INITIATING CHANGE IN THE MANUFACTURING DIVISION OF POLYPROD CASE By: Martin Pirgiotis Leading Organizational Improvement Professor Thad Barnowe
Roberta Jackson, the concerned, experienced first-level project manager who works for the headquarters site of the manufacturing and distribution division of Polyprod is trying to improve the current information management practices. She realizes that it will not be an easy job. Failing to do so would in the future cost Polyprod millions of dollars in direct expenses and could contribute to long-term market share declines in Polyprod products. The task is to change the documentation processes and procedures. The obstacles are the company’s resistance to change, trust issues and culture issues. This will be clarified further in the following paragraphs.
As with every organization, creating change in the procedures of a business is always a hard task. Due to the size of the company, the number of people, different believes and personalities, creating change can be a difficult task. The main problem with Polyprod is that it is a big organization that has existed for 11 years. The organization has experienced a fast growth during its 11 years and the main focus lies with increased speed, intricacy, and expense of the unique high-volume automated manufacturing processes that produce the products. With exponential increase in locations, sales, capital equipment, product lines and personnel support systems such as the information and knowledge management system, the system has struggled to keep up with the growth. Furthermore, the company has also hired temporary and inexperienced personnel which has also contributed to the problem. It has created an issue where its hard to maintain the culture of the organization. Another problem is that over the last several years, friction between headquarters and the different locations has begun to increase. The locations are saying that their HQ have demanding attitudes and are patronizing them, while HQ dislikes the fierce and sometimes
unnecessary individualism of those locations. This is due to HQ having a subtle but strong resistance to change. This is especially true when people are trying to change something that includes synchronizing all the locations when it comes to a single process or technology. In the past, attempts to create change have been doomed to failure. They (HQ) simply believe that it is too risky. The main key organizational problems are: 1. The culture of an organization is very hard if even possible to change. It is deeply rooted within the organization. The Headquarters on Polyprod have a long history of being conservative and reluctant to change. 2. Rapid organizational growth makes it hard to maintain order and conformity. Creating and maintaining a information management system that can update and conform itself is a hard and expensive task. Polyprod have grown from a small company to a huge global company operating in several different locations around the world. 3. The third problem is that the organization is experiencing difficulties keeping a unified shared culture due to rapid hiring,
promotion, insufficient mentoring, heavy outsourcing, and downsizing of certain competencies, and extensive use of a temporary workforce in non-engineering areas. This has impacted the once homogenous and intensely loyal culture. With the growth of the company, it is imperative that something is done, or the problem will grow in to huge proportion. Much of Polyprod revenue and profits come from growth and expansion within the manufacturing and distribution part of the company, which means that the problems have to be addressed in order for the company to continue to be successful. Documentation Problems: The main documentation problem in Polyprod is the high volume manufacturing system they have that allows products to be scanned for quality. It is important that they...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document