Sandy wondered what she might find when she arrived at work today. So far her placement at the Roundal Wright Retirement Home had been much more varied than she had expected. As assistant to the housekeeper Mavis Long some days she found herself dealing with the home’s suppliers and other dealing with some of the residents.
The retirement home was a purpose built complex comprising 55 self-contained flats for either singles or couples. Residents ranged in age from 55 to 85. Sandy had noticed that many seemed quite fit and active while others had quite complex mobility difficulties. The housekeeper, Mavis, was responsible for ensuring that all the communal areas, corridors, lift, sitting rooms and dining room were kept immaculately clean. The extensive grounds were a pleasant outlook for the residents who also enjoyed sitting out therein fine weather. Although the complex was designed for retired people who wanted to live independently, there was a dining hall which residents could access for lunchtimes and evening meals.
Mavis announces that the Area Manager will be visiting the complex in a fortnight and asks Sandy to get some good views of the retirement home from residents to quote.
At the end of the following day Sandy reviews what she has discovered from the residents. As well as the verbal comments made to her she has discovered a bundle of written complaints made to Mavis but which seem to have been ignored. She feels a bit overwhelmed by the number of complaints which have been made.
Thinking back to her operations management lectures, Sandy decides to tabulate all the complaints that she had managed to identify to date.
Week Grounds Parking Tenant issues Electrical/ Plumbing Dining Hall
1 *** * *** **
2 * *** ** * ***
3 ** **** ** *
4 ** ** *** ****
5 * **** ****
6 ***** ** * *
7 * ** * ***
8 ** *** * *****
Parking seemed to be a big problem. Residents felt that there were not enough reserved spaces for each of their cars let alone sufficient for the number of visitors who came each weekend. A particular source of resentment seemed to be that Mavis had her own reserved space. There were also complaints about poor parking on the part of some residents who ended up taking up two spaces.
Complaints were made about the time spent queuing at the counter in the dining hall. Open-ended comments made included:
? Toilets were not clean
? Not enough variety in the menu
? My stew was cold!
? Not enough activities are planned for the communal areas in the evenings Lift is not big enough for me in my wheelchair and my partner
? Frequently the main menu choice is not available when I go for my meal Central heating is erratic
? The electrician never comes when you report a problem
? It’s ridiculous how long we have to queue for our dinner
? Parking is a disaster
? Not enough spaces for residents
? The grounds are a disaster – why isn’t weeding carried out?
? Everything is fine
? The cost of the meals is extortionate
? Half of the shrubs are dying out because they’ve been put in the wrong place. ?
? The queues at mealtimes are ridiculous
? I’m too old to queue up; I want waitress service
Sandy decides to speak to the cook about how the dining hall is organized. The cook used to work in the school meals service and has 10 years experience.
Meat and poultry are purchased for the restaurant from the meat market every week. Vegetables, fruit and salad ingredients are purchased from the local street market which operates on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The cook used to do all his own purchasing and had certain stalls he patronized regularly but recently Mavis the housekeeper has announced that she will take over all purchasing. The cook feels that she has little experience or interest in food purchasing but is keen to prove to area office that she can make cost savings on the purchasing budget. Other materials used in the home are purchased from a local wholesaler called Macros on a monthly basis. The cook claims that the quality of meat and vegetables purchased has declined since Mavis started buying them.
"There is a standard menu suggested by Roundal Wright area office but the cook and the housekeeper can vary that to suit local needs. The cook tells Sandy that he would love to introduce more variety into the menu but he has to be able to cost meals at ?3.00. He is not allowed to go outside that price framework. The cook notes that there has been quite a turnover among residents in the last 12 months, perhaps the menu agreed with an earlier group is no longer to this group’s taste. He has noted that some dishes rarely get as Red for while others get sold out very quickly. He tells Sandy that since Mavis has taken over the purchasing there are days when he does not have the necessary quantities of the ingredients he needs for that day’s menu.
"Queues well what do you expect when they all come in to eat at the same time. There’s only one of me, after all". The cook explained to Sandy that most residents who are using the dining hall tend to come in together at 5.30. This bunching of customers caused difficulties in that only one of the dishes on the menu was prepared in advance, the others were cooked to order, This meant that there was less waste in the kitchen but residents had to wait while it was cooked for them, The cook acknowledged that he too had heard complaints about the queuing.
1. It appears that residents have a perception of poor quality of service at the Roundal Wright retirement home.
A) Starting from theoretical approaches to "quality", explain how quality might be defined at the Roundal Wright Retirement Home?
B) Which quality assessment tools would you use to analyse the situation at the home and why?
2. What quality improvement models would you recommend, and how would you apply them to improve service quality and what specifications might these involve?
Consider the resource implications of your recommendations for service improvements (both financial and in other areas).
The output is a report in no more than 2000 words, using tables, charts and graphs to illustrate your arguments where appropriate.
Marks will be lost if you fail to make it clear which section of your report are meant to address which elements of the assignment brief.