Adam Current Issues In First Line Management Essay

Submitted By adamb12
Words: 1896
Pages: 8

A.J.Robinson and Sons Limited
A.J.Robinson and Sons Limited have been manufacturing chemical products, such as adhesives and sealants for the construction industry for more than fifty years. Based in the East Midlands, competition for both suppliers and contractors is vast. This coupled with the dire economic situation in the UK, with increasing inflation and rising interest rates, has had a negative impact of the company. The lack of customer focus strategy, and autocratic, verging on dictatorial management style, from the customer services and administration manager John Jones, has upset clients, leading to threats of customer defection to competition, and staff resigning from their positions due to stress. This report will identify key issues currently affecting performance levels at A.J.Robinson and Sons Limited, discuss relevant concepts and theories regarding first line management, and finally make justified and academically underpinned recommendations that should be implemented to restore the high performance levels and success enjoyed in previous years.
Key Issues affecting A.J.Robinson and Sons Limited
Sales Office
Contextual or Operational Issues
With the sales office manager job vacant, due to the early retirement of the previous manager from stress, Jackie Morgan, a former sales office clerk employed by Jackson and Co (a major competitor of Robinsons), was offered and accepted the managerial role, after the persuasion of John Jones. Jackie, however, was hesitant when accepting the position as she had no management experience, and after explaining this to Jones, he replied-
“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. Just tell them what to do each day, and if they want to keep their jobs they’ll do what they’re told.”
The courtesy and manor of Jones is degrading and not what is expected from middle management. With Jackie’s knowledge of Jackson and Co, Jones should attempt to extract as much information regarding the competition such as client lists and operational processes in an attempt to revive the company. The information and knowledge Jackie possesses is invaluable and could be extremely advantageous to Robinsons. With no training offered, Jackie was not fully briefed or prepared for her first day of employment at Robinsons. When Jackie received a complaint from the South-West of England representative regarding-
“I’ve just had Jessup’s on the pone, telling me, yet again, that the delivery we promised yesterday did not arrive.”
This resulted in Jackie investigating the problem, and contacting the sales clerk responsible for customers in the South West of England. Jackie discovered the problem was due to a breakdown in communication between the customer accounts, transport and distribution, and the sales departments. With each department working in silos and only concentrating on making their department a success, rather than focusing on the bigger picture and the whole organisation- “Whenever I try to speak to either transport or accounts they tell me to mind my own business, do my own job and leave them alone to do theirs.”
This lack of communication is obviously having a negative impact on the company and could possibly lead to Jessup’s taking their custom elsewhere as-
“This is the third time this month that we have failed to deliver on time- and when we finally delivered the order was incomplete.”
The reoccurring problem shows that there is a constant breakdown in communication, with customer orders not being processed properly, failure to deliver on time, and orders incomplete when delivered. Obviously there is a stocking problem, where the necessary items to fulfil a customers order are not to hand, and have to be manufactured. This may result in the deadline being missed, and again decreasing customer satisfaction. The problem also arose from poor administration and invoice issuing from the sales department, with Jessup’s noticing they had been charged too…