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Problem Solution: Harrison-Keyes Inc.

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Problem Solution: Harrison-Keyes Inc.

Since its foundation in the late 1800's, Harrison-Keys has enjoyed success and it has been one of the leaders in the publishing business; specializing in scientific, technical and business books and journals, etc. Yet, the new trends in the industry like competition from low-cost retailers are jeopardizing Harrison's leadership in the market. The Board of Directors have fired the recently appointed CEO, Meg McGill; who favored the digital era and wanted Harrison-Keys to implement an online store to begin selling digitalized copies of its books. To fill this position, William Guardo, a man with more than 30 year of experience in the industry was hired as the new CEO. William in contrary does not support the idea of an online store as he favors traditional publishing. (University of Phoenix, 2004).

Issue and Opportunity Identification

The problems for Harrison-Keys just keep mounting. Its long history of success is jeopardized as they are risking not only their reputation but also market share to other publishing companies. The new appointed CEO, William Guardo, whom is replacing Meg McGill as she failed to promote and deliver the idea of an online store where customers could buy digitalized copies of Harrison-Keyes publications instead of hard copies of these. Bill does not like the idea of this store; in fact, he has given the leadership team 30 days to accomplish the implementation plan or he will relocate funds and resources into other projects. William has over 30 years of experience in the publication business, however, he has a little high-tech experience and the new store might be out of his comfort zone and knowledge. However, the new CEO gives Harrison-Keyes the opportunity to use his extent expertise and vast list of contacts to effectively deal with the e-store. Jan Peters, Senior Vice President; is eager to be promoted and this is the perfect opportunity for her to do so. By letting the new CEO learn all the aspects and planning of the online store, and by making a successful implementation that meet all the goals stated. She has a very rigid timeframe; only 30 days to accomplish this and she needs to keep the same budget that was originally planned. It appears that everything is against this project but the possibility to come out triumphant will give Jan and the rest of the implementation team the opportunity to earn respect and recognition inside the company and probably the promotion that Jan is looking for but more important the big chance to become known in the industry as the team that was able to fix a project that everyone else thought is was a lost cause.

To achieve this task, the project team will need to find a new company to outsource the task to digitalize the books that will be sold in the online store. The chosen company to digitalize the books has been a head ache for the implementation team since the beginning. The time difference and the work culture differences between Asia Digital Publishing and Harrison-Keys in the US have already impacted the completion of jobs related to the online publishing and a lot of deadlines have not been met. This condition created a lot of bad rep to the company as it was exposed in some of the Industry's publications and upset potential investors and shareholders who saw how the price in their stock plunged to the floor. Harrison-Keyes has had to use more resources that originally intended to try to achieve the completion of this project and this was taking a toll on the budget. Due to an unfortunate natural disaster that has destroyed India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, Asia Digital Publishing has ceased all operation and this has put Harrison-Keys in the spot once again as there was never a back-up plan in place in case of an emergency. H-K needs to see this as the big opportunity for the leader group to change the company in charge to digitalize the books to either a local company or an overseas company with a better track of meeting deadlines to prevent recurring to the same situation as with Asia Digital. The alternative to use a local company to do the job will increase the cost of the digitalization job; yet, it will be easer to have people accountable and held responsible for lost deadlines; this situation will give H-K more control over special situations that may arise. It will also be easier to take legal action in case the contract is not met because everything would be done in local courts and not in courts that could favor the foreign company only because they are locals.

The company is going through rough times and this situation is creating a lot of uncertainty between the people of editorial. There are comments going around about lay offs and a few of the workers have threatened to desert and go to work for the competition. This can be a big risk for



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