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Elegante Motors Ltd.’s Cost Engineering Team Performance

Project Description

Elegante Motors Ltd. is a luxury car manufacturer located in Rome, founded in 1968. It focuses on delivering unique, handcrafted vehicles that represent the latest advances in comfort and performance. To that end, it employs 4,000 people at its factory, which also serves as the company’s central office. Searching for the most skilled and creative hires, it aims to retain the standard of the highest excellence that has made it one of the world’s premier luxury car brands. With that said, the company is currently struggling to maintain its sales. While it has sufficient output to make more vehicles than it currently is producing, there are few to no buyers. Additionally, the management has started receiving substantial numbers of complaints about the service that is provided to customers. As such, it has hired the author’s consulting team to identify ways to improve service quality without incurring excessive costs due to its expertise in the field. The experience will also be valuable for the team because of the insight it will receive into the manufacture and service requirements of luxury cars.

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The assumption was made that the company has received numerous service-related complaints because it is among the few ways through which the management can learn about the problem. Moreover, since Elegante Motors is a relatively small luxury company that delivers custom-made cars, its leadership is likely to be acquainted with the clients, who can contact it directly in the case of issues. Customers will likely choose the simplest and fastest way to resolve their problems, such as going directly to the upper management if that is feasible. The second assumption is that Elegante’s sales are falling as a result of its inadequate services. The sales of luxury goods are dependent on the company’s reputation (Cheavlier and Mazzalovo, 2020). Client dissatisfaction damages said reputation, making people less likely to buy the products since a large portion of the marketing is word-of-mouth.

Objectives

The first goal of the project is to determine the perceptions and understanding by key clients of the services provided by Elegante. By determining what the customers expect of the company, what they believe it delivers, and what they think is lacking, the team can help the business formulate effective improvements. The second target is the formulation of a list of the requirements of the clients’ most pertinent desires for the business. To do that, the team will have to work with Elegante’s cost engineering (CE) team, the purpose of which is to ensure that improvement costs are managed (Domanski, 2020). The third target is to evaluate the CE team itself, including its responsibilities, priorities, and timeframes. Finally, based on all of these findings, the author’s team will provide recommendations to the CE team on how it may improve its operations and those of Elegante.

Scope, Tasks, and Objectives

This project will focus exclusively on the performance of the CE team at Elegante and the improvements that it can make. It will not try to directly address the issues prevalent in the company’s services, nor will it consider the broader issue of slumping sales. Those problems are for Elegante to address internally by employing workers that have a superior understanding of the company’s day-to-day operations. In terms of data, the author’s team will need to source client opinions as well as information from CE team members and upper management. It will collect all of this information through interviews, receiving the contacts of key customers from the marketing department and reaching the employees either directly or through the HR department. The questions in the interviews will be designed using the MECE tree method as described by Sugai (2020). After conducting the surveys, the team will analyze the data and use it to complete the objectives, summarizing the information and developing recommendations.

This section features the assumption that enough clients will be willing to take the time to respond to questions about service quality. This may not necessarily be the case, as cold calling does not have a high response rate (Jobber, Lancaster and Le Meunier-FitzHugh, 2019), and Elegante does not have many clients by definition. However, the company can reach out to its buyers beforehand to arrange more convenient discussion circumstances or employ a different survey method such as email.

Responsibilities

In total, the author’s team consists of five people, all of whom are competent consultants capable of performing a diverse variety of tasks. However, for the sake of efficiency, each will be assigned different primary responsibilities (Hughes, Kapoor and Pride, 2016). The author will act as the team leader, coordinating the others’ activities depending on their success. Additionally, they will be responsible for contacting Elegante to receive information and arrange meetings. The second team member will be responsible for conducting interviews with the company’s clients, and the third will do the same for the CE team members. The fourth team member will contact the upper management and interview them to understand their view of the CE team. Finally, the fifth consultant will be responsible for receiving the information collected by the other members and transcribing it into a more easily processed format.

With that said, the roles and responsibilities of the members will evolve and consolidate as the project progresses. As Kancharla (2016) notes, consulting is a cycle that consists of five distinct stages: context investigation, current state assessment, target state definition, gap analysis, and solution option evaluation. The duties outlined above cover the first two stages, with the team receiving information about the purpose of the CE team and its current condition. Analysis will need to follow, with each team member processing and summarizing the data that they have been able to obtain while the first and fifth consultants assist where necessary in addition to their ongoing duties. In doing so, they will be able to determine the final state of the CE operations that Elegante expects to achieve as well as the gaps in its competencies and areas of expertise. Finally, each member will be able to share their findings for the collaborative development of recommendations and their presentation to the company’s CE team and management.

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Ethical Issues

The two ethical issues that affect this project are data and privacy protection and informed consent. The information about individual respondents in the data gathering process will have to be anonymized to avoid the potential negative implications of not doing so. Any identifying data will be removed, and this action should not significantly affect the analysis. Moreover, each respondent has to know why they are answering the questions asked of them and how the responses will be used. If they disagree with their information’s usage, they can revoke the team’s ability to employ it at any time, including after the interview concludes. Before each interview or survey, the team member responsible will relay this information to the respondent and ask for their informed consent after they confirm their understanding of the information.

Reference List

Chevalier, M. and Mazzalovo, G. (2020) Luxury brand management in digital and sustainable times. London: Wiley.

Domanski, C. (2020) Cost engineering: a practical method for sustainable profit generation in manufacturing. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Hughes, R. J., Kapoor, J. R. and Pride, W. M. (2016) Foundations of business. 5th edn. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Jobber, D., Lancaster, G. and Le Meunier-FitzHugh, K. (2019) Selling and sales management. 11th edn. New York, NY: Pearson.

Kancharla, M. (2016) Consulting: a practitioner’s perspective. Chennai: Notion Press.

Sugai, P. (2020) Building value through marketing: a step-by-step guide. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, November 11). Elegante Motors Ltd.’s Cost Engineering Team Performance. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/elegante-motors-ltd-s-cost-engineering-team-performance/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, November 11). Elegante Motors Ltd.’s Cost Engineering Team Performance. https://studycorgi.com/elegante-motors-ltd-s-cost-engineering-team-performance/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Elegante Motors Ltd.’s Cost Engineering Team Performance." November 11, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/elegante-motors-ltd-s-cost-engineering-team-performance/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Elegante Motors Ltd.’s Cost Engineering Team Performance'. 11 November.

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