Organizations have issues to deal with on a daily basis. As organizations go through the steps of decision making, the weakness and strengths can be identified. It is important for companies to identify these areas of importance in order to maintain efficiency. Managers should compare decision making steps in order to get pointers on how to further develop their weakness, by listening to each other strengths.
Decision Making Within the County Government
Recently the local county government officials considered making changes to the policies regarding the take home use of county vehicles. A decision had to be made if the county employees would maintain the right to drive county vehicles home. The purpose of this action was to decrease the personal use of these vehicles, which in turn would decrease the cost of fuel. Many of the county employees were affected by this decision. These employees include police officers, traffic light engineers, and public work officials. The financial implications of this decision were that the county would no longer need to pay for the fuel that the vehicles consumed during personal use. The options that the county considered were either to limit the use to employees who only lived within the county or to completely eliminate the personal use of these vehicles. The county had to analyze the costs of the fuel and compare it to the cost incurred by employees would then be required to use their personal vehicle for county purposes, in which these employees would have to be reimbursed for. For example, the traffic light engineers are required to be on a rotating on call schedule, which means that every week someone has to be on call 24 hours a day. If a call is received that a traffic light has malfunctioned than the employee on call is required to repair it within a reasonable time. The response time set by the county is an hour. These employees would then need to drive to the county offices in order to pick up the vehicle, as well as, the supplies needed to repair the traffic signal. Before deciding on the actions that would be taken, the county would need to access the possible risks involved. One major risk could include longer response times not only for traffic engineers, but for police officers as well. This could create a disaster if a major problem occurred requiring immediate attention, such as a in the case of the engineers a traffic signal that may have been knocked down or in the case of the police officers a search for a suspect in a recent murder. After review the information gathered the county decided on a plan that disallows the use of county vehicles by all county employees. To avoid response time problems the county implemented a plan in which employees living within the county could possibly be called in the cause of a major crisis. These employees would be able to respond much quicker than employees who live a distance from the county. All county employees were informed of the decision both by their superiors, as well as, through a memorandum stating the changes in policies. Once the policies were in place the county officials assessed the decision and the results of the decision.
With the changes in place the county showed that fuel cost had lowered significantly. The use of a clear decision making process, the county was able to make an effective decision concerning the take home use of county vehicles.
Neighbor Impact’s Decision Making Model Guidelines
Neighbor Impact is a nonprofit organization providing many services to the surrounding communities. Neighbor Impact relies heavily on the local banks, state agencies, and county agencies to fund their projects and their staffing in order to operate. Every quarter the companies lead management must prepare presentations for these agencies providing how they have used their monies and how they plan to use future monies within the community. If the reports have negative information, then the grantors become skeptical about renewing their grants provided to the community. That is why it is important for the decision making processes to be carefully reviewed and administered when deciding which monies should be spent where and which jobs are the most beneficial to the organization and the communities (Tamera Bishop, Neighbor Impact).
Neighbor Impact identifies a problem by seeing the adverse affects of the symptoms. They analyze the symptoms and frame the root cause of the problem. Then the management team identifies a goal to remove the root cause of the problem which begins the decision making model. Recently Neighbor Impact realized an employee was earning higher wages than original projected. This symptom was because the employee was putting in overtime hours in order to complete all tasks required for three departments. The company then framed the problem to the root cause that the increased population in all three offices had increased the community members asking for assistance. The company then defined a goal to hire two more individuals to run the other two sub offices working under the supervision of the main employee.
To determine how many hours and monies to ask the grantors for; the organization compared reports from previous performances with the community population to present performance. The team determined that the increase in staff could increase further projects and help within all communities by expanding the jobs. A presentation is than placed together to identify the root problem and how the organization determines to resolve the issue. The presentation is presented in a manner that shows the grantors the risks with the current situation and how the grantors will benefit further within the community implementing the identified new goals (Tamera Bishop, Neighbor Impact).
Haldex’s Decision Making Model Process
Haldex is a company that manufactures brakes for tractor trailers and distributes them worldwide. The process of making the breaks is all done in house except for making the raw castings themselves. There have been many issues that have arisen because that the process of making the brakes has changed due to an increased demand. The major problem that has most recently been addressed dealt with money. In order to be competitive in the market, the company needed to sell the brakes cheaper and still maintain the profit in which they currently have. The way they did this was by first sorting through the entire process of making the brakes and figuring out each individual cost. This was the hardest step in the process because there were so many different costs that were associated with the process. Once this had been done and analyzed it was time to find ways in which to cut costs. The way they went about this was basically shopping around and looking for different companies to get the materials from and making deals. Some of the materials were already at the lowest price they could get. The materials that they could find at a lower price were then bought and put on a trial basis to see if they could produce the same quality as the previous materials. After some testing and analysis which took about a month it was determined that they did in fact, produce the same quality. They stuck with these products and found out that not only are they able to provide the brakes at a cheaper price but they were able to increase profit slightly. This has proven to be good because the company shares its new profit with the employees each quarter. This was a win-win situation.
Direct Mail’s Process of Decision
Direct mail has been using a delivery truck that is too small to use on the average ramp. The shipping and receiving manager decided that it would be reasonable to get a truck that would fit the regulatory size ramp. When the truck does not fit a ramp it is hard to unload the ramp, and causes unloading to take more time than needed. The alternatives Direct Mail listed instead of using the small truck are buying a new truck, or renting a truck was deliveries are needed. Trucks can cost a great deal of money and the owner does not want to incur more cost with business being slow. The truck rental facility is owned by a sister company of Direct Mail and is across the street from Direct Mail. Buying a truck costs from $20,000 AND $50,000 dollars, but truck rentals are less than $200 for two days. The decision that was made by the managers a Direct Mail was to rent the truck. Renting the truck has worked out for direct mail so far. The strengths Direct Mail showed when solving this problem were indentifying the problem, defining goals, and evaluating impacts of the alternatives. The weakness showed were framing alternatives, making the decision, and measuring the impact. The reason for the strengths and weakness are for similar reasons, which are the involvement of the stockholders. When the step which had the most strengths the managers ask the driver of the truck for his input, and for the weakest steps the driver had no input.
Decision Making at the Doctors Office
Working in an office where there are seven doctors, and more than half of the patients being seen will have to have surgery, three people work at scheduling time in the operating room was difficult. What made the job even more difficult was when one of the schedulers obtained another job. The workload then had to be split again, this time between two people. A decision on whether or not to hire someone to fill that empty position had to be made and it was a rather difficult one. When there were three people working in those jobs, one person would schedule the patients; one person would type the paperwork; and the other person would obtain the necessary authorization from the insurance companies.
The office manager and the doctors felt that by eliminating that one position, it would save them money. To them it was all about the amount of money they were spending. The other two schedulers felt that by eliminating that position, it would end up costing them personally. This eventually led to the two schedulers working overtime most of the time, and some surgeries had to be cancelled because not everything had been taken care of. Some of the patients ended up in worse condition than when they first came to the office.
The two schedulers were so busy with almost double the work than from before that they were unable to keep up the schedule and all the paperwork they had to do. One alternative that the doctors looked into was to have somebody from the front office fill in for a few hours a day. However, by taking one person away from the front office to fill in elsewhere, it caused problems for the front office staff. They were backed up checking patients in and the nurses were not happy.
Eventually, the doctors and office manager sat down and analyzed the finances and discovered that it was cheaper to hire another person versus allowing the other two schedulers to work overtime. When a third person was hired, the work was divided up differently from before. One person was responsible for the schedule of the pediatric doctor; one person was responsible for the schedule of the two transplant doctors; and the third person was responsible for the other four doctors. Each person was also responsible for typing his or her own paperwork and obtaining the necessary authorizations from the insurance companies.
Hiring another person eliminating overtime in that section of the office and surgeries did not have to be cancelled. Patients were given the necessary treatment they required and it saved many lives. Unfortunately, to begin with, the doctors were more concerned with saving a few dollars than saving the sanity of their employees.
Princes Cruises is a large cruise liner corporation that competes with other businesses like Carnival, Cunard, or Royal Caribbean to provide vacationers with the best vacation experience available. Princess Cruises, (2008) asserts, “From its beginning in 1965, Princess has grown to become one of the premiere cruise lines in the world. Today, its fleet carries more than a million passengers each year to more worldwide destinations than any other major line” (p.1). A major problem that Princess Cruises has been encountering recently can include problems with their internal controls. For example, Polar is a database system that is used by Princess Cruises and has been suffering computer crashes and downtime. Because of this, this has resulted in reduced productivity, delays in booking cruises, and possible lost sales.
Since Princess Cruises is a large corporation that can’t afford to lose business and fall behind other large cruise liners, they have been running different tests to identify what exactly has been causing there internal controls system to keep crashing. After discovering that this problem has had something to do with obsolete servers and not enough memory due to recent phenomenal growth, Princess Cruises was left with the decision to either change their database system completely or expand the memory on all the computers in every department. Their decision on either to change out the software or hardware was quickly made due to changing out the hardware is cheaper when dealing with customized databases. After ordering the required parts and installing them on every computer in this corporation, Princess Cruises was able to resolve the slow response of the computer system.
In the distribution center the employees pick garments, process the garments, and ship them to the customers. On a daily basis the distribution center is given a daily shipping efficiency percentage. The shipping percentage was not at its full potential because of the amount on orders that were ‘In-Waiting’. In- Waiting’s are orders that do not have the appropriate amount of garments necessary to complete the order. The picker picks the orders from a designated location on the mezzanine level of the distribution center.
Inventory numbers are the root cause of this problem. The organization of the In-Waiting is another problem. The In-Waiting station had no design to keep orders separated according to ship date and processing. Orders would become late because they were not organized and prioritized correctly. The team leader took a look at the process and found out why were not able to focus and prioritize orders. He studied and framed the problem. From that point he began to brainstorm ideas on how to rectify the issue. He then thought about how the orders need to be separated. He decided upon separating orders by their ship date and by their processing (direct embroidery and non- direct embroidery) from this point he created a floor map exercising the 5S (standardize, shine, sustain, sort, set in order) He then put together a manual explaining the floor plan for the operators to use. In this manual he also put together guidelines to for the operator to follow in prioritizing and filling the In-Waiting orders. Now there is an efficient operation that organizes In-Waiting orders and gets the most current orders filled and shipped on time to help increase the shipping efficiency. Weaknesses of the project include not being able to cure the root of the problem just dealing with how to handle the issue. There was no way to accurately measure all the impact that this project has on the business.
There are a variety of ways for organizations to rectify problems. Organizations must first look at their company goals and prioritize what is important for that particular business. Most organizations are looking for ways to cut cost and operate on a more efficient level. Cutting cost could mean find cheaper products like Haldex with the material used for brakes. They shopped for cheaper materials and put them to the test for quality of the product. By experimenting and searching for the product they were able to cut their cost and the cost for the customer as well. The county government found ways to serve the county at a cheaper price by limiting the amount of fuel spent on company vehicles for personal use. Organizations can also increase service and cut longterm cost by spending more on products and or updating systems. Direct Mail had problems with the size of its truck and rented larger trucks to increase the efficiency of loading and loading. Princess Cruises chose to update computer systems to increase computer response time and decrease down time. This helps their business operate more efficiently and in turn they are able to provide for more customers. Hiring personnel is another to rectify problems and increase efficiency. The doctor’s office hired another scheduler to organize work and better serve patients. Neighbor impact also hired more personnel and increased their range of service. Sometimes it takes spending more money to make more and or provide more service in the long run. Changing an operation is also a great way save money and better serve. Cintas’s In-Waiting’s over received a makeover in order to increase shipping efficiency and get orders to their customers on time. The object of most organizations is to serve and grow more. This requires building and improving systems that will help these organizations operate at an efficient level. Operating more efficiently could be cutting cost, improving operations, hiring more personnel or updating systems. When analyzed and implemented properly this should boost the organization further toward its goal. This provides a win for the organization and the people they serve.
Bishop, Tamera. (3-12-2008). Neighbor Impact, Inc. A Non-Profit Organization. [Interview]
Princess Cruises. (2007). Company Information: About Us. Princess Cruises Corporation. Escape Completely. (p.8). Available: http://www.princess.com/aboutus/