Ramrod Case Questions and Answers Essay

1. What kinds of merchandises and engineerings does Benson Metals usage?

How have these been altering late? Benson Metals. a moderate-sized shaper of forte steel merchandises. has traditionally used a craftsliketechnology to bring forth a assortment of metals. In footings of Perrow’s theoretical account of engineering. undertaking assortment andtask analyzability are low. as there is still guesswork. accomplishment. and even some “black magic” inmanufacturing merchandises. Benson besides produces metals in really little quantities-pounds non tons-so thatin footings of Woodward’s theoretical account it is little batch. and the accomplishments and cognition of production people aremore of import than machines in acquiring the occupation done-task complexness is low.

Recently. the company has moved into doing sophisticated and technically hard steels for theaerospace industry. Not merely are they hard to bring forth. these steels require more research accomplishments. metallurgical analysis. and delicate handling in all phases of production. They are produced to verystringent specifications. In footings of Perrow’s theoretical account. undertaking assortment has increased and task analyzability hasfallen-production is more nonroutine and research oriented and depends more on the accomplishments. experience. cognition. and judgement of production forces. Companies can non copy these accomplishments. so they form acompetitive advantage. The environment environing the company has changed to more uncertainness because a new scope of merchandises is manufactured. Both engineering and environment have changed. impacting the eventualities confronting the company. and increasing possible hazards and returns.

2. What jobs is Benson Metals meeting as it changes merchandises and engineerings?

An increased degree of struggle between gross revenues and production poses a job. Production is reacting tothe new force per unit areas confronting the organisation. yet it is continually contending with gross revenues. Gross saless wants a rapidresponse to unexpected client petitions or attempts to detect production’s programs or when the finished merchandise will be ready. Morale is falling as the effects of these struggles spread. Directors in different maps are taking sides. normally siding with gross revenues against Ramrod and production. Communication and decision-making haveslowed as a consequence of uncooperative attitudes. Integration between maps is falling. This is dangerousfor nonroutine engineering that requires a high degree of distinction and integrating to be effectual.

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3. What is doing these jobs in Benson Metallic elements?

The beginnings of the struggle can be isolated. Keep the treatment focused on the people. principallyRamrod. and analyze what he is making incorrect ; this attack makes the ulterior analysis of power moredramatic. The attitudes and behaviour of Ramrod Stockwell cause the job. Although he is competent. he causesconflict within his ain map and other maps. In his ain map he fails to depute authorityand keeps the reins of power in his ain custodies. He has a centralised direction manner and does non shareinformation. which makes it impossible for subsidiaries to supply sales representative with the information theyneed. He does non follow the concatenation of bid ; he goes to people merely when he needs them. Violatinglines of authorization reduces the authorization of his directors and besides leaves them uninformed. His attitudes affect relationships with other maps. particularly gross revenues. because he besides does non allowsubordinates to portion any but everyday information. Because of the centralisation of authorization in production. subsidiaries do non possess information. Merely Rob Bronson. the frailty president of gross revenues. canget information from Ramrod. and he is excessively busy to make so ( and excessively proud since he would hold to acknowledge 232

dependence on Ramrod ) . Stockwell says something can be done but fails to supply an accurate timeframe. doing be aftering hard for gross revenues and other departments-making them dependent on Ramrod. Ramrod is a “rough diamond” and has small societal contact with other top directors at Benson Metals. which farther isolates him. Directors have suggested sensitiveness preparation to assist him better communicateand delegate. The decision is that Ramrod is the problem-his attitudes and values. What is the solution? FireRamrod? After the pros and cons have been considered ( the house would lose his valuable accomplishments andexpertise ) . the teacher can turn the treatment to the issue of the company power construction ; studentsrarely raise this issue. 4. In the yesteryear. which map has had the most power in Benson Metals? How has the power relationship between production and gross revenues been altering late? Traditionally. gross revenues has enjoyed most of the power:

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• President Tom Hollis worked with Fred Benson and was the gross revenues manager.
• Most of the “assistant to” directors groomed for publicity come from gross revenues.
• Gross saless gets the recognition for good work while production is blamed in the bad old ages.
• Gross saless can steal orders into the production procedure. although. as in the Continental Can instance. this causes important jobs that will increase as the edification of the metalsincreases.
• Production directors play 2nd violin to salespeople: They have inferior installations andlimited entree to resources and to exceed directors. The traditional power of gross revenues reflects the fact that in the yesteryear. the chief eventuality confronting Benson wasto sell its merchandises in a competitory market against four or five other companies who compete for thesame clients. In this environment. developing client relationships and serving clients is veryimportant. Recently the environment has changed and production has become more important-only production can bring forth the sorts of steels clients want. In the new competitory environment:

• Production controls the chief eventualities.
• Production has become cardinal and nonsubstitutable.
• Production reduces the uncertainness confronting gross revenues. non frailty versa.

Even though the power of production is increasing. Benson’s internal power construction does non reflectthis alteration. Rob Bronson. the gross revenues director realizes the alteration but intentionally avoids a alteration in thestatus of gross revenues. and the consequence is struggle. The message is that possibly Ramrod is non the job ; it is Benson’s unchanged internal power structurein a changed environment. Ramrod’s attitudes and behaviours seem logical once it is understood that hewants to increase his function’s power and position in the organisation:

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• He doesn’t delegate authorization and portion information to increase his power over gross revenues.

• Information is a power resource. and by stashing information he can increase the uncertaintyof other sections and their dependance on him.
• He agrees to all petitions but gives no feedback.

This increases his power and makes himnonsubstitutable. Ramrod. consciously or unconsciously. is keep backing information to increase the dependance of otherson him and to alter the balance of power in his favour. A strong CEO would understand this and might 233

publically acknowledge the importance of production and rectify the instability. The president and his boy areweak and the president is from gross revenues. so nil is being done. The degree of struggle is intensifying as salesfights back. 5. Propose some ways to seek to work out the jobs the company is sing. What would be a good scheme for alteration? There are several ways of increasing the power of production vis-à-vis gross revenues.

• Like Continental Can. Benson should make a production control section to buffer salesand production and cut down or extinguish sales’ ability to steal new client orders into the production procedure. All petitions should flux through production control. which transmitsthem to production. This reduces sales’ traditional power over production and helps promotea power balance.

• The support of top direction is critical for a alteration in attitudes. and top direction needsto acknowledge the increased position of production publically.

• To increase the position of production. top direction can better fabrication facilitiesand give Ramrod a bigger office and staff. a more cardinal location. and greater entree to topmanagement.

• Create a undertaking force to analyze how environmental alterations affect working relationships andto addition perceptual experiences of the importance and position of production.

• Send Stockwell to a direction preparation class to better his accomplishments at deputation.