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Boeing quality control



Boeing quality control

  1. Introduction

The success of any business is determined by the nature of relationship that the company has with its customers and its ability to provide value for money through products and services provided. Although products and services sold by an organization have unique features that make them appealing to the target audience, the purchase decision is greatly influenced by the perceived quality that the customer has towards the products and services being sold. Organizations that focus on the delivery of quality in both products and services tend to do better in the market they operate in and enjoy constant demand for their products.

Customers’ needs and wants are constantly advancing and businesses have to constantly improve their products in order to remain relevant. With advancements in technology, different organizations are incorporating machines in the workplace in a bid to enhance efficiency, improve the speed of production and reduce mistakes caused by human error (Takeuchi & Quelch, 2016). Machines offer an advantage over a human workforce in that they are less prone to making mistakes and only require maintenance. Their ability to improve on quality is higher because the technology used is equipped with software that enables troubleshooting. Since challenges are a common occurrence in the workplace, troubleshooting cuts down on the time taken to identify the origin of common challenges that affect the quality of products and services offered.

Although technology is commonly used to improve the quality of products and services provided by organizations, the incorporation of technology in the workplace could bring about negative outcomes if not well implemented. Take the case for Boeing as an example. Attempts made by the company to launch the Boeing 737 Max have negatively affected the company’s image as well as how customers perceive the quality of services offered by the airline (Isidore, 2020). Boeing 737 Max was launched by the company as the fourth generation of the Boeing 737 planes. The Boeing 737 Max was an improvement from the 737 Next Generation airliners and it was designed with advanced CFM international engines intended to enhance the customer experience during flights.

The Boeing 737 Max was first launched in 2011 and made its maiden flight in 2016 before being awarded the FAA certification the following year. Despite the research and safety precautions taken to ensure that the airliners were safe for travel, the planes were involved in two fatal accidents where 346 passengers lost their lives (Qooling, 2019). It was later discovered that the two planes crashed due to similar engineering problems, causing the public to question the quality of service provided by the airline. It was later discovered that the company had opted to cover up the incident so as to prevent damaging the company identity. The revelation resulted in all Boeing 737 Max planes being grounded across the world (Isidore, 2020). In 2020 however, the company started production with the aim of reintroducing the airliners back to the market after making the necessary changes needed to lower the likelihood of accidents in the future.

Throughout its years of operation, Boeing has established a positive reputation and customers associate its brand with quality and safety. Despite the success of other airliners however, the company image was destroyed by the shortcomings of the 737 Max and also the approach taken by the company when resolving the issues that were raised after two of its planes crashed (Isidore, 2020). Although the company has been authorized to continue manufacturing the 737 Max for future use, launching the planes and convincing customers to try out the new products and services offered has proven difficult. Although every plane in the series will be built in accordance with strict guidelines from the FAA, Boeing has had to adopt different approaches when launching the airliners in order to reassure the target audience of the planes safety and quality of service offered (Little, 2020). Stakeholders can no longer rely on the company’s reputation for having high quality products especially because the airliners had previously been launched in the market but failed to attract the expected customers due to the lack of quality in service and safety. Rather than relying on the company’s reputation for quality, stakeholders are forced to seek out more information before determining if the new product will offer a better quality experience from the one the target audience is already familiar with.

  1. As-Is

Products that fail to meet customers’ standards of quality are unable to satisfy their expected needs and wants. Since customer satisfaction is influenced by the quality of the products and their ability to satisfy a specific need, there is the likelihood that customers opt for alternatives in the market when a company fails to live up to its quality standards (Newhouse, 2008).  Concerning Boeing, the two accidents caused the company’s existing and potential customers to question the quality of material and engineering that goes into designing the airliners and this had a negative impact on the company’s reputation for always delivering quality, safe and efficient products and services.

            At present, the company is yet to re-launch the 737 Max as different countries are yet to approve their use to carry passengers. Other than the normal inspections and assessments made before launching a new airliner, the company has to spend more money to hire professional engineers and quality assessors to go over the processes involved when designing the Airliners to check for any issues that may cause the planes to crash like they did in the past (Freeman, 2020). The added scrutiny has had a negative impact on the company brand because the company is forced to constantly validate the quality of its products and service. Although the measures are put in place to protect the passengers who will board the airliners, the added scrutiny has discouraged potential customers from flying using the 737 Max.

The ban on all Boeing 737 Max has had a negative effect on the company’s profits especially because the airliners were unable to bring in the profits and new clients projected. When the company was forced to stop flights using the 737 Max, it was as a result of the company’s poor quality in managing the human, physical and financial factors employed when designing and launching the airliners for commercial use (Isidore, 2020). The company must therefore dedicate a significant amount of resources and time towards rectifying challenges that led to the other planes being grounded and re-launching the new airliners in the market (Laris, 2019). A lot of capital has been allocated for the purpose of marketing the company and the new planes to the public in order to settle any safety concerns that clients may have and also reinstate the positive image that existed before the two planes crashed.

Boeing has also experienced losses in the form of lawsuits filed seeking compensation for the loss experienced after the two crashes. The company also dedicated a significant amount of money to helping those affected by the crashes for compensation and accountability (Isidore, 2020). The amount used combined with the cost of manufacturing the jets that crashed, running tests on the new airliners and the expenses needed to hire professionals to test the quality and safety of the planes is draining funds that have proven difficult to get when the company’s planes are grounded.

The grounded planes have also negatively affected the productivity levels of employees. The final product and its success after launch tend to be motivational for employees and encourage them to come up with different ways to innovate and have a bigger impact in the market (Heizer & Heizer, 2017). When the 737 Max was grounded however, it denied employees any opportunity to innovate or come up with different ways to improve the product. Most of the attention is focused towards doing away with the flaw that caused the accidents and also the inclusion of safety measures on the new planes to be launched as a way to limit crashes in the future (Mayer & Vanderheiden, 2020). Employees are overly engaged in resolving the problem that has already been identified and little effort goes towards coming up with ways to offer better services and also how to go about reclaiming the positive image that was lost.


  • To-Be

The approach taken by Boeing could make market re-entry difficult even if the new planes meet the expected standards of quality. A customer’s willingness to try out a new product is influenced by the products actual and perceived quality. The actual quality is delivered through the product’s feature and the role they play in ensuring the product satisfies the need it was set out to achieve (Isidore, 2020). The perceived quality on the other hand is influenced by the customer’s interaction with the company, the product, information about the products and customer testimonials. It is therefore possible for customers to be dissatisfied with a product’s quality especially in cases where the perceived quality differs from the actual product quality.

The company will also facilitate regular training to help employees identify areas that may cause problems and what can be done to resolve issues before they cause too much damage. The training will help make employees more responsible and encourage them to be observant of issues that may affect the quality of the products and services offered (Johnston et al, 2016). Currently, the quality control department assumes the responsibility of ensuring that the planes are safe for travel. While the decision was based off of the two planes that crashed, continued reliance on a quality control department could communicate to other employees that issues regarding safety and promoting quality should be reserved to the quality control department. Boeing must therefore train all its employees to engage in ways that promote quality and the overall safety of both employees and the clients they serve.

  1. Possible outcomes

Boeing can rely on its reputation, image and loyal customers to successfully launch the Boeing 737 Max. since the major challenge lies in convincing clients to board the planes, the company must ensure that both the perceived and actual quality are satisfied through the new product introduced (Isidore, 2020). The precautions taken by different countries before allowing the Boeing flights to ferry passengers will greatly assist in rebuilding the trust that clients had placed on the company (. A positive image will help to attract new customers and in so doing, increase popularity for the 737 Max airliners.

For Boeing, the goal should be to resolve any concerns that potential customers may have so as to ease their entry into the market. Other than convincing potential clients that the planes are safe for travel, the launch should also factor in how the company plans to regain its customer’s trust and erase the bad reputation established in the past. Boeing will therefore seek out different ways to reinstate its positive image (Isidore, 2020). The approach will do more to attract customers than publications and court rulings reinstating the safety of the planes as it will target customer’s fears and restrictions directly and find ways to resolve them. Marketing will greatly assist as it will provide the target audience with information about the problems that existed in the old models, the changes introduced and how the new changes will help improve on quality.



  1. Conclusion

The concept of quality plays an important role in business as customers use their perceptions of quality to determine what products to purchase. In Boeing’s market, quality is closely tied to safety as a small mistake during flight could result in the death of all passengers on board. During the first launch, the company failed to adhere to its policy on maintaining quality and this led to its 737 Max airliners being grounded. The company has however reevaluated the processes that go into manufacturing the planes to ensure that they are safe and will deliver the quality that customers seek out during flights. Although Boeing is likely to face more challenges when re-launching the 737 Max, its dominance in the market and reputation will play a big role in regaining the passengers trust. The company should however ensure that it maintains the standards of quality achieved to prevent causing more damage to the company brand and identity in the market it operates in.











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Heizer, R. & Heizer, M., 2017, Operations Management: Sustainability and Supply Chain             Management, Pearson. (Global 12th Edition). ISBN-13: 9781292148748

Isidore C, (2020) “Boeing is nearing a long-delayed aprooval for the grounded 737 Max” CNN    Business, retrieved from,        approval/index.html

Laris M, (2019) “Long before the Max disasters, Boeing had a history of failing to fix safety        problems” The Washington Post, retrieved from,               disasters-boeing-had-a-history-of-failing-to-fix-safety-problems/2019/06/26/b4f5f720-         86ee-11e9-a870-b9c411dc4312_story.html

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Vanderheiden, E., & Mayer, C.-H. (2020). Mistakes, errors and failures across cultures: Navigating potentials. Cham: Springer.

2263 Words  8 Pages
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