Case Study Analysis – 1
You have been hired as a consultant to work with Acme Company to assess its current situation and provide recommendations on effective management strategies. Acme is a manufacturer of office supplies with 1000 employees and has been in business for over 20 years. Lately, however, the company is suffering from the following conditions. Like most companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll. However, despite other companies’ ability to “pivot”, Acme has not been able to adjust so easily. Consider the following:
- Decreased Sales: Initial sales indicators show signs of slowed sales – as much as 25%. While sales in the industry have slowed in general, sales for Acme have started to slide heavily over the past two quarters. It is projected that Acme will lose sales over the next two quarters as well. This is the first time in 20 years that it is projected to lose money for quarters in a row.
- Increased Turnover: There has always been a somewhat “standard” level of turnover given the industry at approximately 10%. Most of the turnover has traditionally been at the lower levels of positions such as production and administrative support. Over the past eight months, turnover within the production positions have risen to 18%; turnover within administrative positions has risen to 15%; turnover within skilled positions has risen to 12%; and turnover within management has risen to 17%. The company has been considered “essential” and has not been shut down during the pandemic.
- Difficulty Recruiting: With a more difficult world of recruitment, it is already challenging to find people to work for the company. However, with a faster rate of turnover, Acme’s recruiters cannot keep up. Even when the new employees come in through the door, the company cannot train people fast enough to bring them up to proficiency. This affects performance and productivity. During the pandemic, it is difficult to find, hire, train, and onboard new employees.
- Employee Survey: Every 18 months, the company conducts an employee opinion survey. Each survey, Acme reviews the results with senior managers and leaves it to human resources to “deal with it”. Over the past two surveys, employees have made comments about working conditions, fair treatment, working hours, treatment by managers, efficiency of machines, managers not listening to employee ideas, inefficiency of processes, safety concerns, and other issues. When HR addressed these with senior managers, they were told that it sounded like there were just a handful of employees who were complaining. The survey from this past summer (in the middle of COVID) was a disaster. Management still thinks it is just a few employees and does not take the results seriously.
- Customer Complaints: Every company must deal with customer complaints. In the case of Acme, the company has seen an increase in the number of complaints over the past two years – by 20%. Specific reasons for complaints include product quality and service (especially with deliveries, timeliness, and friendliness). Employees within the customer service department have expressed concerns about their inability to have the resources necessary to address customer complaints.
As a consultant, consider the application of management and leadership principles to prioritize and address the company’s needs.
- What do you see as the primary problems to consider?
- What matters most? Why are these the biggest problems?
- Where do you start? How do you begin to address this?
Prepare an outlined response with your recommendations to submit. Write a memo of 750 – 1,000 words describing your recommended approach to begin to address this situation. Where do you begin? How would you structure this problem? Write the memo to senior management – help them to understand your recommended approach to begin to evaluate the problem.
error: Content is protected !!