At present, there is an urgent need for introducing a new innovative product n the market to make a comeback and an organizational change for a longer term. Conflicting performance metrics and Goal Incongruence Different performance metrics let to competitive efforts among different departments. Departments were concerned about their own goals at the expense of other teams. The system can achieve its goals more effectively and perform better when organizational goals are well aligned with the goals of different subunits.
This organization was ultimately working toward the same goal, but all the departments had different ideas and purposes. Manufacturing plants operated as individual profit centers and were valuated on gross margin while Sales department was evaluated on revenue. Consequently, Sales, in order to meet their revenue goals, sold the products at any price they could without looking at the impact on margins. Additionally, Product development frequently made requests to run trials of new products which lowered the efficiency and margins of the plants and jeopardized delivery dates.
Performance metric for Product Development team was academic criteria I. E. No. Of new patents approved, presentations made at industry conferences, academic papers published in journals which De to the research which didn’t align to the market needs and they missed a big opportunity of excelling in storage devices used for tablets. The difference in performance metrics resulted in sub-divisional goals which were detrimental to organizational effectiveness of Mobile Division. Breakdown of communication and teamwork and resulted in numerous conflicts between various departments. The previous vice president failed to lead diverse departments in a highly changing market environment. Unproductive Inter- departmental Conflicts There were various inter-departmental conflicts due to different goals and reference metrics of various departments. Roles and responsibilities were not well defined; therefore, there was miss-communication among various functions like marketing and product development and confusion around the focus.
Product Development frequently requested manufacturing plant to run trials of new products on the manufacturing lines. Sales did not consult Manufacturing department for their decisions. Product Development did not work in collaboration with other departments and never sought feedbacks from Sales, Marketing and Manufacturing. Evaluation of Chill’s key decisions The four groups within the Mobile Division, Product Development, Marketing, Sales and Manufacturing were constantly in conflict with each other and didn’t have the reinforcement to work as a team.
As coordination between different departments was a serious issue, Cahill consolidated the division’s non manufacturing employees by relocating all Austin based corporate staff and the Shanghai based Director of Manufacturing of Waltham headquarters. Having Directors of all four departments at one place would help in coordination and proactive and collective decision making as a team. Cahill also separated Marketing and Sales, which had previously operated together. The two departments were very critical for the company and they needed to be fully staffed by trained professional.
Although, his decision to keep both departments autonomous Was appropriate, it was executed badly. The roles and objectives of the departments were not clearly defined. There was overlapping in the responsibilities of Sales with that of other departments. Other departments were also experiencing problems in communicating with the right department for a particular task. Fostering cross-functional elaboration The four departments within the Mobile Division do not work in collaboration and the unit recently failed to capitalize on a big product opportunity.
The focus on industry demand is minimal and the focus tends to be only on immediate superior goals of the department. To address the problem, Cahill has to develop an action plan for improvement in cross functional collaboration. As the head Of the Mobile Division, Cahill has a key role in the team and the organization at large. He should emphasize on creating and supporting an environment where Directors from Sales, Marketing, Product Development, and Manufacturing are open to new ideas, can provide constructive feedback, and will work to bring viable cost effective ideas.
The Directors should be made responsible for the activities within their department. For every goal, all the departments within the division should be equally responsible to perform the Lata Page 3 activities which should be defined properly. Sales and Marketing can help Product Development to incorporate consumer’s voice in their innovations. Manufacturing can provide feedbacks on new products for cost efficient techniques. Cahill should get the senior staff on board and all the changes ND objectives should be communicated properly with other employees.
Relationship and coordination between various departments should be continuously monitored to keep check on conflicts. Improvements in Product Development In today’s technologically driven world, the importance of innovation and product development is crucial for availing market opportunities. Billfolds Mobile Division was experiencing pressures on the ability to get new products to the market. This was not due to the lack of research and product development. While a lot of research was going on, it was not focused on primary business goals.
The development did not always align with market needs and customer demands. The Product Development developed redundant customized chips for mobile phone market customers while completely missing critical market in storage devices used for tablets, handing its competitors an advantage in a critical growth market. Analysts sometimes criticized the firm as doing research for its own sake rather than to improve product s or meet new customer needs and faulted a corporate culture that Was not always focused on results.
To overcome this difficult situation, there was an urgent need for introducing new innovative product to stay nominative in the marketplace and for an overall change in the functioning of department. To cater to the customer needs and meet market expectations, Product development team needs to be encouraged not only to focus on new technologies but also on analyzing market trends and knowing customer demands in collaboration with Marketing and Sales people. The employees should be ready to utilize new market opportunities.
Further, the Product Development should not keep to itself. They should emphasize on getting frequent feedbacks from Marketing and Sales department on customer expectations, guidance about marketability of new products and competitive products in the market. It will enable them to align their research with market demands well and commercialism the new technologies they develop. Similarly, they should also share information on their upcoming products and long term goals with Marketing and Sales Department.
Because of rapid changes in technology and customer preferences, the Product Development had to identify customer needs with the help of Marketing and Sales and respond more swiftly with new products. Because of cost pressures, new products had to be designed with cost of manufacturing in mind. Ineffective Meetings Lack of discipline and focus was the key reason of unproductive meetings at the Mobile Division. Most of the problems were not resolved in the meetings and participants often met afterwards in small groups to discuss the issues.
Meetings were led by Marketing and various key people from other sub- divisions remained absent some time. Further, the reasons for Lata Page 4 failures or missed objectives of a particular department or division as a whole were never discussed in the meetings. Organizational Changes The company’s profit margins are low and Cahill has to take drive a change within Mobile Division. His employees have low morale and lack motivation. He has to propose organizational change to deliver an outcome necessary to be successful and generate higher profits.
He should come with a roadman for short term and long term changes in order to make a comeback in the market and stay there. As he is inexperienced, he can solicit sponsorship from other divisions of the company or the upper management to make some successful changes. He should bring management team together and seek for solutions and ideas to be implemented. He should create a culture that emphasizes on the open communication and where employees are included n the decision making process So that division’s objectives are well perceived by all employees.
Corporate visits to manufacturing plants should be made a routine requirement. It will boost morale of the employees and will be helpful in monitoring progress as well. He should also stress on developing newly hired college graduates Marketing employees who lacked experience, to specialists. Conclusion Recently, Boldface’s Mobile Division missed a huge opportunity of coming up with a successful product in tablet’s market. The failure of the division can be attributed to bad management, role ambiguity, lack of teamwork, inter- apartment conflicts etc.