This is a report on what should be done to improve coordination among divisions in Mountainside Industries Limited. This follows a request made by Mrs. K. Hill who had realized that things were not going on well in the company. Decision-making processes are usually initiated and completed at the top management levels of most companies. The final decision is then spread to all divisions of the company. However, if there is no proper coordination between the divisions of the company the decisions made may not have any significant impact because they may not be acted upon (Pollitt, 164). As a consultant, I had dealt with such cases before and after analyzing the situation at Mountainside Industries, I came up with the following suggestions that will be beneficial to the company.
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First of all Mr. Henson should not be fired from his present position as the general manager. This is because it is clear that Mr. Henson came to the company with a clear knowledge of the problems in the company and what he was to do to correct the situation. It seems that he gave the appropriate instructions to his juniors but things still did not go on well. It implies that even if Mr. Henson is replaced by another general manager, the problems will not be solved without establishing their root causes. I, therefore, suggest that pre-incident management policies be put in place to control the occurrence of such undesired events. For example, Henson realized that major purchases were being done without coordination among the divisions and he instructed that all major purchase orders should pass through him for approval. However, this policy did not have any positive impact because it lacked reinforcement and thus the performance of the company continued to deteriorate.
The company should come up with a policy that all major purchases should be approved by the general manager and in case any such purchase is made against the company’s policy the concerned person should be questioned. A fine should be imposed on a worker who knowingly ignores instructions that are put as the company’s policy. This will make workers more responsible and accountable for their actions. Laid-down strategies will have to be followed because the consequences may be harsh and therefore no worker will risk losing the job. This is a sure way that the company can use to avoid acting once an incident that could be prevented from occurring has occurred.
Installation of proper networking infrastructure
Four divisions that makeup Mountainside Industries are located in different geographic locations. Getting information from all the divisions may consume a lot of time and energy if it is done manually. The company should therefore hirer a reputable firm to install good networking infrastructure to connect all the offices in the company. If all the computers in every office in the company are connected, they can be easily connected to a computer in a central office. The general manager will then be able to access all the relevant data from all the divisions of the company through his computer. The general manager will therefore be able to monitor the functions of every division without necessarily moving from one division to another. This will avoid duplication of duties because the manager will ensure that every division is doing only what it is supposed to do.
Coordination between different divisions cannot be possible without a proper communication network (Pollitt, 201). As part of the networking infrastructure, all the offices in the company should be connected by telephone. This is one way of ensuring that communication is possible between different offices. Coordination is enhanced when communication channels are made clear between parties and therefore coordination between the divisions of Mountainside Industries will improve. Apart from telephones, instant messaging software should be installed in the computers in every office so that short text messages can easily be sent from one office to another. At the same time, the general manager will be able to retrieve any data from the database of any division and communicate effectively to the head of the concerned division once communication systems are put in place. The staff members of Mountainside Industries should form a habit of using the internet. This is because the improvement in networking infrastructure is going to include the provision of internet services. News and events happening in the company will therefore be posted on the company’s website so that every worker and the interested party can access them. Communication using emails will also be facilitated and hence coordination will improve.
Setting up an emergency support function
The company should form a special group of people responsible for identifying the emergency needs of the company. The group should be charged with assessing the performance of the company and proposing appropriate measures to ensure potential risks are properly managed. Incident management measures should also be put in place by the group after the identification of potential risks. This means that the emergency group will be responsible for moving from one division to another to assess the actual performance of the divisions. This is what has been lacking in Mountainside Industries and it has been very difficult for Mr. Henson to monitor all the divisions.
I have stated that Mr. Henson should not be fired from his position as the general manager. This is because he seems to know what should be done and even instructed that all major purchases should pass through him for approval. However, no positive response came from any of the divisions. I, therefore, recommend that top management of the divisions should be replaced with others who will be able to comply with the policies of the company. Defiance from the leaders of the company’s divisions may have caused the economic downfall of the company. Divisional heads defied orders given by the general manager and therefore coordination efforts failed. Coordination cannot be possible if every leader does things without consulting other leaders (Rushinek, 291). Policies and rules must be followed and since the current divisional leaders do not seem to follow rules and policies of the company, replacing them will be the best option. Every worker should ensure coordination as required by the general manager.
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It is also clear that the wrong organizational structure of the company might have contributed to poor coordination among divisions in the company. The organizational structure of the company should also be restructured to ensure effective coordination among different divisions of the company. For example, every division should have a procurement office in which the procurement officers report to the divisional manager. The divisional managers should report to the general manager. In other words, there should be one general manager, four divisional managers, and several procurement officers. This kind of structure will ensure proper coordination among subordinate staff members and at the same time enhance cooperation among the divisions of the company.
As it is evident, company workers may have contributed to the poor performance of the company. Reforms should therefore be made to policies of the company so that workers are held accountable when things go wrong in their departments. For example, sales targets should be set for sales representatives and whenever the targets are not met, they should write reports to explain the reasons why the targets are not met. The policies should be structured in a way that coordination between subordinate members is possible. I recommend policy reforms because my study has shown that the policies of the company are weak and thus subordinate members can afford to defy orders given by their seniors. However, stakeholder meetings should be organized to get views from all stakeholders during the formulation of new policies.
In conclusion, coordination in the company can be categorized into two. First, internal coordination within the divisions should be enhanced. This means that every section within a given division should do its work but coordinate with other sections within the same division to avoid duplication of work. Secondly, coordination must be enhanced among various divisions of Mountainside Industries. It will be possible to achieve this coordination if management in each division is transparent in its activities and therefore willing to share information. Information sharing is usually not possible when leaders have some things to hide from others. Transparency and trust should be given the priority for the success of any given business venture. This will be achieved if the recommendations above are keenly considered.
Pollitt, Chris. Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Rushinek, Sara. The Planning Phase in Management Information Systems. A Journal of Managerial Finance, Vol. 9 Issue: 1, pp.3 – 5, 1993.