Horner Flooring Company is a sport’s flooring manufacturer located in Dollar Bay, MI. There are around 50 to 75 employees at Horner, ranging from a mill laborer to sales representatives to the President/CEO. Horner’s business strategies include continually increase clientele by generating new customers and converting competitor’s customers to Horner customers and having the best customer service in the industry of sports flooring. This includes developing and maintaining good relations with customers.
Business Process and Organizational structure:
Horner’s organizational structure consists of President, Vice President of Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing Manager, Plant Manager, Plant Superintendent, and multiple department leads. The President/CEO is on the top with the Vice President (VP) of Manufacturing and the Sales and Marketing Manager reporting to the President/CEO. Under the VP of Manufacturing fall the Plant Manager then Plant Superintendent and multiple department heads. The manufacturing group oversees production scheduling, order fulfillment, raw material procurement, employee safety, maintenance, etc. The Sales and Marketing Manager looks after the inside and outside sales staff which performs product markets and sales functions of products manufactured by Horner as well as those manufactured by others for whom Horner serves as a reseller. Contact with all of their customers, architects and similar specifiers is coordinated through this branch, while the President/CEO oversees administrative functions such as oversight of the accounting, insurance, budgeting, strategic initiative and growth elements to the business.
These 5 individuals in the managerial positions often discuss and implement changes and improvements within the company, as well as to track progress of cross-organizational projects. All of the individuals have experience in fields in which they do not run on a daily basis. For example, the Sales Manager may have the experience of interacting with architects who install the floors in the field, and they may be able to work with the Plant Superintendent to improve the design of a floor to may it perform better than before. This happens often within this company, specifically because there is only one individual who may cover a certain aspect of the company.
There isn’t any specific IT department at Horner as it’s a small company. However, there is an individual who works remotely and as needed for Horner whenever there are IT issues within the company.
Some of the business processes includes generation of production order as per customer’s need/order, tracking of the production through a system and update customer regarding their order status, generation of shipping order once the product is complete, create invoice for the customer, ship the product, ensuring that payment is received from the customer.
Problems faced by Horner Flooring Company:
No Documentation of Business Processes:
The problem deducted with the Horner flooring company was that the process flow majorly depended on people that is it followed people driven process. For example, if one employee is unavailable then the whole business process flow would be hampered. Also most of the employees at Horner have been working with the company for more than 20 years on an average. Few years down the line, current Horner employees would retire and Horner would need to hire new employees. Whenever an employee leaves the process knowledge would be gone along with the employee as it is not been recorded anywhere. And new employees would had no reference to learn about the current processes of the company and this would disturb the day to day processes of the company to run smoothly.
Recommendations for the above problem:
To overcome the above problem the solution we recommend the following solution
· Developing Business Process Documents
Business Process Documents:
Business process document is a detailed document describing processes within an organization as per business needs.
Main objectives of creating business process documents are as follows
Ø Eliminate flaws
Ø Improve efficiency
Ø Improve overall quality
Ø Increase customer and employee satisfaction
Process documentation would allow the employees to know what they are doing and get an insight to company’s inner workings. And in case if any employee leaves, the company flow will be undisturbed as the business processes will be captured into the business process documents. This will give be useful for new employees joining the company to understand the company’s current processes in order to work efficiently.
Thus, maintaining business process documents will transform Horner’s current situation from people driven process to process driven.
Lack of Centralized System for Information (major problem detected):
This problem was deducted with the Horner’s portable floors namely ProKing portable floors. They had an archaic system of tracking information regarding these type of floors. The stored information was contained in silos. All information regarding the portable floors were recorded in form of physical documents (mostly on paper) which were kept in folders. Employees would spend lot of time tracking down the portable floor’s information. The mentioned condition indicated that Horner lacked an electronic documentation for tracking information related to portable floors.
Recommendations for Lack of Centralized System:
To overcome this lack of centralized system to track information about Horner’s portable floors, proposing a technical solution would be the best possible solution. We can recommend to have a centralized storage location such as Database for storing data.
· Database is a collection of related data stored in a centralized space.
· A database management system allows user to manage data efficiently by enabling them one place, the data would be easier to find, change or update. Also the
· Employees can be sure that the information they are looking for is up-to-date.
· Enables employees to perform multiple tasks at ease.
A database such as SQL would be optimal to use in this case for the following reasons:
· Free open source software
· Easy to use
· Minimal implementation cost (almost negligible)
– In correspondence to Horner’s problem having a database management system will allow employees to store, organize and manage notable amount of floor information within a one software application.
– All the information related to portable floors will be maintained in single storage location which will save lot of time on tracking the product (portable floor) information. Increasing the overall productivity of the process.
– Employees will able to track the floors sold to customers for future maintenance which can retrieve customer’s information
– For already sold products, we can provide additional discounts for registering their products online. By this we can retrieve old customers.
Following are some other benefits of having a database
Ø Scaling of business
Multiple users can access the database software from multiple locations at once.
Ø Data Security
Company owned valuable data can be safeguarded as illegitimate attacks can be eliminated by authorization.
Ø Supports Multiple views
Multiple user can be given access to view different data according to their role in the company.
Ø Reducing the complexity
In business it’s very important to have a track about the current status (product information), a database system will allow the current status be known to everyone. For example, knowing the current status of an order.
Ø Help in making critical decisions
Based on the current status some reports can be made which can help managers take some critical business decisions.
Ø Improving customer relationship
Relationship with the customers will be improved as we can updates customers regarding their order by either some automatic alert trigger or by sending promotional emails.
As Horner does not have any dedicated IT department it would be best to outsource technology, a third-party IT service providing firm which can develop database management system for Horner. In future, Horner should hire an intern or dedicated employee or train the current employees in order to use the software for smooth running of the business functions.