3.1 Company culture
The dominant culture perceived in AVF is teamwork, where the employees help each other out with the different tasks they have to perform. No matter what the assignment is, the goal is to always get it done as fast as possible so they can deliver the best quality of the product. Especially, since the company has a limited amount of manpower for the amount work that needs to be done. In reality, all companies have a few people that do not fit in with the company’s culture, the problem is how do they manage the employees for them to still fit in with the company. Considering that the culture of AVF is teamwork, they are some employees that do not fit in the company’s culture, because they do not work as a team, but the manager is trying to solve this manner by providing them with social activities which could create a social environment between the workers where they can bond and learn to still work as a team despite their differences of opinion.
The term teamwork is very important for AVF because it not only increases the efficiency of the company but also made sure to develop a strong relationship with the employees. AVF has realized what the full benefits of teamwork are because they are trying to solve any obstacle that prevents the employees to work together. As we mention above AVF conducts social events, like team building, with the purpose of developing a relationship between employees including other methods like counseling. One of the benefits of teamwork that AVF rely on is building trust between employees. The current situation is that they are progressing as a team but they are experiencing some conflicts which causes that they can’t perform self-directed as a team yet.
3.2 Back & Front Office relationship
Usually, back office personnel does not have contact with the clients however in AVF the traditional roles are changing. Due to the fact that the back-office employees, for example, the organization’s management, could be easily contacted by their clients through email or phone number. Another example could be that for a marketing campaign, every employee received a coupon with which they could invite a customer to come to the store and receive a discount on their order. However, this new development in the roles of the front and back offices have not changed the management approach seeing as there are still employees designated for the cares of the customers. Through this new development where customers can directly contact the heart of the organization, meaning the management, could lead to the managers to have a better understanding for themselves what are the expectations and opinions of the customers. As a result, the company will be able to adjust the service concept and strategies to adhere to the needs of the customers.
3.3 Operations Capability Strategy
AVF is capability based because they are not only a company that sells paint, AVF produces their own paint and provide a high-quality paint. In comparison to other companies that sell paint, AVF is the only local company that offers the society a high and durable product. Specifically, because they produce custom paint colors designed for the Caribbean weather.
Customer critical processes
For AVF there are two customer critical processes, mainly the customer order and the production of the paint. To illustrate, a customer comes in the store asking for their paint to have this custom color they designed. However, during the process of producing the paint, one too many of a certain color was added. As a result, the color may have a huge or slight difference between the color the customer ordered and the color produced. This, in turn, affects how satisfied the customer will be with the paint.
A bottleneck that AVF is facing is when producing the color for the paints, the process can take longer depending on the color choice of the customer. When customizing the paint to the right color for the customer, they have to use the trial and error method in order to produce the right color for the customer, which of course this slows the whole process down. AVF reduces the bottleneck impact on the production process by ensuring that only essential work passes through the bottleneck process, in this case, only when the company needs to produce custom colors, they will go through the process of trial and error. In comparison, the colors in the
paint catalog of AVF are produced in a batch with preset settings for mixing the
colors, meaning the process goes faster and smoother. The scarce resources in the service process of AVF are especially the workers, referring to the workers who fabricate the different types of paint and coatings. As was mentioned before the number of employees are limited to the production leading to a reduced productivity in the production process.
3.4 Strategies to reduce stress on staff and service providers
Stress can have different impacts on the service a company is delivering. The management of AVF knows that their employees are dealing with a lot of stress as we mentioned earlier because of all the tasks they have to do and because of a few people they have for doing these tasks. But again, they don’t know how to manage or improve it at the moment. They are just trying to offer the best they can to the customers and to their work. Every Monday there’s a motivational talk to the employees so they can motivate them besides all the stress the management knows they have. But there’s a good teamwork within the company so that’s what is keeping them going.
One of the many strategies AVF can apply to relieve the stress on their service providers is establishing effective communication to employees. This will be a medium-term solution with a short-term impact towards the customers. Because to establish an effective communication between the managers and the employees it takes time. In the short term, by practicing the communication skills daily, the communication between them will improve. This will automatically cause a better work environment, which will affect the organization in a positive way because their efficiency will improve including the respect for and trust in each other in the company. However, no matter how good they are at communication, it is something they can never perfect, leading to a permanent long-term process of improving communication between management & employees.
Involving employees in performance improvement is also a medium-term solution with a short-term impact towards to customers because when applying this method in the organization the managers will have a different perspective of what can be improved in the organization. The employees are the core of the organization and they may have a better view of the processes that need to be improved and may also have a solution to the problem. Furthermore, the employees will feel more appreciated when their opinion is being listened to and is taken seriously.
3.5 Capacity Management
What are the short-, medium- and long-term capacity management strategies of your company? How effective are they?
The short to medium capacity strategy that AVF applies is the chase capacity strategy. Meaning they produce just enough for the current demand. According to the Financial Manager of AVF, this strategy is their best option and that is the reason why they applied for so many years. AVF is a small organization which this is the main reason why chase capacity strategy is their best option, they can’t afford to waste product because this will lead to big losses which is why producing at their current demand is the best option. Furthermore, with this strategy, they keep their inventory cost low giving them more money which they can use to buy more raw materials and other chemicals to produce their goods. AVF uses their short to medium strategy for the long term.
Labor underperformance is the major cause of capacity leakage in the organization, one way to avoid this capacity leakage is by providing the employees with enough training so they can improve their performance. If the employees receive the training they require the labor performance will increase and the efficiency of the organization will also increase.
3.6 Service recovery process
The service recovery process consists of two parts, the complaint management and the improvement on the operational and organizational performance. From the information gathered, there is no specific complaint management in AVF’s organization. However, when the problem turns into a legal problem that is when the company takes the customer complaint more seriously. Similarly, the company does not take any specific measures to improve the service or operations, other than the customer service, to meet the satisfaction of the customer needs. The company could improve their service recovery process by putting more attention to the complaints of the customers and actually learning from the feedback the clients provide to the company. If the customers are not giving feedback, then the company could either ask the service staff what are some of the feedback they have received from the employees or provide more opportunities to the clients to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction about the company.