the company is geared towards performance efficiency. The tool depends on production output performance against production strategies such as cost cutting, resource modeling, and customization of the production cycle. The company has created a single but dynamic contact system to balance the two critical factors that influence the quality of the production process (Weiss 2010).
The technical knowhow within the quality assurance department have been remodeled into operational product performance management without compromising the actual manufacturing process for the aluminum products. This tool has become an instrumental aspect of input-output ratio balance at the most efficient production bundles. Thus, when the input-output ratio has a relatively high value, it signifies that such a company has high level of efficiency in managing the quality of a complete production cycle (Soumendu 2011). Fortunately, the AOPIL has the highest input-output ratio within the manufacturing sector in Oman. The technical tools for tracking the quality assurance strategy at the company are summarized in the diagram below.
In the above diagram, the aspect of speed as part of the quality assurance tool has positioned the company to meet deadlines without compromising on the quality of products being released into the market. At present, the company meets almost 97% of the orders. Besides, the OAPIL has been able to monitor efficiency in the production matrix by tracking the production costing and quality of the products generated. This means that the company is currently in a position to balance the external and internal product quality variables to create a dependable, affordable, efficient, and very sustainable production mix.
Despite having a strategic quality assurance measurement system, the OAPIL has not integrated the aspect of value maintenance and continuance as part of operations sustainability. The rationale for this recommendation is informed by the fact that the current quality maintenance system is not value oriented. Therefore, the OAPIL Company can integrate value continuance as part of the production decision mix (Escrig-Tena et al. 2011).
For instance, the OAPIL may apply scientific skills for tracking production and product management from the aspect of quality and satisfaction. Since the OAPIL has been able to internally control the production process, the quality assessment will be more viable and effective towards promoting a dynamic and customer oriented quality assurance strategy, especially after integrating the value continuance aspect of quality assurance.
Escrig-Tena, A, Bou-Llusar, C, Beltran, M & Roca-Puig, V 2011, “Modeling the implications of quality management elements of strategic flexibility.” Advances in Decision Sciences, vol. 1 no. 1, pp. 1-27.
Grant, R 2011, Contemporary strategic management: An Australasian perspective, John Wiley and Sons Australia, Milton.
MacKay, B & McKiernan, P 2008, “The role of hindsight in foresight: refining strategic reasoning.” Futures, vol. 36 no. 3, pp. 161-179.
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OAPIL 2016, Operations Management. Web.
Soumendu, B 2011, “Commitment, involvement, and satisfaction as predictors of employee performance.” South Asian Journal of Management, vol. 18 no. 2, pp. 92-107.
Weiss, W 2010, “Building morale, motivating, and empowering employees.” Supervision Journal, vol. 72 no. 9, pp. 23-26.