University of Twente Student Theses


Nibag goes lean: A research to improve the service quality at Nibag

Weusthof, Wouter (2010) Nibag goes lean: A research to improve the service quality at Nibag.

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Abstract:The worldwide crisis strikes the construction sector, also in the Netherlands. Thousands of jobs are disappearing and the production is going down more and more (Elsevier; 11- 12-2009). Housing advisers like Nibag feel the times are difficult and the competition is intensive. At this moment the company is succeeding to keep its head above the water and it is searching for ways to become a profitable, successful company. That is also the starting point of this study; Nibag wants to be a profitable company. With the help of a preliminary research it comes true that quality is the key factor to become the desirable company. Nibag has difficulties to manage their quality and on the basis of that the complication is; Nibag has problems with maintaining the level of service quality. This leads to the research question of this thesis: How can Nibag improve its service quality to get a profitable company? Quality is the core concept of the research question and has many definitions. For Nibag the best definition is: ‘Quality is the conformance to the requirements which the company itself has established for its products based directly on its customers’ needs’. There are several methods to manage that quality, but with respect to Nibag lean service turns out to be the most suitable method. This method has various tools which are available for investigators to do research with, but ‘value stream mapping’ fits the best in this situation. The field research consists of two parts. First there is the description of the general processes inside Nibag; the sales and planning process. These processes carry all the general activities within the company. It all starts with ‘client wishes’, then follows the ‘offer’, the ‘acceptance’, the ‘planning’, the ‘execution’ and at last the ‘evaluation’. After that there is a case study of two MJOP’s (Meer Jaren Onderhoud Project). These projects consist of the general activities, but next to that the projects have their own specific activities. To make clear comparisons one of the projects is profitable and the other is unprofitable. Lean service prescribes the researcher to search for wastes within processes and activities. During the research there are identified eight different wastes: waste of overproduction, waste of motion, waste of inventory, waste of transportation, waste of waiting, waste of underutilized people, waste of defects and waste of over processing. In the sales and planning process all the wastes are noticed and the common causes are: ‘the current intern information system does not meet the requirements. The information can not be secured on a clarifying way’ and ‘the current planning system is not able to provide a bright overview to everybody who is involved and it can not integrate the planning and progression schemes’. Besides this, the eight wastes are also observed within the MJOP projects. Two important causes for these wastes are: ‘there is a lack of cooperation and communication between involved parties and employees within a project’ and ‘there is a lack of awareness that codification and documentation are important for a successful project’. Within the MJOP projects many wastes are identified and the distribution is clear. The profitable project counts 16 wastes, while the unprofitable project carries 38 wastes. The conclusion explains the results of this study. Nibag has to change several things in their way of working. The company has to focus on ‘documentation’, ‘planning’, ‘cooperation’ and ‘standardization’. Documentation is important, because Nibag must manage its knowledge and information more accurate, so that the information that is needed is available and correct. The planning has to be arranged on a different way, because there is a lack of overview into the planning and progression of a project. The cooperation between involved parties deserves attention, because there are too many misunderstandings between Nibag, clients and third parties. Standardization is the last item, it is important for Nibag to standardize the way of working within the company. Nibag goes lean © Wouter Weusthof V Master thesis August 2010 Every project has to consist of particular activities, like a kick-off and an evaluation, and the employees have to make use of standard forms, templates and standard text blocks. On the basis of the conclusion several recommendations are formulated. These suggestions are answering the research question of this research. The most important solutions for the company are: - The management team should develop awareness and create discipline about the importance of codification and documentation with respect to a project. - The management team should introduce an internal information system which contains all the project information and knowledge within Nibag. - The management team should establish a planning system, which is integrated with the progression and which is available for all the involved parties of a project. - The management team should develop an internet ‘portal’ on which the company, the client, as well as eventual third parties can log in to check the information about a project. - The management team has to oblige a kick-off, a project evaluation and a third party evaluation at the big projects or important third parties. Next to that the employees have to make use of standard forms, templates and text blocks.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Nibag, Oldenzaal
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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