Quality is one of the most important indicator’s of the company’s performance. It is impossible to ignore this criterion in the successful performance. The modern business world is a highly competitive environment where every company strives to win a significant competitive benefit. According to Kaziliunas (2010), “Quality management systems based on international standards benefits manufacturers, service providers, users, consumers and regulators and supports sustainable development, so its popularity is relevant today.” Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA) is not an exception. It is a company performing its activity for the sake of the UAE development and growth. It is obvious that this business is oriented on quality and uses a wide range of techniques and methods to boost up the process of improvement.
DTMFZA was established in 2000 as a governmental authority playing a municipal role in the projects, which are under its jurisdiction. It is the sole regulator of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone. This business has become a hub for industries based on knowledge. Its main orientation is expansion of free zone business parks related to the knowledge-based industries.
Organization Structure, Vision, and Mission
The vision of the company is to be an outstanding agency that provides cluster-based development and contributes to the development of the UAE. The mission of the company is to create and continuously develop a regulatory environment for complete industry development and harmonization of the stakeholders’ interests at the same time. Organizational structure of the company includes the general director of the DTMFZA, regularity deputy general director, and film and entertainment deputy general director.
Quality System Methodology and Tools. Four Stages of Implementation
DTMFZA is oriented on quality. It has different techniques and methods applied at all levels of its performance in order to bring high quality services. The implementation process of the quality system went through four stages. Since the establishment of the company, there were many challenges on the way to the quality improvement. The first stage of quality system implementation was from the beginning of the company’s establishment. From 2000 to 2006, it was the time when there was no quality system in the basement of the company. Quality was managed by separate groups of employees experienced in the field of quality management. However, it was not enough, and the company created a department responsible for quality management in 2006. It contributed to the development of the company. Employees started to understand their responsibilities clearly. Moreover, the company penetrated its activity with orientation on customer’s satisfaction by means of surveys and benchmarking. It took the company four years to successfully implement all these changes and modify the basement of the company’s performance. The next period starts from 2010. It took DTMFZA six months to become certified according to the ISO 9001:2008. According to Giuliano (2012), “Some companies need the certification only to satisfy the requirements of their clients and others because they believe in the benefits that the standard offers.” The company kept the same level of development until 2013. The fourth period started in 2014. Business Process Reengineering of the core processes running within all departments marks it.
About ISO 9001
ISO 9001 is a certification that includes a set of consistent measures, which should be followed by companies willing to improve the quality of services. It can be applied to any company regardless of its size. It is a required step towards quality improvement and total quality management. Moreover, companies that have ISO certificates have more chances to win a competitive benefit and attract more customers. The implementation of this certification benefits external and internal processes of the company.
Challenges prior implementing the ISO
DTMFZA was created in order to handle a wide range of free zone projects. After obtaining the ISO certification, the company has licensed the construction of many buildings. However, there was a wide range of issues before the company’s successful activity. First, the company had many projects without Site Plan. Moreover, received applications had no deadline. There were no time limits, which made the performance less efficient. Unorganized data did not allow tracking the performance of the individuals. There was a loss in the revenue because fee matrix did not reflect all operations. Projects had a lack of proper documentation, which made it impossible to control them and speed up the project’s implementation. One of the most important challenges faced by the company was the absence of integration between departments. In addition, another remarkable problem was that the company did not have an effective plan of actions, which control the changes implementation.
Finally, the company decided to change its performance by the implementation of ISO certification. It is known that it took the company six months to change the basement of its performance. More than 75 applications were transformed outlining the performance of each individual, customer’s satisfaction and the period for all the processes running within the company. In 2010, DTMFZA decided to implement ISO 9001:2008 along with the assistance of LRQA. The implementation of the certification involved two stages. The first stage included document review and planning visit. In addition, another stage included the initial assessment. According to Boiral (2011), “ISO systems comprise rather specific recommendations, they are far from explicit in their method of application, affording managers a great deal of leeway”
Building Permit Process
Building permit process is a process requiring DTMFZA to gain confidence on legal basement of starting construction of new elements. This process went under review for five times as it is very significant to the development of the company. Building permit process should be considered by comparing conditions of the company before and after implementation of ISO 9001:2008. One of the main features outlining the significance of the certification is that before its implementation, the contractor was limited and could not start the building without design approval. Certification helped the contractor start construction on the early stages of design process. It helped to reduce the time being wasted while waiting for the approval. Another characteristic feature of the company without ISO 9001:2008 is that it was not customer friendly. After some changes, it began to take into consideration customer’s satisfaction and his requirements. According to Osman (2004), “Customer satisfaction measurement will enable organizations to accurately identify customers’ requirement and their relative importance.”
Another change is that the company obtained an effective system of monitoring, which makes processes organized. In addition, the company did not use the Fast Track. However, the updated system of management allows contractors to pay extra fees to expedite the process. Time is the most valuable resource, and nobody wants to waste it. The main difference between conditions of the company is that earlier, the company did not pay attention to the feedback of the customers. It did not take into consideration opinions of the stakeholders in order to improve its performance. However, the implementation of the ISO contributed to the attention of the company to the customer’s satisfaction. The engine of the DTMFZA started to be based on customer’s requirements. According to Kumar (2011), “Any ISO 900 1certified organization is supposed to have an effective Quality System and achieve maximum customer satisfaction, profit, employee motivation, improvements and minimum rejections, reworks, customer complaints and problems.”
Issuance of Site Plans Process
The Site Plan Process is a measure involving a legal document, which includes a description of land’s development. It takes into consideration all details of the construction process. It is a plan including ownership, location and dimensions of the project. This process was among those that had issues to be changed. First, there was no expiry date, which should be a connection between site plan process and a master plan. Some processes were not accepted by the auditors. It happened because many buildings were built without site plan. Moreover, the master developed was exempted from paying the fees. This was an issue that needed to be corrected. As there were gaps in the monitoring system, it was also hard to control KPI and track company’s performance. These issues were the main basement of future transformations, which became the basement of profitable performance.
About Business Process Reengineering (BPR)
Business Process Reengineering is a management approach, which contributes to the review of all processes running within the company. The general idea of the approach is to gain achievements in the improvement of indicators of the company’s performance, which include costs, quality, service and speed. Business process is a set of activities that require a number of inputs contributing to the product or service development according to the requirements of clients. Reengineering is based on the principle of changing the process by making it less costly, but more efficient. According to Maleki (2011), “Through reorganizing, eliminating some processes and finding new ways of doing things, BPR helps organizations to change their old fashioned structures into innovative processes.” BPR requires a company to take radical measures in order to bring benefits and improve the quality of the final products and services.
Registration and Licensing Department (Pilot Project)
Registration and Licensing department is the focal point in the process of registration and incorporation of new organizations in the Free Zone. According to the requirements introduced by DTMFZA, all companies should have a registration and have a valid commercial license. These are requirements for companies performing their activity in the Free Zone. This part of the company’s activity is the most important to a contribution of the company’s profits. It is a fact that more than 75% of the company’s income is related to the issue of registrations and licenses to the companies willing to operate in the Zone. The importance of registration for companies is obvious. It proves that the company performs on legal terms and has all basements to obtain a credit. Moreover, registration is a proof that a company can increase its capital thanks to the investments. Licensing provides organizations with the ability to operate in the free Zone and cooperate with other companies. DTMFZA provides companies with licenses for a particular activity for one year. The company also provides organizations with licensing due to the changes in their names, activity, organizational structure or location.
Renewal of Licenses Process (Sample Process)
According to Goskoy (2012), “Business Process Reengineering has allowed many failing and even successful organizations to re-invent themselves to achieve performance improvements and position themselves in a better place in their markets.” It means that the company needs to implement changes regardless of its conditions. The transformation of the department involves the development of the scheme, which can help the company outline the main problems of the department and offer solutions along with required resources for successful implementation of changes. Existing License Renewal Process is a complex system of measures, which are aimed at efficient performance of the licensing process. However, it requires some transformations in order to meet requirements of the contemporary organizations. Process reengineering of this department involves changes within the system in order to reduce the number of steps and the required time for licensing. Revised license renewal process divides all steps into separate sections, which include a range of actions. It is easier to evaluate what step involves appropriate actions. It helps the company to outline consequent actions aimed at the improved process of licensing.
Quality Tools used
The following quality tools were used in making analysis of DTMFZA’s performance. Brain storming – an effective communication tool used in a group in order to find a general solution to the problem and evaluate key success factors. It is important to discuss problems of the company in a group involving both top management and employees. It is an effective tool helping to evaluate the most appropriate solutions. Employees of all levels of the company can benefit the development of all processes. Brainstorming brings hundreds of ideas, which could be used in the improvement of the organization. It is easier to make a decision in a team. Solutions taken by all employees of the company contribute to the corporate spirit and improve the quality of products and services. It is a powerful boost of the company’s success. Focus group – is a qualitative research, which gives an opportunity to evaluate the opinion and personal perceptions towards the topic. It is a tool held in the form of interactions and discussions, which helps to evaluate the important elements of the company’s performance, which need to be changed. It is obvious that focus groups give employer an opportunity to listen to his employees’ experiences, thoughts and opinions. Focus groups are usually centered on one problem, which is the most actual for the company. Focus groups were used in the DTMFZA in order to see the issues of the registering and licensing department. Stratification (Runner – Repeater – Stranger) – considers classification of elements into appropriate sections. It is an effective tool, which gives an opportunity to the company to classify issues into sections. It is more comfortable to work with sections, then to work on separate problems of the company. Histogram and pie chart are a graphical presentation of the collected data. Employers tend to process results of the analysis in the appropriate form of data presentation. It helps to evaluate the impact of all elements on the company’s performance. It makes visible the vastest spheres of company’s performance, which need to be changed. It is always easier to see the percentage of the company’s indicators in the form of a diagram. Check sheet is a document, which contains information about data collected in the real time. It can be effective in the process of controlling. At the same time, controlling contributes to the quality improvement. This tool can be effective in controlling all processes running within organization and evaluation of its problems. Process flow chart – is a diagram, which presents a graphical view of processes running within the company. A flow chart is effective to see the course of the company’s performance. It helps to see processes, which need to be transformed in order to improve the general performance of the company. In general, all the tools used to evaluate the information about DTMFZA should be tied together in order to bring comprehensive results of the company’s profile.
In conclusion, it is important to mention that obtaining the certification is an element of the company, which brings trust from the side of the customers and gives confidence of partners in effective cooperation. It is a fact that ISO 9001:2008 provided DTMFZA with an approach aimed at customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. According to Al-Najjar (2011), “9001 proved to be a good device to improve the processes of organizations through relying on a management system approach.” It is essential to boost up the processes running within the company aimed a continuous performance improvement. It is required to take action before the company starts feeling vulnerable among competitors. ISO certification can become a key to the company’s growth and development. Constant improvement is a perfect basement to the stable growth of business.