1. Introduction This report compares two mobile phone manufacturers one of whom is a global giant while the other is a domestic player who has caused a major upheaval in the market shares in the domestic market within two years of its arrival. The companies being talked about here are Nokia and Micromax…
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2. Quality Management at Nokia Quality is at the heart of Nokia’s operations. Quality has been embedded into every aspect of the products in order to achieve the goal of continuous improvement. Quality Management at Nokia starts right at the top management level and flows from top to bottom. There is a ‘Self-Regulating Management System’ at Nokia which charts out the framework for management practices. The customer needs are the most important input in Nokia’s quest for continuous improvement. Therefore, Nokia makes it a point to thoroughly analyze the lifestyles and needs of its target customers (10 Operations Management Decisions). Nokia lays a great amount of stress on Research and Development. More than 30% of Nokia’s workforce is deployed in Research and Development across geographies. The company strives to maintain a balance between the technological design and user friendly layout. Special fashion designers are deployed for the later (10 Operation Management Decisions). 3. Quality Management at Micromax Quality management at Micromax is driven totally by customers. According to Vikas Jain, one of the co-founders of Micromax, Micromax is not a poor cousin of Nokia. Micromax has two important success criteria – perfect assessment of the customer needs and the ability to adapt their supply chain to those needs. The company was a pioneer in initiating dual sim phones in India and challenged Nokia’s supremacy with its innovations. The company realized that a large number of customers were willing to use more than 1 sim cards for various reasons. However, not many were willing to carry 2 or more mobile phones in their pockets. This latent need led to the development of mobile phones with dual sim cards which have become a norm today (Dharmakumar, 2010). 4. Common process between the two organizations and its impact The product design process of the two organizations is quite similar. Both organizations consider assessing customer needs as the most important and preliminary stage of product design. In Nokia, this research is done very methodologically by specialists across various geographies and cultures. At Micromax, the market research is not very structured and the focus is more on identifying the latent needs and to target niche segments of the market. The next step is to choose the theme and develop the product. While Nokia believes in designing an experience rather than a product, Micromax considers a theme such as dual sim and develops and markets its product around that theme. The next step is to test the prototype on a selected group of customers. While this step is a must for Nokia, Micromax may actually skip it and go ahead with judgment of its management. After the product is developed, the supply chain management is very important for both the firms. Nokia maintains a set of requirements for its suppliers. Nokia makes efforts in maintaining a sustainable e-supply chain. The supply chain management at Micromax is less structured but also less complicated. This enables the company to easily swing the supply chain making it more agile. The product design process has a significant positive impact on their competitive position in the market. By focusing on customer needs, these companies win half the battle. This helps them in efficient planning and execution. By maintaining an effective and agile supply chain, these companies are better equipped to manage change in customer needs, market conditions, global economic
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