Assignment Brief and Case Study

For advice on structure of the report, referencing and other details please refer to ‘Assessment’ section on the module Accessed. 2. In addition, your group should submit a group Journal which should include a critical reflection (3-4 pages). The template of the group Journal can be found at the end of this assignment brief and in ‘Assessment’ section of Accessed. 3. Based on your group report and Journal prepare a group presentation.

Your presentation should have maximum six slides (excluding the first slide containing the title of the presentation and names of all group members) and he duration of your presentation should not exceed five-six minutes. All group members should present in class and be ready to step in if one or more group members do not turn up for the presentation assessment. Students not in attendance and not presenting will receive a mark of for this element unless they have mitigating circumstances. The suggested structure of the presentation can be be found at the end of this assignment brief.

For presentation tips please refer to Assessment’ section on the module Accessed. Assignment questions: (our report should address the following three points: . Do you consider that the different departments at Ironwoods are groups or teams? Justify your answer making reference to appropriate B theories and drawing on examples from the case study. 2. Making reference to appropriate B theories and drawing on examples from the case study outline and diagnose underlying issues and problems at Ironwoods.

Issues and problems at Ironwoods may relate to group work, organizational culture and communication, motivation, and other areas. 3. Conclude the report with recommendations as to how things may be improved, I. E. Rite an action plan for the company, basing your recommendations on your analysis of problems and issues as well as appropriate theoretical knowledge. Prioritize possible actions and consider the implications of your recommendations based on {Our knowledge to the company. Firing on three cylinders…

Lifestyle Cars Ltd, as is general amongst car manufacturers, distributes its vehicles through a series of authorized dealerships all over the I-J. In order to successfully qualify for such authorization, each potential dealership has to undergo rigorous Jetting procedures to ensure that Lifestyles quality standards will be adhered to. Competition for authorized dealership is always fierce, never more so than when, as Ninth Lifestyle, the products are popular and sell well. Dealers are expected to meet sales and growth targets laid down by the manufacturer – in trade Jargon to move the metal’.

Rewards for success are not Just monetary: dealers who are performing Nell are awarded a variety of other prizes, from holidays to extra deliveries of new models into their showroom. Out-of-date models are obviously not as easy to ‘move’ and not dealer wants deliveries of these cars in favor of new or improved styles. Once accepted as an authorized dealer, the relationship between dealership and Lifestyle is not always an easy one. The two organizations must live side by side for as long as the contract lasts.

Lifestyle has no direct authority over a dealer but indirectly have great power. To understand this situation more fully, let us look at a typical dealership, Ironwoods Ltd. Founded more than twenty years ago by Alan Ringworm, it has seen steady growth over that time from its humble start as a vehicle repair shop to the present day which sees it as a Lifestyle authorized dealer. Founder Alan Ringworm, managing erector of his own company is also the Lifestyle ‘dealer principal’; the organization Chart is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Organization chart of Ironwoods Ltd Managing director/dealer principal Car sales manager Used-car sales New car sales Fleet sales After-sales manager Parts manager Service manager Speedy fit exhausts Overlaid on this is the Lifestyle organization of two regional managers, responsible ROR either sales or service. Thus the car sales manager reports directly to Alan Ringworm and indirectly to his Lifestyle regional manager who has his own company targets to meet.

Equally Ringworm, whilst being managing director of his own company, is also equally accountable to Lifestyle Cars via the two regional managers and their bosses. Failure to meet standards and targets set could well result in the loss of the franchise. It would appear from Figure 1 that the dealership falls naturally into two distinct areas: Sales and After-sales. Even if this were the case, it would not be a welcome division: profit margins on new cars are low and a dealership relies on the after- market to engender customer loyalty and boost revenue. However, in the case of Ironwoods, the groups divide even further.

Let us look at each section separately: Car Sales ere car sales manager is responsible for essentially three separate and distinct areas: new cars, used cars, and fleet sales. To take the first two, historically there is always a bigger profit to be made from used cars than from new. ‘Used’ cars can mean anything from a five-year-old vehicle to one which has only been owned for six months. An unknowing customer, therefore, intending to purchase a brand new car may be successfully ‘prospected’ by a used-car salesman to buy a six-month-old car before they even get as far as the showroom door.

Behind-the-scenes arguments ensue as to the customer’s intentions and to whom the commission should go, particularly if the customer has always purchased ‘new before. Similar arguments occur within each team as to who the customer ‘belongs’ to: comments such as, ‘She Nas my customer, I talked to her first but Debbie signed her up on my day off- I deserve a percentage’, are frequently heard and in an industry where base salaries are low and made up by commission, are hardly surprising. Sales techniques can range from the subtle to the not so subtle.

Subtle, in that test drives will always take a left-turn route so that the ‘prospect’ does not feel worried or ensure about how a car will perform if they have to turn right across the traffic. Not so subtle is the use of ‘controlled selling techniques where ‘prospects’, on a flimsy excuse of taking the used car for a test drive, find themselves minus keys and diurnally locked in a room until they sign on the dotted line. After-sales This area also tends to fall into two distinct sections: Service and Parts.

The Parts department serves two masters: the general public (be it a selflessness motor mechanic or a private car owner intent on doing his own servicing) and the Service department itself. The Parts manager is under increasing pressure to keep his inventory levels as low as possible and is frequently heard on the telephone trying to borrow essential but slummed parts from other Lifestyle dealers in the region. ere Service technicians are highly trained mechanics who these days have traded in their ring spanners for state-of-the-art computer diagnostics.

They are paid by the number of Jobs they complete. Tailoring is alive and well in the motor industry: each job has a set time allotted to it and listed in the b book Therefore it a technician can ‘beat the book”, not only are they paid tort the umber of hours that it should have taken but they can also go on to another Job. It is not unusual, therefore, for a technician to be paid for seventy-five hours having only physically worked for thirty-nine.

Clearly, therefore, there is tension between Northrop and Parts: the former do not want to be held up waiting for a part which the department is trying to locate at another dealership. Against this general background we then have the manufacturer imposing strict controls in all areas from the showroom layout to the procedure for warranty claims. As mentioned, the car industry is a competitive one and Lifestyle have decided to introduce an even greater element of competition by introducing a set of ‘customer care principles’ against which each dealer will be measured.

Ten in total, five for Sales and five for After-sales (but primarily Service), they detail the main stages in a customer transaction and include areas such as ‘manner, tone, and attitude of the salesman’, ‘quality of purchase experience’ and ‘right first time, every time’ for Service. Performance against standards will be measured by customer questionnaires and each dealership will be given their results in a monthly league table for the whole egging. Lifestyle have decided that each dealer who consistently falls below the region average will lose discounts – a not inconsiderable amount of money over the {ear.

After the first quarter’s figures had been issued, Alan Ringworm called a meeting of all staff and explained the results. Overall they were below the group average in the following areas: Customers considered that salesmen were too ‘pushy and they felt that they were abandoned once the deal had been done with them. 0 Service department was experiencing a high level of repeat repairs. Further analysis showed that this was artsy due to standard of work but also due to the fact that the fault could not be immediately rectified because parts were unavailable and had to be ordered.

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