Case Study 2
Refer to the assignment scenario/case study. Based on the limited information in
the scenario/case study, identify at least three direct and specific long-term and
three direct and specific short-term operations changes that Albatross Anchor
must make to gain a clear and sustainable competitive advantage. Provide
supporting information to validate and substantiate each recommended change
(be detailed in your justification for each).
From the list below, select four operational issues and for each issue chosen
explain how it will help Albatross Anchor to improve:
1) Job retention
2) Employee morale
3) Employee dedication
Your explanation for each of the four selected issues must cover all three of the
items listed above.
Listing of Operational issues
(a) Work design
(b) Cross training
(c) Gainsharing and profit sharing
(d) Job design
(e) Task analysis
(f) Worker analysis
(g) Environmental analysis
(i) Technology and automation
(j) Job analysis
Albatross Anchor Operations Management
With the ever changing market environments, organizations should be keen on improving their processes and operations to ensure that they are effective and to be in a position to compete effectively. Organizations need to get rid of the old traditional methods and processes that are not effective in this new era that is characterized by technological innovations and information changes. This paper attempts to put forth sound suggestions on the changes that should be implemented by Albatross Anchor to upgrade their company’s operations in various departments such as manufacturing, logistics, and administration and shipping components. Each change should bring with it effectiveness and efficiency in those specific departments and the whole organization in general (Iwasa, 2009). Like any other business organization, Albatross Anchor needs to reduce costs of production and increase their sales to create a higher level competitive advantage. Some of the common changes that the organization should consider performing are better utilization of the available labor and raw materials. With proper and healthy changes, the organization can become one of the most effective and efficient businesses.
Long-term direct and specific changes
Supply chain management
The company should consider automating some of its operations, especially in the supply chain department. Working closely with both upstream and downstream distributors and suppliers, implementation and exploitation of appropriate software and automation and creating interconnectivity among all stakeholders can lead to great success considering that the organization will work as one unit rather than independent organs and departments. Proper management of all aspects of supply chain and maximization of customer value will help reach a sustainable level of competitive advantage.
Good and modern distribution management will help ensure that the customers and distributors get the product on time. The organization should seek an appropriate management process to manage its resources and processes that deliver the company product from their production centers to the market. With proper shipping of the components, the company can reduce the cost of transportation which in turn reduces the cost of overall production (MacInnes, 2007). Moreover, the organization should consider selling on a retail basis, to increase their customer base and attract more and more customers.
Most of the successful business organizations globally have centralized most of its operations. As a result, Albatross Anchor should be keen to remove the redundancies and to achieve economic of scales by simply performing from one centralized area. The activities of the business especially planning and decision-making functions should be left in the hands of non-family but professional experts who have a vision of taking the company to the next level. Centralization ensures that there is a quick decision-making process which in turn saves time.
Short-term direct and specific changes
Retaining employees on their specific tasks for a very long time may bring about monotony and boredom. Thus, the organization should consider job rotation in the organization throughout the employees’ employment. This change is meant to create flexibility, promote experience and variety as well as boosting the performance of the organization.
Focusing on short-term and quick objectives
Most of the investors and job owners are not keen on the short-term achievement of the organization objectives and goals. Most of them focus on the long-term goals which may be demoralizing some of the employees (Tayur, 2012). However, focusing on the short-term objectives can help boost the morale of most of the workers and thus increase productivity. Bits and bits of short-term achievements can lead to long-term achievement.
Constant job performance appraisal
Constant job performance appraisal and evaluation keeps all the employees at their toes. However, job evaluation falls under task analysis, and the management should evaluate employee performances on a regular basis and provide the necessary and constructive feedback. In the case of coaching and assistance, the management should be ready to provide them immediately.
Job designing falls under the duties and responsibilities of the human resource manager. It involves work arrangements that are primarily focused on reducing and eliminating job dissatisfaction and employee alienation that arises from repetitive and mechanistic tasks. In most cases in job designing, the human resource manager matches the skills of an individual employee to the task at hand. Through job designing the organization stands a high chance of improving productivity, performance, efficiency and effectiveness.
It is easier to retain an employee who performs or works on what they love moist and has knowledge than those who are made to fit into a task. All employees have a specialty in specific areas, and the management should strive to ensure those employees work in their areas of specialty (Bandara, 2007). Moreover, proper job designing boosts the morale of the employees considering have experience in those fields, and this brings about job dedication. Workers tend to be dedicated and motivated by familiar jobs rather than new responsibilities in fields outside their specialty.
Ergonomics is a field that deals with the study of workers efficiency in their working environment. Determining what improves the efficiency of organization workers and giving them exactly want will definitely will improve their morale, dedication, and the organization holds a favorable chance of retaining them. Economic rewards are one of the most famous factors that boasts the efficiency of workers but not the sole factor (Tayur, 2012). As a result, the organization needs to study each employee independently and determine what can boost his efficiency. Moreover, this makes the employees develop the sense of belonging to an organization.
Cross training involves teaching an employee how to multitask. At one point in time, the employee may be required to perform in unfamiliar position due to the changes in production schedules. Through teaching an employee how to perform an extra task increases the importance of the employee in that particular organization. As a result, the employee can perform in a new position if the need arises and this boosts his chances of being retained by the employer. Moreover, it increases the employee morale and dedication considering that the employee can now perform in two different positions and bearing in mind that the organization trained him using the company resources.
Technology and automation
In this century, we have witnessed rapid and significant changes in technology. Incorporation of Technology and automation in all of the organizations production processes makes an employee’s work simple as well as increasing their productivity. With consistent high results, the morale of the employee is raised to a high level, and he is more and more dedicated to achieving higher and higher results (MacInnes, 2007). Continued use of machinery in the manufacturing process will definitely make workers specialties in their particular production areas, and this increases their chances of being retained in an organization.
In conclusion, we can say that, with proper strategic and operational changes, Albatross Anchor stands a good chance to increase their competitive advantage in the market. However, these changes cannot be implemented all at once, and they should follow a clear process not to disrupt one another.
Bandara, W. I. (2007). Major issues in business process management:. an expert perspective.
Iwasa, Y. (2009). Case studies in superconducting magnets: design and operational issues. Springer Science & Business Media.
MacInnes, I. &. (2007). Business models and operational issues in the Chinese online game industry. Telematics and Informatics, 24(2),, 130-144.
Tayur, S. G. (2012). Quantitative models for supply chain management (Vol. 17). . Springer Science & Business Media.