Quality Audit On Silverbird Group Nigeria Management Essay
The aim of this report is to conduct a Quality Audit for Silverbird Group. Quality Audit is a systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities and related result comply with planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented and are suitable to achieve the stated objectives (Elsmar, 2010).
According to an article by Philippa Collins (1994), Quality is one of the most important aspects of every business success aimed at meeting and exceeding the expectation of customers. It is recognised as a tried and tested way of improving company performance and productivity and is a benchmark for working towards achieving business excellence. Its major cost is tied to chasing and adopting new prescriptions from demand by customers and Global growth.
My report clearly shows the quality audit I carried out on Silverbird Group with major focus on Quality. I evaluated their strategic objectives, checked for consistency and indentified gaps in their standard during the analysis of the data I collected from the company’s website, online publications, direct phone calls and electronic questionnaires sent to 10 employees and 30 customers.
For clarity and easy reading, “Her” would be substituted for Silverbird Group and employees for staff members in some part of this report.
2.0 COMPANY BACKGROUND
Silverbird Group was established in 1980 by Ben Murray-Bruce (Chairman) and his major aim was to provide family entertainment and relaxation. The first major breakthrough by the Group in media and entertainment was in 1997 (silverbird Group, 2008) when transformations where made to the existing style of radio broadcast in Nigeria with the introduction of Rhythm fm. This invention did not change the existing regulations binding media houses at that time but brought a mixture of entertainment and style in radio broadcast.
They created a multi-media platform with the intention to first win Nigeria’s media and entertainment industry and expand operations throughout Africa. The idea of Silverbird is based on knowing “what people want” (Ben, 2008) and the constant quest of satisfying and exceeding that need is the key to their success thus far. They have embarrassed the ideology that “the customer is always right” in their dealings.
Silverbird Group is a conglomerate made up of Television (STV), Rhythm fm, Entertainment (Most beautiful girl in Nigeria and Mr Nigeria), Galleria (shopping complex), Cinemas, Film Distribution, Properties and whole new Silverbird Lifestyle. Her 1,564 employees serve over 56 million customers in both STV and Rhythm fm cutting across all age categories (Silverbird Group, 2010).
Attention will be focused on STV and Rhythm fm for the purpose of this report and all findings will be used as a tool to evaluate any quality gap and contingency in standard.
2.1 SILVERBIRD TELEVISION (STV);
STV is a high energy, youth-oriented entertainment TV station, and it is aimed at providing trendy, current and entertaining programs across all ages with focus on the youths.
2.2 RHYTHM FM;
As a major tool for breakthrough by the Group, Rhythm fm is a classy radio station with a blend of culture and style in her delivery of services. Its uniqueness and strength lies in “MORE MUSIC LESS TALK” strategy.
2.3 MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN NIGERIA and MR NIGERIA;
The Silverbird beauty pageant brand (MBGN) and Mr Nigeria is an exceptional pace setter in the world of pageantry. In 2001 the winner of MBGN Agbani Derago emerged as the first African winner of Miss World. This contributed immensely to the value and recognition of the pageant (MBGN).
2.4 SILVERBIRD GALLERIA;
The Galleria houses the chain of stores and shops at the Silverbird complex.
As the leading Cinema provider in Nigeria, Silverbird has expanded her lead to Ghana and Kenya at the moment. And with State of the Act facilities and current movies, Silverbird Cinema is the first option for most Cinema lovers in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.
2.6 FILM DISTRIBUTION;
Established in 2007, the Film distribution unit of Silverbird Group specialise in the distribution of theatrical and non-theatrical films. They acquire films for Cinema exhibition.
2.7 LIFE STYLE;
This is a relatively new unit in the conglomerate. The idea was to incorporate various aspects of entertainment in their chain of businesses.
2.8 SILVERBIRD PROPERTIES;
As a sensitive unit of the chain, Silverbird Properties is one of the fastest growing. Its concern is in developing and monitoring the Organisation’s real estates.
Note: For the purpose of this report emphases will be made to their key businesses which are; Rhythm fm (radio station) and Silverbird TV (TV station).
3.0 SILVERBIRD’S STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
The Group’s aspirations for market dominance in the media and entertainment industry lead to the innovation of several strategies ranging from Operational to regulatory in 2008 as stated in a speech given by the chairman during my induction into the company in 2008. A committee was inaugurated to enforce and oversee the process. Every strategy was geared towards meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers and brand loyalty.
In their operational strategy they resolved that every employee must be trained at regular bases to work towards the organisation’s goal which is to become the leading media and entertainment organization in Nigeria and Africa at large. Emphases were made as to how to adopt new style of service delivery at all level to retain customer’s loyalty and brand name. The group redirected focus at recruiting professionals with already known background (celebrities) to work at strategic positions (like On Air Personalities and TV presentation) as an attractive measure to customers. This fact gave rise to their organisational objective which is stated in their Vision statement “To be the leading media and entertainment organisation in Africa driven by visionary, admirable and talented
Professionals” and mission statement “…to be the foremost broadcasting organization capturing, sustaining and exceeding the expectations of our universal customers” (Silverbird Group, 2010).
They employed a down-sizing plan for cost cut. This was a major financial strategy adopted to reduce waste and maximise efficiency at all level of operation. Also, the Group readjusted her internal regulations to annul the effect of any changes in the existing regulatory rules binding Media and entertainment organisations.
When I carried out a research on the competitive standing of the Silverbird Group as against competitive rivals and the following deductions were made.
From the bowman’s strategic clock as shown below, silverbird group is presently operating at options 3 (Hybrid) which place them at a unique pedestal with innovations and improved services delivery as against their competitors. Their high pricing and high powered valued product/services places them also at option 5 (Focused Differentiation). This gives them a competitive advantage in the market. They operate with improved style of broadcasting and clear signal transmitters which provides customers with value for their money.
Unlike other media organisations, silverbird operate 24 hours broadcast and none stop entertainment except during News and political transmission many find to be boring although many still rate these broadcast as top class due to their style of delivery.
Figure 1.0 adapted from (Atwebo, 2010)
My analysis clearly shows the core value of the Group regardless of the norms in the industry they are in (Uniqueness). They are focused at providing best value for money at all levels and to maintain clear uniqueness as the leading broadcasting and entertainment organisation in Nigeria (Quality).
Another way to understudy organisational growth can be achieved using the Ansoff Matrix as shown on page six of this report. It is subdivided into four categories which are; Market penetration, Product development, Market development and Diversification.
Ansoff’s growth matrix clearly shows the strategy adopted for product/market growth. It suggests that an organisation’s attempt to grow depends on whether it sells new or existing products/services in a new or existing market.
In an attempt to gain more market share selling existing product to an existing market (Market penetration), the Group gave discounts for program placements and sponsorship of programs and introduced a “BUY TWO MINS GET ONE FREE” promotional strategy where customers who had adverts or programs already running had free additional airtime and program sponsors had extensions to their sponsorship period. Many customers migrated to Silverbird from other competing media houses during this campaign and it doubled their sales figure but did not really reflect on their Net profit (Silverbird, 2008).
The introduction of new products like Centre Point (an interactive program) and Entertainment weekly (a music program) were aimed at capturing more customers from the existing market. It created a platform for most political activist, economist, artist, music lovers and producers to get up-to-date information about the new trends in the government and global entertainment industry. Advertisers and promoters target such spots were number of listeners and viewers are high. They know that placement of adverts or promotion on such spots would create better awareness for their product/services. Hence a 20% increase in program booking was recorded thereby increasing their market share. This is a product development strategy.
Other means they adopted were Market development and Diversification. The former involved using their existing products to capture new market like the opening of new stations in Ghana and Kenya. Also, they showed high level of Diversification when they introduced the new Silverbird Mr Nigeria pageant an extension of MBGN (most beautiful girl in Nigeria).
The successful analysis of these four categories, clearly illustrate the Groups focus on Quality as a tool to achieve their projected vision stated in the vision statement.
Figure 1.1 adapted from (Atwebo, 2010)
As stated in their Vision and Mission statements, the Group’s definition for Quality is meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers driven by visionary and creative professionals. The findings from the Bowman’s strategic clock and the Ansoff Matrix reveal this fact.
4.0 Quality Audit
Silverbird Group does not compromise Quality at any level of operation. They see it as an inevitable component for customer’s satisfaction. According to Ben Murray Bruce (Chairman) “Customer’s satisfaction has been a key tool for their customer’s loyalty and sustainability”. Customer’s loyalty plays the major role in their market growth and their Market growth gave rise in market share and competitive strength as against competitors. Since Quality is seen as the launching pad for their organisational success till date I made a step to further investigate the quality of their product and service delivery and to indentify the gaps presently experienced in their quality.
For the purpose of this report, I conducted a full service Quality audit to identify gaps and I employed the three Dimensional SERVQUAL approach. The dimensions are INPUT, PROCESS and OUTPUT.
The Input dimension for Silverebird TV and Radio are Material quality (quality of Transmitters, amplifiers, mixers, microphones, computers….), Technical quality (Engineers and Disc Jockeys), Tangibles, Staff expertise (On-Air personalities) and Corporate Image. Process dimension are On-Air-Programs quality, Interactive quality, functional quality, staff-customer interaction, Assurance and Responsiveness. Finally, Output dimension is tied to customer’s satisfaction and loyalty.
Moving from the base of the arrow forward, an overview of the SERVQUAL of Silverbird Group was analysed with emphases on their TV and Radio stations. Of the three dimensions output was the strongest predictor of overall service quality, followed by Process. With the effects of these two dimensions accounted for, the Input dimension did not have a significant effect on overall service quality.
5.0 DATA COLLECTION
As a former Sales Team Leader for one of the branches in Nigeria (Silverbird Benin), I have an insight as to the quality of gadgets in both STV and Rhythm studios. These I would place at point 9 on a 10 point scale. Being aware of the fact that electronics are prone to depreciation by the day, I made a total of 62 calls and I sent several emails to 10 colleagues presently working with STV and Rhythm fm. I contacted the head of Programs Cleo Patra Tao who gave me the phone numbers and email IDs of the remaining 9 from different departments. This selection method was to create fairness in their various views since they work in the different departments of the Organisation. They were asked to give their views about the working condition of most input gadgets in both STV and Rhythm fm studios.
It took me three weeks to collect all 10 reports via email although the manager had to call to be sure about my intentions which he claimed to be a measure to protect the security regulations of the Group. The major challenge I faced during my data collection was my effort to convince the Manager and the numerous calls I made to hasten the feedback I got as shown in table 1.0
My findings shows that most gadgets in both studios (STV and Rhythm) are in good working condition at the moment as shown in table 1.0; two categories of satisfaction is presented to illustrate the level of satisfaction regarding to working condition of the gadgets.
A pictorial overview can be seen in the Pie chart in figure 1.4 below. The blue colour represents the percentage of satisfaction and Red represents the percentage not satisfied with the condition of the gadgets in both studios.
The data represented in the above table and pie chart is a clear record from the feedback given by 10 staffs in view of their different opinion about the quality of their Input Gadgets. This is in consistence with the Input Dimension earlier mentioned.
As part of the Input Quality check, a collection of data from employees via email on the 31th of March 2010 is represented in Table 1.1. It shows Technical and Staff performance/welfare survey in an average scale of 10;
Table 1.1: Staff questionnaire based on survey gotten from 10 staffs giving their opinion in an average rating of 10.
I made further survey to get better information about customer’s satisfaction as regard the service delivery at all levels of operation in STV and Rhythm fm. My focus was on their opinion about the standard of program delivery and value for money. From the questionnaire I sent via email to 30 known customers in my client database whilst working for the Group as a sales rep, the following findings were recorded for number of YES’ and NOs to their various satisfactory status.
Table 1.2: Customer’s questionnaire based on their various views of 30 customers regarding their level of satisfaction derived from STV and Rhythm fm.
An article by Moses Odigie published on Suave Magazine on the 21st of December 2009 (Moses, 2009) showed that there is a declination and fluctuation in the number of viewers and listeners of both STV and Rhythm fm in Nigeria since the last five years. The result of which He claimed wasn’t as a result of their standard or Brand Image but as a result of fluctuations in the way they assign Programs to On-Air Personalities often known as O.A.Ps. Different O.A.Ps has unique abilities and gifting in their style of delivery. When the right program is given to the wrong O.A.P the viewers or Listeners get bored easily and they will find it difficult to tune to the station for same program another time. In his finding he wrote that “Although the number of spot booking and sponsorship is not affected, there could be a down turn in the near future if attention is not given to the way and manner O.A.Ps are assigned and the root cause of the unavailability of an O.A.P to take off shift”(Moses, 2009). A data extracted from his article is shown in Table 1.3; my focus is on the number of viewers and listeners of both STV and Rhythm fm in the last five years.
No of Viewers
Table 1.3: An extract from (Moses, 2009)
The data shown in my findings illustrates that SilverbirdGroup (STV and Rhythm fm precisely) is presently experiencing a gap in the promise to meet and exceed the expectations of their customers, a key element in their core objectives and major success factor.
As I earlier mentioned and stated in their Vision and Mission statements, the Group’s definition for Quality is meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers driven by visionary and creative professionals. A clear contrast has been revealed in the last five years as presented by my findings. These data are clues as to the gaps in standard with focus on Quality. Although there are several methods of analysing these data, I focused on Cause and Effect diagram, column chart and Pareto analysis. The aim was to achieve a clear and well directed cause of the quality gap and contingencies in standard as required by this report.
The Cause and effect diagram or Fishbone diagram gives a detailed analysis of the major causal factors impeding the quality standard (MSH and UNICEF, 2010) experienced by the Group at the moment. It is a graphical representation of the various cause of quality gap as presented by the findings in Tables 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
Staff Satisfaction Customer satisfaction
Lack of Punctuality Swapping O.A.P
Lack of Accommodation Program inconsistency
Poor Mobility for staff regular presenters
Low Bonuses for extra hour
Poor Staff appreciation
Incentives for staffs Poor staff welfare
Extra bonus Health/safety
Personal experience Publications
Figure 1.5: Fishbone Diagram
The coloured rectangles illustrates the various causal factors and the arrows show the direction towards the accumulated cause of the gap impeding the standard of Silverbird Group as presented in my findings.
Further analysis was done using the Column chart and Pareto analysis to choose the most important causal factor to solve. To achieve that, I first drafted a frequency table showing the average percentage at which the effect of causal factors affect the quality of their product and services and made a pictorial representation of the figures I got.
Frequency for Causal factors of Quality Gap
Swapping of O.A.Ps
Health/safety of employees
Note: see appendices A for contingencies in staff welfare
Figure 1.6: column chart presenting causal factor
It can be deduced from the Column chart in figure 1.6 that the priority should be focused on Staff welfare as it is seen as the major cause for alarm at the moment.
Pareto analysis utilises the 80/20 rule stated by the Pareto principle. It shows that a large majority of problems “80%” is caused by few key causes “20%” (Duncan, 2010). It is a statistical technique in decision making that is used for the selection of a limited number of tasks that produce overall effect.
Figure 1.7: Pareto chart
The result from the Quality audit reveals that Staff welfare is the key factor affecting the quality standard of Silverbird’s TV and Radio at the moment. It shows that the Group is not keeping her promise stated in her objectives. The staff members are the driving force for the success of the organisation. Media and entertainment industry is a very sensitive industry whose major material is 80% human and 20% mechanical.
On-Air personalities are the eye of any media house because they are the one viewer and listens enjoy. They determine the tempo and style a program takes. Silverbird Group knew this fact and capitalised on it in 1997 when they eventually gained ground in the Nigeria Media industry (Silverbird, 2008) like I reported in the introduction of this report. The reverse has been revealed from my Quality audit that this driving force (O.A.P/Presenters) is now neglected and gaps are presently experienced in the quality the Group has been known for.
The audit also reveals that fans are complaining about the manner at which O.A.Ps are swapped and as a result, they seldom find their favourites on air. This gap was seen to be the major cause of the downturn on numbers of viewers and listeners in the last five years shown in Table 1.3. Although the effect did not affect the Net profit for these years it still has the tendency of crippling the Brand image. An interview with Mr Sola Oluboye (Silverbird Benin Manager) via telephone confirmed that the root cause of the swapping of O.A.Ps was to cover up for the challenges most staff members face regarding their welfare. In His remark he stated that “my presenters complain they face mobility problem and most of them stay very far from the station and this has accounted for the high rate of lateness to work by O.A.Ps who were suppose to handle a particular shift. So in an attempt to cover such lapses, we swap for another to do the job”. This finding shows that the Staff welfare is the summary of all the gaps found by my analysis.
My findings reveal several gaps but for the purpose of clarity and precision I have focused my attention to Employee’s welfare because it was revealed to be the major cause of other gaps during my analysis. STV and Rhythm fm solely depends on their employees for good services delivery i.e. a gap in staff welfare would cause a corresponding gap in service.
Silverbird Group has to improve on the lay down plan for the welfare of their employees as well as providing basic Health and safety measures within the broadcasting stations. Providing accommodation and mobility allowances will put a big smile on the faces of these employees which will also strengthen their affection with the Organization. Tea or Coffee should be provided in the morning and launch during break. For sure they buy into these employees, which means that if they are satisfied, Silverbird will do well but if they are not then the reverse will be the case. Hence the Group’s success so greatly depends upon the delivery style and expertise of her employees. Her entire growth strategies depend on the personality and style of delivery of these staff members. They have to create an atmosphere conducive enough to enable these key elements perform. It is very important and sensitive because it has to do with the emotion of these employees. Viewers do not want to see wield looking presenter anchoring a program because of some emotional challenge which could be traced to ingratitude from their employer or program inconsistency because an O.A.P failed to run a shift.
Silverbird should ensure a safe working environment by providing caution signs at hazardous areas of their media stations, and become more concern with employee health needs when the such needs arises.
I do not recommend that the salaries of these employees be reviewed but allowances should be provided to cover up for their accommodation and mobility challenges or Residential houses and official vehicles should be made available for each employee. A presenter or On-Air personality who serves over 53 million people deserves a well structured welfare scheme. When these recommendations are strictly adhered to, it will prevent the risk of further pitfall in market share and risk of losing key employees to competing media houses. If all employees must work towards the actualisation of the core objective of Silverbird Group they should be provided with the right atmosphere to do so.
8.0 ACTION PLAN
I acknowledge the fact that I do not have the power to change already laid regulations but I so advice that my recommendations be adhere to. It will be of great benefit to the organisation as it will reflect positively on the present pitfall gradually experienced in the sales figure. I have put up several procedural steps to follow;
For the purpose of clear understanding and direct finding of Gap and solution, I prepared a tabular representation of my proposed action plan to rectify the contingencies presently experienced by STV and Rhythm fm.
The major cause for alarm is the Staff welfare. Information I got from the manager of the Benin branch reveals that each employee presently receives an average salary of $25 per hour and work for an average period of 12 hours per day for 24 working days a month, it can be estimated that each employee would receive about $7200 per month. He also said that the monthly rent for accommodation is estimated as $2000 per month, accumulated bills for electricity, gas and water were approximately $998 per month, transportation was about $800 and most of these employees have children in school of which school fees has to be paid. If these expenses are subtracted from the net salary each employee would be left with little or nothing to safe.
I know from personal knowledge whilst working with the group that they have got some buildings not presently in use. These buildings should be converted to residential apartments for their employees. A month renovation work for the interiors, panting, and furnishing would make these houses fit for living.
Elaborate on the action plan, its phases, the resources required, and the potential obstacles that may be encountered (that may hinder the implementation of your recommendations
Provide allowances for accommodation and mobility and develop a fresh welfare scheme for all employees.
All adjustment should be implemented within 2 weeks from the day of filling this report.
Health/safety of employees
All employees should be having health and safety insurance cover attached to their terms for employment and measures should be put in place to assure a conducive working environment.
Ben, M.B. (2008). My Silverbird: Company’s Overview. Lagos: Lockers