Case Study Analysis:Engineering Products
Category : Management System and Strategy
Case Study Analysis
The outstanding profitability performance of a growing number of firms is not accidental—these firms profit because they have built world-class management systems. This does not mean that there is anything mechanical or bureaucratic in the way they operate. Quite the opposite; these firms shape their processes and methods so that they work together for high performance. These firms perform well because they are designed to grow in profit, size and management capability. The organisation should focus on the behaviours, strategies, processes and measures that must work together as a system to find and satisfy customers.
There are many factors that can be considered to increase organisational performance in achieving organisation goals through international integration, and some experts are considering the concept of performance management. Hence, the principal purpose of this paper is to analyse whether the management approach of the company adheres to the achievement of organisational goals.
Engineering products is a long established British engineering firm which for much of the 20th century produced fasteners for industrial clients. The company undertook substantial restructuring in the 1980’s, selling off or closing many of its activities so that currently it has three business areas; automotive components, defence and industrial services. These business areas form international product divisions which are the primary axis of internal organisation, linking similar parts of the group across countries. The restructuring also involved expansion overseas to the point that half of the group’s 33,000 employees work abroad; three quarters of these are in Western Europe and most of the remaining quarter in North America.
The largest of the three business areas is automotive components, employing 60% of the group’s workforce. The division is a first- tier supplier, dealing with several of the multinational final producers of cars, and is less concentrated in the UK than the company as a whole; Table 11.2 shows that only a small proportion of the division’s sales are made in Britain, while an even smaller proportion of the workforce is employed there.
It cannot be denied that the only constant in this world is change, many people especially those in the business arena find themselves normally adapting. In this manner, the Engineering products is never an exception. This is because change can bring about so much improvement in certain aspects. In many ways, change can make work easier, pave the way for future innovations or generally improve people’s lives. Similarly, change has been adopted by various work organisations for varied reasons. Known as change management, companies and businesses are integrating change into their work strategies so as to be competitive and more efficient.
Due to the problems and the target growth that have been distinguished by this company, the company decided to create a plan in relation to change of management. As mentioned earlier, the top management of the company wanted to employ change management for facilities, maintenance unit, manufacturing process and human resource management. Primarily, her major objective is to utilise change management process in order to enhance their target market by venturing to international integration. Actually the drive of international integration in Engineering Products, therefore, came from the demands of its customers. Management at the HQ of the division have been faced with the task of integrating what had previously been disparate plants, serving customers in their own country and operating in a largely decentralised way. A key part of forging greater integration was to create management structures at the international level in order to bring together managers from different parts of the group, facilitating the exchange of information between them.
However, the manager of this company should be aware of the culture of the company. He/She should have respect to the company’s history. With regards to ethical issues, the manager should be able to take considerations of what would be the reaction of their employees to the changes that would be imposed. Furthermore, the manager should have seen to it that her employees have undergone critical explanations about the reasons why the change of management system and strategy is needed for a certain aspects within the company. In addition, the company should also give the employees enough time to master the skills and proficiency of their employees from maintenance, communication services and human resource management in utilising the changes made by the organisation. This is done by providing them enough trainings and orientation to explain the changes made.
In addition, the leadership skills of managers are also important for the company. The title of being manager can be utilised by any individual however possessing the title does not automatically makes a person a leader in a true sense. According to H (1995) being a true leader must be obtained through inspiring and motivating people to give their best and a successful leader commits herself to her organisation or group and nurtures the same kind of commitment to its members. In addition, according to , a successful leader has the following traits:
- Knows her job and her field thoroughly.
- Stays on top of current development, trends, and theories.
- Knows her people, including their strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and goals.
- Shares a vision of service, excellence, ethics, and achievement with others.
- Demonstrates by her words and actions strengths of character and integrity.
From these traits presented by Haddock and Manning (1995), the manager of engineering product should carefully evaluate herself and made the possible changes to become successful.
Reactions to Changes
“Workers are assets” has become the dominant symbol of late twentieth-century management. In some ways, it represents a worthy elevation of employees to the status they deserve. People are, after all, the chief engine of prosperity for most organisations. Executives and management gurus alike sing the praises of worker assets with a variety of vaulting phrases. But why spend time contemplating this common managerial expression? The reason, simply put, is that language matters. Indeed, some sociologists believe that the essence of management is skilful use of language to create meaning ( 1994). Confucius, when asked what he would do if he ruled a country, said that his first act would be to fix the language (1994). To leaders, they represent a tool not merely to describe reality, but also to create it. To observers, they provide a window onto the managerial landscape. Things turned around over the years, and we entered the Age of the Employee Asset. “Employees are our most important assets” became the expression of choice for annual reports and press releases. But the phrase often had a hollow ring. When asked to rank strategic business priorities, respondents placed investing in people behind customer satisfaction, financial performance, competitiveness, and quality of products and services. Thus, if company itself or the mangers truly treated people as valuable strategic assets, they would see that a competent, dedicated workforce is a prerequisite for success in any of these other areas. Investing in people would surely take on a higher priority. The company should understand that outsourcing as effect of standardisation across borders could also mean lost of jobs. They should forecast that the company’s image might suffer if it was outsourced. They should also carefully evaluated and have a feasibility analysis that in establishing Engineering products across borders is not as easy as blink of an eye. They should articulate strategy, vision, mission, short term & long term objectives and goals of the company in order to lessen distrust, poor communication, unpleasant surprises, lack of openness and fear of unknowns between her and stakeholders (e.g. employees, directors).
In setting up a business across borders, different aspects of management must be considered and given importance to be able for the company to come up with good plans for implementation. Because the company needs to be as productive as possible to reach the growth to utilise their precious resources, to meet their customer needs, and to stay competitive with similar organisations, they must adopt and implement a good deal of management. Management is the principal factor determining the productivity of labour, thus, the compulsion for higher productivity in engineering products demands high-level manpower resources. Therefore, through operations management concepts, the company will be able to effectively implement management strategies that would be relevant to their plans of putting across borders manufacturing branch.
Actually, venturing to international market has significant effect to employees. One of the implications for employees is that the process of integration has increased the extent to which they are exposed to working practices developed in a different country. Prior to the standardisation of production in Engineering Products, working practices were developed largely within each plant as opposed to elsewhere within the company and, consequently, were broadly typical of the country in question. While to some extent this remains the case, it has been eroded by the diffusion of best practice across borders. The key recent developments in work organisation have come from other plants, uppermost among these being a practice developed in one of the Spanish plants.
From this, we may say that operating plans involve planning, with a given emphasis on allotting a specific period or time for a specific task. In setting up an offshore business, thorough and careful planning must be made to identify the different several risks that must be given consideration for a more effective operation. Theoretically, operational planning deals in aggregated or average values of variables in the system, such as product demands, equipment capacity, standard costs, and inventory levels ( 1999). Secondly, organising is another important aspect to take note of, and involves the approach of total quality management or TQM. With TQM, the whole organisation can manage change and set their own agendas with the plethora of new external pressures. This is another relevant approach for setting up an offshore business, for it aims to create a quality culture, which has a goal of delighting their customers ( 1999).
A third aspect to point out is the importance of resource allocation, which dictates or restrains the choice of goals and strategy (1994). Resource allocation and budget is an important aspect to take note because in putting up a offshore manufacturing, management of resources would determine the extent of technology and workforce that the offshore manufacturing may have, thus, money and budget determines the capability of Engineering Products to provide extensive services and features to its consumers. Next aspect that must be given importance is monitoring and evaluating, which includes knowledge of how to improve performance given institutional considerations and constraints (1994). Monitoring and evaluating must be developed prior to setting up an offshore manufacturing, to ensure the smooth and flawless operations of the outsourced department. Lastly, controlling must also be considered, for this involves the adjusting of plans to predetermined objectives as they are executed, and involves distinct activities to measure actual performance, compare performance with standards, and take action to correct deviations when required (1994). With the effective process of controlling, the supposed offshore manufacturing would have an effective operations that would enable Lakeland Wonders attain its desired implications. Therefore, the role and use of such management issues and aspects would enable the whole organisation, to efficiently and effectively plan its actions in setting up an offshore manufacturing.
In addition to this, the unforeseen problems that Engineering Products might encounter are the cultural differences of its possible employees if international integration of engineering products was initiated. When assessing the interaction between culture and empowerment, the company must be able to identify and understand those subcultures that might engender a work environment more or less empowering than the larger organisational system ( 1988). The management should be able to develop a thriving organisational culture and a stronger organisation, providing their needs and the things that they deserve in order for them to be motivated for their sake and for the organisation’s sake as well. In addition, elements such as work processes, organisation design, career path, performance management and a compensation program are part of human capital management strategy and a plan to ensure continuing success. The change management process imposed by the company must have been seen that there may also encounter problem with some of their stakeholders like employees, customers and others.
Also, in managing people, the human capital management should also incorporate a governance process to ensure equality among employees. Hence, even though managing people in organisation is the most difficult responsibility to be taken, it is also the most challenging part that if given enough attention, focus and consideration, this would enhance the employees loyalty and hard work that may not only benefit them but as well as the organisation may it be a non-profit or a profit oriented organisation. In general, people can give more than what is expected if the management were able to provide them extra hand and minds and if the management give them extra time, extra information and extra people in order to do their job properly.
This study was conducted in order to evaluate the efficacy of change management in an actual working organisation as well as to identify the various effects of change to individuals. The Engineering Products might possibly implement an offshore manufacturing business. Specifically, these general objectives were integrated in the company operations through the addition of technological facilities, creation of communication centres and designation of a human resource staff.
Actually, change of management is not bad as long as the changes made can really enhance the competitiveness and strength of an organisation. It is effective, if and only if, a thorough investigation and evaluation of the company’s performance has made. And if the study suggests that there is a need for change, then that is the only time, the organisation should imposed required changes to be done. Because, change of management system is very critical, one wrong move, the company, might faced its biggest downturn instead of strengthen its business portfolio and survive to the stiff competition in the business arena. It is recommended that any organisation, who will undergo some changes on their management system must see to it that the changes are well planned and implemented carefully, because this will the basis for the success and/or failure of any organisation.
Based on the situation, there are lots of things that the company, managers and staff can do in order to lessen the pressure of change in their organisation. As part of her leadership capabilities of mangers, they may ask the board to reduce the target goal, they may also cite the people’s concern and culture. On the hand, they may also go forward and continue her plan. However, they need to talk to people, inspire them and get them excited to the possible growth of the company. They may also use reward and recognition for good response. Apparently, team effect and inclusion of people from the union should not be neglected.
Since the HQ staff were convinced of the benefits which would arise from other plants in the division and gave managers at the Spanish plant a mission of spreading information about cellular assembly. Then we may say that the company made a great decision and management style. From the discussion, it can be understood that the personality of leaders and their implementation of leadership styles are determined their culture. The leadership style of the leader depends on her culture and personality, and thus, depends on the norms of the society and the culture of his or her subordinates. The personality of leaders simply shows that it serves as an informative tool that emphasises the important role culture and character play in leadership implementation. As a recommendation, it would be essential if one will be able to effectively and efficiently assess the type of leadership that must be implemented. There is no general type of leadership style that is applicable to every organisation in any culture or country. Because of this, a leader must be able to evaluate the nature, the needs, abilities, and the performance of its employees or colleagues to effectively adopt and implement a suitable type of leadership, depending on their culture, societal norms, and the individual personality and characteristics of the leader.
On the other hand, change management is a process wherein all sectors in the society undergo. It is a significant process because it allows the organisation to create decisions that will be beneficial to the employees and the company. Moreover, organisations that are accept changes are usually more successful compare to companies that resist it. In a globalise market, new technologies and procedure are emerging rapidly, in order to keep up with this progress a company must be willing to adapt to management changes. The company needs change management particularly with its marketing, inventory, and performance of the employees in order to keep up with the competition that rapidly becomes a huge threat in the organisation. Addressing changes particularly in the human resource will directly benefit the company because the performance of the employees will either aid in the improvement or failure on the performance of the company. Investing in the human resource is important because they are the front liners of the organisation. Efficient front liners ensure the success in winning the battle of competition within the industry.
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