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Operations Management: Responding to difficult customer, threats

You are the operations manager for green thumb landscape management, a provider of residential and commercial landscape maintenance. You have a substantial number of customers in your metropolitan area. Due to the increase of business in the summer, you must hire additional employees. This year you hired eight new employees.

Jon Stewart is your most valued customer because he is a prominent real estate agent and refers many of his clients to your company. He recently had his home's trees and shrubs sprayed for insects by your company. Yesterday you received the following letter from Mr. Stewart:

Dear Green Thumb,

I have been a customer of yours for five years and have sent you innumerable customers. And you have the nerve to send over two bozos to spray my yard. Those two idiots have killed over $1,000 in prize fish. Additionally, they were rude. As you may or may not know, I raise koi carp in my fishpond. Whenever your people spray my shrubs and trees, they are to cover the pond. I assumed people in your profession would know to do that without being told. Obviously, I was wrong.

I am terminating my service with Green Thumb, effective today. I demand immediate restitution for my dead fish. If payment is not forthcoming, I will see you in court.
Jon Stewart

During your investigation, you discover that Tom Billingsley, filed manger in charge of the assigning workers to the various job sites, sent two new workers to the Stewart residence. The accident at the Stewart residence probably occurred because these new workers were sent alone. Your company policy is to pair new and experienced employees on work assignments.

Answer the following.

1. Write and analytical report for internal circulation to your company's president. your report should provide necessary narrative background on the situation for your audience, explain what went wrong and provide recommendations to prevent it from happening again. Was this an isolated incident attributable to a field manager who failed to follow company policy? Alternatively, are there deeper causes related to your company's communication processes, training and hiring policies? Follow the guidelines for writing a long report and be sure to include these sections: Letter of transmittal, executive summary, Body.

2. Reply to Mr. Stewart in Business letter format. Your goals are to respond positively to his criticism, provide an adjustment, and win back his business.

3. Write a memo directive to your field manager Tom Billingsley. Advise him of the events at the Stewart residence and reiterate your company's policy regarding pairing new experienced employees on work assignments. Also remind him of the importance of courtesy to customers and the level of caution to be used around fishponds. Insists that he convey this information to the employees at fault in this case, and ask him what actions he will take to prevent such episodes in the future. Also, indicate what disciplinary action or retraining, if any, should occur.

Solution Summary

Operations management for responding to difficult customers and threats are examined.