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Problem Solution: Riordan Manufacturing

Torri Tolliver

University of Phoenix

MBA 530: Human Capital Development


Dr. Barbara Casper

May 30, 2006

Problem Solution: Riordan Manufacturing

A person can encounter many situations in which their interests conflict with those of others. Everyone needs to know how to resolve these conflicts, and communications is important in reaching a decision. In this paper I will discuss the situation background, the key issues in the situation, opportunities in the situation, key stakeholders, problem definition, end-state goals, potential solutions, alternative solutions, risk assessment, recommended solution, impact and value, implementation of recommended solution and how they are all used in a useful and effective way for an organization. With the mindset of seeing issues and problems as opportunities it can enable a leader to better energize people. Realizing opportunities can help to take a long-term perspective while meeting immediate needs, and can help focus on creating value for the long term for all stakeholders.

Complex, critical decisions are a part of daily reality and each decision presents a complexity that tests the very essence of the leader, requiring a thorough understanding of the business and sophisticated grasp of today's emerging business concepts. (MBA 500, Read me first, Scenario- two: Global communications) 2006. A person can encounter many situations in which their interests conflict with those of others. The end state goals will allow for the selected optimal solution and the implementation plan. In order to solve a problem the situation must be clearly understood and defined.

Situation Background

Riordan Manufacturing is a global plastics producer, employing 500 people with a projected annual earning of 46 million. Production is divided among three plants: Plastic beverage containers in Albany, Georgia, custom plastic parts in Pontiac, Michigan and plastic fan parts in Hang Zhou, China. Riordan has made several strategic changes in the way it manufactures and markets its products. Declining sales and uneven profits over the past two years forced the company to change its sales processes and prompted them to adopt a customer-relationship management (CRM) system. Unfortunately, as changes have been implemented, employee retention numbers have declined. The company conducted an annual employee survey, which showed a decrease in overall job satisfaction, particularly in the areas of compensation and benefits. The CEO knows that something has to be done, and the CEO is considering his options.

Riordan has implemented a new strategy of customer-relationship and a quality based improvement methodology to enhance its manufacturing processes. However, implementation of the new strategic plans is at risk due to low employee morale and job dissatisfaction issues. Riordan Manufacturing must take immediate corrective actions to address these issues in order to successfully implement the new customer-relationship system.

A company should consider ways that allows management to develop how to improve morale, find effective techniques that would address and resolve employee dissatisfaction and strategies for dealing with conflict. A company must set clear goals for their entire organization by engaging all employees. Implementing the new strategy will require strong leadership in transforming the current organization marketing and sales approach to the new strategy focused on customer needs.

According to Chapter 5 Human Resources Strategy, turnover is costly because replacements must be recruited, selected and trained. A high voluntary turnover rate also can disrupt the social and communication patterns among stayers and increase stayer workloads and stress levels. Certain benefits also can be associated with turnover. For example, newcomers might perform at higher levels than leavers and might bring to the firm an infusion of new ideas about strategy, technology, and customer preferences. While the costs and benefits of turnover must be balanced, a third dimension to this problem also must be considered. Changes in the HR systems designed to reduce turnover can have major cost consequences of their own. To reduce turnover, employers may choose to increase wages, redesign jobs, or modify selection systems to better identify individuals who will not resign. These costs of retention must be compared to the overall costs of turnover to properly manage a firm's turnover rate.

Issue Identification

Internal vs. External

This Scenario poses major management challenges in the areas of work ethic, low morale, job dissatisfaction, and employee motivation. (MBA 530, Riordan Manufacturing, Company overview, 2006.) There are a few internal issues, sales management wants an improved commission structure that recognizes the new teamwork philosophy, while salespeople fear their bonuses could be at risk if they depend on team and not individual performance and increased productivity. The External issues that exist are employees with proprietary information may leave the organization for another company where they can be challenged and make a lot more money. I think a 6-month timeframe gives Riordan time needed to address the various issues critical for the successful implementation of the company's business strategy.

Opportunity Identification

Internal vs. External

According to the 9 step problem-solving model issues could be turned into opportunities. Turning issues into opportunities will motivate employees in solving the problem to come up with alternative solutions. Incentives may lead to employee satisfaction and a lesser turnover rate. There are a few internal issues with opportunities, career advancement/promotions, higher job satisfaction, better communication among employees, employee motivation, lower turnover rate, improving opportunities with rewards and incentives. External issues that exist are globalization, and existing employees leaving the company to work for another organization and taking the skills acquired at Riordan and using those skills at the other organization.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

An organizational value is a translation of a company's behaviors during day-to-day actions to complete a specific mission or goal.



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