Campbell Management Consulting Case Analysis Situation Analysis In the Campbell Management Consulting case, Lauzon Automotive hopes to become more efficient. Central Engineering Manager, Peter Cole, has hired Colin Campbell to conduct a series of studies, beginning with the role of “tug operator”. The workload carried by the tug operator position has decreased in recent years due to decreases in the amount of waste generated at the plant; however, staff level of the role has remained constant over the same period.
Campbell is observing and analyzing the utilization of workers in the position to determine if cutbacks would be beneficial. Campbell is met with hostility, however, on the part of the union workers who fear losing their jobs. In addition to being openly hostile towards Campbell, the workers have opted to participate in a “work-to-rule” campaign to show their dissatisfaction with the study. The campaign is a strike technique in which workers do the minimum amount of work necessary, or follow the policies and procedures so closely, that productivity is hampered or halted altogether.
Since huge losses result from the shutdown of the plant, which could be a result of their work-to-rule campaign, it is wise to avoid its enactment. The root causes of the issues include job design problems, specifically with inflexibility. This narrow description has caused workers to be able to enact the work-to-rule campaign. In addition, general management of the workforce is another concern. Cole, a young manager, needs to get a better grip on the tenured union employees and enforce company policies.
Issues with the union also abound; under no circumstances should a consultant be harassed, as Campbell was, by one the Lauzon employees. PROJECT TITLE: | Campbell Management Consulting| Date:| 9/13/2011| | Owner:| Michelle Crawford| Background| | Recommendations| *In 1998, Japanese automakers have 30% share of industry vs. the decreasing 60% share held by North American manufacturers. *Production rates for American automakers had dropped 2-3% in few years leading up to 1998. | | A job analysis and reformation of the job description is required to impede any future attempts at enforcing a work-to-rule or other strike tactic.
The measurable will be compliance from the workforce as well as increased efficiency in the tug operator role. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Current Situation| | | *In order to remain competitive, Lauzon Automotive is looking to become more efficient. *Colin Campbell has been hired to diagnose problems and inefficiencies, beginning with the role of “tug operator”. *The workload carried by the tug loader position had decreased steadily in the past few years due to decreases in waste production, yet staff level of this role remained constant over the same period. The tug operator position is occupied by senior union employees, who are reacting negatively to the study and staging work-to-rule protests. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Plan| | | 1 – Perform job analysis on the tug operator position. Redefine the role so that it includes measurables like timeliness of deliveries as well as safety regulations. Include any duties that may have been previously undefined in the description. 2 – Have Peter, and perhaps a more senior employee, meet with union leaders on the hostility issues.
A “no-tolerance” rule on harassment should be implemented – and offenders immediately fired. 3 – During this meeting, Peter should assure the tug operators that their jobs are not at risk. Given that most of them are within one year of retirement, Peter should allow their retirement
Utilization rate of workers per shift (assuming one refuel per shift): 180 (# of gondolas) X 5. 35 m (average service time per sample gondola) = 984. 25 m (total time to service gondolas per shift) 510 m (per shift) – 30 m (lunch) – 60 m (breaks) – 15 m (refuel) = 405 m (per worker per shift) 405 m (per worker per shift) X 5 (workers per shift) = 2025 m (total time workers available) 984. 5 / 2025 = workers operating at 48. 6% capacity. However, it should be noted that Campbell’s data is incomplete because it does not include travel time between the gondolas. This would clearly effect the recommendations, so I do not think it would be acceptable for Campbell to consider cutting jobs at this time. Root causes *Job design – too narrow a definition, allowing workers to enact work-to-rule. Management of the workforce: Peter, the young manager, seems to be getting pushed around by the tenured union employees, hampering productivity *Issues with the union: hostility and unrest that should not be tolerated | | Follow up| | | Meet with union leaders and tug operators again to discuss any issues with the new job description. Enlist their support in providing feedback to enhance the description. They should view the consulting team as their allies. Finally approve new description, and then monitor retirement dates for when to expect an increase in role productivity. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Assumptions and Missing Information The key piece of information that is missing is the travel time between one gondola and the next. Without this data, it is impossible to accurately determine the utilization of tug operators. Problem Definition The key issue in this case is the narrow job design and definition of the tug operator position, allowing for strike tactics.
The secondary issue is management of the workforce and issues with the union. Development of Alternatives One alternative would be to continue the study to acquire the data necessary. Campbell could return to the floor and observe the time it takes to travel from one gondola to another, and then complete his utilization rate analysis. Evaluation of Alternatives and Recommendations If Campbell decides to complete his evaluation of the role, it might further damage the relationship between management and the union, causing more unrest and workplace disruption.
I would advise against this, especially since the majority of tug operators are planning to retire within one year. In light of this, I recommend that Campbell abandon his study of utilization rate in favor of job analysis on the tug operator position. The job description should then be modified as necessary so that work-to-rule campaigns will no longer be an issue. Campbell should also advise Cole on how to handle his relationship with the union in the future. Implementation Plan
The implementation timeline should look as follows: * Perform job analysis on tug operator position. * Redefine the role so that it includes measurables like timeliness of deliveries as well as safety regulations. Include any duties that may have been previously undefined in the description. * Cole should meet with union leaders on hostility issues and address strike concerns. * Assure them that their jobs are safe and that not cooperating with or expressing hostility towards Campbell will not be tolerated. Cole should also explain the changes to the job description and enlist the help of the tug operators for any future developments with it. Conclusion Narrow job descriptions can become host to numerous workplace issues, including strike protests like the one exhibited in this case. Evaluating them, and maintaining a good relationship with the workforce, is crucial to success, efficiency, and sustainability. References Cruji, Colin. Richard Ivey School of Business. (1999) Campbell Management Consulting.