Title: Service operations management: case studies of architectural firms' commitment to quality assurance

Authors: Alan D. Smith, O. Felix Offodile

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3099, USA. ' Department of Management and Information Systems, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242-001, USA

Abstract: The field of architecture, as with many professional service-oriented industries, is strongly influenced by the current recession and is experiencing cutthroat competition at all levels. Quality assurance measures were investigated within the architecture industry in two firms. There are many ways that an architecture firm can establish a quality management program, such as the American Institute of Architects| recommended RISMI (review, identify, standardise/stabilise, measure, and improve) feedback cycle to create a self-improving quality. It was found that both firms can increase efficiencies, reduce redundancies, and eliminate unnecessary costs from errors and mistakes. From a positive perspective, the current economic downturn has forced many service firms to self-evaluate their quality assurance programs and provided them the opportunity for self-correction in light of the new realities of the business environment.

Keywords: architectural firms; competitive strategies; operational effectiveness; project management; team integration; USA; United States; service operations; quality assurance; QA; architecture; professional services; service industries; recessions; competition; quality management; American Institute of Architects; RISMI; feedback cycles; review identify standardise stabilise measure improve; self-improvement; efficiencies; redundancies; costs elimination; errors; mistakes; economic downturns; self-correction; Mann Architects; Ohio; Gerald Rembowski; services management; operations management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2011.040705

International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 2011 Vol.9 No.2, pp.141 - 161

Published online: 11 Mar 2015 *

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