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In 2006, Tommasi Motorcycles' Japanese subsidiary tried to introduce new customer data application, an Italian high performance motorcycle manufacturer that enhances the effectiveness of cycle dealership in sales and marketing. Tommasi's global partner in the development of software was a consulting company (Horizon LLP). Tommasi brought other advisors to conduct a new series of interviews with traders to recognize the dealer's questions about the new application. The concern of the dealer about the business was, however, well beyond the interests of the new application and attended one of the Tommasi meetings unannounced. Surprisingly, the dealer set all the player in the firm on a collision course by exposing some fundamental problems revolving differing point of views in the organization and the disconnection between Tommasi and the dealer's network.
Short term goal – determine whether the efficiency of the sales and marketing department. For instance, resolving the huge gap difference between the JNO expectations and the dealer’s needs. Moreover, ensure exit of the language barrier since there is a huge communication gap between the JNO president Mr. Bonardi who doesn’t speak the Japanese language.
Long term goals – creating an excellent marketing reputation. An outstanding marketing reputation achieved by through research on the Japanese market to create a good relationship with the local dealers and to avoid miss-direction of selling models. Additionally, Maintainance of the marketing status ensured by active research efforts creates a fresh and creative edge in production and sales department.
Solution #1. Conduct a general audit among the senior managers especially the consulting firm to determine the cause of the miss-connection between the company and the dealers.
Pros: problem identification is always the first step to understand how to repair the management breakdown.
Cons. Consent the company managers to work in close collaboration with the Japan Nation Head (JNO) to help them understand the Japanese business culture. In this way, the cultural dealers would view this as a reinforcement of their culture regarding the diversity of the company.
Solution #2. Eliminate the communication barrier between the Italian management team and the Japanese dealers.
Pros: Effective communication is a vital tool in business that promotes efficient operations to increase gross productivity.
Cons: Get rid of communication barrier between the Italian management would be tricky since it would take extremely long time for the Italian members to understand the Japanese language. The company would also lag behind due to extra expenses of language tutors.
Solution #3. Replace the JNO management board with individuals familiar with the Japanese culture and has remarkable experience in the business.
Pros: Replacing the JNO management staff with Japanese people can provide some cultural relief but can cause an unreasonable crisis on the other hand.
Cons: The solution can be risky and costly. For example, it would create vacuums of leadership which would end up hurting the company.
Solution #1. – Re-evaluate the working terms and conditions and possibly determine the cause of miss-understanding between the dealers and firm’s new program. Resolve the communication and culture barriers by hiring an individual with Japanese business qualities to act as a liaison for the president of the JNO.
Hire an individual who understands the Japanese business culture to work with the management team.
Conduct extra training sessions among the management team regarding business culture.
Build a reputable trust with the dealers.
Conduct deep interviews to gain helpful feedback.
Analyze and make reasonable changes if needed.
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