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    Customer Service for the Superior Widget Corporation (SWC)

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    You have been hired as the department manager for). SWC is a young organization (two years old), and is experiencing rapid growth pains. The CEO has determined that the Sales department, which had been responsible for sales and customer service, is heavily sales oriented to the detriment of customer service. To maintain SWC's rapid sales growth and ensure a standardized approach to addressing customer feedback and concerns, the CEO centralized the Customer Service Department. It is no longer merely a team within each sales region. The CEO implemented this change quickly, without feedback from affected departments. This change resulted in a number of positions being eliminated or downgraded within the regional sales departments, creating anxiety and strained relations within some parts of the organization. On the other hand, some departments have welcomed the change, and have expectations of improved communication and teamwork with the new Customer Service Department. In addition to this, you are also responsible for working in a matrixed style with other business units. You have regular meetings with the other SWC Department Managers to address and act upon cross-functional issues (e.g. customer order processing, resolving customer complaints in conjunction with the shipping division). You need to quickly assess your new organization and department and determine a plan of action.

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    Solution Preview

    This definitely would be a huge task to take on. Before anything though, let's look at what our major problems are to see how we can help them and eventually correct them.

    1. The CEO made all of the decisions by him/herself! Sounds more like a dictator than leader to me. What does the CEO know about the individual departments anyway let alone the individual employees who run them. Guess he/she didn't take into consideration that those people/employees are the foundation of his company that he has a title of CEO to.

    2. This change the CEO made happened quickly and without feedback from the departments. Never a good idea!

    3. Cutting jobs when the company is growing??? The employee moral is going to take a nose dive.

    *** Then the words matrix style business comes up ***

    Always have a dictionary close by or go to an online dictionary to look up important words. Even though you may already know what it means - getting the proper definitions could potentially make or break you. At answers.com it has several definitions that also break it down under sub-titles. I really like the way that is set up because it can be very useful to you now and down the road. Therefore, let's define a matrix style business.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/matrix-organization -
    Superimposing a group or interdisciplinary team of project specialists, such as scientific and engineering personnel, on a functional organizational design; in matrix organization members have dual allegiance, to a particular assignment or project and to their organizational department.

    In short a lot of multi-tasking!

    Many trends in business can be attributed to marketing communication; for example: the transition from customer service to customer relations, and the transition from human resources to human solutions.

    Create a Responsibility Matrix - (RAM) is typically used to link activities to resources to ensure that the scope's components are each assigned to an individual or team (Source: "Project Management Institute"). One type of RAM is based on the RACI format (Responsible, Accountable, Consult and Inform). This type of RAM is called a RACI chart, because it assigns the role that the resource is to play for each given activity. These charts can be constructed at a high level (general areas) or at a detailed level (low level tasks). A table is drawn, usually with Activities on the vertical edge (Work Breakdown Structure or WBS) and Resources on the horizontal edge (Organization Breakdown Structure). Not every resource will have an entry for every activity.

    Visit this site http://www.pmi.org/info/default.asp for more information.

    A responsibility matrix can also be known as a linear responsibility chart and can be used to show that is responsible and at what level. For example each row could represent a task and each column a person, the boxes could then be completed with the letters P (Prime support), S (Support) and N (notify). See an example here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RACI_diagram

    Who Does what.... http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878-6041420.html

    Flat Organizations Work Better Than Vertical Organizations

    Integrated jobs--highly trained personnel

    Few pure supervisors

    Employees are empowered to solve problems and serve customers

    Problem solving is participative and staff records and helps institutionalize and implement improvements.

    The perfect size for an organization is about 50. Provides depth, optimum relationship between overhead and work, allows nimbleness, etc. As you get smaller, you become more vulnerable to being swamped by surges, torpedoed by personnel turnover, etc. At about 100 persons, organizations begin to stiffen due to the tendency to begin to add another layer of management.

    Matrix Management is a Money Maker However, You Have to Be Careful

    Matrix management usually involves a core of expertise which is augmented from various sources from within an organization, outside the organization, or even contracted. Conceptually BMM can be reviewed as a form of Matrix Management.

    Matrix Management works best for:

    Long term projects which have an end point
    Staffing workload which is highly volatile and/or unstable

    It's a natural for:

    Research and Development
    Project Management
    Studies

    Risks are:

    Long term employee development
    Career paths for employees

    However, to a certain extent all functions should be matrix managed on the margin (i.e., at the edges an organization should rely on overtime, contracts, temporaries, borrowed labor, etc.).

    Community relations and cultural diversity are complex issues requiring a variety of responses and approaches. Community relations and cultural diversity are based on three key principles which are inextricably linked to each other. These principles are diversity, interdependence and equity.

    Consumer Relations The term consumer generally refers to the "end-user" of a company's product or service, that is, the person who pays for and "consumes" that product or service. In a not-for profit context, a consumer may be a "client" of a public organization, benefiting from the services that organization has been created and funded to offer. In a political context, a consumer may be a "voter." Consumers are a critical stakeholder group vital to an organization's success. Organizations that embrace consumers, as true stakeholders in their success will benefit from the long-term asset value those consumers represent. If organizations are to survive and thrive in ...

    Solution Summary

    Major problems that are covered are:
    1. What does the CEO know about the individual departments anyway let alone the individual employees who run them.
    2. This change the CEO made happened quickly and without feedback from the departments. Never a good idea!
    3. Cutting jobs when the company is growing??? The employee moral is going to take a nose dive.
    4. A responsibility matrix
    5. Flat and Vertical Organizations, etc.
    6. Customer Relations
    7. Organizational diversity
    8. Needs Analysis, etc
    10 Pages
    3439 Words
    63 Paragraphs
    17 References

    $2.19