1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Global competition on today’s business, coupled with the rapid development in technology, especially information technology that has made the world a global village, has necessitated business entities to develop strategies that will not only guarantee their stability but also growth in the face of adverse business conditions and survival of the fittest competition.
These strategies comes a various forms and have evolved over the years, based on the economic situation on one head, and the nature of competition existing at every point in time at the other hand. Some of these strategies have been used with some degrees of success, while others were absolute failure. The reason organizations could not find absolute solace in these strategies has been the subject of many discussions by experts in the field of Marketing Management (Fernandez and Stahl, 1995).
This study focuses on the Assessment on the Impact of Quality Service on Consumer: A Case Study of Arik Air Limited, Enugu.
Quality Service is an operational philosophy committed to consumer (customer) satisfaction and continuous improvement. Quality service is committed to consumer (customer) satisfaction continuous improvement. Quality service is committed to excellence and being the best in all functions of service delivery, because QS aims to maximize resources and improve quality (Wheelen and Hunger, 2004).
Quality service is a business philosophy that embodies the belief that management process must focus on integrating the idea of consumer drive quality throughout an organization (Zikmund, 1994). It emphasizes continuous improvement of service delivery and product quality. Managers improve durability and enhance services with additional features as the services mature in age. They also strive to speed up delivery and improve other services, in order to keep their products competitive.
The philosophy underlying Quality Service Strategy is to see consumers and clients as the vital key to organizational success. Organizations with Quality Service Strategy see their business through the eyes of their consumers and clients and then measure their organization’s performance against consumer or client expectations, not through the organization’s expectations. Therefore, a Nigerian Organization that employs Quality Service (QS) strategy must evaluate its operations through the eyes of its consumers and clients (Aluko et al, 2004).
However, most Nigerian organizations define Quality by engineering standards. Quality Service or Topics need not conform to consumer’s requirements, but must also be acceptable. Effective and efficient Quality Service (QS) strategy entails that the quality of service or products must go beyond acceptability for a given price range. For instance, rather than leaving consumers satisfied that nothing went wrong with the service or products, a service or product should give the consumer some delightful surprises, or provide unexpected benefits. This means therefore, that product or service quality assurance requires more than just meeting consumer’s or clients’ minimum standards. The level of Service Quality, is the degree to which a product or service is equal to or greater than consumers’ or clients’ expectations (Aluko et al, 2004).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
All scientific and social scientific research is necessitated by a perceived problem (Nzelibe and Ilogu, 1996). As such the quest and desire of the researcher to study on this topics:
An Assessment on the Impact of Quality Service on Consumer: A Case Study of Arik Air Limited, Enugu”.
Over the years, the size and number of business have proliferated hugely within and across industries in Nigeria. Companies producing homogenous products and services have to device workable strategies on how to woo the limited number of consumers (customers) to their sales.
Managers in Western countries and parts of Asia have been known to have delved into the use of Quality Service in order to enable them compete in the global or international market, and they seem to be doing quite well (at least evidence from Japanese and USA auto and electronics companies is a clear example).
The necessity of Quality Service in Nigerian Business Organizations stems from the fact that foreign companies have continued to dominate the local market in virtually all sections of the economy, except for those sectors that are under complete government control. The problems associated with the Nigerian companies in relation to Quality Service are quite enormous and these can be put as follows:
First, the Nigerian companies are evidently lagging behind in the global or international market competition; thus, they are fast losing ground, with some of them going out business completely.
Second, the Nigerian Managers have seemingly failed to explore Quality Service for their organizations. They have rather gotten struck in the endless pursuit of what does not work for them any longer, the “blind” pursuit of profit stability and growth.
Third, they have failed to appreciate that change is necessary and that a change from the above stated pursuit to the pursuit of a consumer (customer) focus strategy is a long over due strategy decision that has been tipped to guarantee the ultimate realization of the organizational goals.
Fourth, due to lack of knowledge of the prospects of Quality Service, or lack of adequate finance or engagement of inexperienced personnel in Quality Service process or lackadaisical attitude on the part of the organization concerning Quality Service, the Quality Service impact in the Nigerian industries which the Aviation industry is part of, becomes problematic hence, the weak or poor service delivery of the industry in the actualization of its desired goals and objectives.
It is therefore, in the light of the foregoing that the study is set to investigate the reality in the above problems and further identify and determine other quality service challenges; equally, the prospects that are likely to emerge in the proper implementation of Quality Service shall be made known.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of the study. Basically, the major objective of this study is to Assess the Impact of Quality Service on Consumer with a focus on Arik Air Limited, Enugu.
In the light of the foregoing, the study will examine the following critical issues.
- a) To determine the strategic management process involved in Quality Service implementation on consumer;
- b) To examine the methods of planning attached to Quality Service on consumer;
- c) To ascertain, if there is any form of teamwork, employee’s involvement and empowerment, consumer focus and satisfaction in the course of adopting Quality Service technique as a strategic weapon;
- d) To determine whether training, retraining and development is a pre-condition for an impact in achieving success in Quality Service on consumer;
- e) To find out employee commitment and participation for the successful impact of Quality Service on consumer;
- f) To ascertain if there exist any relationship between Quality Service and consumer satisfaction;
- g) To ascertain the impact of Quality Service on consumer;
- To ascertain the likely prospects accruable from an effective/efficient Quality Service impact on consumer.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
From the nature of the research study, overview and problem statement, it is necessary to ask the following questions:
- What are the strategic management processes in Quality Service implementation on consumer in Arik Air Limited, Enugu?
- Do training, re-training and development serve as a pre-condition for an impact in achieving success in Quality service on Consumer?
- What are the methods of planning, attached to Quality service on consumer in Arik Air Limited?
- Is there any form of teamwork, employee’s involvement and empowerment, consumer focus and satisfaction in the course of adopting Quality Service technique as a strategic weapon?
- Does employee commitment and participation necessities for the successful impact of Quality Service on consumer?
- Is there any relationship between Quality Service and consumer satisfaction?
- Is there any impact of Quality Service on consumer?
- What are the accruable prospects from the effective/efficient Quality Service Impact on consumer?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Strategic management is currently gaining ground in management thinking. At the same time, establishing a successful corporate strategy is central to effective strategic management in the light of the growing competitive and even turbulent business environment.
In no sectors are synonymous problems of fierce competition and turbulence more pronounced today. These sectors are likely to be stepped in distress and devastated by mismanagement, if quality and improved management style is not maintained. Any attempt therefore, at finding solutions to the management problems likely to beset the industry must be a worthwhile effort.
Therefore, this study attempts to identify the underpinnings of successful management in Nigeria’s Aviation Sector in relation to Quality Service Strategy. It investigates the extent to which the strategy has helped Arik Air Limited, Enugu to achieve substantial success.
It s believed, however, that a successful inquiry into this area will offer empirical insights on survival strategies for Aviation and other allied organizations. This will be an eye opener and a verifiable reference material for combating any likely organizational distress. Successful application of Quality Service strategy on both surfing and distressed organizations will lead to the restriction of confidence to the organization and consumer of services available in the organization.
It is envisaged that apart from leading to a more wide Aviation system well positioned to contribute to the growth of the rational economy; managers in other sectors can benefit immensely from the research findings.
Furthermore, the study is crucial as to pinpointing the strength and weaknesses evident in implementing the Quality Service strategy among Nigerian firms. This will enable firms to possibly fine-tune their quality service programs towards better results. It is also hoped that the study will encourage further research on Quality Service practices in Nigerian Aviation Industry in particular and on ways to manage successfully in Nigeria in general.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In pursuance of the objective of the study which is on the Quality Service strategies used by some Aviation Companies to gain competitive edge and enhance their service delivery for survival, particular attention is paid to only Arik Air Limited, Enugu.
Attempt will be made to examine the extent to which Quality Service has impacted the consumer of services at Arik Air Limited Enugu.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
There has not been any serious meaningful academic endeavour, mostly in the field of research, without some militating factors or constraints.
To that extent, lack of financial resources, inadequate research materials (material dearth) and time constraint constituted the most serious limitations of this work.
In addition, secrecy and confidentiality of information, mostly as it relates to the Aviation Industry Operations, has effect in the course of this research; as most of the officials approached were reluctant and wary of disclosing information on performance (profit margin, turnover), consumer satisfaction e.t.c.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Global competition: This is competitive effort that is not restricted within a locality or notion, rather a worldwide competitive gesture.
- Global Village: This means the interconnectivity and interrelationship between people of same or diverse race via an electronic or technological device or means.
- Quality: Quality is the attribute and the degree of excellence associated with a particular purpose.
- Competitive Edge: Competitive edge is defined as levity an advantage over rivals in the quest for and use of scarce resources.
- Quality Service Strategy: These are forms or methods or techniques by which consumer (customer) satisfaction and improvement can be attached through service deliveries, which in turn help the implementer, achieve their set goals and objectives.