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Case Study One- Jamesville Branch Office

Case Study One- Jamesville Branch Office

By
James Jung
(363183)

Trinity Western University


Master of Business Administration
MBA 552: Human Resource Management
Instructor: Mark Lee
May 4, 2015

Case Study One- Jamesville Branch Office


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I.

Facts or Size-Up
- Currently, there is an issue of the organizational structure in the Sales department
that may negatively affects the productivity and morale environment of the entity.
The Jamesville office had 25 sales positions, but two of them are opened because
three salespersons were on disability. It is very important to recruit new
salespersons to fill these open positions. However, the three of the four new
salespersons recruited for the branch had terminated and the attempt to attract new
salespersons had failed.
-

II.

Al Miller who is recently appointed Manager of the Jamesville Branch Office of


Ajax Business Machines Company proposed alternative methods of reorganizing
the internal structures of Sales department and increasing the productivity of the
Jamesville office.

Strategy of the Firm


- Al Miller decided to experimentally reorganize the staff on the basis of relative
performance in order to expedite individual growth and productivity in Jamesville
Branch of Ajax Business Machines Company. He proposed two alternatives after
careful consideration as following:
o First Alternative
1) The eight best salespersons would comprise a unit to be managed by the Sales
Manager (Maria Rossi) having the best performance evaluation.
Five of the eight regular salespersons to be assigned to the top unit were selfsufficient and would require relatively little management time except on very
large or complex situation.
The other three salespersons were excellent prospectors and adequate sales
persons. They would identify prospects which the sales Manager would then
help them sell.
Al Miller believed that this unit would be assigned to obtain two-thirds of the
Districts quota. (See Figure 1 retrieved from Case Study One-Jamesville
Branch Office).
2) The second, or average group would report to the Sales Manager (Sarah
Dillon) whom Miller considered second best.
The second (or average) would be counted on to perform at previous levels
and achieve one-third of the Districts quota.
3) The third group of salespersons that are all marginal performers would be
directed by Sales Manager (Joe Grimes) who was nearing 63 and retirement,
and devoted little time and energy to the salespersons he managed. He did not
assign any quota for this group.

Case Study One- Jamesville Branch Office


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Figure 1. Exhibit 2 of Alternative #1 proposed by Al Miller

o Second Alternative
1) Another alternative Miller proposed is adapting a dual structure in the branch.
All salespersons would be organized based on their abilities into production
units for purposes of training and sales assistance.
2) The lowest group would receive extra assistance by assigning an additional
Sales Manager to the Branch by the District Manager.
3) There would be rotating management for all three groups (Best, average, and
marginal), but the lowest group would always have two Sales manager. In
other words, the best manager would not always work with the best
salespersons group, while the second best manager would not always work
with the average group of salespersons. (See Figure 2 retrieved from Case
Study One-Jamesville Branch Office)
-

III.

His purpose of using these alternatives was to create a high-performance, highmorale unit which, while increasing its productivity, would provide an excellent
environment into which he could introduce new salespersons of high potential,
and develop successfully into superior producers.

Problems

Case Study One- Jamesville Branch Office


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There is a few major problems that the Jamesville Branch Office of Ajax Business
Machines Company has.

First, there are 25 sales positions, but two of them are opened because three
salespersons were on disability, the attempt to attract new salespersons had failed,
and three of the four new salespersons recruited for the branch had terminated.
This is a significant problem that company has to solve as soon as possible. Since
there is not enough numbers of salespersons, it may negatively affects the
companys sales and productivity. The excessive amount of work could be
appointed to the 23 salespersons, including a few of them still need to be trained.
This may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of salespersons,
organizational behavior and environment.

Another problem is that an attempt attract new salespersons had failed. This
could possibly shows that the company does not have an attractive working
environment for employees.

Third, Al Miller proposed the third group of salespersons who are all marginal
performers to be directed by Sales Manager (Joe Grimes) who was nearing 63 and
retirement, and devoted little time and energy to the salespersons he managed. I
assumed that he proposed this idea because he believes that he expected little in
the way of increased performance from the third and weakest group. There will be
no improvement of this group even though they are placed under other Sales
Managers who can devote more time and energy to train and improve their
performance. This may help the company to increase the productivity and
performance in a short-term. However, in a long-term, this may not help to
improve the performance and skill of weakest group. The weakest group will not
be assigned to obtain any quota, this would prevent them having a work
experience and causes discouragement due to lack of motivation.

Fourth, according Al Millers alternatives, the best group will be assigned to


obtain two-thirds of the Districts quota. This could be the excessive amount of
workload. This could decrease the performance and effectiveness of the best
group.

Moreover, there is a problem that when there is open slots, there are accounts
which require attention by the Sales Manager in the coordination of sales and
installation. There is an immediate loss of business, followed shortly by a
deterioration in morale, since the Sales Manager cannot devote a full measure of
his or her time and attention to the salespersons under his or her supervision.
Introducing new salespersons into a low-morale environment simply perpetuates
the problems.

Case Study One- Jamesville Branch Office


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IV.

Discussion & Recommendation


Jamesville Branch Office of Ajax Business Machine Company has been
successfully operated in terms of performance since two-third of the previous years
quota was approximately seven million dollars. However, there are several weaknesses
that the company needs to solve. As Al Miller who was recently appointed manager of the
Jamesville Branch Office stated, when there are open slots, there is an immediate loss of
business, followed shortly by a deterioration in morale, since the Sales Manager cannot
devote a full measure of his or her time and attention to the salespersons under his or her
supervision. This clearly shows that the internal structure of the organization is weak and
vulnerable to the alternatives such as loss of employees. Therefore, it is very significant
to changes the internal structure of the organization that Al Miller tries to perform.
Additionally, it is important to increase the number of salespersons since there are only
25 sales positions. It seems that each employee has an excessive amount of workload. It
is one of the reasons that if there is open slot, it causes an immediate loss of business.
Al Miller decided to experimentally reorganize the staff on the basis of relative
performance in order to expedite individual growth and productivity in Jamesville Branch
of Ajax Business Machines Company by proposing two alternatives. However, there are
some concerns that these alternatives may cause another problems. He proposed that the
third group of salespersons who are all marginal performers to be directed by Sales
Manager (Joe Grimes) who was nearing 63 and retirement, and devoted little time and
energy to the salespersons he managed. I assumed that he proposed this idea because he
believes that he expected little in the way of increased performance from the third and
weakest group. There will be no improvement of this group even though they are placed
under other Sales Managers who can devote more time and energy to train and improve
their performance. This may help the company to increase the productivity and
performance in a short-term. However, in a long-term, this may not help to improve the
performance and skill of weakest group. The weakest group will not be assigned to
obtain any quota, this would prevent them having a work experience and causes
discouragement due to lack of motivation. Therefore, it is important to focus on them as
well. Al Miller should assign more Sales Managers who can devote more time and energy
to train and improve their performance. Also, they need to be assigned to obtain quota, so
that they can obtain more experience and motivation by being involved. He needs to
continuously (yearly) test the salespersons performance and rearrange them into different
groups in order sustain their motivation and morale. It would allow the company to have
the environment that those who are in the weakest group try harder to be in the stronger
group, and those who are in the stronger groups (Group A and B) can maintain their
efforts and morale duty.
Furthermore, the best group will assigned to obtain two-thirds of the Districts
quota which means that eight salespersons have to achieve approximately seven million
dollars in a year according to his alternatives. This could be the excessive amount of
workload. This could decrease the performance and effectiveness of the best group.
Therefore, he needs to either increase the number of the salespersons in this group or

Case Study One- Jamesville Branch Office


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decrease the amount of work assigned to them. Moreover, another problem is that an
attempt attract new salespersons had failed. This could possibly shows that the company
does not have an attractive working environment for employees. Therefore, I suggest that
the company should create the working environment that satisfies employees in many
ways such as increasing the wages, decreasing the workload, and providing incentives or
stock options.
In conclusion, I respect his intentions of creating a high-producing, high-morale
unit, while increasing its productivity in the company. I also agree with his idea that the
company needs to get rearrangement in the organization in order reduce the weaknesses.
However, there are some improvement needs to be made in his alternatives as I suggested
above.