Global Communications feels the pressures of the industries with trying to keep up with its competitors and watching its stock prices fall. Yet the stockholders are giving them a lot of pressure to correct the problem. They need to offer better services than what their competitors are providing to their customers. This paper will discuss the background, the problem, the end goals, alternative solutions, risk assessment, the optimal solution, and lastly the implementation plan.
Situation Background (Step 1)
The entire telecommunications industry has fallen into hard times due to the Cable Companies entering the competition but Global Communications has been hit hard with not just the increased competition but smaller profit margins, the costs of doing business, and have realized that they need a new strategic plan, but will need help in implementing this.
The problem is not really obvious, as one may think. It is easy to say that there is too much competition and blame outside entities for their woes. Ultimately, the real issue is GC’s inability to effectively compete with new players in the market (i.e. cable companies). Often this is the secondary to a failure to differentiate their offerings from those of the competitors. It sounds as if their attempt at differentiation has been “Our Edge is People”. This has two obvious flaws. First, it is in contrast with the apparent reality that their people lack the technical skills to perform the job. Second, differentiation must take the form of something that really matters to the customers. They have already identified the competitive points that seem to be hurting them (new features, televisions, computers, phone service, etc) of and it has little to do with the people. Outsourcing the support jobs may improve the people quality, but unless this is a competitive issue, it may not have a significant effect beyond the reduction in costs.
- Maintaining employee morale and preventing “brain drain” to competitors, this often occurs following layoffs.
- Maintaining a working relationship with the union and making sure that Maria gets back into good graces with her boss. Maria seems to have a generally favorable attitude toward the company and she could be important.
- Differentiating their new offering from existing competitive offerings. Adding 1000 new sales people are not going to sell a product that has no appeal to the potential customer.
- Maintaining cohesion among top management
- Converting the proposed changes into profit
- Effectively competing more locally and globally…very different games.
- Managing new partnerships effectively and profitably
- Identify markets not currently served (or not served well) by their major competitors and fill that niche.
- Assisting the employees that get laid off.
- Nothing generates future success like current success. If their cost cutting and new competitive plan can improve the numbers, even for a quarter or two, the stock price should rebound a bit.
- Improve their relationship with the union (long term) Identify markets not currently served (or not served well) by their major competitors and fill that niche.
- Increase profits
It is apparent that there is no concern, in the fact that the plan is to grow by serving current customers and that there is no mention of gaining new customers. How important is access to “company information hosted in mainframes” is to a small business owner, because the chances that any small business would have a mainframe computer would be slim. These new partnerships may hold the key, but again, they must be able to differentiate their offering or it will have little effect.
Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
Senior management presented the Board of directors a plan in which they are expecting to be implemented as proposed after it has been researched and analyzed sufficiently to ensure success, even if problems have occurred, they just need to inform the board of the adjustments that need to be made
The union has an obligation to the employees, to protect their benefits, their rights and to ensure that they have a job. It is important and the union be informed every step of the way, what is going on with the agency and what is expected of the employees as the change is implemented.
Problem Definition (Step 2)
Global Communications has a lot of issues and opportunities, that can be focused on but there are a couple that could be focused in on the problem statement. In three years, Global Communications will be the leader in the industry by increasing their stock prices, lowering their over head costs, and showing a commitment to their customers as well as their employees. This will also help them meet their end state goals.
End-State Goals (Step 3)
When looking at the end-state goals the first would be profitability, because a business needs to succeed to survive. What may set Global Communications apart from its competitors is by establishing a new product. It is important of the organization to maintain employee morale, union relationships, as well as partner relationships, as they become the leader in the telecommunications industries.
Alternative Solutions and Benchmarking Validation (Step 4)
The alternative would be to minimize the number of jobs that are outsourced to India and keep as many of the jobs in house with the use of better communication skills.
Employee Communications and Development
Understanding the importance of excellent communication and development within a corporation is crucial. Global Communications needs to reestablish and open a line of communication within their organization and the Technologies Workers Union. This communication could resolve internal issues without destroying the organizations commitment or the employee commitment, if implemented properly. When employees feel that their psychological contract has been breached, especially involving issues around pay, communications and development a lower-level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment has been indicated (Pate, 2000).
Communication and compromise are the keys to strengthening the bond between the stakeholders. Involving the stakeholders will immediately address any ethical dilemmas that may arise and ensure a successful strategy.
Management needs to enhance the integrity and competence in trust level with employees and all stakeholders. Studies have shown that although employees have an accurate understanding about managers thinking that their relationships with the employees are positive, while managers have an inaccurate understanding about employees feeling negatively about their relationships with managers (Kim, 2003).
High Performance Employees
To ensure high performance in the work-place there needs to be high levels of adaptability, flexibility and involvement by both the employees and the employers, enhancing the contributions of everyone. Creating a positive work environment is crucial to obtain and keep high performances employees. High performance employees are attracted and kept by a company’s culture as well as high pay and benefits. By implementing programs to help the employee become more successful the employee will feel more bonded to a company (Ioma, 2004).
Employee Satisfaction and Security
Employees have a need for job security and the right to have fair wage and benefits. Employees should be able to trust their employers to protect their rights and needs (Boeree 2006). Global Communications has demonstrated poor communication about reducing costs by outsourcing, involving layoffs, and downsizing domestic calls centers, involving pay-cuts. This poor communication has eroded employee trust that somehow needs to be reestablished.
Analysis of Alternative Solutions (Step 5)
First, they plan to realize growth through the introduction of new services, primarily to its small business and consumer customers, who will now be served in both local and long-distance markets across the country. To compete with the local telephone and cable companies, Global has created alliances with a satellite provider to offer video services as well as a satellite version of broadband. Partnership with a wireless provider will allow the small business owner anytime Internet access using wireless telephone or PC cards. Even company information hosted in mainframes can be accessed remotely (UOP, 2006).
As an alternative to the above, approach would be to keep the current services with a different marketing plan or new services to new customers.
Second, the senior team has identified cost-cutting measures that will improve profitability. To maximize both of these initiatives, the company plans to market itself more aggressively on an international level with the goal of becoming a truly global resource (UOP, 2006).
Global communications could, as an alternative to the above, merge or buy local cable companies. This would give them more access to services they do not currently provide. This move would also improve profit and raise share value.
Narrowed List of Alternatives
Global Communication’s best solution would be to merge with an existing local cable company. This venture would give them access to their current customers but expand their customer base by adding the competing company’s customers. This merger would increase their competitiveness, while at the same time, increase profit. It would also be beneficial for the organization to retrain as many of the employees they have instead of outsourcing. These employees have the knowledge of the organization and that can be an asset that can be utilized and in laying off the employees the organization would be losing this edge, because the new employees would not have this same knowledge.
Risk Assessment and Mitigation (Step 6)
When it comes to risks, there are little to none in making a more positive work environment, yet this is still not an easy process and can create conflict. The training process could have more of a positive outcome, because the workers are not losing their positions but gaining new skills. In the merging with a cable company, there could only be that added customers as well as gaining new customers.
Optimal Solution (Step 7)
The above paragraphs go over the description of the solutions as well as covering the goals.
Implementation Plan (Step
Global Communications will create or update the companies policies to reflect, there ethics and commitment to their customers as well as to their employees. Setting up training as well as a reward system for the employees who show excellence.
A team will be created to research the surrounding cable companies and which ones would be approachable to merge with, as well what it would take to achieve this and then having them meet with the upper management weekly to give a progress report. They should have all the information gathered and the company should be able to choose and start the process of merging with a company within 6 months.
Another team will be created to go over what type of training the employees would need to gain the skills that they do not have and the time frame needed to train them.
Gap Analysis and Estimated Implementation Costs–Evaluation of Results (Step 9)
There will be costs that will be directly involved in the research aspects, as well as in the training of the employees, and even in the workshops to help the laid off employees get new jobs and then in the merging with another company. After implementation there should be an increase of profit, at which time bonus can be given out.
In going through the background of global communications, looking at the issues as well as the opportunities (Maintaining a working relationship with the union and assisting the employees) verses the stakeholders perspectives (in implementing the plan and raising the stock prices) the best solution and most beneficial for the organization would be to retrain as many of the employees they have instead of outsourcing. These employees have the knowledge of the organization and that can be an asset that can be utilized and in laying off the employees the organization would be losing this edge, because the new employees would not have this same knowledge. We have also looked at the alternatives, risks, as well as implementation and I believe that the solutions that have been presented are the best choices for the company.
Even with the decision that Global Communications made it will not be an easy one, for individuals will still be losing their positions. It is important to look at the view of all parties involved. To see the whole picture, because if the wrong decision is made, the organization could fail or for that matter even if it is the right decision it can still fail. They need to find the right edge that their competitors do not have, which may seem to be a simple solution, but it is only simple in the words alone.