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The original deliverables for the OD project include the enhancement of correspondence within the organization, creating innovative solutions to company problems, and developing the capacity for the organization to remain active.
The project will be able to identify communication practices between managers and employees in manufacturing to embrace and anchor change within the company. Better communication within the organization in regards to inventory practices.
Boosting operational capacity for the organization to remain during peak and off-peak seasons. Poor inventory layout can result in higher costs which can affect other critical business operations, rendering the organization inactive. An innovative solution to inventory layout problems.
IBM is a company that prides itself on innovation to create unique products and services that satisfy customer demand and improve the user experience. Therefore, an open innovation model will be applied by the OD practitioner to enable the firm to develop and design a new inventory layout that is innovative, less costly, and more efficient to manage processes.
The data collection method employed is interviews through focus groups which are essential in garnering vital information from organization members despite their background and experiences. This approach allows for the participants to engage in active conversation which provides insight into the issues faced by the organization, available wide range of opinions and ideas and most of all, identifies potential inconsistencies within the organization in terms of beliefs, practices, and experiences. They help the interview to gain maximum insight into different OD issues through a variety of responses from the participants. Furthermore, focus groups provide an opportunity to have an open discussion without fear of victimization leading to unbiased information. Additionally, there is immediate feedback which can be worked on reducing the time taken to wait for feedback if other methodologies were used.
Findings indicate that although the organization is effectively initiating the change process much more can be done to improve the situation. One of the findings from the focus interviews was that the majority of the participants acknowledges that the current inventory layout was inefficient. The organization was incurring huge storage costs for holding more inventories when demand was low. This was caused by a forecasting model that was inaccurate in anticipating consumer demands in the market. There was also a disconnect with supplier information in the database which led to inventory inconsistencies that increased operational expenses. Fortunately, there was a general agreement that there was room for improvement in the way demand was forecasted. Majority of the employees interviewed said they were not prepared for peak season. Many expressed optimism that their enthusiasm as a result of change initiative will make them more prepared next time. One participant said that holding inventory will enable them to have enough stock to cope with the surging demand during peak seasons. Another finding was that the inventory layout made the storage facilities inadequate. There was very limited space, poor workflow, and accessibility in the warehouse. Disorganization made it hard for employees to move from one workstation to another. Sometimes there was congestion in the warehouse due to the high traffic caused by the movement of people and trucks inside the facility. As such, it is crucial to involve employees in decision-making, communicating and overseeing the OD implementation effectively. This strategy is likely to ensure the implementation of different opinions among the various participants thus allowing for smooth management of the change process.
The following are the recommendations to the client:
The client reacted positively to the recommendations. I somehow expected this kind of reaction because the top management had pledged to respect and fully implement any suggestions for improvement presented to them. It was a relief because some corporations have a tendency of disregarding recommendations by external consultants particularly related to OD. For the feedback, I detected some form of denial, disbelief, and even surprise. I did not expect this reaction because the employees had confided in me that the top management was aware of their opinions on a variety of OD issues facing the company.
Suffice to note is that the client’s level of commitment is significantly high although barriers to implementation may include resistance by employees or administrators and the lack of enough resources to complete the assignment. The next steps should, therefore, focus on assessing the extent to which objectives have been met. What remains incomplete is the determination of the level to which change has been implemented. This issue can be taken care of by conducting regular assessment of success rates. Concerning closure, the client needs communication, provision of guidelines to maintain the initiated change and a structure that keeps culture. For the consultant, closure requires the establishment of final development plans, launching leadership roles and emphasizing the importance of maintaining change. Lastly, it may be considered crucial t put in place provisions that allow long-term monitoring and evaluation to verify and confirm that the entire change process was effectively implemented to the satisfaction of the organization, its members, and the expectations of the professional agent.
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