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Business Management Capstone – Part 4

Resources for Implementing the Recommendations

In order to implement every recommendation, there are various resources needed. The first recommendation entails seeking access to finances pertinent for effective operation of Chong Wholesale. Significant source of such finances include banks and credit/financial institutions. In that light, an important resource is the sales record that the company will use to secure loans from different financial institutions. With such sales record, financial institutions can fully assess the monetary status of the firm, and thus, be better placed to make a decision of either or not credit will be granted.

The other necessary recommendation for Chong Wholesale is a change in leadership; hence there is the need to search for experts to fill the management positions. In this juncture, the resource required to accept the recommendation according to which people will introduce new and appropriate leadership styles. Such people are experts and they include a sales manager who will be charged with venturing into the online market. Besides, a CEO will be pertinent, and together with the sales managers, there will be the formation of a strong and powerful coalition. Considering the leadership support for changes by applying Kotter’s 8 Step Model, Chong Wholesale will benefit from goal-oriented leadership and management.

In attaining the CRM integration recommendation, the company will need specific human, capital and physical resources. Firstly, IT experts (website developers) will be hired on a part time basis to develop the company website. Other than developing the website, the new employees will be involved in routine maintenance and training other non-IT experts on operating the website. Secondly, bank financing will be necessary for purchase of various computers and other facilitating equipment. Another significant resource in this situation is CRM software that will be incorporated into the newly created company website, and in so doing, it will become efficient for such departments as customer service, sales, and marketing understand what their customers need, particularly in the wake of online markets. Since the software captures important customer information, the company will benefit by providing whatever goods and services are demanded by their target customers.

Visual Timeline

Actions Start Date End Date Resources/Cost Duration Needed
Consultation Meeting
Identify Marketing/Sales Manager Sales managers, Company CEO
Meeting with clients to discuss needs Company clients
Meet with I.T. Consultants to Design Website 07/15/2017 07/28/2017 IT experts (website developers), Initial website consulting cost $1500 14 Days
Purchase CRM Software from Sales force

Provide I.T. employee

07/18/2017 07/25/2017 Bank finances,

Sales records,

$2000/ year subscription from salesforce.com

7 Days
Demonstrate Website to existing clients (Beta Launch) 07/28/2017 07/30/2017 Training to owners and new part time employee

 

2 Days
Launch Website and Integrate with CRM 07/31/2017 07/31/2017 Website developers,

CRM software experts

1 Day
Purchase Printing Machine 08/01/2017 08/01/2017 $3000 1 Day

Long-term Organizational Impacts

Financial Management

By implementing the recommendations as mentioned earlier over the next five years, Chong Wholesale can expect organic growth in revenue from online sourced sales. The long-term outlook for revenue will be sustainable if Chong Wholesale is better placed to implement the financial management changes. When comparing the costs associated with the new printing machine, Chong Wholesale can expect a return on investment that will increase its revenue. It is expected that the business can regain its investment costs of the printing machine within five months.

The goal of the business over the next fiscal year is to establish a sustainable revenue stream from online orders and see an increase in new orders from individuals. By implementing the recommendations, Chong Whole can expect to bring approximately $150,000 in new revenue.

Leadership Management

One of the major challenges identified at Chong Wholesale is ineffective leadership as it has been earlier noted, Mr. Park (as the sole proprietor) makes unilateral company decisions. Even though this is the case with such kinds of business entities, there is the need to seek advice from experts in various fields such as finance, marketing, and also leadership. Due to face-to-face delivery of goods, the company fails to reach out to the online market which is growing at a considerably higher rate in the modern world.

Therefore, by adopting a change management process, Chong Wholesale can see improvements in relationships with its customers, improvements in completing its objectives and long term sustainable growth in the business. There is the need to note that customers feel content and remain loyal to companies that take heed to claims, concerns and also demands.

Information Technology Management Impacts
By creating a company website with full CRM integration, Chong Wholesale can shift their marketing efforts online to allow a greater reach for new customers and new markets.

Company Website:
By creating their own website, Chong Wholesale allows existing customers to place and track orders for their products. Chong Wholesale had to hire a temporary full-time employee whose responsibility is to create the website and integrate the website with the company’s new CRM management system. These new employees will be kept on as part time employees after the implantation process to manage the website. This new employee will work 8 hours a week to conduct routine maintenance or training for the website.

It is pertinent to note that by venturing into a new market i.e. online market, Chong Wholesale will require more experienced employees ranging from sales managers, IT experts, record keepers, and finance managers. Therefore, the operating costs of the company will as well increase, but after a full cost benefit analysis, the company will not only break-even but also realize more profits.
Benefits of CRM
By incorporating a CRM system, this will allow Chong Wholesale the ability to place orders, customers inquiries and customer data in the cloud and assist the company’s marketing and operations effectors. A CRM system will bring the following benefits for the company
1. Increased sales as it allow Chong Whole to follow quality leads and identify key customer prospects. CRM software allows Chong Wholesale to identify its most valuable customers and personalized communication to increase conversion and engagement with its customers.
2. CRM will allow reliable and fast decision to make adjustments to the company’s operations when it places orders. CRM allows the company to allocate resources for effective and timely delivery of every order.
3.CRM allows managers to conduct business mobility and increased the productivity of the owners and sales mangers in the field. CRM users can access customer data on the field and assist customer to follow up with their orders or place orders via the cloud.

Client Time Log

Date Duration Method Summary Action Items
06/01/2017 25 Minutes In Person Initial meeting with client gain approval for project and participation Client Verification Forms
06/03/2017 30 Minutes Phone Discussed the major problem with business and created a problem statement. Discuss future timeline Obtained signed client verification form with final problem statement
06/05/2017 In Person Meet in person to discuss specific challenges to problem statement and meet with employees Prepare for observations
06/10/2017 1 Day In Person Sit in with owner and observed a “day on the life” Note all findings and create recommendations in next meeting
06/20/2017 1 Hour In Person Discussed findings/recommendations to problem statement Follow Up with implantation plan report
07/01/2017 2 Hours In Person Create implemented plan for recommendations Set up owner with new partners to build website/CRM
07/14/2017 1 Hour In Person 2 week follow up Follow up with any problems after plan is implemented

 

 

 

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Business Management Capstone – Part 3

The Solution to Challenges in Financial Management    

As has been ascertained earlier, lack of finances is the key aspect that constrains the purchase of equipment necessary to meet customer’s demands. Similarly, Chong Wholesale is unable to hire consultants due to the lack of capital to facilitate the consulting costs. Therefore, it is recommended that the proprietors ensure that there is availability of bank financing.

A solution to the lack of finances can be achieved by ensuring that they have access to banks that will act as the fundamental source of borrowed finance. There is the need to note that for sole proprietorship, the most suitable way to address the problem of lack of finances is to seek assistance from lending institutions such as banks, finance companies or even credit unions. As explained by Fabozzi and Drake, sole proprietors, just like other individuals in business, should align their financial decision-making to maximization of wealth (of owners) (542). The borrowed finance will be pertinent to hire consultants who will see the company reach higher positions in terms of market share as well as revenues realized.

The proprietors of the business should understand that entering the online market is a promising endeavor in the modern world. Despite the costly equipment and personnel required to soar Chong Wholesale in the online market, the associated returns are reasonable. Thus, Mr. Park should support the move, and this can only be attainable if the company has adequate finances.

The Solution to Challenges in Leadership Management  

Change is a word that generates uneasiness most in the business world, and that has not changed for Chong Wholesale. It is critical that Mr. Park and Ms. Park shows support for any changes and express the support when communicating with their clients and staff. Chong Wholesale’s small workforce can develop a level of comfort knowing that changes being implemented in the company will improve the business operation and guarantee success for the company going forward.

Chong Wholesale should ensure leadership support for changes using Kotter’s 8 Step Model. As proposed by Kotter, organizations should implement the essential 8 step process for attainment of transformation. The first step is establishing a sense of urgency, where in the case of Chong Wholesale, the need for online market is particularly urgent. The next step is to form a powerful coalition that will be charged with leading the change effort and also come up with strategies to attain the vision of the company (Petersen and Pedersen 678). The third step that Chong Wholesale should take is to create a vision that will direct the change effort, and which will be followed by communicating the vision by use of every available channel of communication. At this point, the guiding coalition should teach new traits and as well lead by example.

The next step is to empower others to act towards attainment of the vision. The Chong Wholesale coalition that will have already been formed will be pertinent in removing obstacles to change at this level. Similarly, risk taking should be encouraged, and there should be an adoption of non-traditional activities, ideas and also actions. The other step necessary should be planning for and creating short term wins, and at this juncture, the new management should be committed to recognizing and rewarding employees demonstrating improvements. The step in Kotter’s 8 Step Model that is applicable in Chong Wholesale is bringing together improvements and further pushing for more changes. The move is attainable through hiring, developing and also promoting employees who have an upper hand in implementing the company vision, i.e. venturing into the online market. The last step is to institutionalize the new strategies or approaches (Petersen and Pedersen 680). Leadership at Chong Wholesale should create links between new traits and success of the enterprise. In other words, there should be development of channels that will not only facilitate leadership development but also its succession.

Chong Wholesale needs to realize that a successful change strategy should not be limited to short terms of profits or temporary changes, but must beset the whole organization for sustained change.

The Solution to Challenges in IT Management 

Chong Wholesale still uses a manual ordering process when orders come in from its customers. There has been no implementation of an automated process for placing orders, leaving customers with little information regarding the status of their orders.

Two significant technology recommendations are being proposed, namely creating a company website to place orders and market the company’s products, and allow CRM integration through the website.

Company Website

Chong Wholesale currently does not have an online presence where it can sell or market its products on an online marketplace. Therefore, it is recommended that the company develop a website, and through its implementation, various aspects as described below should be considered.
1. The establishment of goals. Chong Wholesale needs to establish a list of goals and specific criteria for the company website. One of the simplest questions the company can ask itself is “what are we trying to achieve with the new website?” and “what is the main purpose of the website?
2. The identification of the target audience. In this case, the focus should be determining the individuals targeted in the online market. The online market targets the youth as well as the middle aged who are conversant with computers and online business.

Goal – driven design. The developers of the website should be experienced in coming up with an online avenue that will assist in achieving the vision of the company.

Measurable results in the website.

Allow (Customer Resource Management) CRM integration

CRM has various objectives that include organizing, tracking and also managing all of an organization’s client information, conversations and also activities. Besides, CRM will enable the company to deliver the right message to the customers at the right time. Chong Wholesale should be committed to CRM integration in the company website in order to assist the sales, customer service, and marketing teams to have a better understanding of the customers. CRM integration is all about building the company website and CRM to work in unison seamlessly. Once Chong Wholesale integrates the marketing and website automation software, it will realize more benefits other than retaining customer data on the basis of manual entries. Chong Wholesale will benefit in that it will be better suited to bring in valuable client information directly into their CRM.

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Business Management Capstone – Part 2

Location

Chong Wholesale is based out of San Leandro, CA where it has its headquarters and manufacturing operations in a leased warehouse. Currently, the company does not have an online presence and lacks a functioning website.

Organization Structure

Mr. and Ms. Park both own the company jointly as a sole proprietorship. Mr. Park registered the company as a sole proprietorship in 1999. Ms. Park is responsible for the companies accounting and payroll. Mr. Park also oversees the placement and delivering of orders.

Since Chong Wholesale is a sole proprietorship, it is ultimately the reasonability of the owner, i.e. Mr. Park has to make all decisions of the company. Mr. Park has never hired third party consultants to help the company make more sound decisions. Mr. Park does not have to answer to anyone regarding decisions about his business operations.

The main goal of Mr. Park is to gain a profit in the company and ensure he pays all of his business’ vendors and creditors on time. When Mr. Park is out of the office, he has authorized the most senior employee to make certain types of decisions. These decisions done by these employees in limited score because the company runs as a sole proprietorship, Mr. Park’s personal finances have intertwined with the organization. If the business requires funds to keep it operational state, Mr. Park will often put money for the operations through his own funds. If the business requires financing, Mr. Park will use his own personal financing streams for any investments.

Context of the Business Challenge

Over the past five years, Chong Wholesale has lost several of its clients because they shut down their business. All of the company’s sales are business to business and Chong Wholesale sales primary to small “mom and pop” clothing retail stores, mainly in urban areas of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento Area. The main reasons why these stores are closing is the shift of consumer shopping preferences to online shopping. As of 2017, Chong Wholesale sells directly to 24 retailers grossing net revenue of $3.2 million dollars. Back in 2012, Chong Wholesale sold directly to 48 retailers and had gross net revenue of $5.2 million dollars. Mr. Park is aware of the problem since 2012 but he has not made proactive measures to redirect the company’s sales to new markets. Instead Chong Wholesale has tried to cut prices on its products in order to attract new retailers with negative results.

Chong Wholesale lacks an online presence and currently does not have a website. Mr. Park is aware of the problem but does not have the technical knowledge to create a website or an online website. Nearly all of Chong Wholesale sales are in custom printed shirts, jackets and sweetheart. Chong Whole custom prints its clothing at its San Leandro Warehouse. Chong Wholesale relied on two screen printers it bought back in 1998. The screen prints were originally bought for $50,000 each but lack the technology needed to build customer printed clothing items at a high rate.

Observations

Since the beginning of 2017, several of the business’ major clients have gone out of business and ended orders of the company’s products. Consequently, there has been a decrease in orders from existing clients because more consumers are buying clothing online. Mr. Park has been aware of the problem since 2015 and has seen a steady decline in orders and demand. In 2015, Chong Wholesale had 62 retail stores; hence it was a wholesaler, but the number has declined to 45 in the year 2017.

Another observation as to why there exist business challenges in Chong Wholesale is due to the fact that Mr. Park has not put in place any proactive measures to expand the business. At the expense, he has tried to compete with the company’s competitors on pricing. In order to attract new customers, Chong has cut its profit margin on many of its stock by 25% and offered significant wholesale discounts to existing customers, which according to him, will sustain the business.

Chong Wholesale has not made any changes in its marketing or ordering system for the past ten years and has greatly relied on an advertisement by word of mouth to reach new customers. Word of mouth advertising is not a suitable method of spreading the news about businesses since it is traditional way that does not spread faster. In the wake of the emergence of the online market, companies relying on such advertisement are bound to fail. Besides, Chong Wholesale has reached a limited audience for the past decade. Considering that the business has five employees, the staff only reach out to clients they come into contact with on a regular basis.

Chong Wholesale is run by Mr. Park and Ms. Park who are first generation of Korean Americans. The business has relied on expanding its business with networking efforts in the Korean community. The attempts to gain new clients in the Korean community has had minimal impact on the company’s bottom line and has seen success by gaining two new clients.

Three Areas of Responsibility and its Contributions

Change or Leadership Management

The first area to be addressed in this section is change or leadership management. Considering that Chong Wholesale has been in operation for almost two decades, and understanding the fact that it is still under a sole proprietorship, the business can be perceived to require some form of change. As has been stated earlier, Mr. Park is involved in major decisions of the business, and in most instances, it becomes difficult for him to alienate operations of the business from personal activities. In terms of major decisions, the sole proprietor (Mr. Park) is not answerable to anyone in regard to the operations of the business. With such powers, there arises increased likelihood for Mr. Park to make unsubstantiated decisions that could jeopardize the success of the firm.

Leadership in the business is contributing to the challenge since Chong Wholesale lacks a future vision. In any business under a sole proprietorship, there is the problem of perpetual succession (R. Gill 307). For instance, despite Mr. Park stressing that the vision of the business is to serve all the clients effectively and pass it on to future generations, there are no clear regulations and policies to guide the succession. Therefore, the business can exist only so long as the owner exists, hence in case of death or insolvency, the business could come to an end.

Besides, the business proprietors are reluctant to operate under the norms of the business, particularly if there is a decline in sales. For instance, the current problem with Chong Wholesale pertains to its clients moving to the online market; hence the sales drop significantly. Chong Wholesale greatly relies on selling the existing vendors, and since clients are increasingly embracing online markets, the business is at a hard place. As per the organizational structure, Chong Wholesale has no sustainable business plan which would otherwise propose shifts in market share. As a result, numerous vendors of the company are going out of business, considering the current market dynamics. The proprietors, in this case, have no clear strategy to make changes in their business plan necessary to adapt to changes in the modern market.

The next way in which change management or leadership is contributing to the existing challenge is that it becomes increasingly difficult for the owners to hire or retain workers. It is challenging to expand Chong Wholesale beyond the point of traditional advertisement by word of mouth as the proprietors are not experts in every aspect of business management that workers need (Gill 308). For instance, Mr. Park and Ms. Park’s business is in great need of online market share in order to retain its vendors. With the current leadership at Chong Wholesale, good quality workers are difficult to attract as the sole proprietor has individual centric characteristics.

Information Technology (IT) Management

This area of responsibility (IT) has contributed to the problem as Chong Wholesale lacks a way to capture prospective clients in the online market. Lack of such a way is due to the ineffective or traditional business plan that since it only focuses on in-store markets. Therefore, existing clients have to be physically present at Chong Wholesale in order to make orders.

The other aspect is that the present clients do not have electronic tools as those seen in online platforms meant for placing or tracking orders. This sheds more light on the inefficiency of the business to shift to a modern online market since there is a minimal investment in the same. Information technology management has been made possible by the advancement in technology, leading to value creation. For the attainment of such organizations goals, the existing technology ought to be aligned with business strategies. In the case of Chong Wholesale, the shortcomings in the business IT made it difficult to deliver goods to the clients.

Nonetheless, there is the need to understand that information technology cannot improve the delivery of services if the executive managers (in this case Mr. and Ms. Park), functional personnel and supervisors fail to embrace it, and further change their approaches towards delivering services (Bryan et al. 309). Bryan, Young, and Goldstein further explain that change can be effected anywhere in the business, but its success calls for a full embrace from the top level management (309). There is the need to first establish clear business requirements, and endeavor that is followed by the creation of an information system that will see the realization of the requirements. The shift from a manual to an electronic system requires full support or initiative from the manager. In the case of Chong Wholesale, the decision to reach out to clients in the online market will lead to more revenue, but it has to be supported by the proprietors, i.e. Mr. Park and Ms. Park.

Financial Management

This area of responsibility is contributing to the problem of reduced number of clients as new equipment is required to attend to the demands of the customers, whereas the needed capital for buying the equipment is unavailable. The problem of lack of capital is a common one in sole proprietorship as the single person controlling the business finds it difficult to raise capital. Due to the lack of separation of the firm from the proprietor, there is a challenge in the flow of capital as well as the expansion of the business size, and even the level of success of the business or the products sold (Fabozzi and Drake 542). Being in a sole proprietorship, Mr. Park and Ms. Park have unlimited liability. This implies that in a situation the owner fails to meet business obligations or his or her debt, and a lawsuit if filed by a consumer, then personal or private properties of the owner can be used to settle the debt (Fabozzi and Drake 542).

The owner (Mr. Park) has never hired third party consultants who would assist the business to make more sound decisions. The major factor leading to this is the unavailability of finances which confers the company the potential to hire consultants. The consulting costs involved are considerably high, and as the company is facing problems of declining clients, there are minimal reserves to pay for the consultation. Nonetheless, Mr. Park does not have to answer to anyone regarding any managerial, financial or even hiring move. Moreover, financial management has affected the problem of declining clients as the failure to reach out to the clients leads to a loss in reputation as Chong Wholesale competitors with online markets absorb the customers.

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Business Management Capstone

Executive Summary

Chong Training was founded in the year 1999 by Chong Park in San Leandro, CA as a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of urban clothing wear. Chong Wholesale sells custom printed t-shirts, jackets, and sweatshirts to clothing retailers across Northern California. Chong Wholesale has five full-time employees who produce the clothing goods while Mr. Park handles customer orders, deliveries and the company’s sales and marketing. Mr. Park’s wife, Ms. Park, deals with the company’s financial and accounting operations.

Chong Wholesale acts as a wholesale distributor to over 45 clothing retailers across Northern California and focuses its operations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Areas. Chong Wholesale has seen moderate and organic growth since its inception, and since the year 2000, the company has consistently realized huge profits. In 2016, the company has grossed over $5 million dollars with its current profit at $1 million after expenses. Mr. Park has remained focused on selling directly to its existing clients and has not ventured into new customers or markets since 2008. Therefore, there arises a promising market opportunity as the company can enter into and exploit new markets.

Since the company’s 20-year anniversary is fast approaching, customer demand has been stagnant as several of its clients have gone out of business. The fundamental reason is the emergence of the online market; thus the market for clothing has taken that direction. Even if just a few of Mr. Park’s customers go out of business, it has a significant impact on his business operations as Chong deals with most 45 clients directly.

After conducting a leadership audit of Chong Wholesale, it appears Chong Wholesale is significantly underperforming in three areas, namely change management, information technology management, and financial management. Upon understanding the challenges facing Chong’s firm, there is the need to seek feasible solutions. After meeting with Mr. Park and with his clients and by analyzing Mr. Park’s financial and business operations, I have proposed three recommendations.

The first recommendation entails purchasing new computerized printing machines to allow greater product recommendations for clients. With the computerized printing machines, there will be increased productivity, which will, in its turn, lead to greater market share. The company’s clients will be better placed to recommend the products to other customers.

The next recommendation for the company is to hire a sales marketing manager who will be charged with exploring, expanding and exploiting the business to new markets. These managers will have experience in developing an online marketplace. Since the modern world is technologically-enabled, the future of most companies lies in the online market. Therefore, the sales marketing manager will help the company soar to new levels.

The third and last recommendation which is pertinent to address underperformance of Chong’s firm is to create a company website with full CRM integration that will be created and managed by a new part time employee. Customer relationship management entails strategies, practices, and technologies used by a company to manage and analyze customer interactions and related data in the course of the customer lifecycle. Therefore, the integrating the company website with full CRM will assist Chong Wholesale to retain customers and also facilitate the growth of sales.

These recommendations will require additional expenses and initial upfront costs to implement. If the measures are executed correctly, the company should expect long-term sustainability and growth in new markets. It is expected that each of these recommendations will take approximately six months to implement with an additional $80,000 for its fruition. Besides, it is believed that Chong Wholesale should expect to regain revenue from its 2010 sales year and expect a 10% growth in sales for the next five years after implementation.

Business Challenge

Client sees demand for its products decreasing as its competitors are moving online. Therefore, the failure of the business to expand its operation online acts as a great impediment to success.

Background/History

Chong Wholesale is a sole proprietor company owned by Chong Park and his wife, Pak Park. Back in 1998, both immigrated to the United States from South Korea and started to make a living from selling clothing at flea markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. As their business expanded from weekend flea markets, they bought their first shift press and rented a small warehouse in Oakland where they would make their clothing. Within a few years, Chong Wholesale developed their business and now leases a 3,000 square foot warehouse there it prints over 21,000 articles of clothing every year, and in the year 2016, the business made revenue of over $5 million. Currently, Chong Wholesale has five full-time employees who are charged with printing the shirts. The employees also assist in delivering clothing to its customers across Northern California.

Target Market

Chong Wholesale does business strictly in the Business to Business Market by selling directly to small business retailers. Chong Wholesale sells clothing at wholesale prices to clothing outlets. Chong Wholesale focuses on “urban wear” and “hip hop fashion” clothing by targeting the 15-30-year-old demographic, urban markets in Oakland and San Francisco. Hip hop fashion is known as “big fashion”, and is a distractive clothing style originating from Latin and African-American culture. Hip Hop and urban fashion remain a significant part of the culture in Oakland and Francisco. Therefore, the business promotes fashion type across the world for all ethnicities.

Mission Statement/Vision Statement/Goals

Despite the business being established several years ago, it still lacks a written mission statement or vision statement. Although Chong Wholesale does not have an official mission statement, Mr. Park established his mission in the following way to avail to his clients the highest quality product and make a long-term partnership with its clients. The vision of Chong Wholesale is to sustain its current operations and pass down its business to their children or a prospective buyer within the next decade. The vision of Chong Wholesale is thus significant as it aims to reach out larger market share, and also is committed to passing the operations to future generations.