Julius Berger is a multi-national engineering organisation operating in the construction industry. The international division of Julius Berger is located in Wiesbaden, Germany, but the company also has large divisions in Nigeria, which is its country of origin. The company offers a wide array of services in engineering and construction, including feasibility assessments, design development, approval planning, project management, and procurement. However, construction projects are at the heart of Julius Berger’s operations, and the company works for both public and private sector clients as part of its business activity in this area. Quality and cost are the key competitive factors for companies working in the construction industry, which is why it is necessary for Julius Berger to ensure that its operations are cost-efficient and that the quality of services provided is excellent.
Quality is defined as the capability of a product or service to satisfy the user’s needs, demonstrate satisfactory performance, and be suitable for its intended purpose. Quality management, in turn, is best understood as the activities performed by the company to ensure the high quality of its products and services. Quality management is essential for companies because it can help to achieve more profits and secure a competitive position in the chosen market. As explained by Kiran, quality management can help organisations to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction, thus increasing sales and winning over the competition. High quality of products and service also leads to an improved reputation, which can contribute to business success. Sharabi notes that there is a chain reaction that involves a customer-focused strategy and quality culture, quality management and continuous improvement, employee commitment, and positive leadership. Together, these components can help businesses to build an excellent image and attract more customers.
Julius Berger’s approach to quality is briefly stated in the company’s Corporate Quality Policy. The organisation uses ISO 9001:2015 requirements to guide quality management. A flexible quality management system that focuses on identifying and meeting the needs of stakeholders is used to apply these standards to practice. In order to enforce quality management, the organisation uses process monitoring and improvement based on objectives, as well as employee training. Objective-based performance evaluations mean that managers or team leaders need to identify measurable objectives of each process and evaluate quality based on how well the end product fulfils these objectives. It also implies that quality improvement efforts carried out in the organisation target a particular process rather than the operations of the company as a whole. This approach could influence the success of the company due to the lack of integration among quality improvement efforts in different divisions and departments.
One of Julius Berger’s competitors is STRABAG Construction, a German-based international corporation operating in the same industry. In contrast to Julius Berger, STRABAG uses an integrated quality management system that encompasses all departments, business processes, and activities of the organisation. The company has a central division tasked with quality management throughout the organisation, thus promoting the integration of quality management into every aspect of its operations. Despite the fact that the two companies have fundamentally different approaches to quality management, there are also some similarities between them. Firstly, both organisations use objective-based quality management rather than subjective assessment. For instance, Julius Berger evaluates its internal processes based on the quality of the result. In a similar manner, STRABAG performs quality assessments by comparing actual outcomes with planned in terms of costs, schedule, and quality. Secondly, both companies acknowledge employees’ input into quality management and implement strategies to ensure that employees have the skills and commitment required for positive results. This approach is useful because when employees are skilled and engaged, they require less oversight and monitoring to achieve excellent performance outcomes.
On the whole, Julius Berger’s approach to quality management has some positive components. For example, it is based on internationally recognised standards and uses objective metrics to evaluate processes. It is also beneficial that the organisation takes the needs of stakeholders into account, as this can facilitate meaningful quality improvement and help the company to achieve its performance targets. However, Julius Berger’s quality management system lacks an integrated, comprehensive approach. While managers can improve quality locally by addressing specific processes, it is possible that the causes of underperformance are rooted in a different process or procedure. This means that quality improvement plans that target individual processes are ineffective in these cases. In contrast, integrated quality management systems, such as total quality management, can help managers to understand the links between different processes and apply this knowledge to problem-solving. Thus, addressing the current approach to quality management would help Julius Berger to achieve a competitive advantage by enhancing internal operations.