Australian Cladding Company Details task: Please read case ? additional materials) answer questions end. Presentation requirements: Essay format (refer additional materials)
The Australian Cladding Company Analysis
The increased competition in most business fields has determined companies to develop innovative strategies that can help them create competitive advantage. In order to reach this objective, there are certain aspects that these companies must focus on when establishing their strategy. The most important issues that require their attention and efforts are represented by human resources management, costs, and resources.
The costs that are associated with their production process require increased efforts that certain companies cannot afford in this business environment. Therefore, they are interested in reducing production costs. There are several strategies that can be addressed in such situation. In order to reduce their costs, most companies prefer to outsource some of their activities and processes to cheaper destinations like China and India. This allows them to significantly reduce the costs of their products and services. However, the problem in this case is represented by the reduced quality standards determined by lower production costs. Many customers tend to distrust products from these countries because of the frequent quality problems reported by other customers.
The resources of these companies represent another area that requires improved strategies. This is because it is important to develop strategies intended to increase the efficiency of how these resources are used. This refers to financial, technical, and human resources. The efficient use of these resources is an important factor that helps companies create competitive advantage. However, this requires the help of specialists in the field.
There are certain issues that can significantly influence companies' activity on the market. It is important to understand that human resources represent the most important resource that companies can use in order to create competitive advantage. Therefore, it is recommended to develop the proper conditions that can help develop employees and improve their performance. Companies and their managers must focus on developing human resources strategies based on motivation of employees.
Problems of the Australian Cladding Company
The Australian Cladding Company is one of the most important companies in the constructions industry. The company's success on the market determined its managers to consider that it was their expertise and strategy that determined the company's success on the market. The situational analysis using the five forces model reveals the fact that the company's success can be attributed to the expansion of the market, and not to certain innovative strategies developed by its managers. This means that in developing markets, companies can increase their market share by simply addressing the increased demand, as it is not necessary to modify strategies in order to increase the number of customers (QuickMBA, 2010).
This is also the case of the Australian Cladding Company. The economic and financial crisis has determined significant reductions in the construction business. As a result, the company's sales, profits, and work levels have been reduced. Therefore, it is obvious that the company's activity was not based on a proper strategy that could be used in supporting the company.
There are numerous problems that are likely to affect the Australian Cladding Company's situation. Most of these problems refer to the situation of its human resources. The strategy that the company has used is revealing its effects on its employees and on its activity and position on the market. In order to correctly evaluate the company's situation, it is important to identify the issues that affect the company.
The most important problems that affect the company's activity are represented by: increased labor costs, efficiency problems, staff retention problems, workplace incidents, issues between men and women employed by the company, reduced performance of employees, reduced professional development, and others. These are the issues that the Australian Cladding Company must focus on in order to develop a successful strategy (Sims, 2007).
Increased labor costs
This is one of the most important problems that the company must deal with. It has been reported by the cost management analysis that labor costs are increasing. There are several causes that determined this situation (Armstrong, 2006). These causes are represented by the higher salary levels that can be attributed to market conditions, and by the increased number of hours spent by employees at work. In addition to this, it seems that the reduced efficiency of the company determines these costs to increase.
These increased labor costs lead to higher prices of the construction work developed by the Australian Cladding Company. This affects the company's customers, because some of them might not agree with increasing costs. This situation creates problems and a tense relationship with customers (Beardwell & Claydon, 2007). If such issues repeat themselves, the company is likely to create a bad reputation. It is common knowledge that reputation is an important factor that can affect businesses. Therefore, it is important that the company establishes certain strategies that can help the Australian Cladding Company improve its cost management.
The increased labor costs are also determined by certain efficiency problems that affect the company's activity. The fact that the company is not able to sustain a continuous efficiency level in the case of its staff can be attributed to the improper planning of the staff. It has been observed that in certain periods the staff does not have much work to do and employees are just hanging around, while in other periods there is too much work for this staff and employees are stressed and working too much.
However, this situation is because of the management practiced by Jim Hackett and his team. The team is unable to develop a strategic can that can successfully address the problems of the company (Mabey et al., 1998). Therefore, it is important to use specialists in the field. The team was unable to properly handle the situation because they could not identify the problems affecting the company and its activity. If these factors that determine this situation are not correctly identified and evaluated, it is difficult to develop strategies that can be considered useful.
It is obvious that when developing the company's strategy, the management team only focused on the work demand during that time and hired personnel in accordance with that demand. They did not develop proper human resources planning that can contribute to reducing costs and improving performance. This situation must be corrected by developing proper planning systems (Beaumont, 1993).
Staff retention problems
Another important problem that the Australian Cladding Company must deal with is represented by staff retention. This mostly refers to skilled employees, but also to engineering and certain specialists in different fields. The fact that the company has a problem retaining staff on all levels means that its human resources strategy is notable to address important needs of employees.
This also means that employees are not satisfaction by many aspects within the company. The fact that these employees prefer to work in other companies instead of gaining experience with the Australian Cladding Company reveals the fact that employees are not satisfied with their salaries, but also with other conditions at their workplace (Baker & Doran, 2007). Therefore, it is recommended that the company increases its focus on developing a motivational strategy that increases staff retention.
There has been reported an increased number of workplace incidents to the management team. The most important cause of such situations is represented by some of the workers not being careful enough around the company's machinery. This can be attributed to workers' lack of interest, or to the company not ensuring proper training to employees on how to use this machinery.
Problems between men and women within the company
It is a well-known fact that the construction business usually addresses men. However, an increased number of women have been employed by the company. Although they are able to successfully handle the job, it is their relationship with men in this company that leads to problems. It seems that men do not treat them fairly, and some of them have complained about this situation. This can lead to numerous sexual harassment problems.
Reduced performance of employees
This situation is attributed by specialists in the field to the company's human resources strategy that was not properly modified in order to address the challenges determined by the expansion of the market. It seems that this factor has determined most of the problems that the Australian Cladding Company is facing. Therefore, it is important that the company addresses this issue in the attempt of improving the performance of its employees (Schneider, 2011).
Reduced professional development
This is another factor that is likely to create staff retention problems and to lead to reduced efficiency of employees. The fact that employees are not provided important career strategies determines them to orient towards other companies. This also leads to reduced employee loyalty.
Human Resources Activities and Approaches
There are numerous activities that must be addressed in order to deal with the problems of the company. It is important that…