Insurance company X and assessment of its maturity regarding to ISO 9004:2009 Self-Assessment Model

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This project was supported by Quality Austria in Czech Republic.
www.QualityAustria.CZ

 

Authors: Bc.Martynková Ivona, Bc. Poláchová, Petra, and Bc. Zámrská, Markéta
Supervisor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Günter H. Hertel

 

 

 

WHY dealing with QM and ISO 9004 in the Philosophical Faculty of the Palacky-University in Olomouc / Czech Republic?

Quality management is important for everyone, not just business. UPOL is one of the bodies, which must deal with quality management. This applies not only to products or results of the work, but also students, professors and other university employees. It helps increase the competitiveness of the university and its prestige.
Our study field is not focused only on the necessary theory but students can choose from a wide offer of subjects with practical applications. This project was developed under the subject Quality Management. Maintaining and improving of quality is important for daily practice and sustainable development. We studied the quality standard ISO 9004 and we tried to apply it to the selected company and to investigate, how the company could improve the quality of its processes. The gained experiences we can use in our private and professional life.

Table of contents

  1. Intentions of ISO 9004 International Standard
  2. About the company
  3. Findings and Recommendations
  4. Methods for Visualization
    • 4.1. Spider Diagram
    • 4.2. SWOT Matrix
  5. Experience with the project
  6. Further sources and links

Source: The Roles of ISO 9001 and ISO 9004. Available from: http://www.kristerforsberg.com/qmp/core.html

1. Intentions of ISO 9004 International Standard

The ISO 9004 International Standard provides guidance that support achieving sustainable success of any organization operating in a constantly changing environment. It provides a broader view of quality management systems than the standard ISO 9001 and elaborates in more detail some of the sub-themes such as knowledge management and innovation. A part of the standard is also a table for self-evaluation of the organization due to different levels of maturity of the quality management system. It serves as an excellent tool for internal corporate evaluation of organizational processes and activities and helps to identify the areas for improvement, serving as a basis for managerial decision making.

2. About the company

We decided to create our project in the insurance company based in Prague. The company does not wish to be listed in the project, therefore, operates under a fictitious name of “Company X”.
The Company X provides insurance services in the area of industrial and business risks. Its services are used by many major companies, who operate in all technical and business areas including power generation, construction, light industry, transportation, media and so forth. Last but not least, the regions, towns and municipalities or city areas, as well as the state institutions belong to its clients. The company X does not engage only property insurance but for example personal insurance too, they provide life insurance, capital insurance, travel insurance, collective insurance etc. The customer services are in the high level and it is one of the main competitive advantages of the company.

3. Findings and Recommendations

Very positive findings

  • High quality service to clients
  • Access to client
  • Financial management
  • Internal audit

Internal Audit

Internal audit:
The results from internal audits are used to generalize any deficiencies. Of these, then based on feedback and it contributes to continuous quality improvement in all activities, which the company performs.
For example, the company improved system of solution and registration of an insure events through internal audits.

Our general recommendations

  • Staff training: “From our perspective we found space for improvement in staff development. One important aspect is staff training. On the other hand training is expensive. That’s why the company should implement a systematic training program for the staff combined with a measuring system of its effort and success.”
  • Customer dissatisfaction and eventual departure: “Find a better way for contacting the customer. Try to develop the customer to your partner.”
  • Processes improvement: The company should give more space for employees´ proposals which could lead to continuous process of improvement in an organization.
  • Benchmarking: Introduce an internal benchmarking more which would assure a greater sharing of knowledge and experience among the workers in order to maximize a customers´ contentment.

4. Methods for Visualization

4.1 Spider Diagram

The company is at all points at a good level, even in some at the best. After comparison of internal materials, quality certificates, ISO 9001 and internal materials, we concluded that the company would be able to obtain ISO 9004:2009. We found, after consultation with the financial director, that the company sees this standard for their performance as not very important. One of the main reasons is a financial disincentive page.

4.2 SWOT Matrix

STRENGTH

  • High quality of services.
  • The company is one of the best on the market and able to provide insurance products and the conditions that insurance market usually does not offer.
  • Quality of employees and good motivation programs for employees.
  • The functional system of internal audits.
  • User friendly and easy to navigate client section of the website.
  • Good liquidity.
WEAKNESSES

  • The company currently has only one branch abroad.
  • Feedback from employees lacks.
  • Professional methods of determining of customer satisfaction lack.
  • The employees do not have the possibility of career advancement.
OPPORTUNITIES

  • Establishment of additional branches in the Czech Republic as well as on eastern markets.
  • Competitors focus on quantity rather than quality of its services.
  • Active contacting of clients.
  • Training employees on new trends.
  • Cooperation with new suppliers.
  • High demand for these products.
  • Outsourcing non-core activities.
  • Implementation of information security management system.
THREATS

  • High competition in this sector.
  • The entry of a new competitor in the market.
  • Possible departure of good employees to competitors.
  • Changes in legislations.
  • High increase rent in leasehold premises.
  • Missing of sensitive data of the clients.

5. Our experience with the project

  • Improving our skills of teamworking.
  • We had the great chance to see how the particular company operates.
  • Applying the theoretical knowledge into practice.

6. Further sources and links:

http://www.iso.org/iso/home.htm
http://www.qualityaustria.com

Posted in Quality Management