post

Strategy Plan Execution Defects

It is not a myth that even the best strategy if not clearly set for execution at times fails. Wrong policies often have painfully obvious shortcomings albeit in retrospect. There is, however, a problem in pinpointing the reasons that may result in the failure of a good strategy. Most managers and executive officers fail to identify the critical problems for turning strategies into results.

Some of the reasons that have often led to the failure of strategy execution include poor synchronization, communication, executive inattention, resistance to change and cultural approach. For these reasons, most organizations and firms only achieve a few of the expected results of their strategic plans.

Poor synchronization results from allowing the company’s focus on its strategic goals to shift from time to time. Companies often face strategy problems as a result of having stratified and segmented markets that spread over different geographic regions. This scattering poses a challenge of difficulty in getting the several products to various markets at the right time especially if the firm produces several goods.

Individuals tend to resist change when its impact is not likely to benefit the department directly. An example is when the company through its headquarters is trying to standardize a product, but an executive in an office does not fully support the idea. If the notion involves, say, reducing resources from one department to benefit another department, it will apparently be dismissed by the affected department. At times, this resistance is justified, and the manager will circumvent the strategy rather than support it.

Cultural factors, both internal and external may hinder the efficient execution of a plan, especially when a firm tries to implement a tried strategy in another region because it worked exemplarily well in the first instance. Such a world-beater strategy may fail from the onset due to cultural differences between that area as the case of Wal-Mart’s failure to implement it US-based supplier terms with its Brazilian suppliers when it first moved there. As a result, Wal-Mart had to reevaluate its strategy.

Firms need to evaluate their internal strategies to tackle the problems that hinder their execution. Experts argue that two schools of thought advance the best way to improve strategy execution. One of these schools is focusing on people and the other concentrates on the process itself. These experts argue further that putting the right people in the right places will get things done pretty well. Methods within this school of thought include employee motivation through above average remuneration pegged against their performance.  One can also improve the performance of an average employee through training and create a culture of accountability. This method, they say, creates a consistent and superior performance for the company.

Other proponents argue that focusing on the process creates the ground for execution of strategy. However, some experts like Mankins argue that firms that have continually achieved significant results implement a combination of these schools of thought. He argues that these propositions, both have merit and are two sides of the same coin. Whatever the choice of action, experts agree that firms need to develop a model for plan execution, stick to the strategic plan, and assess performance on a frequent basis as well as appropriate communication within the firms’ structures.

In conclusion, it is evident that businesses are spending more time and resources to develop a sound strategy, but they often face problems in their execution. These companies fail due to perennial errors in communication, cultural challenges, poor synchronization and resistance from both internal and external organs. Experts have proposed several ways of circumventing these challenges and succeed in making strategy work which includes perfecting communication channels, frequent assessment of strategy and developing a model to execute strategy. These arguments illustrate that planning is just one side of the strategy coin, and execution is the other and as such, companies need to put more focus in execution as in strategy.

post

The Greatest Threat to Organizations and Workers in the 21st Century

Organizations and employees in the twenty-first century are faced with the threat of managing attitudes at the workplace for optimum output. This phenomenon can be described as employee engagement. It entails the employees feeling proud to be associated with the organization and working within the framework of the outlined goals and objectives. However, the current situation indicates low emotional behavior at the workplace that significantly reduces productivity.

The potential causes of the threat of employee engagement include Strategic alignment where the employees are not informed of the particular direction the organization should follow in order to attain the outlined objectives. The management assumes that informing the employees the expected goals at the end of a certain period in enough. However, this creates a gap where these employees compromise quality and focus on meeting the deadline.

Albrecht argues that there is a loss of trust in senior management or leadership. In this case, employees in most organizations do not have complete trust over their bosses, especially in duty and salary decisions. Some workers have the perception that the leaders assign duties on the biased basis. Workers of the same rank and experience may also suspect to earn different salaries depending on their mutual relationship with the senior management. This affects the motivation of an employee towards ensuring maximum effort at the workplace.

The human resource department in most organizations in the 21st century does not allocate duties to employees according to their academic pursuit. In this perspective, the workers feel underemployed as they do not gain relevant experience. The HR department also fails to recognize the levels of academic qualification of individual employees. Instead, they focus on experience. This discourages some workers that are willing to dedicate their efforts in improving the organizational productivity regardless of their experience. However, this arises due to the general assumption that experienced workers are more productive than academicians in the same line of work.

According to Harb, organizations face the challenge of offering relevant training to employees on regular basis. Advancement in this technological age requires employees to be subjected to refresher courses in their specializations in order to make them viable. However, some organizations consider this as a factor that is likely to reduce their general gains in the market. In addition, employees in training session make the company unproductive for some period. In this perspective, the employees are demotivated as they feel that the company does not care about their future skills. The fact that training results in demand increased salaries and wages have also contributed to the lack of willingness from the management to extend such favor to their employees.

The salaries and wages are not proportional to the current living standards. Organizations face the threat of increasing the salaries and wages as it may result in massive losses. This in return is affecting the employees as they cannot afford to meet their basic needs with the meager salaries they earn. Thus, most firms are reducing the number of employees as a measure to increase the average salaries and wages.  However, this affects the organizations negatively in terms of productivity.

Georgiades presents that there is the issue of identifying the personality traits of individual workers in order to place them in the right team or group at the workplace. In this case, organizations focus on employee productivity rather than creating a positive working environment or relationships. They assign workers in groups and teams that they are not comfortable. This reduces their morale to exploit talents at the workplace for maximum attainment. Placing employees in the wrong groups as defined by their motives and talents also contributes to poor communication and decisions.

Organizations, managers, and employees can solve the issues of engagement through the following ways that are supported by different theoretical frameworks:  the management should engage in regular internal observation and research that is directed towards establishing the personal traits of their employees in order to allocate duties, teams, and groups that they can comfortably participate. Research on employee traits will also facilitate avoidance of underemployment cases at the workplace where the HR department allocates workers duties according to their experiences. This is in agreement with the Hawthorne effect theory where an increase in the employee observation results in increased productivity. In this regard, the internal research and observation will provide an opportunity to interact with the employees and understand them individually for the perceived placement at the workplace. The theory emphasizes on feedback where the department and team leaders provide feedback to the management regarding improvements.

The organizations should have a platform to address the problems facing employees. For instance, there should be employee support programs where the workers with concerns channel them to the management or obtain an immediate solution. The support system should be organized in such a way they over guidance and counseling to psychological problems. Employees that are not comfortable with their average earnings should be advised accordingly through the support program, which will entail the provision of information on possible ways of improving their salaries. This is in agreement with the expectancy theory where people choose to behave in a particular way with respect to the expected returns. In this perspective, the employee support will be changing attitudes in the organization in order to make the workers comfortable and ensure they behave in a way that may lead to goal and objective attainment.

The management should focus on offering equal opportunities, salaries, and wages to employees of the same rank and experience. In this perspective, the organization should eliminate the threat of losing some employees over business claims. The management should have an open system of allocating salaries to the employees depending on experience and academic qualification. According to Hertzberg’s two-factor perspective, the management should focus on hygiene and motivator factors. The salaries and wages fall under the motivator and hygiene factors. The company should have a policy that ensures motivator factors are provided to employees for maximum output. Therefore, through ensuring equity and openness, the employees will be motivated to work and gain the required experience for appraisal instead of blaming biases. This is also in agreement with the Maslow’s theory where the employee basic needs are satisfied before addressing secondary wants. The organizations will be satisfying the basic need of equality through ensuring openness. Another level of satisfaction will come from advising the employees on potential ways of improving their salaries. The employees become psychologically satisfied that working hard will lead them to promotion and salary increment as portrayed through openness.

Employees should be open with their interests and talents at the workplace in order to facilitate training and relevant support from the management. In addition, they should show the willingness to develop a positive working relationship with their seniors. This will encourage the employers to respond accordingly and portray positive behavior that propagates formation of relations. This is also in agreement with the Hawthorne’s theory since the employers and employees will be observing each other with the intention of developing relations.  The interests and talents are important to the organization since they act as the basis for training. The good relationship enables the employees to identify the areas in the organization that need urgent training to cope with technological advancement.

Employees tend to emulate the traits of their senior management, which in turn ensures attainability of outlined goals and objectives. In this regard, the management should aim at exhibiting the best traits that show their willingness to attain goals. They should formulate decisions that are attainable by every employee. They should be ready to share the success and victory of the organization with their employees through recognizing and appreciating their efforts. The organizations should change from mare employment centers to communities with a particular culture that is worth emulation and practice everywhere. This in agreement with the three-dimensional theory, which emphasizes on attributes and control as a way of attaining motivation in tasks. In this perspective, the organizational culture, which should be portrayed through employer behavior, should be the attributes that change the workers’ future motives. The emulation should be in such a way that encourages self-control at the workplace. The decisions should directly affect the employees in a manner that they perceive themselves as the responsible people to implement them and attain the established goals.

In conclusion, the threat of employee engagement is affecting most organizations currently and is likely to cause more effect in the future. When the employees are not engaged, they become demotivated in performing their duties at the workplace. The management should establish the likely causes of these threats and address them through different theoretical frameworks such as the Maslow’s, Hawthorne’s, and three-dimensional theories.  The employees should also participate in addressing the threat through channeling their concerns to the management and allowing discussions for feedback and relevant clarification.

post

Economic and Social Issues in the World

The world today faces a myriad of challenges. Key among those challenges touch on economic and social issues. The fact that economic and social issues touch directly on the lives of everyone in the world has led to numerous effort to promote and improve solutions to the challenges. Despite many other economic and social issues, there are those that have taken center stage in the global arena. Among them are minimum wages which are now considered part of the human rights to avert exploitation? Another key issue touches on gun control. Although some countries have relaxed laws on gun ownership, it has become a challenge for the government to ensure its appropriate use, a fact that has raised concerns to control the purchase and use of guns. Similarly, the world is now grappling with challenges to do with abortion and Planned Parenthood. The issues dig deeper on individual rights and the economic conditions forcing many organize their family set up in a way never considered before. Below we explore those three socio-economic issues on a global scale, to gather more information about them.

Minimum Wage

The issue of minimum wages deals with economic issues almost in each country, and collectively have an impact on the global issues. As a result, this issue has been discussed by top global institutions and more specifically the United Nations. During its inception in 1945, UN members state agreed to work together to promote and improve the economic and social advancement of all people around the globe. Several since that pledge, a lot has been achieved especially on the issue of minimum wages. Minimum wages determines directly the standard of living as well as the purchasing power of people in underdeveloped regions. As such, fixing minimum wages and preventing gullible employees from exploiting them has been one of the top global challenges.

The United Nations was among the first institutions to enact guiding principles as well asking their members states to ratify and adopt them adhering to minimum wages. This culminated the founding of International Labor Organization (ILO). The organization has since then enacted several conventions regarding the same issue. Among the convention is the Labor Clauses of 1947 concerning labor clauses in public contracts. The Protection of Wages Convention, 1949, minimum wage fixing convention, 1970, Protection of Workers Claims Convention, 1992 among many other conventions. The sole purpose for this is to ensure workers are fairly remunerated under favorable working conditions.

Several UN member states have on their own enacted their principles and laws to fix minimum wages in their respective jurisdictions. The United States and other developed countries like the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and others have been in the forefront fixing minimum wages and enacting strict rules to ensure employers do not violate the requirement. In the US, the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour. However, this has not stopped other states from enacting their minimum wages. For example, the state of Washington enacted a law raising her minimum wages from initially nine dollars to fifteen dollars to be implemented in phases till 2018. Many other states across the US have similarly enacted laws raising minimum wages significantly higher above the federal minimum wages. To ensure employers do not exploit clauses in federal laws to escape increasing their workers’ wages to a required minimum in their respective areas, federal laws maintains that employers should always pay whichever is higher between the existing minimum wages.

A similar trend has been observed in Europe and other developed countries. All countries in Europe have minimum wages set by law and strictly ensure implementation by employers. The minimum wage in EU region averages $5.26. On the contrary, Asians and African countries, often due to pressure and need to ratify international conventions on labor and minimum wage laws, have done so but faced stiff challenges in ensuring its implementation. Many countries across the two continents, despite having the laws in place, do not act to ensure employers follow the laws. This general impact of this laxity is exploitation and violation of human rights working in those countries.

Gun Control

The issue of gun controls has dominated our screens for several years now. Although there have been issues with guns before, the stories have dominated the recent years most. The US Constitution’s Second Amendment gives civilians rights to bear arms. Due to this right, it is estimated that 30-35% of all guns world over are owned by Americans.  The existence of legislation from state to state dictating on who can own and how they can be carried and stored has not curbed widespread repercussions of gun ownership. In the last five years alone, more than ten mass shootings have taken place in different parts of US. This mass shooting, in turn, has led to several questions being raised about guns and more specifically on how they can be controlled.

The issue of misuse of firearms has raised concerns resulting in some calling for tighter gun control laws, whereas others, who feel they have been responsible rejecting the idea of gun control. Proponents of gun control argue that statistics do not indicate a cause-and-effect relationship and that the rates of gun homicide and other gun crimes have dropped in the last two decades or so. The issue continues to generate heated debates within American public and in some of her law establishing authorities. At the height of mass shooting, and in reply to a public angered by the executive’s failure to act on guns, President Obama issued a package of executive orders designed to decrease gun violence. Among the orders issued included a requirement for all gun dealers to obtain federal licenses and in turn conduct background check for prospective buyers.

In other countries, gun laws are tighter compared to the US. For example in Canada and Australia, inspired by past incidences of gun misuse enacted laws making it compulsory that a thought background check must be conducted on all prospective buyers. They also prohibited public ownership of some guns like automatic rifles. In Israel, laws are even stricter. Although all Israeli join the military on adulthood where they receive training on weapons after they are done from the military college they are supposed to adhere strictly to civilian gun laws. Their strict culture and discipline make Israel among the country with least gun homicide cases. It also bans ownership of certain assault guns.

The UK tightened their gun laws after a widespread public outcry precipitated by extraordinary acts of gun violence. They subsequently enacted numerous gun laws that made it tough or civilians to own guns.  In other parts of Europe, the story has remained almost the same. Norway was forced to review its gun laws after a civilian attacked a public gathering killing dozens in July 2011. In general, Europe has had a history of gun violence has tight gun laws compared to the US.

Abortion/Planned Parenthood

Since the rise of women movements after Second World War, the issue of abortion has been one of the most discussed from pro-women rights groups. Abortion and Parenthood touch on women directly, and that is why they have been more concerned than anyone else. Planned Parenthood has also been an issue of central discussion in overpopulated countries.

Abortion, being a central issue in women’s rights has gained massive support across many countries in the world. Many states across the US now consider it as part of a woman right in which she can decide on her own what to do. In the US gives women the right to privacy that includes the right to determine whether or not to bear a child. The general US public has shown a lot of support to abortion and holds that it should include the right to conduct it safely under the care of health professionals. An issue that continues to stir controversy especially in the House of Representatives where such a provision has been defeated several times in the recent past.

On the global front, many other developed countries like in Europe have advanced abortions laws, allowing women to safe abortion. Something that has been lauded by global human rights movements. However, in some other countries in Africa and Asia abortion laws do not exist, and where they exist they are rarely taken seriously.

Women’s movements have equally pushed the issue of Planned Parenthood across the globe with the same vigor as with which they have been pushing for abortion. In the US and most other developed countries, activities initiated by organizations and institutions working to deliver contraceptives have enabled many families plan with ease the future of their lives and families. Access to contraceptives and knowledge about there is more accessible today in almost every country today.

Despite that, women in underdeveloped countries continue to face difficulties in not only access to contraceptives but also access to knowledge about them.  This has rendered many women unable to control their families.

Conclusion

The above are few of the economic and social issues in the world. These issues, whenever confronted pose big challenges to human beings anywhere in the world. Failure to enact favorable minimum wages can render populations poor. Gun control is an idea that has helped many countries curb the rising cases of mass shooting, robbery and other incidences of assault. Countries that have been unable to enact tough gun laws continue to suffer from the social repercussions as well as political pressures to change the laws. And lastly, Planned Parenthood and abortion which is both an economic and social issue continue to challenge many people across the globe. Efficient Planned Parenthood and support abortion laws are lessening both social and economic challenges, especially to women. Further supportive laws can do more to emancipate families from getting families they cannot support.

 

post

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

 

 

 

post

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.

post

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.

post

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.