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Global Communications Benchmarking Worksheet

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Global Communications Benchmarking Worksheet

Task A: Problem/Opportunity Statement

Response to Task A:

* Global Communications can outsource their technical support call-center departments to ensure services meet and exceed consumer expectations with around the clock customer service support while reducing overall unit costs.

* Collaborating with satellite and cellular providers is an opportunity for Global Communications to become competitive and to help benefit consumers by providing more telecommunications choices and improved service with an eye to globalization.

* GC has an opportunity to improve the overall welfare of its employees as the result of a reorganization of the company and their communications with their employees.

Task B1: Generic Benchmarking: Topics

Response to Task B1:

Topic 1: Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a business decision that organizations and companies use as a means to reduce operational and production costs. The focus of outsourcing is on the core competencies according to Hamel and Prahalad (1990) which include providing customer benefits, ensuring strategy is hard for competitors to imitate, and having advantages to many products and markets. (Wikipedia, Outsourcing, 2006). Some of the challenges that Global Communications is facing are meeting consumer needs where having a one-stop-shop of technical sophistication is required in conjunction with having adequate customer service support to follow. Global Communications expressed interest in India and Ireland. India has invested heavily in technical education and can provide a ready supply of bright people at relatively low cost. (Anonymous, why outsource to India?, 2004) Ireland has "a well developed environment for call center and shared services operations...the skills and knowledge, the experience and availability...and the global strategic fit that provides facilities for companies to 'follow the sun' on a 24-hour model." (Standfield, 2006, et al)

Topic 2: Competition

The stakes are getting higher as technology helps break down the traditional boundaries between providers, letting satellite, cable, wireless and landline companies move onto one another's turf. Faster wireless technologies mean that telecommunications providers now can offer more services wirelessly, such as high-speed web access. Expanded marketing in every country deemed feasible, will put Global Communications in direct competition with other companies who have already adopted this strategy. The result will be better products and services for customers, and make these services affordable within those countries that otherwise would not be able to afford the technology. Globalization efforts to improve service, increase market share and expand the service base will help reach new potential customers previously untapped. By collaborating with companies in other countries, Global Communications will realize an increase in revenues and profits through having a competitive edge. Satellite and cellular services available all over the world and by merging with these providers, Global Communications can become more competitive within the ever-changing telecommunications industry.

Topic 3: Employee Welfare

Organizational change, expansion, or downsizing can cause stress within the employee ranks that can derail any change initiative but this does not have to be the case. When communicating with the associates it is important to realize that in the absence of the good aspects of any situation, employees will most likely focus on the negatives and this can translate into poor performance and retention difficulties of key personnel. Additional complications can result from workforce union representation. Balancing the message sent and selling the opportunities this change will bring can enhance the overall welfare of Global Communication's employees. The right balance of opportunities, properly communicated can offset any potential negatives to result in continued growth, employee involvement, loyalty, and the drive to achieve.

When assessing employee welfare issues, it is important to understand that it is not just the base pay that is involved. Additional soft benefits can make the total compensation package look much more attractive to prospective employees and those who may be caught up in a possible reduction of base salary, transfer, or remaining with the company through the changes. Specific benefits considered by most experts as having the most influence include vacation time, health benefits, rewards, savings plans, and retirement. "Bonuses, stock and person-based pay, when designed properly, can help organizations be flexible and effective." (Lawler & Worley, 2003) The key when looking to globalize, is to take into consideration all the stakeholders and the culture, then find equitable ways to compensate in a total package, rather than a cookie-cutter approach. This will maximize the positives and allow for equitable compensation that takes into consideration variations in customs, expectations, and laws in each country.

Task B2: Generic Benchmarking: Companies

Response to Task B2:

Topic 1: Outsourcing

Bell South's Project Offshore

In 2003, BellSouth emerged with Project Horizon in an effort to reduce costs associated with ongoing maintenance and enhancement of their IT applications through outsourcing and taking advantage of the differential cost savings. BellSouth's strategy was to accomplish this transition with transparency to their consumers and respective business counterparts, by ensuring upkeep and maintenance of current service levels. This cost savings initiative will reduce IT expenditure and save an estimated $275 million over a 5-year timeframe (2003-2007), and equating to a 600-900 positions overseas. India was chosen as the initial pilot site for a variety of reasons including: access to highly skilled, low cost resources; more than 60% of companies with best in class process maturity are located in India; and more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies use India for their application support. (RCK Group Inc, par 3, nd.) BellSouth's strategy included an initial phase of four-and-a-half months of running tests in Bangalore, India while delivering maintenance and enhancement services in a Non-U.S. location. Furthermore, BellSouth released a series of frequently

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