1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In today’s world, organizations are facing the growing challenges from global competition and more sophisticated customers in terms of what they want and their changing needs. Competition has become a major challenge which chief executives must meet effectively to remain in business. Organizations have started adopting appropriate management strategies in the field of quality, to succeed in the market place and small scale enterprises are of no exception. Most managers agree that for an organization to be successful it must change continually in response to significant development, such as customer needs, technological breakthroughs and government regulations (Eke, 2001). Globalization of market and operations forces organizations to rethink their quality problems and in turn their overall organization competitiveness. In order to be successful in this global market, organizations should dedicate themselves to improving productivity and quality in a timely and collaborative manner (Dobyns & Crawford, 2011). Product or service deficiencies have effect on firm’s income. The customer who encounters deficiencies may take action of a cost-related nature: file a complaint, return the product, make a claim, or file a lawsuit, the customer also may publicize the deficiency and its source. Such actions by multiple customers can do serious damage to the company. Quality also have effect on costs, the cost of poor quality consists of all costs that would disappear if there were no deficiencies- no errors, no rework and so on (Wilkinson, 2011).Example of these kinds of defected product is the well-known case of My Pikin Baby Teething mixture that affected 111 children out of which 84 died in 2009 (New York Times, 2009). This cost of poor quality is shockingly high as National Agency for Food, Drug and Administration (NAFDAC) closed down Barewa Pharmaceutical Company, this menace can be addressed with implementation of quality control program. It is often noted that most customers consider quality product. In fact, a reputation for producing quality products is often a major marketing issue. Quality is not just of concern in manufactured products, it is important in banking, hospital care, education, air travel, auto repair, postal delivery services and a host of other firms in the service industry (Akinola, 2009). One of the major roles of the operations manager is to make sure his or her firm delivers a quality product to the right place at the right time and at the right price (Roodhooft and Konings, 2014). In markets, product with superior quality secures superior income through higher market share or premium prices, products or services that are not competitive in features often sold at below-market prices. The few studies existing on quality control are from the developed countries and majorly based on manufacturing processes and comparative analysis. Meanwhile, there is a growing concern hinging on quality control challenges inhibiting the ability of Nigerian SMEs to catch up with their foreign counterparts. While there is dearth of literatures on quality control in relation to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, the existing literature in Nigeria have concentrated on quality control of services in relation to financial institutions (Akinola, 2009). Therefore, this study examined quality control as a competitive tool for small scale enterprises in Minna metropolis. A study like Quality control provides a guide towards evaluating the gains of implementing a quality program both for organizations who have done that and those that are still in the process. It provides an opportunity to critically evaluate every quality program in line of what benefit it will yield. Policy and quality control decision makers like legislators will need this to help enhance their decisions in respect to the subject. The role played by the small business has a vital input in the socio-economic and welfare development of any nation and cannot be overestimated. Small and medium industries are the back bone of modern economy. They are the major aspect in upholding private sector development and joint venture hence they need to remain competitive and produce high quality outputs, which is of paramount importance not only at macro level but also at micro level. Small and medium scale enterprises are often the suppliers of goods and services required by large scale enterprises, and if they lack quality in their goods and services, it will have an adverse effect on competitive ability of the large scale units. Small scale Enterprises not only contribute significantly to improved living standards, employment generation and poverty reduction but they also bring about substantial domestic or local capital formation and achieve high levels of productivity and capability. Quality control is considered an important competitive tool in small scale enterprises.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Quality control is one of the main ideas that came into the small scale enterprises which means that all workers within a given organization must participate in improving the product or service quality. To achieve world class customer service, Quality Management techniques, supported by management commitment and good organization will provide objective means of improving quality and hence the overall organization competitiveness. Quality management is an integrated approach to satisfy internal and external customers, planning and managing processes. It involves quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement. It is among the new techniques that modern organizations now employ with very good effect to secure and keep their customers permanently satisfied. Hence the study, quality control as a competitive tool for small scale enterprises in Minna metropolis is being examined.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine quality control as a competitive tool for small scale enterprises in Minna metropolis. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant effect of quality control on the performance of small scale enterprise in Minna metropolis.
H1: There is a significant effect of quality control on the performance of small scale enterprise in Minna metropolis.
H0: There is no significant relationship between quality control and performance of small scale enterprise
H1: There is a significant relationship between quality control and performance of small scale enterprise
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of benefit to enlighten management of small scale enterprises at all levels on the need to sit up and to concern themselves with the development of sound quality control system required for proper performance of the business. The study would also be of immense benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to quality control as a competitive tool for small scale enterprises in Minna metropolis.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Quality: is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.
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