University of Oulu

Enhancing quality management in a Finnish oil refining and marketing company

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Author: Vilppola, Katri1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Mechanical Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : K. Vilppola, 2014
Publish Date: 2014-09-08
Thesis type: Master's thesis (tech)
Tutor: Väyrynen, Seppo
Kauppila, Osmo
Reviewer: Väyrynen, Seppo
Kauppila, Osmo
Quality management (QM) is considered more and more to be an essential business approach to organisational improvements. Today, quality is seen as a beneficial aspect to invest in because it has proven to for example enhance the company revenue, increase productivity, reduce cost of quality and improve business performance. Nevertheless, many companies in addition to Neste Oil are struggling with questions such as “What is the best governance and management structure for quality to maximize the impact on outcomes?”, “What measures of quality should an organisation use to drive value?”, “How should quality be supported by an organisation?” and “How can we affect the culture of quality to make it change the way we work?”. They find it often problematic at Neste Oil to choose the right approach to introduce and implement QM. Also Neste Oil wants to comprehend and control nonconformities more effectively with Neste Oil’s nonconformity management (NCM) because nonconformities can cause financial loss or affect negatively on customer relationships. In this study, all the main aspects of QM, especially QM and NCM key elements were taken into consideration. The study is based on constructive research method. At first, in the theoretical part of the thesis QM and NCM fundamentals are studied comprehensively, such as why quality and QM are important and what QMS and NCM consists. Secondly, altogether 22 persons from various organisations were interviewed in a semi structured way and data analysis of the quality nonconformities was performed to gather an inclusive view of the current problems, requirements and challenges regarding to QM and NCM in the case company. Moreover, benchmarking visits to six companies from various industries was carried out to find out adoptable best QM practices. Finally, the theoretical findings were then combined with the empirical results to form the final proposal of key improvements that Neste Oil can utilize when creating their QM approach and roadmap. The literature offered various terms, definitions, systems, models, frameworks and approaches for QM and NCM. Therefore, it is important that the company tailors its approach and other QM aspects to fit the company’s own organisation and environment. The results of the empirical part of the thesis indicate that even though, the factors presented in the literature are quite generic, they fit well to Neste Oil’s situation and environment. This is because; at this stage Neste Oil requires a more high level perspective to QM. Yet, this thesis takes into account that requirements, problems and challenges are often function and department specific regarding issues such as NCM, customer and supplier, cost of quality, quality roles and responsibilities, and QM goal or route. Nevertheless, Neste Oil is missing a corporate level way of managing quality. That is why, it was considered important to start by identifying the QM current status as a whole and then present the elements needed when creating a plan for a future route. The aim of the thesis research was to provide utilizable and valuable key improvements to apply when creating a Neste Oil quality approach and roadmap to culture of continuous improvement to their corporate level. The key improvements contain three proposed improvement areas “organizing, measurement and changing the culture” that consists all the input given from theory and empirical research presented in the thesis. This research can be considered to continue in Neste Oil’s exploration of best practices to create interdependent work environment where people are ready to continuously improve. Therefore, in addition to use this study to support QM and QNCM practices, it should also be applied in various purposes to understand what Neste Oil’s current situation is regarding to managing quality.
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Copyright information: © Katri Vilppola, 2014. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.