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The interviewee went to KeanUniversity for 2 semesters but could not continue due to the circumstances. However, leading the company was a first hand learning experience that helped the interviewee to learn how to handle a business. At the moment, interviewee is trying to the right structure for the company, and he is always reading economics and logistics books.
Company: The Company was founded 11 years ago. The interviewee bought his first truck in 1990, he worked really hard driving on the road for 10 years. Within that time, he saved up to buy a few trucks, and, in 1999, he tied up with Logistics Company that is the biggest customer now. They gave him the chance to be their carrier; at that time, they were just starting out, but over the years, they have grown so much that now they have locations all over the States. They have grown as well not to their scale but, hopefully, the interviewee wishes can improve the structure and set up more locations with the right systems in place. In total, there are 30 employees including the drivers.
Why the interviewee was chosen: The interviewee was already studying business and was keen on business mechanics. Thus, as the son of the proprietor of the company, he was the most logical and reasonable choice.
TYPE OF CHANGE
According to McGuire, Palus, Pasmore and Rhodes (2009), “Companies have no choice but to change. The world is moving and shifting fast; executives know it. Trying to cope, they are applying their best thinking to the structures, systems, and processes they need to compete (p.3). Thus, it was essential for the interviewee to initiate change when he took charge of the company. It was necessary to ask for all dispatchers to check every conversation over the phone with the customer's staff to follow it up with e-mail for documentation. Usually the company constantly gets calls with request to pull certain containers in different orders, and sometimes these requests would cause some bad ripple effect in the operation; and obviously, when these things happened, everyone started pointing finger at each other, and it really affected the credibility. It was tough to get the dispatchers follow up every single request over the phone to make sure everyone would be on the same page. Thus, the use of e-mail was implemented as the major organizational change.
OBSTACLES DURING THE CHANGE
According to Kotter (1995), it is important to make “a conscious attempt to show people how the new approaches, behaviours, and attitudes have helped improve the enterprise. People have to be helped to make the connections between the effort and the outcome. The second is to ensure that the next generation of enterprise leaders believe in and embody the new ways” (p.3). Thus, it is obvious that there were several obstacles during the change. At first, people did not like the new implementations, but, as the leader, one has to change everyone's habits toward getting used to adopting better habits and at the end of the day is going to make the work environment better. However, the greatest challenge that the interviewee faced was from his father as it took a lot of time to convince his father and change the approach of the company. According to the interviewee, this was the biggest challenge because when two people make decisions for the entire company and there is nobody meeting, problems arise in the process. His father was used to delegating too much stuff and putting too much responsibility on employees that were not qualified to handle that responsibility.
The interviewee had to make decisions every day, and sometimes he completed equally important tasks, but he had to choose one and try to complete it as soon as possible and as efficiently as possible. There were very urgent matters that affected the entire company and its locations and some affected them locally. He tried to focus on matters that could hold them back operational wise and then move on to the less urgent matters that could be delegated until he can inspect them.
According to Mercer Delta (2000), “Managing a major transition is both an art and a science. Although all transitions involve some common elements that require the attention of leaders, each situation is, in some ways, unique. Consequently, each organization needs to tailor its transition structures to reflect its particular circumstances” (p.4). His method, thus, was a perfect example of transitional leadership. The interviewee also motivated a big number of employees by sharing the objectives of the company, and it was found that the result was trickling down to all of in the long run in every way, money wise, and work wise.
Alongside, his methods of initiating change were efficient. First, he consistently set long-term and near-term goals for the company as well as individual goals for employees and himself. Second, he followed a business plan that one of his friends studying business helped him create, and he check it out to make sure that he was following the right path every chance he gets. Third, he hired applicants that were suited to the job. Fourth, he focused all his efforts on serving the right customers for the business. He also encouraged employees to give their input, and some of their ideas were applied at the other locations,Credits were given to them and let everyone know that a certain employee came up with that idea.
The interviewee started asking all dispatchers to follow up every conversation over the phone with the customer's staff to follow it up with an e-mail for documentation. Usually the company constantly gets calls with the request to pull certain containers in different orders, and sometimes these requests would cause some bad ripple effect on the operation. Obviously, when these bad things happened, everyone started pointing finger at each other and it really affected the credibility. This was stopped due to the use of documentation. No more complaints and stress from the customers were accounted, and now the company has better days and the employees go home happy even though they have the same work load, but they have better procedures in order to handle those pressures.
MEETING THE GOALS
There were new hiring procedures, and qualities of drivers were taken into account and that contributed to the time of meetinng the goals. It was noted that the drivers have to be patient regarding the piers and port experience; this way, it is not a culture shock for them. The drivers behaved very well with the customers as the interviewee asked for professionalism and reliability. Speaking about the staff office employees, he also asked for reliability, they had to be customer service oriented, initiative, and very proactive. Ultimately, it is a matter of hard work, resiliency, and constant efforts to make things go better. There are a lot of sacrifices along the way but, at the end, it is worth all the efforts because you look back at what you have done and you feel happy of what you have accomplished.
Quality is a long-term investment for any organization irrespective of the products and services being offered by the company. For that reason, for one to be an effective manager, he or she should have the ability to manage product quality. Most companies find themselves in situations where they are faced with numerous customer complaints and a sequence of chaos due to the poor product quality. Total quality management is one of the most effective management approaches that aids in maintaining long-term organizational success through product sales. Simply put, total quality management refers to all integrated efforts that a company puts in order to improve the quality performance at all organizational levels.
Although total quality management is initiated by individuals on management levels, all other employees are expected to take part in the process of quality management for company products. All employees take part in improving production, products, and service. The principles of total quality management are based on effective service to the customers to ensure product acceptance in the market. Through total quality management, managers have the ability to fashion products and services to meet customers’ needs effectively. Total quality management also allows systematic problem solving, especially when dealing with service delivery. Total quality management allows benchmarking activities for the promotion of superior product quality thus competitive advantage. One of the advantages of total quality management is that it lowers the production costs of the respective company. This approach allows companies to improve personnel and facility efficiency, which reduces the waste incurred during the production process. Total quality management promotes quality awareness since all of the employees are expected to take part in the process. Another advantage of total quality entails complete customer satisfaction, which in turn increases company sales. Customer satisfaction sequentially improves a company’s reputation in the market as products are not identified with faults and problems. A good company reputation puts the company on a competitive edge and gives the company a competitive advantage over its competitors. Ultimately, the metrics of success is a satisfied customer that constantly is sending the staff and the leader "great job" e-mails and that they have kept referring business to the company.