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Quality Management History And Theme Ryanair

All businesses are concerned with quality, usually because they have come to understand that high quality can give a significant competitive advantage.[1] Good quality products and services reduce the costs of rework, waste, complaints and returns and, most importantly, generate satisfied customers. [2] It is to be noted that quality is considered as one of the most important factor as a competitive tool.

Total Quality Management (TQM) that became popular with all types of business in the late 1970s and 1980s has its roots in earlier work by several management thinkers. Feigenbaum popularized the term ‘total quality management’ in 1957. After that it was developed through the work of several ‘quality gurus’ including Deming, Juran, Ishikawa, Taguchi and Crosby. TQM can be viewed as a logical extension of the way in which quality-related practice has progressed. [1]

Originally quality was achieved by inspection – screening out defects before customers noticed them. Then the ‘quality control’ (QC) concept developed a more systematic approach to not only detecting but also solving quality problems. ‘Quality assurance’ (QA) widened the responsibility for quality to include functions other than direct operations, such as Human Resources, Accounting and Marketing[1]. Quality management has also made increasing use of advanced statistical quality techniques since 1980’s through Six Sigma process input-output improvement to deliver quality.

Some organisations such as Ryanair, Toyota etc. favour TQM as an outstanding turn around strategy where as some organisations such as GE, GM, Honeywell etc. has attained success through laying down Six Sigma in all its functional chains and processes and they firmly believe and live Six Sigma. Since the fashionable peak of TQM and Six Sigma, there has been some decline in its status, yet its ideas, many of which are included in this report, have become accepted quality practice. [1]


The quality is a value in product and/or service that customer perceives and company can deliver at the justifiable price. The quality can be practised through out the organisation in to all its processes to produce or provide goods and services of the consistent quality as per the expectations of the customers. Being it the responsibility of all, the value of the quality should be understood and communicated within and outside the organisation for example to the suppliers and distributors.

The two businesses case studies, though from different industries following different orientations, discussed in this report has helped me to understand how quality is seriously taken and delivered by the organisations and how we can improve the quality aspect in Ryanair products and processes.


Ryanair, currently, Europe’s original and still largest low-fare, no frills airline with workforce of over 5,000 employees, around fleet of 250 aircrafts including new Boeing 737-800 aircrafts provide services to around 12m passengers every year to over 1,100 low-fare routes across 26 European countries.

According to the CEO, Michael O’ Leary, ‘Our customer service is about the most well defined in the world. We guarantee to give you the lowest air fare. You get a safe flight. You get a normally on-time flight. That’s the package. We don’t, and won’t, give you anything more. Are we going to say sorry for our lack of customer service? Absolutely not. If a plane is cancelled, will we put you up in a hotel overnight? Absolutely not. If a plane is delayed, will we give you a voucher for a restaurant? Absolutely not.’

[The other key information about Ryanair Ltd., please refer to Appendix 1]

GE: [11]

GE is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. Their businesses fuel the global economy and improve people’s lives. Their global research team with more than 2,500 researchers working towards the next breakthrough, GE is positioned to continually innovate, invent and reinvent.

General Electric (GE) says that its commitment to quality is based on the ideas of globalization and instant access to information, and products and services that continue to change the way its customers conduct business.

Their quality mission statement reads, in part, “Today’s competitive environment leaves no room for error. We must meet our customers’ needs and relentlessly look for new ways to exceed their expectations.”

Developing a Six Sigma culture is how GE says it plans to meet its customers’ needs. GE began focusing on quality in 1988 with a program called Work-Out that helped open its corporate culture to ideas from any quarter and created an environment that eventually let to Six Sigma. Work-Out was used to identify and eliminate unneeded processes and tasks by development teams from multiple departments to find a solution to a problem. Now, Six Sigma is embedding quality thinking into every level of operation around the globe.

At GE, there are three key elements to their quality initiatives: customer, process and employee. Everything the company does in its quest for world-class quality focuses on these three essential elements.

Customers are the centre of the GE universe and they define quality by their expectations of performance, reliability and other factors. To attain the level of quality that their customers require, GE conducts what it calls “Outside-In Thinking.”

This concept calls on GE to look at its business from its customers’ perspective. “By understanding the transaction lifecycle from the customer’s needs and processes, we can discover what they are seeing and feeling. With this knowledge, we can identify areas where we can add significant value or improvement from their perspective,” GE’s quality statement reads.

The employee is key to the quality approach and at GE, quality is the responsibility of every employee. With that in mind, all GE employees are trained in the strategy, statistical tools and techniques of Six Sigma Quality. Training courses are offered at various levels including: basic Six Sigma awareness; basic tool introduction to equip employees to participate on Six Sigma teams; Master Black Belt, Black Belt and Green Belt Training; and Design for Six Sigma training.

Ryanair v/s GE

Quality Philosophy and approach:

The approach of Quality provided by Ryanair is very similar to that of Honda. Their quality management philosophy is driven by achieving continuous customer satisfaction through continuous improvement of all organisational functions and processes by incorporating concepts of service quality, process management, quality assertion and quality perfection. However, it is important to distinguish them on the grounds that Ryanair is an airliner and a pure service company and Honda is an automobile manufacturing company with the high product and after sales standards.

Ryanair does not aim to offer anything close to close to a ‘luxurious’ quality of service. It offers value for money.[1] Quality provision at Ryanair is intended from the passenger’s point of view considering their expectations and perceptions for the fare it is offering. However, the quality concept is effectively laid out and all its staff in close direct and indirect contact are well trained regarding delivering exceptional services that aims satisfy to sale more. [Please follow Appendix 3 on Customer Feedbacks]

Ryanair since 1997 has adopted and live the total quality management to deliver its quality objectives through it’s Lowest Fares and Passenger Service Charter. [1] The up to date highlights (non-exhaustive, for complete list please follow Appendix 1) from this charter stating their significant commitments are :

To offer the lowest fares at all time on all routes.

To notify passengers of known delays, cancellations and diversions.

To minimise the numbers of passengers facing delays.

To allow reservation changes.

To respond quickly to passenger complaints and provide prompt refunds.

To take measures to speed up check-in.

To minimise the number of passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding.

About Honda…………………….

Both, Ryanair and Honda considers to deliver exceeding quality products and services to both their internal and external customers, clearly understanding that quality is a consistent versatile activity having both quantitative and non-quantitative attributes such as re-visiting customer? Yes/No. They have emphasised and communicated throughout the organisation that quality is the responsibility of every individual and through these responsibility they ensures that all processes, inputs and outputs, maintain and produce consistent level of quality products and services. It can be concluded that both Ryanair and Honda follows the Total Quality Management (TQM) model.

Approaches to deliver quality:

It is necessary for both Ryanair and Honda to understand the quality characteristics in their respective markets, as equally important is the clarity of quality objectives of expectations and perceptions of quality for a price. For Ryanair, the quality is characterised by its on time journeys, passenger and baggage safety, good appearance and attitude of crews, meeting the industry challenges and the way it resolves the service failures.

Ryanair deliver its quality objectives through it’s Lowest Fares and Passenger Service Charter. [1] The highlights (non-exhaustive, for complete list please follow Appendix 1) from this charter stating Ryanair’s significant commitments are :

To offer the lowest fares at all time on all routes.

To notify passengers of known delays, cancellations and diversions.

To minimise the numbers of passengers facing delays.

To allow reservation changes.

To respond quickly to passenger complaints and provide prompt refunds.

To take measures to speed up check-in.

To minimise the number of passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding.

Whereas, Honda…………………………..

Quality Systems:

Adequate systems and standards are required to measure, monitor and control the quality deliverables. These systems could be processes, service experience, industry practices or other means which can evaluate the performance against the set standards or objectives. These systems managed and controlled efficiently and effectively could add upon as the competitive advantage.

Ryanair is found making efficient use of its customer service feedback to motivate its employees to make them feel proud and encourage them to improve and deliver continuous

Impact on Innovations, change and competitiveness

The company has also jump onto the internet with the launch of their new online booking site and in just 3 months the site is taking over 50,000 bookings a week. The booking in their web accounts have increased to 94%.

Recommendations to improve quality approach (critical approach)

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