Fastbikes Incorporated Case – OB

Fastbikes incorporation is a company which was doing well but of late it has been facing some serious problems. Joe Brown needs to take some drastic measures to ensure that his company does not close down. The fact that his most experienced mechanic wants to leave the company, clearly indicates the lack of motivation in the company. Motivation is what drives people to do their jobs effectively and this is important for Fastbikes as the employees need to be motivated for them to put more effort in their job.

Fastbikes Inc. needs to motivate its employees for example by increasing their salaries, giving rewards to the best employer of the year, offering hardworking bonuses among others. If the company does, it will encourage them to continue working for the company with dedication without being tempted to go for higher paying companies especially during the difficult economic periods.

In addition to the impending circumstance of lack of motivation, it is worthy acknowledging that most of the employees have been working in this company since it began and this can create a great discouragement particularly if they have been contributive to the growth of the company to the level it is and at some point their grievances are not considered.

This scenario also shows some negligence by the management since it is usually a failure to listen to the grievances of the employees by the management that such effects like the available de-motivation are realized. This point is justified by the fact that salary matters are serious as far as employees are concerned and that most employees particularly those who have been working in such a company for long, would first air out their grievances before they decide to move away from the company.

Joe therefore, as the owner of this company needs to work out a serious assessment and come up with new management criteria in a matter of urgency to ensure that the future of this company is promising.

The sales of Fastbikes have taken a nose dive because the sales people are not motivated well enough. Joe Brown must reward those sales people who are doing exceptionally well in their jobs so that those who work hard will see a tangible evidence of appreciation for work well done.

The act of rewarding employees is a major boost to the employees’ morale and it goes a long way in encouraging people to put an extra effort to their tasks [.], when people are rewarded for their effort they will feel appreciated and in the case of Fastbikes Inc sales people will push sales of motorbikes to a greater levels which will mean more income and consequently more pay for employees and company will meet its obligation with ease (DuBrin & Young, 2007).

Conflicts in organizations are a major drawback for a company’s development. When top managers argue a lot about budgets it shows some conflicts in the organization which ought to be addressed with immediate effect before the damages trickle down to lower levels of management.

There is role ambiguity and managers do not understand where their roles stops and that is the reason they keep fighting among themselves. Joe needs to draw an organizational design which show to every manager their responsibility so that we do not have blame games in the company and reduce time wastage on arguments. Most of the time should be used in carrying out some constructive activities.

When we have clear goals and objectives in the company people will feel that they can perform their duties better and they will have satisfaction for performing their work. It is important that Joe organizes his management into a team not just a group of people working together . He can encourage the managers to trust in their team when carrying out their duties (Cole, Kinicky & Kreitner, 2007).

The best way to improve this state would probably be to organize trainings and seminars for the managers and contract experts who can freely interact with the managers in order to know the exact problem from their side before handling the matter.

This is because the company has performed well for the last twenty years and suddenly, crises seem to be arisen. This makes whoever is assessing the case to make a conclusion that the company has grown beyond what Joe Brown can handle alone and therefore there is need to seek assistance from experts.

The opportunity to reduce competition in the market is one which should not be left out. This manifested itself when Bill approached Joe to see if he was willing and able to buy the Fastbikes’ only competitor in New Brunswick. Fastbikes Inc should take the chance and acquire Motorcycles For Life Inc as the price for buying the company is fair and given the reputation of this company, we expect to have more customers, since Fastbikes Inc has some problems in sales.

It will be able to increase its sales volume if it acquires Motorcycles For Life Inc. This is because it will reduce the competition and at the same time increase the market share. The other reason why Joe Brown should buy this company is that, if it accepts the offer of snowmobile manufacturers, they will have an opportunity to advertise their products hence attract more customers and as a result the sales will escalate to greater levels.

The training of the employees will come in handy as this will improve performance of the employees, and we will have the company becoming more competitive so that the sales will boost the account balances of the company and to the extension making it easy to clear any company loan.

Communication is a crucial aspect in any organization, and Joe should ensure that he has a good communication system to be implemented in the company. With good communication systems, people are able to convey their views thus providing different ways of solving problems and also preventing misinformation and rumors.

Managers and their subordinates are also able to respect each other since the chain of command is respected by all (Baron & Greenberg, 2003). In other words, no one will receive commands from two managers at the same time thus alleviating confusion that may arise due to double commands by managers.

Joe should involve his employees in decision making so that there is no resistance to change in the organization, especially in the acquisition of a new company. This probably is the reason why there are complaints from the managers. If they had been involved in various decisions making and planning, most of these issues affecting the company would not be arising.

People ought to know how the new developments in the company will affect them so that they have themselves prepared psychologically (Brown & Fisher, 1991). This means that for such a company to make a major decision on major issues like those that affect the budget, there is need to involve the members of staff, the experts and the customers as well. This means that a suggestion box needs to be in place with someone following up to make sure that the suggestions of the customers are noted and considered.

Further, Joe needs to sit down with his other senior managers and conduct a SWOT analysis for the company together with a general and thorough review on the progress of the company.

This may be what is missing, the company having performed very well for the last twenty years. A review would help in identifying major areas to be changed, what to stop doing, what to add and what to reduce. Such a review could be done by the help of experts who, because they are not part of the company, can easily identify and comment on the failures which needs to be corrected.

An example of some areas to make improvements is the way the company has been paying their loans late at the bank which has created some lack of trust by the bank. Because of this, it becomes very difficult for the company to be funded for emergency needs or be given overdrafts to facilitate its needs. In addition to this, maybe the company needs to change its location now that it has been in Halifax Nova Scotia for almost twenty years and focus on a new market which maybe, Joe Brown has not realized.

Nancy is right that the company should check on its expenditures so that it tries to cut on those which they can do without. This way the company may have some cash to settle obligations as they come due.

Nevertheless, Joe needs to be careful so that the company does not seem to be a family business and eventually be seen as influencing most decisions that Joe makes as far as the company running is concerned. The fact that the best mechanic is going away and the daughter who has been working as a part timer is more vocal, though in an effort to help improve the company, may be seen as if she and other family members influence the decisions.

This is one of the main reasons why Joe should consider running this company with the help of some experts, and begin with an immediate review on the whole operation of the company to ensure that what will be done next will not have a repeat of the same problem. Moreover he should revive the trust with the bank for future cooperation and progress of the company.

The other major need for review will be to establish why there has been a growth on the expenses at Fastbikes Inc. and a stagnation of the sales. On the other hand, there has been an increase on rent, utilities and wages every year making someone quickly go through the whole company’s operations in the mind and conclude that there is a problem or a negligence that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

This, for a company like Fastbikes Inc, that has been doing very well previously is a sign of back-sliding which needs a restoration campaign and Joe Brown is obliged to.

The other options that may help Joe ensure the continuity of the company is to consider selling some shares of the company as a ‘Plan B’ and be able to clear the loan at the bank. This will also enable him to increase the salaries to reasonable rates hence maintaining his best workers.

This is because the withdrawal of the mechanic and probably others may be a great blow to the company which may end up causing a loss of major customers. The optimistic spirit that the economy may improve is not guaranteed and therefore ‘Plan B’ needs to be considered to maintain the stability of the company.

Even though buying of the Motorcycles for Life may really leave the business enjoying the monopoly in the area, the company is mostly suffering an internal problem than an external one; meaning that there is more of a management problem than there is in other areas. This is seen by the fact that best workers are leaving, managers are complaining, expenses are high than the income, among others.

With all these issues to solve however, Joe has some advantages which he can use to help himself come back to normal only if he capitalizes on them. One of them is the fact that he has been managing the company for almost twenty years. This has left him with practical experience on how to handle various clients and situations as the management of the business and thus more guts to adjust himself and proceed without much hassle.

The other advantage is the fact that he knows why the company is failing at the time of economic crisis that has invaded. With this in mind, Joe has the ability to persevere until the crisis is over. The other advantage that should be acknowledged is the fact that his only competitor is withdrawing from the business, leaving him a greater room for business. Not only that, the competitor is in addition offering a lower price to buy the business and thus Joe’s products will be increased drastically.

Joe also, has known more about the business and this is what makes him confident that all will be well. Even when he is approached by his competitor to buy his business, having known the business very well, he knows that the price offered is fair and that he can make business out of the offer.

That confidence is a great advantage to him and therefore some improvements on the management part can easily get the business back to its stable condition particularly when the economy stabilizes. Confidence in business is what makes one move on regardless of the circumstances which occur once in a while and may be very discouraging.

However, faith and the strong desire to continue and the hope that things will work is what most business owners lack. In the case of Joe however, confidence is part of him which is a great advantage to him and thus giving hope to the company. This is one thing that probably will occur again after several years if it is to occur and now that he has an opportunity to handle it and learn on how such moments are handled. A future recurrence will find him very strong and ready to manage.

Lastly, Snowmobile has approached him wanting to expand their sales in the Halifax area promising to loan him several models and advertising information together with training for both his staff and sales staff. This last one; the training, is mostly what Joe needs in his company for him to overcome his current crises and an offer by Snowmobile would probably make the whole difference if he considered taking the offer.

Him included, the fact that it is the first time he is facing financial difficulty and doesn’t know how to handle it, a training on how to handle such will be of great help in case of a future occurrence of the same (Jablin & Putnam, 2001). This will help overcome management issues, which is like the major challenge for him, hence propagating the progress of the company’s operations and thus greater income and less expense as opposed to the current situation of the company.

Talking of management as the major outstanding challenge in Fastbikes Incorporated, it is worth noting some management structures that could help if they were adopted. Starting from the bottom to the top, we have the supervisory managers. These are the ones who are responsible for the supervision of the people on the ground doing the actual work.

They handle issues from the ground level and they report to the other level of managers called the middle managers who are responsible for handling matters concerning to the supervisory managers. They coordinate and act as mediators between top managers and the supervisory managers. The top most managers are the ones in charge of the major decisions of the company. Then from there we have the board of directors who are the final decision makers of a company (Scott, 2007).

For a company like the Fastbikes Incorporated, this structure can work best particularly if Joe wishes to sell some shares and then he and the shareholders hold the position of the board of directors. The expansion of the company, in case he considers buying the Motorcycle for Life Inc, would even necessitate this more since operating it alone may be a helpful challenge.

Nevertheless, if he chooses to operate it alone, the structure will also be there and he becomes the topmost manager and director as well. This will likely cause him a challenge similar to this because of monopoly of final decisions, and this mainly leads to uncontrolled expenses like is the case with the current situation.

Motivation to the sales people can be through special commissions which can be given to every person that exceed the target sales per day. Targets must be set to determine who has done more than the others. On top of the commissions, annual awards can also be very motivating.

This calls for frequent reviews on the performance of every department hence able to establish the best and hardworking staff within the departments. Retreats and outings to celebrate for staff is very vital as this enhances good relationships and on the contrary avoiding differences and hence propagating unity even at work place.

Since some employees have been working with this company since it began, associations and welfares are the best to keep people united and able to assist each other during the times of needs. The managers who are always arguing on budgets will probably find it necessary to sit and talk and eventually approach the senior authority for more discussion since they have an origin of such in their association.

A party to celebrate the victory of the business in the local business of the year’s awards also would be a motivation to the workers. Those who have worked excellently to make the company win can also be rewarded to motivate others to work hard for the next time’s award. Annual gifts as the year closes are also a motivation which makes workers feel like they have concluded the year and re-energized to start another.

With Joe’s company, where such awards have been given for the ten years they have been in operation, such would serve as one of the motivation strategies for his workers. With this, chances are that even his best mechanic who feels the need to move to greener pastures would consider remaining if such was being done in his recognition.

Setting structures that will rescue the current state of this company is an urgent issue and Joe has to make quick decisions. However, the company is capable of thriving even with the economy crisis it is facing since it has the advantage of enjoying monopoly as the only one selling and servicing motorcycles. This is even more because the only competitor that was a threat is retiring and selling his business to Joe.

Probably, on the same issue of motivation, there is a possibility that Joe himself has never had time to rest. A break is very necessary and Joe may have to take a break so that he is not overwhelmed by work and as the owner and the only senior manager, this is a true possibility.

This however may call for a necessity to train or get someone who can take responsibilities in his absence hence allowing him time to rest or have a holiday. Such situation would take us back to the need to have structures that are well set for management and communication in general as far as the whole company is concerned.

In conclusion therefore, It is evident from above that Joe should take action as soon as possible, which includes trying all he can to motivate his employees so that he can retain them in his company and to also encourage them so that they can work with dedication and putting all their efforts in doing their tasks.

A good organizational design should be put in place to help people understand their tasks as well as the hierarchy of the company and the company can attain the set goals and objectives, since they will be subdivided into tasks and subtasks for efficiency in operation.

Acquisition of Motorcycles For Life Inc is an important decision that Joe Brown should put into consideration given the benefits it will come along after obtaining the only competitor. A good communication system should be put up so that decision making is made easily, and information gets to the intended targets immediately. The company should also minimize its expenditure to increase cash flow levels.

References

Baron, R. A., & Greenberg, J., (2003). Behavior in organizations: Understanding and managing the human side of work (2nd ed.). Pearson: Prentice Hall.

Brown, S., & Fisher, R. (1991). Getting together. Chandos Place: Business books limited.

Cole, N., Kinicky, A., & Kreitner, R. (2007). Fundamentals of organizational behavior.

Ontario: McGraw hill companies.

DuBrin, A. J., & Young, J. D. (2007). Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior (1st Canadian ed.). Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

Jablin, F.M., & Putnam, L. (2001). The new handbook of organizational communication. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications Inc.

Scott, W.R. (2007). Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems Perspectives. Upper saddle River: Prentice – Hall.