‘Cooke and Lewis Laboratory’.

‘Cooke and Lewis Laboratory’.

Short Case Study
‘Cooke and Lewis Laboratory’

Cooke and Lewis Laboratory provide analytical testing and calibration for the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industry. The laboratory has a reputation for the excellence of its equipment and services, and has become a market leader in this rapidly growing testing sector.

In recent years, Cooke and Lewis have opened new high specification laboratories in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Norway. This has enabled Cooke and Lewis laboratory to extend its geographic coverage from its original United Kingdom base to cover large sections of Western Europe.

As the business has become larger and more complex, the demands placed on the organisation systems have also become greater, reinforcing the need for functional specialisation of equipment and staff, yet requiring more inter location understanding and cooperation.

When it became clear that the Cooke and Lewis amenity package could be copied by competitors eager to attract the premium customer base, the company decided to reinforce quality at every stage in their processes. This was, they believed, the main criterion that already differentiated Cooke and Lewis laboratory, and this was also potentially the most difficult strategy for lower priced competitors to follow.

A consultant was brought in to recommend a bespoke quality management system and facilitate a major quality improvement program. This was considered as a ‘top-down’ approach, whereby important projects were identified and tackled by trained teams.

Soon it became apparent that these early projects were not achieving the anticipated sustainable improvements. It also became clear that the failure was largely the result of only involving senior managers, who could not devote the time required to projects and did not fully understand the whole process. Those employees who did have a very detailed understanding of the process had been excluded from problem definition, evaluation and implementation of changes.

Reconsideration was made at this stage and the company re-launched their quality management system (QMS) initiative. Each department established a quality steering committee which comprised at least one director, a trained facilitator and volunteers from every grade of employee.

The emphasis at this stage was on the identification and improvement of internal processes with further emphasis on satisfying the internal customer. Early success demonstrated the validity of this approach and generated a high level of enthusiasm throughout the company.

Questions

1.    Evaluate the differences between the first and the second attempt at establishing a quality initiative and clearly state the main advantages and problems with both approaches.
(20% marks)

2.    Select a quality management system (QMS) that you are familiar with which you feel is best suited for the Cooke and Lewis organisation. Clearly justify why you have selected the specific QMS.
(15% marks)

3.    Using the QMS you selected in Question 2 clearly define the key steps required to implement and gain approval to that QMS. Critically analyse the issues involved with the implementation process.
(15% marks)

4.    Discuss different quality cost models (PAF, Process Model and Taguchi Quality Loss Function) that can be used and implemented in this organisation.                                                                                                                    Critically analyse and evaluate use of each of the 3 models and then:

a)    With the help of a comparison table and appropriate justification decide which model will be most suitable for the organisation    .

b)    Discuss the benefits the organisation mentioned in case study, could gain when using the chosen quality costing model.
(40% marks)

The remaining 10% of the assessment marks are awarded for correct format, referencing via CU Harvard system and the use of appropriate relevant business language.

This piece of assessment is worth 30% of the total module mark.

Assessment to be submitted to Moodle (including Turn-it-in review) – use the link provided on your module page.

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