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A holistic approach of quality: a case of UK chocolate manufacturing

Nhlanhla Sibanda (Business, Nottingham, UK)
Usha Ramanathan (Department of Management, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham, UK)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 27 August 2019

Issue publication date: 23 July 2020




This research is elucidating quality control theories to reduce variation in chocolate manufacturing process in the UK food company that will help maintain the processes stable and predictable. The purpose of this paper is to reduce defects of the output; to identify the root causes of variation; to establish and implement solutions to this variation problem; and to establish a control system to monitor and report any variation in the process.


The authors use experimental case study of a chocolate company to achieve the objective. In this paper, the authors predominantly use established theory define–measure–analyse–improve–control, customised to the case of the chocolate factory to reduce variations in production processes.


The results confirm that customised-traditional theoretical quality models will support manufacturing companies to maintain customer satisfaction while enhancing quality and reliability.

Practical implications

Implementation of customised approach reduced the rate of defect from 8 to 3.7 per cent. The implications of reduced variation are improved product quality; reprocessing elimination; and a more stable process that support sustainability and reliability in producing chocolates to meet customer needs.

Social implications

The authors used an experimental-based case study approach to test with one company. Testing in multiple case companies may help to generalise results.


The research study experimentally tested quality approach with a real case company and hence the findings of this study can be applied to other cases working in similar settings.



Sibanda, N. and Ramanathan, U. (2020), "A holistic approach of quality: a case of UK chocolate manufacturing", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 711-731.



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