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Sunday, February 12, 2012

A New Corporation Digital StyleThis is a Marketing strat paper I wrote

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A New Corporation Digital Style


I. CASE FACTS & BACKGROUND


DigitalC (DC) is an upstart in the IT consulting and services industry. Since mid 000, the firm has specialized in delivering high-end custom products and services to a small but rapidly growing clientele base. The products include, but are not limited to web site publication services, programming and data driven services, printing and design services, and an accredited Design Institute. At the Design Institute, customers become students and learn how support products purchased from DC. To provide these products, DC has an organizational design divided into the areas of application design, software engineering, marketing, customer support, among other areas. Currently, there are three players involved in the operation Chad Collins, President/Lead Programming Designer, Bernard “Bern”, Designer, and Pete Talick, Designer/Instructor.


Since the inception of the firm, besides some short lulls in sales, the business has grown at a rapid pace. Revenues in ‘01 were 75k, ‘0 estimates are 15k. In ’0, DC forecasts earnings/revenues to be 75k, a 00% annualized growth rate.


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Lately, DC has been receiving an increased amount of customer complaints. Based on my preliminary evaluation, customers are complaining about deadline delinquencies, unreturned phone calls, and communication breakdowns. A common concern is that, “the machine seems to answer more often than a live customer service representative.” In addition, customers feel that obtaining product maintenance or enhancements are, “always expensive, hard to get quick turn-around on. They also increase the end product cost significantly.”


Within the company, design personnel complain that they are underpaid, understaffed, and are often under extreme deadline pressures. Complaints to the President seem to get confrontational, and the staff member leaves feeling ignored. The President is unsympathetic to complaints stating he is responsible for the design and inspiration for all the products, and he does 5% of the work. Furthermore, the President complains that he is “wearing too many hats” to keep all of his constituents satisfied.” Finally, the President justifies keeping things the way there are because sales volumes are up, fixed cost are covered, and at this point these are the main operative goals of the firm.


As a consultant, in the following pages I will outline the problems I see with DigitalC, and recommend solutions to implement. All recommendations are in effort to align the behaviors of the employees with the firm’s goals, and to create a corporate environment of accomplishment and enjoyment.


II. MAJOR ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES


Problem 1 Goals are focused on sales, not customer satisfaction.


In DC’s industry, customers likely have the buying power. Therefore, there are most many substitutes for DC’s products. Also, sales figures indicate that, while customers are price-sensitive to a degree, quality and compatibility are more important than price. If the products are not compatible with current systems, or if they just do not work, the customer will feel he/she has wasted their money and will not return.


The company’s real goals � both stated and unstated � are solely focused on increasing sales by developing the most products in the least amount of time and at the lowest cost. However, these goals are in conflict with the external environment. Most importantly, they sacrifice the company’s most important stakeholders � its customers. DC need to deliver what the customer really wants; which is a quality product that works well and is compatible with current systems, and technical support that is knowledgeable and available.


Problem The corporate culture is dominated by the President, and the startup lacks communication channels necessary to rally employees around a common vision.


DC is a relaxed atmosphere in which the employees dress very casual. Moreover, the President often comes in late in the morning, takes long lunches, and leaves the office for extended periods to run errands. These hours are justified by the president when the office stays open late, and staff sometimes works all night. However, during the morning, often calls get dropped, go to voice mail, or never get picked up. Why? No one is there. Although this schedule provides a feeling of flexibility for the president and his employees, by maintaining this schedule, the business will not become an industry leader.


My preliminary analysis indicates that DC has not formally designed a mission or vision statement. If they have, it is not on any of there marketing materials, web-site, and no evidence suggests there is one from my office visits.


I recommend DC order polo shirts with their logo on them. Require members of the organization to wear the company shirt every shift with a standard for the rest of the attire, pants/shorts and shoes. When clients come visit dress standards will create a perception of stability. In addition, a dress code will promote customer and employee buy in.





DC needs to develop and clearly communicate the vision and mission statements to its employees and clients. This will demonstrate DC’s commitment and dedication to providing an excellent product supported with superior client services. Once the vision is established the President must use every means and opportunity available to communicate the vision to all employees and clients. Post the vision and mission statements on the front and back of business cards, make posters and put them up in the office. Place the statements, or derivates of the statements, on marketing materials, and on the front page of their website. Basically, place them wherever possible. Have a meeting with all employees to ceremonially re-establish the operative goals of the firm. These statements summarize the firm’s commitments and goals; therefore they should be understood by the clients and become the blood life of the firm’s culture. Examples of a vision and mission statement for DC are below.


Vision and Mission Statements


Vision


• To be a leading application service provider for the worlds best profit and non-profit organizations.


Mission


• To create original, reliable, and independent solutions of the highest quality. Our applications are distinguished by their outstanding design, functionality, and are enhanced by their integrated solutions for the future.


We are committed to


• Design integrity


• Quality for our clients


• entrepreneurial spirit


• developing and promoting designers and entrepreneurial talents


• market leadership in core segments


• high profitability and long term value creation





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